Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

It’s finally arrived – the day all women dream of: their wedding day. But, with such a hyped-up day comes exhausting, never-ending planning and endless options that are difficult to decipher. With expert help and first-rate advice, booking the ideal location is part of the wedding-planning process that doesn’t have to be stressful. Aimee Hardenbergh, a wedding scene specialist and founder of True Wedding Events, dishes on her top five wedding venues in the DC metropolitan area.

Aimee Hardenbergh
True Wedding Events
(703) 981-5279

“I like to say that I am a ‘venue junkie,’” Hardenbergh said.

Hardenbergh is the DC area’s sought-after professional bridal consultant with an abundance of experience in the event planning field. She received a certificate in Event Management from George Washington University School of Business and holds a finely honed skill set in coordinating all that a memorable occasion entails – in both large and small scales.

After sporadically planning the wedding of a close friend and later receiving one outstanding referral after another, Hardenbergh started her business in 2008. True Wedding Events specializes in outdoor weddings and exceptional spaces. Hardenbergh makes it her mission to find unique venues for her clients.

“I believe that finding the right wedding venue is just like finding the perfect wedding dress… you will know when you have found it. It will make your heart skip a beat and you can imagine saying ‘I do’ in it,” Hardenbergh said.

Breaux Vineyards
36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane
Purceville, VA 20132
(800) 492-9961

Breaux Vineyards is a lush vineyard setting with a brand new fabulous indoor space reflecting impeccable taste at every turn. The wines are terrific as well – important when selecting a vineyard for your wedding because vineyards typically restrict you to serving only their wines. Breaux does permit alcohol, while other vineyards do not. To get started with planning a wedding at Breaux, all you need to do is complete an online form and a special banquet license application.

Airlie Center
6809 Airlie Road
Warrenton, VA 20187
(540) 347-1300

There are multiple location combinations to choose from to create your perfect wedding scene at Airlie. Airlie has it all: a lovely outdoor garden setting, new glass pavilion and multiple indoor ballrooms. If Mother Nature decides not to cooperate on your big day, Airlie offers peace of mind by providing indoor backup space if you decide to hold your ceremony and cocktail hour outside. Airlie also has cottages and sleeping accommodations on the property, making it perfect for keeping all of your guests in one spot and not having to provide transportation to the wedding.

Related: Best Off-Beat Wedding Venues In The DC Area

Oatlands Plantation
20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane
Leesburg, VA 20175
(703) 777-3174

Arguably one of the premier garden settings for wedding ceremonies in the Washington DC area, Oatlands Plantation has various tent sizes for a reception – a good fit for weddings that are 150 people or more. Oatlands is a smart option if you anticipate a larger wedding because the capacity of many venues maxes out at 150 people. A portion of the Oatlands Plantation rental fee is also tax-deductible, which may provide a little relief to your budget.

The Fairmont
2401 M St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 429-2400

Located in Georgetown, the Fairmont is an exclusive in-town location with a beautiful garden courtyard and a glass-enclosed Colonnade Room. The chandeliers inside the Colonnade Room (and the other ballrooms as well) are to die for. The Colonnade Room boasts floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides with a domed ceiling and elevated hardwood dance floor. This swanky downtown space gives you the ability to utilize the outdoors while having all of the conveniences of being in the heart of Washington, DC.

The Mayflower Hotel
1127 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 347-3000

The Mayflower Hotel – what more needs to be said? For decades, generations of Washingtonians have wed at this historic spot. Just four blocks from the White House, The Mayflower Hotel exudes luxury. Lavish, opulent and over the top are just a few words to describe a setting that will “WOW” your guests from start to finish.

Related: 5 Things To Consider Before Having A Home Wedding In The District

Kelly Johnston is a freelance writer living in D.C. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Fashion Retail and Merchandising and a minor in Journalism. Her work can be found at