Shelly Pate

Where to Have an Adventurous Elopement in the DC Metro Area

Couple elopes at a-frame cabin

So, you want an epic adventure? Maybe the look and feel of the PNW pulls at your heartstrings? Or perhaps you want to experience privacy and isolation without being too far from civilization? It may come as a surprise, but the DC Metro Area has some killer spots that look like you have literally been transported to another place! Some are true adventures out in the wilderness, while others include barns, cabins, and other indoor spots perfect for an adventurous elopement in the DC Metro Area. These are a few of my favorites…

100 Acre Wood A-Frame Cabin (Leesburg, VA)

Couple elopes in front of a-frame cabin

If you’re looking for a secret honeymoon getaway that doubles as your wedding venue, then this A-Frame cabin is for you! Sitting in the middle of 100 acres of forest, this custom-built A-Frame cabin creates the perfect hideaway for both ceremony and wedding night. Getting to the 100 Acre Wood requires zero hiking, is completely private, and allows for more than a one-night stay! The whimsical A-Frame provides a perfect adventurous elopement spot for couples wanting that PNW feel without leaving the DC Metro Area. It’s literally a cabin in the woods that transports you to an adventurous elopement retreat!

48 Fields Farm (Leesburg, VA)

Couple elopes at 48 Fields Farm

48 Fields Farm boasts a beautiful barn with two different areas for larger gatherings or indoor elopements. But, the real gem of this venue is the gorgeous wildflower field! It appears to go on forever, offering so many spots for gorgeous photos! 48 Fields Farm is close to many wineries, breweries, and to downtown Leesburg so it’s super easy to make it a weekend event! It is great for couples who want the feel of a national park, but also the ease of having an indoor space where they can party!

Shenandoah National Park (Blue Ridge Mountains, VA)

Bride stands on hill at Shenandoah National Park

The possibilities are endless here. Whether it is a “just us” adventure or an intimate gathering of family and friends, there are so many options in this national park. Couples can recite their vows at sunrise or sunset beside mountain views or in a wide open field. With all the variety that Shenandoah National Park has to offer for an adventurous elopement, most couples take advantage of a few locations. Especially if it is just the two of them! Together, we can go on a full hike, or I can guide you to some killer spots that are easily walkable and won’t leave you feeling all sweaty! 

Bride sits on hill holding wedding bouquet at Shenandoah National Park

Assateague Island (VA & MD)

Couple holds hands at Assateague Island elopement

The beach, marshes, dunes, crazy sunsets, and wild horses…what more can be said? If you are looking for something a little different for your adventurous elopement in the DC Metro Area, then Assateague Island is worth a shot! You can either camp on the island itself or stay 15 minutes down the road in Ocean City, Maryland. You can get married in a beach ceremony within the park on the Virginia side, but you will need to acquire a special use permit in advance. For more information, call the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge at Assateague 757-336-6122.

Couple walks holding hands at Assateague Island elopement
Newlyweds have beach picnic at Assateague Island elopement

Great Falls Park (Potomac River, VA)

Couple walks holding hands at Great Falls Park elopement

Great Falls Park is perfect for everything. It works for an elopement with just the two of you, your wedding portraits, or even an engagement session. All of the paths are easy to walk along and each one has amazing views! You will even find a cute little beach by the water for some variety. Rocks? Beach? Epic views, AND a meadow? Yes, please.

Couple embraces at Great Falls Park elopement
Couple walks holding hands at Great Falls Park elopement

Rock Creek Park (Washington, DC)

Couple walks along river at Rock Creek Park elopement

There is surprisingly so much green to be found right in the middle of Washington, DC’s urban sprawl! Rock Creek Park is perfect for couples who want to stay in Washington, DC for their adventurous elopement because they want a mix of both city and nature combined. There are so many hidden spots within the park including fields, woods, creeks, and stone bridges. Having your adventurous elopement at Rock Creek Park allows you to include city vibes and the beauty of the great outdoors all in one day.

Couple drinks champagne at Rock Creek Park elopement
Couple embraces at Rock Creek Park elopement

National Arboretum (Washington, DC)

Couple kisses at National Arboretum elopement

The National Arboretum in Washington, DC is a great location for adventurous elopements, portraits, and even small, intimate weddings. Every spot within the Arboretum including the “park-like environment of the Dogwood Collection,” 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.

Couple embraces at National Arboretum elopement

Leesylvania State Park (Woodbridge, VA)

Couple stands in water at Leesylvania State Park

Leesylvania State Park has a beautiful little shoreline and beach that can completely freeze over during the wintertime. The rocks, pier, driftwood, and trees surrounding the water make it the perfect combination of oceanside and forest. I’ve captured couples there in the summer and in the dead of winter and it takes my breath away every time.

Couple embraces at Leesylvania State Park

Lodge at Little Seneca Creek (Boyds, MD)

Lodge at Little Seneca Creek wedding tent and lodge
Couple embraces by Little Seneca Creek at their elopement

The Lodge at Little Seneca Creek is one of my favorite locations to photograph outside of Washington, DC! Ceremonies can be held outside under a white tent or indoors in the beautiful cabin-styled lodge. All kinds of wedding decor look spectacular against the rustic atmosphere that the lodge creates. As a bonus, since the lodge is within walking distance of Little Seneca Creek, the bride and groom can easily take photos under the coverage of the trees.

Woodend Sanctuary & Mansion (Chevy Chase, MD)

Couple exchanges vows at Woodend Sanctuary & Mansion wedding

Woodend Sanctuary & Mansion is perfect for small and intimate weddings. It is a historic manor seated on acres of land right outside of Washington, DC. One of my favorite ceremony locations is the tree grove that gives off all of the enchanted feels. There are so many green and wooded spots to run off for adventurous, private ceremonies or intimate gatherings.

Couple embraces at Woodend Sanctuary & Mansion wedding

If you still aren’t sure which location should tell your adventurous elopement story, let’s chat and I’ll guide you to the perfect venue!

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