PHOTOGRAPHY

Shelly Pate

Top 10 Garden Wedding Venues in the DC Metro Area

Tudor Place estate surrounded by greenery

It can be so difficult to decide where to have your wedding. This is often the case not due to your own indecision, but to the fact that your tastes are so varied. It’s hard to find an all-inclusive venue that has everything you’re looking for! As you search for your special spot, here are the locations I recommend that check off so many boxes you may desire. These DC Metro Area garden wedding venues are such a perfect combination of the best parts of both city life and the beauty of nature. You may just find your own hidden gem!

1. Tudor Place – Georgetown – Washington, DC

Couple walks through garden at Tudor Place DC garden wedding

If you’re ready to be transported to Europe for your wedding day, but want to stay in the DC Metro area, then take a look at Tudor Place. Hidden away in the Washington, DC neighborhood of Georgetown, the gardens and elegant pink Historic House provide a perfect backdrop to your DC garden wedding. 

Sitting on over five acres of tree-surrounded property, the grounds have several different gardens, ivy, stone steps, floral paths, and lavender. There are so many different areas for couples to utilize. Spots including the front lawn with the manor in the background or the The Bowling Green which has a beautiful fountain surrounded by lush greenery. I would recommend booking the spring, summer, or fall to really get the most out of these beautiful gardens!

BONUS

You don’t have to book your full event here! You can get a photo permit for just a few hours for couples photos, first looks, and wedding party photos. Additionally, the indoors are just as beautiful, offering a variety of Victorian-era rooms and adjacent gardens for intimate ceremonies.

2. Meridian House – Adams Morgan – Washington, DC

Front entrance to Meridian House Washington DC garden wedding venue

This venue is perfect for couples who want a Washington, DC garden wedding (including dinner under trees lit with twinkle lights) that is tucked away from the busy city streets. The grounds of Meridian House are so breathtaking–from the front drive to the backyard terrace and garden spaces. An elegant wedding venue, the historic manor sits on three acres of gardens making it feel like a destination wedding location with Italian vibes right in the middle of Adams Morgan!

BONUS

The indoors are amazing too! They include an epic double staircase and a massive library that works as a perfect backdrop to a first look.

Couple embraces in garden of Meridian House DC wedding venue

3. Iron Gate – Dupont Circle – Washington, DC

Table setting at Iron Gate Restaurant DC garden wedding venue

Iron Gate Restaurant is a wonderful DC garden wedding venue in all seasons (they use heaters during cold weather). The all-inclusive site comes with a wedding coordinator, catering, and the option of renting the full venue or just the outdoor garden area. I can attest to the fact that the food is amazing!

This venue transforms well for any time of day: brunch, seated dinner by candlelight, or passed hors d’oeuvres at night. It is perfect for intimate weddings, with the ceremony being held in the ivy-covered garden using the stairs as a backdrop. It is a restaurant venue that truly has all of the secret garden vibes right in the middle of the city in Dupont Circle.

BONUS

Depending on the guest count, guests can stand or be seated, using a side patio for extra seating or dancing.

4. The National Arboretum – Washington, DC

Couple kisses in front of columns at Arboretum wedding

The National Arboretum in Washington, DC is a great location for adventurous elopements, engagements, and even small, intimate weddings. It’s a perfect DC garden wedding getaway for couples who want to escape the city, but still stay in it. There are so many different areas from vast open fields, woods, rose gardens, dogwood trees, and conifer trees. The Arboretum is also dog friendly!

Every spot within the Arboretum looks completely different depending upon the time of day. In the sun-drenched fields and along the National Capitol Columns there are many beautiful options for portraits AND ceremonies. I love this venue as a photographer, because there’s such variety and it really feels like you’re outside of the city.

BONUS

Staff will drive us around in a golf cart so you can get to all of the photo locations on your list. There is a tent available as a rain back-up or as a covered area for the reception.

Couple holds hands in field at Arboretum garden wedding
Couple kisses at National Arboretum garden wedding

5. Goodstone Inn & Restaurant – Middleburg, VA

Ivy-covered wall with table setting at Goodstone Inn Virginia garden wedding
Reception table setting at Goodstone Inn Virginia garden wedding

Planted on 265 acres of rolling hills, Goodstone Inn & Restaurant is an all-inclusive wedding venue in the heart of Virginia wine country. It caters to weddings of all sizes from intimate weddings, to grand wedding weekends (accommodating up to 200 guests). Here you get the full garden wedding experience including an indoor space that looks similar to a greenhouse!

