Wedding guest lists are shrinking; your wallets are grateful, and your special day just became uber intimate as a result of one new trend – the micro-wedding. While this smaller celebration of nuptials has been emerging for many years, COVID-19 kicked the trend into full gear. You can rest assured that Alexandria, VA has everything you need to make your elopement or close-knit wedding picture-perfect now, or provide inspiration for the future. A smaller guest list frees up your budget to book that ideal venue and achieve every Pinterest-worthy detail you’ve ever dreamed of, so start exploring Alexandria’s pristine micro-wedding spots from secret gardens and scenic waterfront parks to chic eateries and memorable rooftops.

Secret Gardens and Charming Courtyards

Pictured: Athenaeum. Image Credit: Kir Tuben Photography

It’s official – having a micro-wedding in a secret garden is one of the most romantic ways to say, “I do.” Let the cobblestones in Alexandria guide you to these enchanting gardens and courtyards that will make you and your guests feel like they are in a fairy tale.

Carlyle HouseThe exquisite gardens and Magnolia Terrace behind the historic Carlyle House offer an elegant setting for your wedding ceremony.

Pictured: Carlyle House Gardens. Image Credit: Kir Tuben Photography

Taverna CretekouEnjoy a taste of Greece with a treed garden jazzed up with twinkling lights.

The Athenaeum: Celebrate your nuptials beside neo-classical Greek revival architecture in the Athenaeum’s charming courtyard and beautiful outdoor space.

The Alexandrian Old Town AlexandriaEnjoy the spacious brick-lined courtyard at The Alexandrian in the heart of Old Town.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Alexandria Old TownTie the knot in this lovely garden atrium with a picturesque fountain and check out the Virginia Hall and Ballroom for your reception and dinner.

Pictured: Embassy Suites by Hilton Alexandria Old Town. Image Credit: Embassy Suites

Sheraton Suites Old Town AlexandriaSay “I do” in this beautiful outdoor courtyard with spacious accommodations.

Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Alexandria – Old TownSelect the Holiday Inn’s atrium for a peaceful and private venue surrounded by Old Town’s iconic red brick architecture.

Lorien Hotel & SpaPair one of the Lorien’s quaint courtyards (one out front and one off the library) with the distinctive French and European-inspired fare from Brabo Brasserie and you have yourself the real deal.

Patios and Rooftops

Pictured: Blackwall Hitch. Image Credit: Sarah Marcella Creative for Visit Alexandria

From the brick-lined patio at Daniel O’Connell’s to the modern terrace at Café 44, these Alexandria eateries will wow your guests as they celebrate your nuptials al fresco. Planning a winter wedding? Just add cozy blankets and heaters to make these intimate spaces more comfortable while enjoying Alexandria’s twinkling tree lights for ambiance.

Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant & PubReserve an antique Irish setting for your micro-wedding on King Street in the heart of Old Town.

Café 44With a panoramic view of the Potomac River, a buzz-worthy location and stylish ambiance, Café 44’s rooftop terrace is as picturesque as it sounds.

Blackwall HitchOverlooking the waterfront and complemented by a nautical décor theme, Blackwall Hitch’s Potomac Patio is the perfect al fresco setting for your micro-wedding.

Bastille Brasserie & BarA chic brassiere with modern French fare, international wines and an intimate patio? Say no more.

Breweries and Eateries

Pictured: Cedar Knoll. Image Credit: Jonathan Rogers Photography

Pop the bubbly or crack open a local beer to celebrate your special occasion outdoors or indoors with physical distancing at one of these cool breweries or chic eateries.

Port City Brewing Co.Celebrate with some local brews on Port City’s outdoor patio with your intimate group and maybe some furry friends, too. Or, check out their unique indoor spaces including the Tasting Room and Lighthouse Lounge.

Pictured: Port City Brewing Company. Image Credit: David Ashton for Port City Brewing Company

Lost Boy Cider: “Cheers” your memorable day inside or on the patio of Northern Virginia’s first urban cidery located in the Carlyle neighborhood.

Mia’s Italian KitchenTwirl some pasta and sip some wine as you tie the knot at this Italian King Street eatery.

Cedar KnollHave a fairy tale wedding on the Pergola Patio with bistro lights, a wall of ivy and topiaries and waterfront views, or book your favorite space indoors such as the Botanical Room or Presidential Room.

Waterfront Settings

Pictured: Jones Point Lighthouse. Image Credit: Carol Jean Stalun Photography for Visit Alexandria

If you’re looking for all the charm that Alexandria has to offer, look no further than these waterfront locations for your micro-wedding.

Tall ship ProvidenceSee what it might be like to have your wedding aboard an 18th-century sloop with a private wedding cruise on the tall ship Providence. 

Tour Boats:  Elevate your special day with Hornblower Cruises and Events and dance the night away with the waterfront as your backdrop.

Jones Point ParkTie the knot at the Jones Point Park Lighthouse, built in 1855 and standing as the last remaining riverine lighthouse in Virginia.

Virtue Feed & GrainEnjoy warm and rustic vibes on Virtue Feed & Grain’s outdoor patio, overlooking the Potomac River or explore indoor settings like the Quarter Deck upstairs or the Clipper Room downstairs.

Riverside TacoNothing says, “micro-wedding” quite like a riverside taco stand to make for an epic al fresco day at Alexandria’s waterfront.

Washington Sailing MarinaEnjoy breathtaking views of the Washington, DC skyline from the Marina as you officially become a married couple.

HummingbirdGet hitched on Hummingbird’s patio by the water and toast with piña coladas and a fun-filled oyster roast or tie the knot in the intimate Nectar Room or Duke Room indoors.

Intimate Spaces in Spacious Venues

Pictured: The George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Image Credit: Timmester Photography

Did you fall in love with a venue but crossed it off your list because it was seemingly too big? Think again! Within these spacious venues are quaint spaces that can be ideal for your smaller wedding size with a little creativity.

George Washington’s Mount VernonTake your vows under a historic tree at Mount Vernon, many of which are “living witnesses” to history dating back to the 18th century and even earlier.

Hilton Alexandria Mark CenterTraditional altars are so last year…but a romantic gazebo? Now we’re talking. Wed under Hilton Mark Center’s outdoor gazebo surrounded by seasonal flowers and festive greenery.

The George Washington Masonic National MemorialNothing comes close to getting married on the steps of this national historic landmark overlooking picturesque view of Alexandria.

The Torpedo Factory Art CenterBook an art-filled space in the Torpedo Factory Art Center to provide a unique, industrial backdrop to your special day.

Building MomentumLook no further than the charming rustic pergola in The Garden at Building Momentum for a picture-perfect setting.

Exclusive Takeovers

Pictured: Morrison House Old Town Alexandria. Image Credit: JC Briceño

Splurge on exclusive access at one of these locations for a personalized and intimate affair. You and your guests will be thoroughly impressed with the one-on-one service, decadent details and endless accessibility in a building devoted to just you and your guests on your special day.

Union SquareBuilt as part of the old Concordia Hotel, this space gives you a touch of history in Alexandria and oozes natural light around every corner.

Morrison House Old Town AlexandriaMorrison House’s floor-to-ceiling windows, cobblestone charm and sweeping staircase will bring timeless elegance to your special day.

Insider Tip: Contact Visit Alexandria’s wedding specialist for complimentary service to make your wedding day uniquely yours, and be sure to check out our other wedding resources.

Header Image Credit: Daisy Saull

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