Time for the fun stuff! Next up in our Washington DC area wedding venue search series are the non-traditional wedding venues – the ones you might not know about or haven’t thought of as a possible wedding venue. Basically, the wedding venues that aren’t your typical hotel ballroom. We asked a few of the best wedding planners in the DC area their opinion. What are their favorite not-so-typical wedding venues in the DC area? Where do they tell their clients who want a non-traditional wedding to check out? Here’s what they had to say…


Photo Credit: Leo Druker from Jane + Brian’s wedding at Arena Stage

The Mead Center for American Theater (Arena Stage) in Washington, DC. The library space offers more rustic wooden columns set along the modern glass walls.” – from Cindy at A. Dominick Events

“When I first heard about Stroga Yoga in Adams Morgan in Washington, DC as a special event venue, I was skeptical. But once I saw it in person, I could see the immense potential. Yes, there are challenges, like the caterer’s area and the parking, but it also has a ton of character if you are looking for a venue that is more off-beat.” – from Janice, owner of Bellwether Events

Powerhouse (in Georgetown in Washington, DC) is now tops on my list in terms of non-traditional spaces. It is urban and chic and the exposed brick is a neutral foundation for designing decor.” – from Teresa at Rex & Regina Events

L2 Lounge in Washington, DC was host to a wedding we planned last year and it was such an unexpected treat that guests really loved. It is tucked away in a secret corner of Georgetown near Kafe Leopold, which also does the catering for the evening. It has four smaller rooms, which allow for each one to feel like a unique part of the evening from dinner to dancing and the ceremony. The lounge-club feel gives weddings a touch of sexy while also still being modern and fun.” – from Tabitha at Roberts & Co. Events


Photo Credit: Eli Turner Studios from Libby + Ben’s wedding at Clarendon Ballroom

Clarendon Ballroom in Arlington, VA. I have seen some really spectacular events at the Clarendon Ballroom. Everyone thinks it is just a nightclub, but the chef there is fantastic, the staff (different than nightclub) is professional and attentive, and it really takes guests by surprise when they see an 80-inch mahogany bar built-in! Also great acoustics for entertainment!” – from Amanda at Engaging Affairs

George Washington Masonic Memorial. It’s sits at the top of the hill in Alexandria, Virginia but for whatever reason people never know what the building is. And once they find out the can tour the upper observation deck and lookout over Alexandria, they are pleasantly surprised.” – from Courtney at A Sweet Soiree

“I do love weddings at home if the space allows. There is so much flexibility.” – from Vicky, owner of Event Accomplished

Patapsco Female Institute in Ellicott City, MD. Talk about unusual venues – it’s an old girl’s school, except it’s really the ruins of it! The walls are (mainly) still all there, but not the roof! You’re completely open air (although it can be tented), and there are actual rooms – just no ceiling on those rooms! Gorgeous trees all around, a huge front marble staircase, and about a million ways you can set it up!” – from Rebecca at Blue Canary Events


Photo Credit:  Andrew Harnik Photography from Marianna + Todd’s wedding at 101 Constitution

Charlie Palmer Steakhouse (The rooftop at 101 Constitution). Who would have guessed that the top of an office building would be an ideal setting for a wedding, but the incredible view of the DC skyline and the fabulous team at Charlie Palmer Steak make it a top choice.” – from Elizabeth, owner of Elizabeth Duncan Events

Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC. It is surprisingly elegant for a scientific building!” – from Laura at Engaging Affair

“The Bumper Car Pavilion at  Glen Echo Park in Glen Echo, Maryland. This venue is relatively affordable and it can easily be made elegant, whimsical, you name it. The other really great benefit of having a wedding at Glen Echo is the tremendous number of great photo ops. The various building exteriors offer lots of unique options, and of course the streetcar and the carousel are both wonderful as well.” – from Stephanie, owner of Pretty Entertaining

“In Arlington, Virginia, The Hendry House is a gem of venue that people don’t seem to be aware of. This sweet craftsman home is tucked away in a North Arlington park and has beautiful grounds that can accommodate anywhere from an intimate party of 40 in the house to 200 when a tent is used on the grounds.” –  Sara, owner of Bella Note

Ralph Alswang Photographer

Photo Credit: Ralph Alswang Photography from a real wedding at Nats Park

“I planned a wedding at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. It was a non-traditional venue to say the least. The wedding ceremony was done just behind home plate, with fireworks on the Jumbotron when it was over. The cocktail hour included guests taking batting practice in the batting cages. And the Racing Presidents visited us during dancing. It was unforgettable!” – from Janice, owner of Bellwether Events


Thank you so much to all of the wedding planners who helped out with this post! Be sure to visit their websites if you are looking for a planner in the DC area to help you find the right venue! And, don’t forget to stay with me all summer long for our DC area wedding venue search series. In the meantime, you can browse our comprehensive list of all of the wedding venues in the Washington DC area.

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