From weekday weddings to sustainable ceremonies to destination elopements, 2022 has seen a wave of new wedding trends. Keep reading for your guide to the hottest venues, menu items and more, and learn how to include them in your Alexandria, VA ceremony.


Feeling overwhelmed by your Alexandria wedding planning? Fill out this form, and Visit Alexandria’s Wedding Specialist will be in touch with some of the best complimentary planning services, including chef-driven dining options, top-notch spas, transportation companies, and elegant venues. 

1. Micro and Extravagant Weddings

These days, couples are leaning towards both ends of the spectrum, from maintaining the micro-wedding trend to dreaming up extravagant celebrations to make up for lost time. Couples opting for a micro-ceremony followed by a large reception could say their vows at a local Alexandria park, then host a soiree at Daniel O’Connell’s or Virtue Feed& Grain.

For couples keeping things simple in the post-COVID era, choose venues fit for an intimate wedding  such as Carlyle House, The Athenaeum or The Rectory on Princess, all of which are perfect for “Bridgerton”-obsessed brides and grooms.

Couples ready to gather the entire list of friends and family to celebrate can try hotel venues such as The Alexandrian, Autograph Collection and Sheraton Suites Old Town Alexandria or unique spaces like Torpedo Factory Art Center and The George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Outdoor tented weddings are ideal at locations such as Gunston Hall, River Farm and Woodlawn.

2. Full Wedding Weekend

Image Credit: Kristian Summerer for Visit Alexandria

These days, many couples want to treat guests to a full weekend wedding experience, accommodating multiple generations and multi-day activities. Fill the weekend with experiences including a rehearsal dinner on the Potomac River with City Cruises anchored by Hornblower, an indulgent bridal brunch from a local favorite or a luxury, picture-perfect setup with Picnic & Peonies.

Encourage guests to unwind with wellness options such as bike-riding, walking or running along the scenic Mount Vernon Trail and other local greenspaces, or getting out on the water with Washington Sailing Marina. Book a massage or spa experience around town, or gather a bridal or groomsmen party for a yoga class with PIES Fitness Yoga Studio.

For a fun, laid-back activity, try beer, wine or cider tastings at Aslin Beer Company, Lost Boy Cider, Sonoma Cellar or Port City Brewing Company, or enjoy mouthwatering booze-free beverages at Umbrella Dry Drinks, a non-alcoholic bar and bottle shop.

3. It’s All About the Food

Pictured: Rocklands Barbeque; Image Credit: Misha Enriquez for Visit Alexandria

Barbecues are in. Treat your guests to the regionally-acclaimed fare at Rocklands Barbeque and Smoking Kow BBQ, the latter of which also makes for a crowd-pleasing food truck.

With staffing shortages, buffet and family styles meals are buzzing. With less time spent for a sit-down meal, guests will have more time to mingle and socialize. Cater your reception from vendors such as Windows Catering, Royal Restaurant or Alexandria Restaurant Partners.

It’s out with large, multi-tiered cakes and in with trendy dessert bars. “Bite size is the right size,” says Meghan Farrar owner of Farrever After Events. Find made-from-scratch delights from Alexandria Cupcake, nostalgic treats from Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats or cookies, brownies, mini cheesecakes and more from Buzz Bakeshop.

4. Budget-Friendly Wedding Favors

With other rising costs, couples are looking to avoid spending a fortune on wedding favors. Find edible (or sippable) gifts from The Spice & Tea Exchange of Alexandria. Supporting local is a popular trend for this year’s brides and grooms. Patron artists from Alexandria and across Virginia with favors from Shop Made in VA. Some couples may want to forgo favors entirely and opt for in-the-moment experiences for guests like renting a photo booth from Hosts Global. Couples can even create something for their guests or groomsmen or bridal parties at Wine & Welding from Building Momentum or AR Workshop Alexandria.

5. Relaxed Luxury Venues

Pictured: ALX Community ABOVE; Image Credit: Laura Hatcher Photography

Many couples are seeking an elevated “at-home” wedding feel. Once an elegant 19th-century hotel ballroom, Union Square features soaring ceilings and light-filled rooms. Lorien Hotel & Spa‘s serene atmosphere and timeless style provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable pre- or post-ceremony celebration. Meanwhile, ALX Community ABOVE offers 360-degree views of picturesque Old Town, from the stately George Washington Masonic National Memorial to the Potomac River.

6. Décor Themes

This wedding season, light blue is the most popular hue, as couples emulate a clear sky in their wedding décor. Couples with a more involved design vision are including hanging flowers, balloons and twinkle lights. Couples opting for a more minimal aesthetic are loving clear acrylic décor and the combination of white spaces with touches of greenery. Try Bloom Fresh Flowers for all your floral and greenery needs for Alexandria ceremonies. Make sure to capture your curated look with the right photographer, such as Kelly Loss Photography.

From our partners