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Washington DC provides a variety of unique and interesting venues for an unforgettable wedding experience. There are historical mansions, art galleries and upscale hotels as well as wedding cruises and garden style outdoor venues. The choices are endless, but let’s choose a few outstanding Washington wedding ideas and elaborate on their unique flavors and styles.

Couples who want to a modern wedding in a historical old world grand setting may consider the Meridian House. Designed by John Russell Pope, designer of the Jefferson Memorial, National Archives and the National Gallery of Art, the house is surrounded by majestic historic gardens and inside contains beautiful ballrooms perfect for a wedding celebration.

Another historical and romantic choice is Dumbarton House built in the 1800s that sits on 1.25 acres featuring exquisite grounds and gardens perfect for an upscale and sophisticated affair. There are plentiful museum like rooms and banquet halls with walls magnificently adorned by high caliber decorative paintings.  The peaceful gardens and terraces add a soft romantic touch to the grandeur and elegance of this unforgettable venue.

Those couples who want to transform a chic modern space into the wedding hall of their dreams may choose to celebrate in the Long View Gallery, an industrial chic art museum featuring contemporary fine art created by artists new to the scene and more established ones. There are a total of 8,500 square feet of space for your use that feature 15-foot ceilings for a bright, modern feel and the sky’s the limit to what kind of creative wedding themes can be successfully executed in this unique venue.

Studio 52 offers a similar modern chic venue for smaller to medium size weddings. With its onsite photo booth and funky feel, it’s the perfect space for a more laid back, fun wedding experience. The Loft at 600 is another sleek old/new venue built in the beginning of the 20th century but renovated for modern tastes. It has three floors with high ceilings and windows and can accommodate a variety of themes and up to 120 guests.

The more traditional wedding reception venues in the Washington DC area provide a backdrop for the dreamiest of wedding days. There is Top of the Town that sits on a hilltop and offers breathtaking views of  the nation’s capital and the Potomac River. The ballroom features elegant furniture, 12 foot high windows and stunning chandeliers and is attached to a beautiful outdoor terrace. This venue can host up to 180 guests in an unparalleled opulence.

Those who are looking for the hotel option have many to choose from. There is the Kimpton Donovan Hotel  located on Thomas Circle, conveniently located near trendy shopping, art galleries and eating establishments that will appeal to your guests who stay for a multi day wedding experience.  The Metro is right nearby and allows for adventure and exploration of the city’s sites with a home base that is all luxury. The hotel features two spacious and elegant rooms for your reception needs.

The world renowned, Four Seasons hotel offers a variety of gorgeous and sophisticated settings for an upscale affair. Similarly, the Ritz Carlton in the heart of Georgetown has several unique rooms including the Chimney Stack that houses the ceremony in a 130 foot smokestack with high ceilings and an industrial chic feel. There is also a gorgeous Urban Garden for a ceremony surrounded by a lush canopy of trees and a beautiful red stone wall.

Maybe you prefer a restaurant to a grand ballroom or historic mansion. The Lincoln Restaurant in the heart of Washington DC  was designed by Maggie O’Neill, who expertly incorporated the personality of President Abraham Lincoln into every part of these unique reception areas. There is a stunning tiled floor made using a million pennies, a back-lit wall of the Emancipation Proclamation, and a custom-made prominent white leather chair, replica of Lincoln’s memorial seat, for the bride and groom. Menus are fully customizable according to the personal taste of the couple.

The Old Ebbitt Grill is  established in 1856 is located just a hop away from the White House and was frequented and loved by Presidents Cleveland, Grant, Harding, and Roosevelt. These days the eatery is frequented by celebrities, journalists and politicians and other important guests. There are a variety of elegant rooms to choose from and all have that historical elegant feel.

The Sequoia restaurant in DC provides panoramic views of the surrounding historic landmarks through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Gaze out at the Roosevelt Bridge, Key Bridge and the Virginia skyline on the tranquil reception patio for a delightful and peaceful wedding experience. The beautifully appointed indoor reception spaces can accommodate up to 600 guests.

How about something really unique? Float along the Potomac River on a European style Odyssey with Odyssey Cruises. Whether your guest list is 50 or 500 you can enjoy the elegant flair of the fine dining room and dance floor while soaking in the spectacular views of the historic monuments and bridges. Entertainment and menus are customizable for a personalized and unforgettable wedding extravaganza.

There is also the National Elite Private Yacht if you love the idea of a cruise but don’t want to spend a fortune. The yacht can be chartered either from DC or from National Harbor, Maryland. They have customizable menus as well as a bar option. Sail away for a two hour elegant and unique wedding reception with your closest friends and family for an unforgettable day.

Then there is the very unique Mansion on O street that is a mansion complex comprised of 5 Dupont Circle row houses, that has 70 secret doors and over 100 rooms including a ballroom, museum, hidden wine cellar, galleries and out of the way alcoves for you to choose from. Something a bit different in this venue is that you have use of all items on display in the complex to adorn your event. These include all of the works of art, chandeliers, over 50 signature guitars, memorabilia, sculptures etc. Interestingly enough, they are also available for purchase.  How’s that for a memorable wedding momento?


These are just a few of the unique Washington wedding ideas that are possible in this beautiful historic city. Although most of the options are pretty pricey, there are definitely ways to make a picturesque and memorable affair on a smaller budget. If you need help deciding on a venue and are looking for a stress free planning experience, O’Neil Events is the leading authority in wedding planning in the DC area.



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 O'Neil Events is Washington DC's leading wedding planner