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Whether you’re planning your own nuptials or love staying ahead of the curve, keep reading to discover the wedding trends making waves in 2024. Plus, get inspired with tips for implementing these fresh ideas using Alexandria, VA, vendors.

Contact Visit Alexandria’s complimentary wedding concierge to inquire about any of the venues or services below.

1. Private Ceremony on Friday; Reception on Saturday

Pictured: Carlyle House Garden; Image Credit: By Asa Photography

Innovative and practical, the trend of hosting the wedding ceremony on Friday followed by the reception on Saturday is gaining momentum in 2024.

Private Ceremony Friday Spaces:

  • The Athenaeum: With a salmon-pink exterior built in the Greek Revival style, The Athenaeum is a magical venue just steps from cobblestoned Captain’s Row.
  • Carlyle House: Once an 18th-century social gathering hub, Carlyle House’s storied halls are complemented by a stunning secret garden.
  • The Alexandrian Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection: Enjoy the enchanting brick-lined courtyard at The Alexandrian in the heart of Old Town.
  • Sheraton Suites Old Town Alexandria: Say “I do” in a beautiful outdoor courtyard with spacious accommodations.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Alexandria Old Town National Harbor: Experience the Old Town hotel‘s rooftop venue for your small ceremony.
  • Lorien Hotel & Spa: Pair one of Lorien’s quaint courtyards with the distinctive French and European-inspired fare.

Restaurant Receptions on Saturday:

  • Cedar Knoll: Cedar Knoll offers a photo-ready riverside backdrop just a few miles south of Old Town.
  • Mia’s Italian Kitchen: Be in the thick of things at Mia’s Italian Kitchen, steps from the waterfront with a Naples-inspired menu.
  • Virtue Feed & Grain: Formerly a 19th-century feed house, Virtue Feed & Grain features modern-rustic décor by the waterfront and several different spaces depending on your size, including full buy-out options.
  • Landini Brothers: This classic Italian eatery can accommodate up to 100 guests in one of several spaces and customize every facet of the occasion to suit your need along lower King Street.
  • Vermilion: Guests will savor an elevated experience at Vermilion as they explore a menu which supports the families, growers, farmers, watermen and purveyors of the mid-Atlantic region.
  • Union Street Public House: Keep the party going with a rousing celebration in this beloved Old Town pub set in a restored colonial warehouse
  • Il Porto: Conveniently located on the King Street pedestrian block, Il Porto accommodates groups to 100, complete with your own bar and service staff.
  • Hen Quarter: Give your guests a taste of Southern hospitality and a family-style menu at Hen Quarter on King Street.

Insider Tip: From intimate vows exchanged on Friday to the grandeur of Saturday’s festivities, this two-day affair offers the perfect balance of intimacy and extravagance, ensuring that every moment is cherished and savored.

2. Intimate Weddings

Pictured: Principle Gallery

The desire for more meaningful connections between couples and their guests are fueling a trend toward small wedding ceremonies. Complete the vision at one of the gorgeous spaces below.

  • Union Square: Built in 1880, this stunning space was the once a hotel ballroom, transformed in 2017 into an elegant and expansive event space.
  • The George of Old Town: Once a property owned by George Washington, The George of Old Town is an intimate setting featuring stunning and whimsical modern design elements.
  • The Rectory on Princess:The Rectory was built in 1785 as the rectory of the nearby historic Christ Church, this charming venue boasts a romantic English garden for up to 150 guests or a more intimate, rustic-style atrium.
  • Morrison House: Just off King Street, Morrison House Old Town Alexandria, Autograph Collection is set in a Federalist-style building and features a literary flair in the hotel’s library and cocktail lounge
  • Principle Gallery: Soak in incredible original Contemporary Realism artwork during a ceremony at Principle Gallery.

3. Unique & Non-Traditional Reception Venues

Pictured: ALX Community – Atrium Rooftop; Image Credit: Laura Hatcher Photographer

Think outside the hotel ballroom, and surprise and delight guests with a memorable setting for your reception.

