When most couples start planning their elopement or small wedding, Northern Virginia is not always at the top of the list. But this beautiful, often forgotten location has so much to offer for couples searching for that special, unique destination. Here is a list of the Best Spots to Elope in Northern Virginia. Northern Virginia is home to breathtaking historic buildings, adorable wineries, national parks, and everything in between. In this comprehensive list, I’ve put together some of my favorite spots to tie the knot in Northern Virginia.
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Why Elope in Northern Virginia Helpful Tips For Eloping in Northern Virginia Best Spots to Elope in Northern Virginia Northern Virginia Elopement Packages
Why Elope in Northern Virginia
Expansive platforms, cobblestone streets, sprawling mountains, historical gems…Northern Virginia truly has it all! Northern Virginia, which encompasses Fairfax County, is home to a unique mix of historical sites, museums, natural wonders, and so much more. No matter if you want to tie the knot in the midst of nature, or if you would prefer to have some private time on a plantation, there’s something for everyone in Northern Virginia. No matter what you’re looking for, we can find it!
Helpful Tips for Eloping in Northern Virginia
Planning your elopement is so much more than picking your favorite destination and your photographer. Keep in mind these helpful tips when planning your Northern Virginia elopement:
- Consider any other vendors you may need: Do you want someone to help with make-up? Do you want someone to set up a small reception? It’s important to factor in these vendors.
- Plan to time of year: Northern Virginia can be beautiful year-round, especially if you don’t mind the cold weather or snow. But most of my couples will opt to tie the knot in summertime, when the weather is warm and the skies are clear.
- Do you need any permits? It’s important to check on any other permits you ay need, especially if you plan to elope in a national park or city park.
- Plan an elopement week: If you have time, it can be really special to set aside time to try new experiences and plan an exciting trip around your elopement.
- Don’t forget to make it legal: For many couples, getting the marriage paperwork finalized can be stressful. If you work with me, we can plan ahead and make sure you have everything you need.
Best Spots to Elope in Northern Virginia
This hidden gem, with its rolling hills and historic homes, has all the charm and romance of other more popular elopement destinations. Here are some of my favorite spots for your elopement or small Northern Virginia wedding:
- Shenandoah National Park: This national park is arguably one of the most beautiful spots in the state, and it’s such a gorgeous Northern Virginia elopement destination! There are so many locations with some amazing sweeping views, like Big Meadows or spots along Skyline Drive. I’ve got a few favorite spots at Shenandoah, and some of my favorites only require a short hike to access. The best part? If you’re planning on having less than 15 people at the ceremony, you won’t need a permit. However, you will need to pay the $30 entrance fee (or purchase a National Park Pass).
- Pearmund Cellars (Wine Country): Wine lovers, this one is for you! Located in Virginia’s wine country, this winery offers the perfect spot for a more intimate ceremony with the vineyard as your backdrop. Vineyard not your vibe? You can also tie the knot in their barrel room for a more private location. The elopement rate for Pearmund includes chairs for smaller ceremonies up to 20 people.
- Carlyle House Historic Park (Old Town Alexandria): Looking for that glamorous, royal wedding? This 18th-century mansion is the most elegant backdrop for your elopement. The historic mansion and the accompanying gardens provide a classic, charming Northern Virginia elopement destination. You can say your vows on the Magnolia Terrace, in the gardens, or on the front lawn. The venue works as an elopement destination or a small wedding venue. There are few places as intimate and spectacular!
- Great Falls Park: Picture giant rocks, river rapids, and epic views! Great Falls Park showcases the Potomac River’s rushing rapids, and it’s an amazing elopement destination for the adventurous couple. On weekends, Great Falls can be quite busy, so that’s why I recommend eloping at sunrise or during the week. To elope here, you will need to contact the George Washington Memorial Parkway permit office and pay the $50 special use permit fee. Plus, parking will cost another $20 per car.
- Rust Manor House (Leesburg): This 68-acre historic home, complete with sprawling, manicured gardens, is the perfect place for your romantic, historic Northern Virginia elopement or reception. One of my favorite parts about this venue? The indoor and outdoor spaces (hello, gorgeous library!) are equally beautiful, so if it happens to rain, you’ll be covered. If you want to elope here, you can reserve by the hour for $200, with a two-hour minimum.
- Goodstone Inn (Wine Country): You have to see photos of this place to truly understand how jaw-droppingly stunning it is. This 256-acre estate has it ALL, from vine-covered walls to romantic gardens. It’s a great place for a small wedding or larger wedding.
- Great Marsh Estate: This dreamy estate has to be one of my favorite spots for weddings! The 1980s-era estate is a historical re-creation of a traditional Georgian Manor House, and it’s just as romantic as you’d imagine. Picture your wedding photos with the tree-lined entrance in the background, the cream-colored walls towering above you. This venue makes for the best photos!
- State Arboretum of Virginia: This gorgeous outdoor elopement location, part of UVA’s Blandy Experimental Farm, has thick woods, gardens, and historic buildings all in one! You can elope at the amphitheater or the native plant trail, and the spaces fit up to 200 people (so if you plan to invite anyone, don’t worry!). If you do want to elope here, it will cost around $700 for a five-hour block of time (including set-up and break down). The one downside: ceremonies typically cannot take place during the summer due to other events.
- Athenaeum: This charming spot makes for a more intimate spot to tie the knot, for smaller elopements to larger parties. Their courtyard, which holds up to 50 guests, is a lovely, quiet spot. This spot made Virginia Living Magazine’s Top 2020 Wedding Vendor list.
- Sweeney Barn (Manassas): This newly restored chic barn is THE spot for couples searching for a more modern, rustic elopement venue. This barn has two stories and offers a variety of different looks for your elopement. It’s a great option for couples planning to invite a small number of people to their ceremony, as well. If you plan to elope here, you can reserve the venue for $500 for three hours Monday to Friday, and $750 for the same chunk of time on the weekends.
If these venues don’t sound exactly like you, don’t worry – I have an extensive list of venues for Best Spots to Elope in Northern Virginia and small weddings that I have worked with before. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in eloping in Northern Virginia!
Best Spots to Elope in Northern Virginia