Washington DC is one of the coolest places to elope here on the East Coast! Our nation’s capital has SO much to offer with unique locations and incredible history and culture. But where do you start in planning your Washington DC elopement?

As a DC elopement photographer, I understand that even though you aren’t planning a large wedding, the elopement planning process can still feel overwhelming. As you read through this blog post, you can confidently begin planning your elopement day with this 8-hour DC elopement timeline example. My approach to elopements is to allow couples the space to dream bigger and do more with their elopement days! Check out the timeline and other DC elopement planning resources below. 

Dalilian & Luis: A Romantic DC Elopement

Dalilian and Luis flew in from Florida to come to Washington DC and take advantage of the self-officating marriage laws here in the district. While Dalilian had been to DC before, Luis hadn’t! They loved the idea of experiencing the iconic DC locations together – adventuring around the city, exploring art museums, and seeing the DC monuments. You can get inspiration from their DC elopement for your DC wedding as we walk through their wedding day timeline! 

If you are interested in self-officiating your wedding in DC, you can learn more about that process here.

The DC Elopement Timeline 

It’s standard to have 8+ hours of photography for a traditional wedding – why should your elopement be any different? You can plan an entire day of fun celebrations where you and your partner can connect, have fun, and make the most out of a bespoke wedding day that’s completely unique to your love! To support you with planning your customized elopement timeline and documenting your DC elopement, you can inquire here. Check out what your elopement day could look like with this timeline, then discover more elopement planning resources!

Getting Ready at the Hotel: 1:30pm

Dalilian & Luis flew in and immediately went to the courthouse to get their marriage license. Then, to the hotel to get ready!! We started with their details, including a Bible, rings and cords for a cord tying ceremony later. They got ready together in their hotel room and helped each other put on their wedding attire. They couldn’t stop giggling the entire day, they were so elated and in love. 

the bride and groom getting ready for their DC elopement

The Wedding Ceremony at Enid A. Haupt Garden at the Smithsonian Castle: 2:00pm

From the hotel, we called a Lyft to take us to the Smithsonian Castle (only 10 minutes away!). They exchanged their sweet vows at the Enid. Haupt Gardens. After putting rings on each other was their first kiss! Then, they Facetimed a few family members right after to show off their rings and celebrate. 

Newly Married Walk Over to the National Gallery of Art: 2:45pm

We took some photos around the garden, then made our way across the National Mall toward the National Gallery of Art. They ran and danced in the sun on the lawn of the National Mall, soaking in that newly married joy. Can you feel the excitement?

Exploring in the Art Gallery: 3:00pm

We made our way to the East Building of the museum which houses modern art. If you haven’t been before, start with the West Building with the historic art, and use the underground tunnel to get to the East Building. With its expansive lobby and glass ceilings, the lighting is perfect! They explored and enjoyed the historical art and atriums with greenery and skylights. They even had their first dance in the museum!

When we left the museum, we were starved, so we stopped by a food truck to get ice cream and pretzels. What a yummy snack! We took a break outside the museum and even made a squirrel friend!

Capturing “Paris Vibes” at Union Station: 4:45pm

After our snack, we called another Lyft to go to Union Station to take photos under the arches and in the front lobby. Union Station is a unique location in DC, giving a lot of “Paris vibes” right here in the District. We then went down in the metro to take photos with the trains! They really loved this and still could not smiling at one another! 

DC Elopement Picnic Dinner Watching the Sunset at the Tidal Basin: 6:35pm

The Tidal Basin was our next stop to take romantic sunset photos by the water and perform the cord unity ceremony. The gentle light glowed on the water behind them as they wrapped the cords around each other. 

Flash Portraits at the Lincoln Memorial: 7:30pm

With the sun setting, we walked over the Lincoln Memorial to take a few twilight photos with the Memorial in the background. We also took some at the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument. Down by the water of the Reflecting Pool, we did a few flash photos of Luis holding Dalilian in celebration! 

DC Elopement Flash Photos in the Hotel Elevator: 8:30pm

With tired feet and happy hearts, I accompanied them back to their hotel to do some flash photos in the elevator before saying goodnight. It was so fun! At 9:00pm, I was done taking their elopement photography, concluding their 8-hour DC elopement.

Juliana Wall Photography | DC Elopement & Wedding Photographer

Check out more DC elopement photos from Dalilian and Luis’ DC elopement below! Isn’t DC such a great destination wedding option?

If you are short on time, jump down to More Resources for Your DC Elopement

If you love my photography style and are still looking for a DC elopement photographer for your wedding day, you can learn more about how to work together here

Does this get you excited to start planning your DC elopement?

That is so great! I am so happy for you! I would be honored to be a part of your special day and capture your intentional moments. After you fill out my contact form, we will will schedule a FREE phone call where we can discuss your vision and how I can help! I am so freaking excited to meet you!

More Resources for Your DC Elopement

Elopement timelines are about inspiring you to do more with your wedding day, spending quality time together, and truly enjoying activities you love in awesome locations so that you can savor every moment! If you want another example of what your elopement timeline could look like for an adventure elopement, check out this blog post.

For FREE elopement planning resources, visit Free Planning Resources for 10+ blog posts full of tips and expert insight to assist you in feeling confident that you didn’t miss any details while planning your elopement!

For quick access to DC elopement specific galleries and blog posts, visit these direct links:

Romantic Elopement in Washington DC

How to Plan an Awesome DC Elopement

Vintage Union Station Wedding | Washington DC

6 Reasons Why Washington DC is an Awesome Place to Elope

Lastly, to book with me to capture your DC elopement, fill out my contact form! I look forward to connecting with you soon!

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