PHOTOGRAPHY

Shelly Pate

How to Pull Off an Amazing Last-Minute Elopement in Washington, DC

Couple holds hands at DC rooftop elopement

Weddings are all about planning. Once a date is set and vendors secured, you then spend the next six months to a year finalizing details. Elopements on the other hand, are a bit different. Though they can involve being planned out way in advance, they are often done in a shorter time frame. These two planned out their elopement in a very short period and even made some details happen on the day! See how a last-minute elopement is planned in Washington, DC and why it can still turn out to be AMAZING!

Couple sits with bouquet and dog on rooftop at last-minute elopement

Choose the Right Location

Wedding dress hangs in window at last-minute elopement

I’ve shot at the LINE DC Hotel in Adams Morgan from many angles and for different stages of the wedding day. It’s been used for anything from getting ready to a sunset rooftop elopement. The LINE DC truly has an endless supply of spaces to capture your day!

Couple holds hands with wedding bouquet at DC rooftop hotel elopement
Couple looks at cityscape at DC rooftop elopement

Navika and Kyle knew they wanted to elope in Washington, DC but they were completely flexible on the location. Flexibility is so key when planning to elope, particularly for a last-minute elopement! What sold them on this location was the fact that they could book it quickly and that it had a great view. The LINE DC perfectly provided all that they needed with a view of Washington, DC as the backdrop to their ceremony.

Bridge cheers with bridesmaids in silky PJ's at last-minute elopement

You should also choose a venue like the LINE DC that incorporates everything you love into your day–including your fur baby! It is one of the few hotels that does not charge an additional pet fee. The couple’s dog, Kobe, could be part of the wedding day and stay with them too! Another pet-friendly hotel in the DC Metro Area that I would recommend is Revival, a boutique hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.

Bride puts groom dog outfit on dog at DC hotel elopement

The bride got ready in one of the hotel rooms joined by Kobe and her two closest friends. The vows then took place on the rooftop followed by fun photos taken on the epic staircases found in the front lobby and entrance (see below!). The hotel boasts a classic, simple style that I would recommend for anything from larger weddings, elopements, bridal sessions, engagement, and boudoir! You especially can’t beat the LINE DC rooftop for your ceremony!

Couple holds up hands with wedding bands at DC rooftop elopement

Choose the Right Last-Minute Vendors

Bride holds champagne and wedding bouquet at DC rooftop hotel elopement

The bride decided to hire hair and make-up artists through an app called Glamsquad. You can book any beauty service and they come directly to you! By selecting your date and region, they match you with an artist that fits your needs. Glamsquad services the entire DC Metro Area! It can be very difficult to book a hair and makeup artist for a last-minute elopement so Navika was very happy with Glamsquad’s results!

PRO TIP FROM A BRIDE: “My advice if you do decide to go the Glamsquad route is to get connected to your artists prior to the event. Do a trial run to ensure you are on the same page!” 

Another down-to-the-wire decision that worked out was getting a cake! Buttercream Bakeshop in Washington, DC came in strong to save the day! An OREO cookie cake was the only cake option left that day and it ended up being such a fun flavor for them! They loved it!

PRO TIP: To align with restrictions on time, expect to use whatever is readily available at the floral shop or bakery for your last-minute elopement. Be ready to try colors and flavors you haven’t experienced before!

Choose The Right People OR Pets!

Couple sits with dog at DC rooftop elopement

I am 1000% for including your pet on your wedding day! That’s why I always encourage choosing a pet-friendly wedding venue like the LINE DC! I see my own pups as part of my family, so I believe very strongly about incorporating them into your day. This couple even had an adorable pup groomsmen outfit so that Kobe really looked the part! You can make it work so that your pet is included in your wedding!

Couple kisses in background on rooftop with dog in groomsmen suit in front

“We are so happy we included Kobe! He was the best boy throughout the day and the most photogenic out of us all! The LINE was great for this reason as well as being dog-friendly. I think he was just as happy to be part of our big day as we were to have him there!”

Couple sits with dog at DC rooftop elopement

While it can totally work to do a guest-free elopement adventure, these two opted to have a few of their closest friends in attendance. Their guests ended up playing key roles in their elopement day success! The bride’s best friend, Jen, was literally THE best that day! She put together Navika’s bouquet, Kyle’s boutonniere and used some additional florals to decorate the top of the cake!

Having friends present also provided someone to watch Kobe and give him little breaks to just be a pup! They also stuck around to watch the ceremony from afar as the couple exchanged vows. Later that evening, the newlyweds rented some bar space and were able to spend time with friends as another great way to keep others involved.

Make Sure It’s The Right Fit for The Two of You

I captured Navika and Kyle’s engagement session a few months back in Washington, DC. Before their session, they kept saying how awkward they usually appear in photos. As you can see, they were completely wrong! We had such a fun time together!

They knew that they were going to elope somewhere in Washington, DC, and that they wanted to keep things just for them and a super small group of friends. And of course, Kobe had to be included!

The couple loved, “Just how stress-free everything was. I feel like we were both able to really enjoy our day and it was truly just about the two of us (and our dog!). Our elopement was exactly what we wanted!”

Couple poses with wedding bouquet and sunglasses at DC rooftop elopement

Yours can be too! Tell me all about the elopement day that you are dreaming up!

Couple stand on staircase holding wedding bouquet at the LINE DC hotel
Couple stands holding hands in front of staircase at the LINE DC hotel
Couple stand on staircase holding wedding bouquet at the LINE DC hotel

The Team

Bride’s Shoes | Badgley Mischka
Cake | Buttercream Bakeshop
Venue | the LINE DC Hotel
HMU | Glamsquad
Dress | Lovely Bride (designer Sarah Seven)
Earrings | Mejuri

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