Ceremony locations include the most epic and romantic wall of ivy with blush florals and greenery.  Another spot couples opt for is a woodsy garden overlooking a wide open field at sunset. The entire space gives off an enchanted vibe between the ivy wall and the intimate, ivy-covered courtyard. Houses are also included for getting ready with the bride at the historic Manor House and the groom at the Bull Barn.

BONUS

The wedding party and family can stay in cottages across the property for a true destination experience (pets are welcome too!). The venue even hosts the rehearsal dinner and you cannot beat the food and attentive staff!

Couple walks through field at Goodstone Inn Virginia garden wedding

6. Tabard Inn – Dupont Circle – Washington, DC

Dog sits on doormat in front of Tabard Inn DC garden wedding venue

City streets + ivy-covered walls + vintage decor=the best setting for an intimate wedding. You can’t help but fall in love with the charming qualities of the Tabard Inn. This is a historic inn with a ton of personality! It reminds me of an inn you might find in Rome with its decor and grand ivy-covered patio.

It is the perfect setting for a garden ceremony on the patio and an indoor reception inside the Victorian townhouse. This is a great option for an intimate wedding space for couples who want to incorporate being in the city! It is right off of Dupont Circle, so there is no shortage of beautiful photo spots.

BONUS

This is a dog-friendly location! It is all-inclusive, but you also can use outside catering. 

Couple embraces during ceremony at Tabard Inn DC garden wedding venue

7. Red Fox Inn – Middleburg, VA

This DC Metro Area garden wedding venue found in Middleburg, Virginia, transforms so beautifully with each season. The Red Fox Inn & Tavern is a historic site that has options for the reception, ceremony, and all parts of the day both indoors and outdoors (including a heated tent). Offering an intimate cottage and dimly-lit dark wood Tavern, The Red Fox Inn includes all that you need to create a winter wonderland or spring paradise. You can get those secret garden vibes all year–even in winter!

BONUS

There is plenty of room for getting ready with both parties having their own house! The bridal cottage has an attached garden that’s perfect for first looks, bridal shots, and separate wedding party photos! The Red Fox Inn is all-inclusive and the food is delicious!

Guests sit at tables eating at Red Fox Inn wedding

8. Meridian Hill Park – Adams Morgan – Washington, DC

Couple walks up staircase holding hands at Meridian Hill Park DC garden wedding

If Josephine Butler Parks Center is your venue (a beautiful historic manor) then you can easily utilize Meridian Hill Park for garden wedding photos. The park, located in Adams Morgan in Washington, DC, echoes the style of its Spanish steps with romantic alcoves throughout for private moments. You can get the garden feel and glimpses of the city at this super green Italian-style garden.

Walking alongside the cascading fountain (which is under repair through summer 2022), you’ll catch florals throughout the park especially during spring and summer. Be aware that this is a public space and there may be other people around while taking photos.

BONUS

Also a great proposal spot! Afterwards you can go to an awesome spot in Adams Morgan, U street, or Dupont (which are all close by) to celebrate!

9. Dumbarton House – Georgetown – Washington, DC

Couple walks holding hands in front of Dumbarton House DC garden wedding venue

Dumbarton House is a historic manor with private gardens in the Washington, DC neighborhood of Georgetown. The DC garden wedding venue has multiple spaces to choose from with a capacity ranging from 60 standing up to 200 seated guests. It is perfect for medium-sized weddings or intimate gatherings.

Every corner is so elegant and full of history. You get all the history that Georgetown is known for without being in the hustle and bustle of it all. The private garden is perfect for couples portraits and first looks while the North Garden and Upper Terrace are amazing for outdoor ceremonies. I love how the spaces can be catered to the size of the wedding so that it doesn’t feel like too much or too little space.

BONUS

The North Garden, though usually used for ceremonies, can also be used for cocktail hour, yard games, and even be tented. The Belle Vue Room and Lower Courtyard can be used in tandem using the banquet hall for the reception and the courtyard for extra space.

10. National Cathedral – Washington, DC

Couple stands in front National Cathedral at DC garden wedding

This is a great spot for DC garden wedding photos, even if you are using another venue for your actual ceremony and reception. The National Cathedral lawn has the cathedral in the background with its iconic ornate towers that are a beautiful contrast to the garden’s many colors. These newlyweds used the National Cathedral garden for their couples photos while the wedding party celebrated at Sequoia in Georgetown with all of their guests!

BONUS

Has many options for both taking photos as well as a variety of spots for different-sized weddings.

National Cathedral in Washington DC surrounded by spring flowers

If you’re still unsure which DC Metro Area garden wedding venue is for you, I would love to chat and help you narrow it down!

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