June 3, 2020

Your Dream Outdoor Garden Wedding Awaits You at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.

The Ultimate Outdoor Garden Wedding Venue

When getting married in a metropolitan hub like Washington, D.C., an outdoor garden wedding may not be the first image that comes to mind. However, with one of the most expansive, well-curated and breathtaking gardens in the country right in your backyard, it may be time to reconsider! We’re talking about the National Arboretum, a 446-acre gem of lush green space and history located right in the city. Few garden locations provide the assortment of options that you can find at the National Arboretum.

Let’s take a peek at a few of the spots you’ll discover when planning your day at this magical outdoor wedding destination.

Outdoor Garden Wedding Ceremony Venues

As the space where you’ll be saying your official “I Do’s”, you want your ceremony location to be impactful, beautiful, serene and everything you’ve dreamed of. Below are the two options.


For the ultimate feeling of whimsy and romance, get married surrounded by delicate florals and sprawling green space in the Meadow. Located in the northeast corner, your ceremony is at the forefront with magnificent views of the towering Capitol Columns in the distance. The area is your blank canvas to set up however you wish; many couples choose to get creative with half-moon seating surrounding a bold trellis covered from top to bottom in greenery and florals.


Capitol Columns

Perhaps the most iconic location in the National Arboretum is the Capitol Columns, which sit boldly atop the sprawling green space of the Ellipse Meadow. These stately Corinthian columns were originally constructed in the 1800s to support the Capitol dome and were only moved to the arboretum grounds in the 1980s. Behind the columns is a lovely reflection pool that makes for truly one-of-a-kind first look or post-ceremony photos.





Outdoor Garden Wedding Cocktail Reception Spots

After you’re officially a married couple, it’s time to celebrate with cocktails in the sunshine! It’s fun to host the cocktail hour at the Herb Garden and infuse some herbal combos into a specialty cocktail or two—think lavender or rosemary!

Herb Garden

As they sip on a cocktail and nibble on passed hors d’oeuvres, guests can explore the garden, observing the interpretive signage throughout the garden that explains what is planted, as well as the unique history.

Bar Set up in the National Arboretum Herb Garden

Outdoor Garden Wedding Reception Locations

Your reception is an event you’ll remember for your lifetime, so it’s important to choose the perfect location! There are perfect options in the National Arboretum that are available even with a chance of rain.

Water Garden

For a magical evening celebrating under the stars, consider the Water Garden Patio. Conveniently located near all the facilities and parking, it’s an ideal spot that is also pretty magical. You can see the Capitol Columns in the distance, enjoy the twinkling lights reflecting off the pool at the Visitors Center and enjoy the natural oasis that surrounds you. Many put up string lighting only so that you can still dine and dance the night away under the stars!

North Terrace

Our premiere reception space is located directly behind the Visitor Center. Closest to the indoor bathrooms and admin building.  Beautiful tented or al fresco dining!



Flowering Tent Pad

This sprawling space can accommodate 400 guests with plenty of room to celebrate. The stunning views of the Bonsai Garden & Columns surrounding the area are perfectly serene and will transport guests to another place far away from the city that’s just through the groves. Bonsai trees are seen as a gift of peace, which is a beautifully symbolic way to celebrate the beginning of your matrimony!

The Grove of State Trees

The Grove of State Trees is one of the most impressive spots on the grounds and makes for classic photos that you and your partner will cherish forever. Nestled in the back, the unique grove spans over 30 acres and represents our country’s natural features by displaying nearly one tree from each of the states. Take a shot near the tree from the state you met or got engaged in for an extra special commemoration of your love story. It creates a stunning natural backdrop that is truly unparalleled!

If you’d like to wander through the National Arboretum gardens and envision your big day unfolding before your eyes, let’s chat! Our MTG leading ladies would love to take you on a personalized tour of the grounds and provide a little inspiration. After years of crafting perfect outdoor wedding celebrations at this special venue, we have some tips we’re ready to share!