An outdoor wedding set in a garden venue has the additional bonus of providing decorative landscapes and natural floral elements. Surrounded by blooms and lush foliage, you won’t need much additional decor, and you can let Mother Nature do all the talking.
Vienna, Virginia | 703-255-3631
Outside of the hustle and bustle of Northern Virginia, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens’ 95-acre oasis offers peace and quiet. Throughout the landscaped property, ceremony and reception sites include the Atrium at Meadowlark with a sprawling terrace overlooking the garden, which can accommodate 230 for a sit-down dinner or 300 for a standing cocktail soiree. A gazebo on Lake Caroline can accommodate as many as 120 guests, and the Lilac Pavilion can accommodates 80 seat guests under its pavilion and more than 200 in its neighboring meadow. Created with NOVA Parks and the Korean American Cultural Committee, the Korean Bell Garden is a unique space for nuptials with a pagoda structure and the Bell of Peace and Harmony.
A stone’s throw from D.C. proper, this Alexandria property is home to the American Horticultural Society and encompasses 25 acres of beautiful land overlooking the Potomac River. Wedding rentals include access to the manicured gardens, rolling meadows, orchard and the first floor of the historic manor. A variety of outdoor sites can accommodate ceremonies, including the lawn and formal gardens. For receptions, the slate terrace overlooking the river can seat up to 160 guests for a sit-down dinner or 200 for a standing cocktail reception. More intimate gatherings of 50 can be held in the ballroom. For wedding favors, be sure to peruse the garden shop.
Located between Charlottesville and Orange, this 600-acre tree nursery and fruit farm is nestled in Virginia’s rolling countryside with views of the Blue Ride Mountains. For ceremonies, there are terraces, gardens and fields with beautiful backdrops. Cocktail hour can be held in the greenhouse or potting shed, and dinner and dancing in a meadow under the clear-top tent. The farm can accommodate parties up to 300 — so be sure to invite all your friends and family! With manicured groves, fruit orchards and berry patches, there are plenty of photo opportunities throughout the property. And, if you are looking for a place to bunk after your big bash — the Market at Grelen’s Spotswood Lodge is a five-minute drive from the property.
From the Rose Garden to the lush lawn of the Flagler Garden, there are an abundance of bloom-centric places to say “I do” at this botanical garden, which was ranked fourth nationally for its beauty by Condé Nast Traveler. Year-round indoor and outdoor sites are available for celebrations, with the indoors just as lovely as the out. As the leaves turn in autumn, say “I do” in one of the gardens and then enjoy a cozy reception in the Robins Tea House, which is cloistered in an Asian-inspired garden. In early spring, exchange vows among the tulips in the Grace Arents Gardens with a tented outdoor reception next to the historic Bloemendaal House. Menus are created custom for each wedding by the onsite caterer Meriwether Godsey.
Richmond businessman James Dooley’s Maymont country estate is now home to a public park and museum that includes elaborate gardens, sprawling grounds, a 1893 Gilded Age mansion, and even a zoo. In the fall, say “I do” among the red-leafed maples in the Japanese Garden with a breathtaking waterfall as your backdrop. And come spring, exchange vows on the terrace in the Italian Garden surrounded by blooms. Indoor facilities include the rustic 1908 Stone Barn with granite and stone architectural details, the nature and visitor centers, along with Garden Hall. For additional wedding fun, be sure to book a romantic post-ceremony carriage ride for you and your beau, and tours of the historic mansion for your guests!
Just a quick 25-minute drive from downtown Norfolk, this botanical garden is located on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Whitehurst. With 13 outdoor sites to choose from — a rustic picnic shelter for an intimate party or an elegant lawn ceremony with 3,000 rose bushes — there are plenty of picturesque sites to choose from for your nuptials, depending on size and theme. You also can pair your outdoor ceremony with an indoor reception at the Rose Garden Hall, Baker Hall in the Visitor’s Center or cute Garden Cafe. Couples can select a catering company through the botanical garden’s exclusive catering list.
While forefather Thomas Jefferson’s mountaintop home Monticello speaks to his love of the great outdoors and farming with flower, vegetable and fruit gardens. While you can book your ceremony and reception at Montalto — “high mountain” house and gardens — and the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center, Monticello also offers up its gardens for al fresco rehearsal dinners and Sunday brunches. As an added wedding bonus, you can book a private tour of Monticello, its dome room, and gardens for family and friends, tailored to your interests.
One of Virginia’s best-kept garden secrets, this oasis tucked in the City of Lynchburg is a real gem with its quaint historic Queen Anne-style home and beautiful garden. Part of Lynchburg’s Pierce Street Renaissance Historic District, the home belonged to the Black poet and civil rights activist Anne Spencer, who also was an avid gardener. The garden, which can accommodate as many as 150 guests, encompasses a vibrant robin’s egg blue arbor and pergola, plantings, pond and Spencer’s quaint writing cottage, where she sought refuge and wrote so many of her inspirational poems. In the late 1980s, the garden was resorted by the Hillside Garden Club to echo its 1930s heyday, and includes original flowers and shrubs that Spencer planted herself.
An ideal venue for history buffs, the birthplace of the 28th U.S. president includes Woodrow Wilson’s resorted Greek Revival mansion, a 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine, terraced gardens, along with an array of historic exhibits. The garden can accommodate 150 guests while the terrace holds 100 and Don Wilson Hall in the Library and Research Center is available for smaller gatherings of 50. Originally designed by Charles Gillette in 1933, the mansion’s manicured gardens include two terraces, boxwood perimeters, bowknot beds, meandering paths, and fragrant flowers like lilacs. The wedding package includes photography in the historic garden, and setup of 150 folding plastic chairs, and as a gift to the newlyweds, membership in the League of Friends at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum.
James Madison University’s arboretum and botanical gardens is located conveniently on campus and offers a picture-perfect landscape for your soiree. The 125-acre nature preserve is home to native and nonnative plantings, an oak-hickory forest, flower gardens, a wetland garden, along with a pond. There are a variety of outdoor sites on the property for “I dos” — a pavilion for a ceremony of 50 and the large lawn for as many as 250 guests. For dinner and dancing choose from a tented reception on the grounds or an indoor celebration at the Frances Plecker Education Center. Catering is booked exclusively through JMU Catering and Events.