This Couple Officiated Their Own Wedding at the National Arboretum on a Blanket Under the Trees

The Arboretum's Cherry Blossom trees in particular made for the perfect backdrop.

Photograph by Mason Photography

Although they had hoped to throw a 200-person wedding at DC’s Long View Gallery, COVID thwarted Meghan and Elizabeth’s plans. After going back and forth on whether or not they would hold a micro-wedding, they ultimately decided to save a big celebration and Jewish ceremony for a later date, and instead planned a “low-key” elopement at the National Arboretum. (Editor’s Note: The Arboretum offered permits for elopements during the pandemic, but these have since been discontinued.) They hired a personal chef for a special dinner—including lobster bisque, scallop au Poivre salad, beet carpaccio, sherry braised short rib, and brown sugar brownies topped with caramel gelato—to follow their intimate vows. 

Despite postponing the larger ceremony, Meghan says they did include some traditional Jewish elements. “We adapted an ancient Jewish engagement tradition and signed a modernized “Tenaim,”” she says. “It was really special to add some rituals to our day in this way.” Along with incorporating their faith, the couple also held a Zoom toast following their vows.  “This gave folks the opportunity to get online with us and for a handful of our closest friends and family to give toasts as they would at a real wedding or rehearsal dinner. It was incredibly meaningful and we were shocked that more than 100 people stayed online with us for over an hour. We both cried nonstop but it was beautiful and we felt so loved.” 

Meghan Elizabeth Wedding-30
Meghan Elizabeth Wedding-43

The Details:

Photography: Mason Photography | Venue: The National Arboretum | Florist: She Loves Me | Catering: CESaute, Chef Danny Boylen | Brides’ attire: Floravere from stillwhite (Meghan); Jill Jill Stuart from BHLDN(Elizabeth)

Amy Moeller
Fashion & Weddings Editor

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.