A bride in her wedding gown and cathedral length veil standing in front of River Farm Wedding venue holding her bouquet.

Plan a Perfect River Farm Wedding In Alexandria, VA

There are plenty of places to get married in and around Washington DC. Whether you’re envisioning a venue that boasts views of iconic monuments, a romantic vineyard with acres of authentic grapevines, or a historic formal estate, you can find it all if you know where to look. For DC area couples in search of a picturesque garden setting, look no further than River Farm wedding venue in Alexandria, Virginia. 

Home to the American Horticultural Society, this gorgeous property is adorned with spectacular gardens, breathtaking landscaping, and incredible flora. Once owned by George Washington, it has its fair share of American history, too! From stunning outdoor ceremony sites to a charming 290-year-old farmhouse, it’s a venue full of character, elegance, and romance. Keep reading to learn more about why you should consider a River Farm wedding for your special day!

Wide angle image of River Farm Wedding Venue with its garden and path.About The River Farm Wedding Venue

River Farm is owned by the American Horticultural Society, a non-profit devoted to educating Americans and advocating for earth-friendly and sustainable garden practices. These environmentally preferred methodologies are modeled in the gardens of their headquarters in Alexandria, also known as the historic Farm River. They share their passion for gardening with enthusiasts of all ages through a variety of national programming and resources like popular classes and workshops. The organization is so beloved and successful that they just proudly celebrated their Centennial year in 2022, marking over 100 years of dedication to eco-friendly gardening! 

River Farm has its own unique history, too! Archeological traces of Native Americans have dated the property’s history back over 4,000 years, well before European contact. When European settlers eventually happened upon the land, it eventually became inherited by a gentleman by the name of William Clifton in 1739. He built the brick house on the property that still stands today and serves as the headquarters for the American Horticultural Society. 

Several decades later, in 1760, none other than George Washington purchased the property. Becoming the northernmost parcel of his five farms. Washington himself named the property River Farm, renting it out until gifting it to a family member as a wedding gift. Fast forward to 1973 (after a few more centuries of ownership, controversy, and rich history), when the American Horticultural Society purchased River Farm to use as its headquarters. 

Since 1973, visitors from around the world have visited River Farm to marvel at its beautiful gardens and nuances of American history. With breathtaking Potomac River views, spectacular landscaping, and idyllic property, it has also become one of the area’s most popular sites for elegant events, like weddings. 

A bride and groom walking down the aisle smiling after getting married while their guests are standing and cheering.Details of the Grounds

There are plenty of ways to use the ground and facilities at River Farm to curate your dream wedding day. 

Start by getting ready, surrounded by your closest family and wedding party in one of their getting-ready rooms. Their convenient onsite location also makes it a great space for keeping your belongings nearby or taking a moment away from the crowds as needed throughout your celebration. 

Hold your ceremony in the idyllic gardens or even nestled amongst the enchanting forests of the property. Set up a beautiful archway adorned with your signature flowers for a stately look, positioning your vows before a stunning backdrop of your choosing. Depending on the time of year, breathtaking blooms and romantic florals may surround you, or perhaps the changing colors of autumn leaves throughout the fall. If a waterfront ceremony is on your list of must-haves, River Farm can accommodate a vow exchange set amidst the stunning views of the meandering Potomac River. 

After your ceremony, your guests can enjoy cocktail hour on the cozy patio, overlooking rolling green lawns and views of the river. While the space makes a great transition between your ceremony and reception, it also serves as a covered reception venue with space for up to 240 guests! From April through November, you and your guests enjoy the stunning surrounding views of the property and refreshing fresh air. All while still staying sheltered from any rain or hot summer sun. 

River Farm Wedding Reception Details

A tented reception is also an elegant option for a reception! With glittering chandeliers and romantic bistro lighting, the tent easily works year-round, regardless of weather. It also features controlled fans and adjustable window siding to customize the temperature and ambiance of your event perfectly. Smaller celebrations of up to 50 guests also fit within the historic manor home in the ballroom, a charming location for an intimate reception. 

Close-up of a bride's hands holding an envelope and showing off her engagement ring.Photography Opportunities

One of the biggest draws of the property is its spectacular gardens, which are perfect for capturing elegant outdoor wedding photos. We’ll feature beautifully maintained flower beds, benches, and trees for beautiful photos of you, your partner, your wedding party, and your family. There are also several features unique to River Farm that we can utilize in your pictures, including the White House Gates, which stood for more than 120 years at the northeast entrance of the White House before finding a home at River Farm nearly 70 years ago. We can also take unique portraits inside the manor house, featuring vintage architecture and artwork for a more formal aesthetic with plenty of character. 

Wedding Details

The River Farm events team knows exactly what it takes to conduct and execute a beautiful, memorable wedding. You may use any vendors of your choosing to make your day exactly what you envision it to be. Plus, it’s a pet-friendly venue, so your four-legged fur baby can take part in your celebrations, too! 

One of the biggest perks of having your wedding at River Farm is its location. Old Town Alexandria is a short distance away, and DC is accessible within a half-hour drive. Your guests will appreciate the proximity not only to comfortable overnight accommodations but also to local attractions (and the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, only 20 minutes away!) 

A gray escort chart made with oysters and envelopes standing in front of the banana plants at River Farm Wedding Venue.River Farm Wedding

A River Farm wedding is an event with plenty of style, history, elegance, and natural beauty. The American Horticultural Society has dedicated years of time and effort to maintaining its exquisite gardens and landscaping, and now couples can utilize the magnificent property for a stunning wedding venue. Schedule a tour to see the venue in person to see if it’s fitting for your dream wedding day. 

If you need the perfect DC-area wedding photographer, then check out more of my work! I would love to capture the true essence and beauty of your love story, as well as your once-in-a-lifetime wedding day. Check out my work to see if my photography style suits what you envision for a timeless wedding album! I think you’ll like what you see. 


Close-up image of blush, white, cream and green bouquets held by the bride and her bridesmaids.Black and white image of a groom kissing his bride and dipping her back at the end of the ceremony isle while guests watch and clap.A neutral tablescape in the reception tent at River Farm Wedding Venue.A bride and groom walking up the front steps of River Farm Wedding Venue.Signature drink sign and a floral centerpiece sitting on the bar at River Farm Wedding Venue in Alexandria, Virginia.Close-up image of oyster shells hanging on an escort display at River Farm in Alexandria, Virginia.A groom picking up his bride and spinning her around while guests are watching their first dance in the tent at River Farm Wedding Venue.

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