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August 20, 2018

These are the Best Places to Propose Marriage in DC

One of the biggest decision made when picking a place to propose hands down has to be the location. In Washington DC alone, there are tons of romantic and striking locations. Whether you’re from the area or from out of state, we’re going over the best places to propose in DC to help out anyone that’s looking for recommendations.

Like any tourist attraction, the best times to plan a surprise such as a proposal would be when there is less foot traffic. During the week days (Monday-Thursday) at Sunrise or Sunset or great times. If a weekend date is a must, sunrise proposals are best to avoid major crowds.

Romantic Places to Propose in Washington D.C.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

A well known presidential memorial in DC that was dedicated to one of the founding fathers of America; Thomas Jefferson.
The neoclassical style Memorial Building sits right at the edge of the Tidal Basin right off the Washington Channel of the Potomac River.  The front of the memorial is placed strategically so that either a sunset or sunset session makes for beautiful portraits. An added bonus is seeing the view of the Washington Monument.
What most people don’t know is that the construction of the building was completed in 1943 but the bronze statue of Jefferson was not added into the memorial until 1947.
The National Park Service of the United States Department of the Interior currently manages the Memorial.

You get views, water, and beautiful white marble so it’s an easy decision for one of the best places for a proposal spot.

Jefferson Memorial dc surprise proposal

Union Square Park

Arguably one of the most picturesque parks in DC, Union Square Park is an  11 acre public plaza that rest of the foot of Capitol Hill.  Located between Independence and Constitution Avenue  at 2nd Street. With a fountain positioned in the middle and the State Capitol in the back drop, it’s an easy pick. Just a few blocks from Union Station DC, it makes for easy place to maximize on locations for proposal pictures. Steps leading down to a marble stone work and a 6 acre Capitol Reflecting Pool makes it even better. A bronze sculpture memorial of President Ulysses S. Grant is located on the east side of the reflecting pool.

In 2011, the ownership of the Park transferred from NPS to the United States Capitol Police who know maintain it.

A couple engaged at Union Park DC

National Mall

The National Mall is easily one of the largest places to propose in DC, as it encompasses 146 acres of land. The long, grassy landscaped park is located near the downtown area of DC. When you hear the term National Mall as a location, it typically includes the entire area between the Lincoln Memorial on the west and the United States Capitol grounds on the east.
One of the many benefits to this location is that it is home to many iconic monuments including the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The Smithsonian Museums are nearby. It’s currently run by the National Park Service.

Noting is popularity, the park has close to 24 million visitors each year.
So whether you’re looking for an outdoor backdrop with lush green grass for images with an iconic monument, the National Mall might be a good place to start by picking a spot.

The Kennedy Center

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is commonly known as the Kennedy Center. Named after President John F. Kennedy, it is a memorial located on the Potomac River. While doubling as a memorial it is also the United States National Cultural Center.
This performing arts center produces various genres of theater, dance, ballet, jazz, folk, orchestra, and comedy shows.
Backdrop such as a gorgeous marble building, a small reflecting pool, and rooftop terrace make it an easy and elegant choice to propose.
The Washington Monument can be seen in the distance at the top of the building, giving it even more of an incentive as a proposal location.

The center is currently owned by a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution.Surprise Proposal Pictures DC Kennedy Center

Union Station

Union Station happens to be a major train station in Washington DC. It opened back in 1907 and today is Amtrak’s headquarters. It’s the second busiest station with millions of riders. With beautiful white marbles and arches on the outside, it photographs beautifully

Tidal Basin

One of the most popular spots during the Cherry Blossom Festival, this partially man-made reservoir makes up 107 acres. Between the Potomac River and the Washington Channel, the Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, George Mason Memorial, and Franklin Roosevelt Memorial all sit adjacent to the Tidal Basin. The grounds are maintained by the National Park Service.
With water, monuments, and gorgeous trees, it’s hard not to choose this as the perfect proposal spot.
During Cherry Blossom season, it’s best to head out during sunrise and early mornings to beat the crowds. Sunset offers tons of crowds and very little opportunity to be alone.