4. Documentary-Style Photography

Image Credit: By Asa Photography

Couples are increasingly in search of authenticity throughout their celebration, eschewing a tedious staged shotlist. Hire a photographer to lean into the documentary style, such as Kelly Loss Photography, who specializes in a photojournalistic approach, By Asa Photography , who focuses on candid techniques, allowing you to relax and be in the moment or Derek Lamar Studios, a veteran and Black-owned company offering photography as well as videography.

5. Outdoor Celebrations and Western-Style Weddings

Pictured: American Horticultural Society’s River Farm; Image Credit: Melinda Snyder Photography

Expect to experience al fresco celebrations, with a touch of Western flair, in 2024.

  • Carlyle House: The Georgian-Palladian-style stone home, built in the 18th century, boasts a lush, brick-walled backyard garden.
  • American Horticultural Society’s River Farm: Experience 25 acres of lush gardens and woods overlooking the Potomac River at American Horticultural Society’s River Farm, just four miles south of Old Town.
  • Lee-Fendall House Museum & Garden: Join a centuries-long legacy of family celebrations hosted at Lee-Fendall House Garden when you choose the historic venue for your ceremony.
  • Gunston Hall: Say “I do” on the historic grounds of George Mason’s Gunston Hall at the newly opened Riverside Garden.
  • Hollin Hall & the Meeting House at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church:Hollin Hall’s Colonial Revival mansion lets guests spread out onto the wisteria-arbored terrace, while The Meeting House is a spacious, contemporary site for larger weddings featuring a two-tier walled boxwood garden.
  • Woodlawn & Pope-Leighey House: Immerse yourself in architecture spanning more than 200 years, including the Woodlawn estate, with a history linked to Black and immigrant liberation and land-ownership, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s mid-century Pope-Leighey House.
  • Lloyd House:Lloyd House is one of the best examples of Alexandria’s late eighteenth-century Georgian style architecture.
  • Jones Point Park: Home of the last riverine lighthouse in Virginia, Jones Point Park offers an al fresco taste of history in a serene and spacious atmosphere.

6. Engaging Entertainment

Image Courtesy of Hilton Mark Center

Thrill your guests all night with interactive delights, from live entertainment to sweet treats and beyond.

7. Interactive Welcome Activities

Pictured: Group Tour Outside Carlyle House

Set the tone for your celebrations with an engaging welcome activity to help guests mingle amidst the merry-making.

  • Creative Classes at Shop Made in Virginia and Made in ALX: Roll up your sleeves during customizable classes at Shop Made in VAor Made in ALX as you support local artists.
  • Friendly Competition at Topgolf National Harbor: Topgolf features microchips in every golf ball which score points and provide instant feedback for every shot, providing a fun and entertaining atmosphere to welcome guests into the weekend.
  • Immersive Tours: Help your guests experience the city with wide-spanning options including spine-chilling ghost tours, transporting history routes, biking excursions and foodie walks.
  • Oyster-Shucking at Vola’s Dockside Grill: Experience beach vibes when you reserve the Little Key West room or Hi-Tide Lounge at Vola’s Dockside Grill for an oyster-shucking demonstration followed by the opportunity for guests to try their hand at shucking their own oysters.
  • Ceviche or Cocktail Classes at The Study: Treat your loved ones to a ceviche or cocktail-making class at Morrison House’s literature inspired bar, The Study.
  • Italian Cooking with Eddie’s Little Shop & Deli: Foodie guests will relish the chance to craft handmade pasta and mozzarella during a workshop from Eddie’s Little Shop & Deli.

8. After-Party Gatherings

Pictured: Aslin Beer Company

For late-night revelry, explore one of the Alexandria venues below, available for buy-out or smaller private group reservations. Check each location’s website for up-to-date hours of operation.

Header Image Credits, Left to Right: Amy Regetis; Adedayo “Dayo” Kosoko; Sarah Marcella Creative

Complimentary Wedding Services

Utilize Visit Alexandria’s complimentary wedding concierge services for everything from unique event spaces, hotels, restaurants, transportation, experiences and beyond.

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