Non-Traditional Wedding Venues in the DC Area
Anyone can get married in a typical hotel ballroom, but if you want to make your day unforgettable, choose a truly unique wedding venue. From the unexpected to the almost unbelievable, these settings set the pace for an amazing celebration. Bonus: you’ll save on decor because these unique wedding venues make their own statement!
We researched favorite unusual wedding venues in Northern Virginia and discovered some real gems. For those whose tastes tend toward the non-traditional, get ready for some inspiration. Read on for our top 10 unique wedding venues in the area.
#10. Hendry House
This is one of DC’s hidden gems of a venue. The sweet craftsman home is tucked away in Northern Arlington park and has beautiful grounds that can accommodate anywhere from an intimate reception for 40 in the house to 200 with a tent used under the lush tree canopy. In addition to beautiful trees, the 19-acre park has an open meadow, and a partially preserved 1863 Civil War fort. Imagine taking your wedding photos among such historic scenery!
Tip: If you are having a large wedding at a venue like this, inquire about restroom facilities. The venue organizers often have a sense of their accommodations and what will keep your guests happiest. And feel free to consult with our friendly staff at Blue Ribbon, too.
#9. The Mead Center for American Theater (Arena Stage)
If you and your love are into theatrics or you’re just looking for a venue where you can create a dramatic event, what could be better than staging your wedding in a theater? The Mead Center for American Theater offers several options for ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception spaces. For example, the striking, yet intimate, Kogod Cradle is ideal for saying “I do” with a view of the water and of the Molly Smith Study or Grand Lobby set a dramatic tone for this most important moment.
#8. The George Washington Masonic Memorial
This national memorial offers a diverse range of rental spaces. It sits majestically atop the hill in Alexandria, VA, but people tend not to realize what the building is for. Once you find out you can tour the upper observation deck and look out over the city, you’ll fall in love with this venue.
#7. The Charlie Palmer Steakhouse
That’s right, the venue is at the top of an office building. But, trust us, it is an ideal setting for a wedding. Consistently praised as one of the best wedding venues and private event space, private dining at Charlie Palmer Steak will make your wedding an affair to remember. With breathtaking views of the city skyline and the fabulous staff, this is a dream indoor or outdoor wedding location.
#6. The Carnegie Institution for Science
Sure, a science building doesn’t exactly scream elegant wedding reception, but we did promise unique wedding venues. You will be blown away by the options here. Boasting romantic architecture and endless charm, the Carnegie Institution for Science is the perfect setting for a classic DC wedding or celebration. The Institution prides itself on providing tailored customer service with convenient access to hotels, restaurants, and the Nation’s greatest landmarks.
#5. Glen Echo Park’s Bumper Car Pavilion
This venue started out as one of Glen Echo Park’s main attractions and it’s now one of their most popular rental venues. With its old amusement park charm, enough space for 200 guests, and a dance floor, it might be the perfect location for a fun wedding. It’s relatively affordable and can be transformed into an elegant, whimsical space easily. The building exteriors, streetcar, and carousel make this a great option. Imagine the photo ops!
#4. The Clarendon Ballroom
Anything but your traditional ballroom setting, the Clarendon in Arlington’s hippest neighborhood offers an incredible wedding experience. This 1930’s Art Deco style Ballroom provides a classic setting for elegant receptions. Combined with the Front Lounge and nightclub (with stunning, 80-inch mahogany bar), the entire floor becomes a dramatic backdrop for your free-flowing event. The chef is fantastic, the staff is professional and attentive, and the acoustics are incredible for entertainment.
#3. The Patapsco Female Institute and Historic Park
Talk about unusual venues—this site used to be a girls’ school, but it’s actually the ruins of it! Greek revival architecture makes this bold 19th-century venue truly remarkable. The walls are (mostly) still there, but the roof is gone. This completely open-air venue is surrounded by gorgeous trees, has a huge marble staircase, and offers plenty of creative ways to set up your party.
Tip: As with all unique wedding venues, when you tour a potential outdoor site make sure to ask about available restroom facilities. Of course, Blue Ribbon is always happy to provide luxury bathroom trailers to meet your guests’ comfort needs and your refined expectations.
#2. The Mansion on O Street
This is one of our top choices because of the quirky options available. With themed rooms and 70 secret doors, we were hard-pressed to find other unique wedding venues that could measure up to this location. To go with their awe-inspiring and intimate atmosphere, the Mansion on O Street offers world-class cuisine and incredible service that is bound to create lasting memories for you and your guests.
#1. Blind Whino SW Arts Club
Last, but definitely not least, this funky and quirky church-turned-art-gallery is definitely one of the most unique wedding venues in the area if not in the country. Additionally, profits from any private events held at the arts center go to support the local arts community. How cool is that? Here’s a photo gallery from one couple’s wedding at Blind Whino.
Non-Traditional Wedding Venue Honorable Mention
There’s one other unique wedding venue we don’t want to forget to mention: campgrounds. While campgrounds aren’t free wedding venues, they do tend to be extremely affordable. In fact, we’re seeing such a trend toward outdoor weddings that involve camping that we’ll feature tips for pulling this one off in our next blog article. So, stay tuned! Our shower trailers are ideal for these offbeat events too.
Want more great ideas for non-traditional wedding venues in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia? Check out these articles!
Contact Us for Luxury Restroom & Shower Trailers
Whether you just got engaged or you’re finalizing your wedding plans for later in the year, Blue Ribbon Restrooms can help with one-of-a-kind, luxury bathroom facilities. A unique wedding deserves a top-notch restroom experience! We can make it happen.