TO DO: “I DO!”

Planning your nuptials after a summer engagement? Discover these local spots to create your perfect BIG DAY moments.


Bridesmaids wearing black dresses laugh and smile at each other.
BHLDN at Anthropologie & Co.

Find your perfect wedding look at BHLDN inside Bethesda Row’s Anthropologie & Co. With a curated collection of bridal names like Watters and Jenny Yoo, plus its own vintage-inspired collections, BHLDN has you and your maids (and MOB, too) covered. After you say yes to the dress, head over to Terrain Café with your bride tribe for a feast of fresh fall flavors – you can’t go wrong with a charcuterie board and a round of Wild Spritzes.

If you’re looking to go a more unique dress route, Fairytale Brides on a Shoestring Boutique in Rockville is a hidden gem for deep discounts on pre-worn gowns (sustainable style – we’re into it!) Wedding gowns and accessories are all donated to the non-profit boutique to enable brides on a budget to find their dream dresses – plus, all net proceeds benefit local women’s charities. A win-win.


Georgetown Cupcakes

Go the “new classic” route with the OG in cupcakes, Georgetown Cupcakes. From timeless flavors to custom assortments, and the ability to customize with décor, monograms and display options, these cupcakes are a definite crowd pleaser.

If traditional desserts aren’t your thing, build your own candy bar with the Fresh Market’s assortment of sweet treats in bulk. Load up on glass bowls and vases in various heights, display some candy scoops, and then give your guests the chance to create their own candy swag bags with everything from sour gummies to chocolate-covered nuts.


photo: under a bushel
Summer House Santa Monica

Transport back to that warm weather engagement with your closest friends where its summer 365 days a year. Celebrate the bride-to-be with a Summer House Santa Monica brunch – the entire bar can be rented out for a big bridal bash of up to 55, or banquette tables can be arranged in the dining room for smaller parties up to 16. You can even rent the entire restaurant for a 120-person seated affair. And whatever route you choose – don’t miss out on Summer House’s out-of-this-world muffins.

Bride more of the hands-on type? Sign up the bridal party (or groomsmen!) for Sur La Table’s private cooking class experiences so the whole group can take home kitchen techniques — there’s a trick to dicing onions without crying– and recipes of everything you prepared. And the best part? You don’t have to worry about the clean-up.


matchbox 14th street · washington, dc  Located on 14th Street, two blocks from the U Street Metro. The third floor mezzanine accommodates 40 guests seated, or 60 guests standing, reception-style.  Tour  the space.

A variety of private spaces for any party size plus infamous flatbreads and cocktails? Bring the families together for a rehearsal-dinner-meets-pizza-party at Matchbox. Reserve the outdoor Patio Room space for a 40-person reception complete with a sprawling bar and fire pits, or take over the Barrel Room for an intimate 55-person seated dinner.

Smaller party? No problem. Go local with upscale cuisine by famed chef Robert Wiedmaier at Wildwood Kitchen. Featuring a bistro feel, modern Mediterranean menu, and warm interiors, the restaurant’s small dining room is an easy and intimate way to celebrate at a long table with close family and friends.



Pike & Rose is a plethora of wedding destination fun. From modern at Canopy by Hilton to moody at Amp by Strathmore, the neighborhood has a venue for every type of couple. In search of a scene that defines ‘fun’? While bowling alley and wedding may not go hand in hand for you (yet), trust us on this – Pinstripes is the location you’ve been searching for. With a ballroom accommodating up to 240 guests, outdoor ceremony locations, distinctive dining, and – of course – all the bowling lanes, bocce courts and cozy outdoor fire pits guests will love after a cocktail or two, Pinstripes pairs great food and ambiance for that “best wedding ever” vibe.

Creative couples can go beyond traditional inside the VisArts art gallery in Rockville. Providing a modern and versatile space among gallery exhibitions, VisArts’ spacicious Buchanan Room features window-lined walls, excellent acoustics and lighting, and a permanent dance floor to keep guests on their feet all night long. It’s no wonder Washingtonian Bride & Groom Mag has voted it a best wedding venue in the past – the roof even serves as a perfect urban oasis for the ceremony.