We probably do not need to tell you that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way couples are doing their weddings. Restrictions on the size of gatherings has meant radical new approaches to marital events. Some of those will be transitory, of course. Having extended family present at your wedding will always be important. So as soon as it is possible to have larger weddings safely, we expect that couples will plan accordingly. At the same time, though, the smaller celebrations during COVID have not been all bad. Most importantly, they have reminded all of us that there is only one thing that really matters at a wedding: love. As long as that is in good supply, the wedding will be beautiful. Even the smallest weddings, like this elopement on Capitol Hill, will be heartfelt, touching and unforgettable.
Having a small wedding due to the pandemic might not be your first choice. (Trust us when we say that we understand that sentiment! Having to compromise on your dream wedding is something that no bride or groom should ever have to do.) But if that ends up happening to you, please do not fret. As we said above, COVID weddings can be every bit as beautiful as those celebrated during normal times.
And if your smaller wedding is taking place in the Nation’s Capital? Then you really should take heart. If you have to scale back your wedding plans, then there are a lot worse places for a pared-down celebration. The metro area has dozens of great wedding venues that have come up with creative new ways to host marriage celebrations during the pandemic. Even better, many places that could not function as a wedding venue can now host your event. Parks, city streets, just about any place you can think of (within reason) can be the location for your nuptials. Especially if you have a Washington DC elopement. With just you, your future spouse and the officiant present, a whole new world of possibilities opens up to you.
If having an elopement in DC appeals to you, then you would do well to look for sites in and around Capitol Hill. That historic Washington DC neighborhood is full of perfect places for a quick ceremony with a handful of people. Obviously, there are a lot of spots that will give you a great view of the United States Capitol. (The one we picked for this shot, for example, is the island in the center of Pennsylvania Ave NW between the Capitol and the White House.)
But that is not all Capitol Hill has to offer. Small ceremonies with Union Station are also a possibility. As are elopements near the Supreme Court of the United States and the Library of Congress. If famous buildings do not matter so much to you, you also have your choice of many of the neighborhood’s other less celebrated (but still lovely) areas.
One word of caution, however. Elopements (or couples portraits or any other non-tourist activity, for that matter) on the Capitol Grounds require a special permit. You should also be aware that there is a heavy security presence in the area (for good reason!). So even if you are not on government property, having your ceremony too close to some of those areas might not be a great idea. With all this in mind, we suggest doing a little research before planning your elopement. Or better yet, ask your wedding photographers! We are very familiar with the rules and regulations for photography in DC and are more than happy to check on anything that is not clear.
As we mentioned above, we took this couples portrait after a lovely Capitol Hill elopement ceremony. Once the bride and groom finished exchanging their vows, we took them on a little photo tour of the area. Naturally, their Washington DC elopement photographer captured dozens of images of them cuddling and embracing with the Capitol rising behind them. Then we turned them around and took some shots of them with the Washington Monument in the background. A short walk then took us to the National Gallery of Art’s East Building, where we posed them in front of some of the more offbeat sculptures near the museum’s front door.
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