The National Mall & Memorial Parks can provide beautiful backdrops for wedding ceremonies. Before pursuing a permit for a wedding in one of the three approved locations, review the rules to make sure that it is the right fit for your special day. Rules take into consideration sharing the space with regular visitation and safety of people, property, and natural and cultural resources in the park.
Applying for a Permit
Submit a Special Use Permit Application to the Division of Permits Management in-person or via mail or FAX:
National Mall and Memorial Parks
Applications can be delivered Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, except federal holidays or other National Mall & Memorial Parks office closures. Special Use Permit Applications are not accepted via email. Applications are accepted up to one year in advance and a minimum of four days from the first day of setup.
A non-refundable application processing fee of $90 is required with the submission of the Special Use Permit Application. Follow the instructions on the application form for submitting a payment by credit card, check, or money order.
A permits specialist will contact you if additional meetings, discussions, or documents are required and continue to walk you through the permit process. A Special Use Permit must be issued prior to holding the activity in the park.
Things to Know Before Applying
A permits specialist will guide applicants through the permitting process and can also be contacted before applying to answer any questions. Please also review the Permits Resources related to your proposed activity.
Location and Location-Specific Requirements
Wedding ceremonies are permitted in three locations on the National Mall and Memorial Parks. There are things to be aware of and considerations at all three locations to minimize the impact on regular park visitation and protection of the park's resources, as well as the enjoyment of the wedding participants.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial – West Lawn
Wedding ceremonies up to 200 people are permitted on the west lawn of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial along the Tidal Basin near East Basin Drive. Ceremonies are permitted for two hours, including setup and cleanup. Equipment may include chairs, a table not exceeding 4'x4', a chuppahs or wedding arch, a battery-powered generator, and a battery-operated sound system kept to a reasonable volume as to not disturb visitors at the nearby memorials. Up to two acoustic musicians are allowed.
George Mason Memorial
Wedding ceremonies up to 100 people are permitted on the George Mason Memorial near the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Ceremonies are permitted for one hour, including setup and cleanup. Ceremonies at this site must be kept simple with no equipment, sound system, or live musicians.
DC War Memorial
Wedding ceremonies up to 200 people are permitted at the DC War Memorial on Independence Avenue near the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, within the memorial structure or on the lawn surrounding it. Ceremonies are permitted for two hours, including setup and cleanup. Equipment may include chairs, a table not exceeding 4'x4', a chuppahs or wedding arch, a battery-powered generator, and a battery-operated sound system kept to a reasonable volume as to not disturb visitors at the nearby memorials. Up to two acoustic musicians are allowed.
Filming and/or Photography
Professional (or hired) photography and videography is included at the times and location indicated on the permit. Any professional photography and/or videography outside of the ceremony location or time of the event generally requires a Commercial Filming & Photography Permit.
Additional Associated Costs
Parking fees for event vehicles is $2.30 per hour, but is subject to change if the rate increases. Parking meters are located on Jefferson Drive, Madison Drive, Constitution Avenue between 15th and 23rd Streets, Parkway Drive, Ohio Drive, Tidal Basin parking lots, and the A,B, and C parking lots on Ohio Drive.
Additional Planning Resources
A permits specialist will guide applicants through the permitting process and assist with event-specific details. Please also consult Permits Resources, including:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
No, parkland must be accessible to the general public at all times. Most visitors will walk around a wedding ceremony on their own.
Weddings can be held at anytime, however weddings cannot exceed 2 hours in length at DC War and Thomas Jefferson Memorials and one hour in length at the George Mason Memorial.
Yes, please discuss logistics with the assigned permit specialist.
Receptions may be held the Henry Bacon Ballfield Private Reception Area and the West Potomac Park Private Reception Area under a Special Event Permit.
Yes, battery operated candles are permitted.
Last updated: March 6, 2020