United States National Arboretum

Established in 1927, this Arboretum is surprising in size (446 acres) and beauty. It iso perated by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. Mainly the grounds function as a major center for botanical research. With hundreds of species of trees, flowering plants, and shrubs, it’s quite a unique place.  The most popular and unique spot that makes to perfect spot to propose is the Old Corinthian columns from the Capitol that can be seen in the middle of the Arboretum.


National Capitol Columns at the National Arboretum in DC

Meridean Hill Park

An urban park situated in the middle of DC in the neighborhood of Columbia Heights with 12 acres of stone structures, trees, steps, and fountains make this a swoon worthy spot for a proposal.Built in the early 1900s, it was originally modeled after parks found in European Capitols. With it’s unique stone work and setup, it is one of the most unique park in all of DC.
The grounds stays maintained by the National Park Service.

DC War Memorial

Within a grove of trees this memorial, dedicated to President Herbert Hoover, sits in West Potomac Park. With a dome shaped of marble and columns, it’s beauty and seclusion makes it an easy pick for a quiet surprise proposal location. Not a lot of foot traffic happens during the weekdays.
It’s currently maintained by the National Park Service

National World War II Memorial

With 56 pillars, a fountain and a pair of small arches, this memorial sits on the National Mall. The memorial is dedicated to President George W. Bush and maintained by the National Park Service. With over 4 million visitors each year and the beautiful stonework, it’s easy to see why it makes for a picture perfect spot for a wedding proposal.

Georgetown Waterfront Park

As part of the Georgetown Historic District, this National Park is newer construction that was completed in the fall of 2011. The 10 acre park encompasses the banks of the Potomac River from 31st Street, NW to the Key Bridge. The water views alone make this an easily on of the most romantic proposal spots. While owned by the National Park Service, it’s conveniently located near shops and businesses for a romantic dinner reservation after the proposal.

Surprise Proposal at the Georgetown Waterfront Park

Constitution Gardens

A 50 acre park located within the National Mall, this park includes a small pond. A small island open to pedestrians is also located on the pond. The Washington Monument can be seen over a distance. For the nature and outdoors, this spot makes for a beautiful location for a surprise proposal.

Daughters of the American Revolution Hall

The DAR Constitution Hall is actually a concert hall located close by the White House. The building hosts one of the largest auditoriums in DC, a library and a museum. It’s considered a National Historic Landmark and currently owned by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution.
The white columns, steps and beautiful architecture easily makes this a stunning place for a proposal, while keeping it more private and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. An added bonus is views of the Washington Monument can be seen from a distance.

Surprise Proposal at Daughters of the American Revolution Memorial Hall

Spanish Steps in Kalorama

Not as well known as most areas, these Spanish Steps are situated in the middle of the Kalorama neighborhood of DC. Located on 22nd Street, NW, these steps were named after the Spanish Steps i Rome.  Currently the DC City Municipal Office of Public Works and Grounds maintains the steps. The locations has a ton of charm and a bit more seclusion making it a perfect romantic marriage proposal spot. 

Hillwood Estates

A combination of a museum and a garden, the brick home with white columns showcases the classic french architecture. Behind the homes are the well-known gardens that include stone paths, ponds, bridge, and beautifully designed shrubbery and florals. With a more seclusion, this makes for a quaint spot for a marriage proposal.
With the grounds being privately owned, the grounds require a venue fee of $300 for any session or proposal taking place there.



Any and all land owned by the National Park Service, maintained by the Capitol Grounds Police, or owned by the City of DC is required to have a permit in place for any proposal, engagement, wedding taking place. Commercial film and Photo cannot take place unless the permit is secured. An application process is required with a $150 charge per location. It typically takes 2-3 weeks for a permit to process. Planning is crucial when it comes to a surprise proposal. C

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