The wedding industry used to be all about summer. It seemed every bride was at least incorporating beachy hues if she wasn’t actually making guests sizzle in the mid-day sun before cocktail hour…hopefully with a light breeze and some sand in the eyes. Until, suddenly it seemed brides everywhere had an epiphany: other seasons could be beautiful, too. You could have wedding photos without your groom’s pit stains stealing the spotlight. You could avoid awkward farting noises from sweaty feet in heels as you came down the aisle. You could enjoy the ceremony without worrying about Grandma Jones having a heat stroke. The list goes on…
With this epiphany has come a new off-the-charts popular wedding season: fall. Check your Pinterest pages, people, because they are likely filled with brides and grooms gleefully jumping out of leave piles and into wedded bliss. Okay, maybe not quite – but there are a lot of people embracing autumn tones and chillier months.
Truly, DC is a beautiful place to get married at any time of the year – summer months included. With one wedding season ending and another beginning, here are some of the local wedding venues worth checking out:
The Hay-Adams: The Hay-Adams is a beautiful historical hotel that overlooks the White House and other national monuments, giving it extra meaning for DC natives. In true District fashion, it is built on the site of homes once lived in by former Secretary of State, John Hay and author, Henry Adams. Between period ceilings, working fireplaces, elegant chandeliers and a renovated event space, this space could definitely be elegant enough for anybody’s big day. It seats a maximum of 200 people.
The Inn at Kelly’s Ford : This stunning stretch of country is located a little less than two hours away from the District. The venue is set on 530 acres of equestrian estate that runs along the Rappahannock River. Basically, if your guests can’t have fun in this setting, you might as well elope. Offering a unique experience for out-of-the-town guests, the inn can even sleep up to 50. There are multiple locations on the property for both ceremonies and receptions, so you can pick the one that suits your fancy (or matches your invitations).
Early Mountain Vineyards: At three hours away, this venue is a bit of a hike from DC – but for those looking for the opposite of city vibes, you can’t beat it. The venue is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers a truly romantic setting. Afraid that you will spend gobs of money only for your guests to glance at the mountains on their way into your backup plan due to rain? Luckily, the backup plan isn’t a total loss here – the historic insides of the property have their own unique feel as well.
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center: Okay, I’ll admit that the directions on your invite may not scream romance, but if you’re looking for DC’s take on setting a modern scene, this is it – and its beautiful. The building has stunning architecture with sky-high ceilings and an abundance of natural light. Plus, they offer an outdoor plaza area that could be used for an outdoor ceremony or unique cocktail hour. Reagan, you are so trendy!
The North Hall at Eastern Market: Does it get more DC than a wedding on Capitol Hill? I doubt it. Renovated in 2009, the Eastern Market is a historical DC landmark. The venue has 4,000 square feet of event space, historical charm, photogenic arched windows and gallery walls.
Wedding planning is hard work. You could probably insert a few curse words into that last sentence and it would reign even truer. Seriously, between discovering that everything with the word “wedding” in front of it has a 50% upcharge, planning so hard that it feels like you’ve taken on a night job and fielding questions about when you and your fiancé will be producing your first offspring (hello, you aren’t even married yet!)…it’s not always the good time it is cracked up to be. Luckily, the good time comes in the end…when no matter where your wedding took place, you are surrounded by friends and family, hitched to the love of your life, looking out a future void of wedding planning and surrounded by booze and cake. So much booze and cake.