Post # 1
We recently moved to the DC area and live in Old Town Alexandria, VA. We plan on having our wedding locally, so we can be involved in the details and we plan on a lot of DIY projects. We are planning on around 100 people (a little less hopefully – maybe 85) and need ideas for a venue with only a $10,000 budget (it could be increased, but would rather spend to help with a home purchase).
For the ceremony, we thought it would be great to be outside at one of the memorials. However, I am stuck on where to have the reception and have no idea. I believe we will get married either in Spring 2009 (although it is right around the corner) or a Summer/Fall 2009.
For our reception, I would love for us to be able to encorporate the outdoors, but am open to any ideas. At the reception, we would like to have our first dance, a dance with my Dad… Plus, we want our guests to feel welcomed as most of them are family coming from across the country and I don’t want them to feel like they came for finger foods. Also, we will have some work colleagues and I do not want my fiance to be embarrased by the reception (I know he would never be and does not think about that stuff, but I want it to be a perfect day for him as well). Any ideas for a reception site in DC or VA (we love and live in Old Town Alexandria) that will not break the bank?
Thank you for your help, it is greatly appreciated … I feel lost.
Post # 3
i wish i could be of more help. i’m in the same exact boat but with a budget about half yours – the only difference is we’re looking everywhere from the DC metro area up to New Husband. we’d rather stay down here so that, like you, we can be more involved. the few places i’ve found thus far are booked all the way into November. sigh…
here are a couple links i’ve found:
Post # 4
Depending on the size of your wedding, you may want to consider Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission – http://www.pgparks.com/places/elegantsettings.html
They have lots of historic houses available to rent in Prince George’s County, and they were cheaper than places I looked at in Virginia. You may have to be willing to have events outside.
Also, be careful getting married at a monument. The Washington Post Magazine did an article about an anti-wedding where they tried to have a ceremony at a monument downtown and were chased off by the police for not having a permit!
Post # 5
We’re also planning a wedding in the DC area. Our guest list is much larger than yours, but we’ve gotten awesome help from our friends who had smaller weddings in the area. If you’re interested, I have excel spreadsheets with venues, rates, and contact information. We’ve looked at Glen Echo Park in MD, the Athenauem–which is the Northern Virginia Arts Club in Arlington, VA, the WVSA–art gallery in DC, Old Town Hall in Fairfax. Anyway with a group of 100 or less you have a lot of affordable options. Feel free to contact me if you’d like that spreadsheet. [email protected]. Congratulations and good luck with the planning!
Post # 6
I am in a similar situation, as my fiance and I will be paying for the wedding ourselves as well so keeping the cost down was a big factor. We were willing to go a little out of the immediate DC area as I am from NJ and he is from Iowa (we were pretty open to traveling) and came across The Purple Iris in Martinsburg, WV – the place is beautiful and the prices more than reasonable.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2020 - Oakland Manor
I know it’s in MD but I second the pg parks, and if its not too far (45 min or so) Oakland manor is about $1400 for a friday evening and you could easily do a reception for 80 people there. The tent rental is extra, but if you don’t have guests with mobility issues it could be great.
There are also lots of houses that pg/moco parks would have that would fit your people and your budget.
You might want to check with Miss Jeff Memorial from DC Nearlyweds. http://www.dcnearlyweds.com/labels/Ceremony%20Location.html
she was going to have her ceremony at the memorial, but now isn’t. Im not exactly sure why, but its something to check out.
Others have also done weddings at restaurant which tend to need you to meet a minium food/drink lcost. Often easily done by having 100 people eating and drinking. 🙂
Post # 8
I dont have any real suggestions, but was happy to see so many DC METRO Brides… there was a post earlier about having a Bee meeting get together with Ms. Champagne… any of y’all interested? I’m a DC bride but getting married in SoCal, so would love to meet up with any locals 🙂
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
I’m also living in DC and while I didn’t want to have the wedding here, I’m starting to change my mind after being not so tickled by the idea of coordinating vendors in another state.
So I’m in the same boat with a 15k budget. I’m shooting for a guest list of 50-75. I’ve almost given up on having a reception in DC proper because the prices are out of control (just like everything else here). But since nearly all of the guests will be traveling from Chicago/Florida, I don’t want it to be inaccessibly far in the suburbs. Ugh.
Post # 10
You might want to take a look at restaurants that may have rooftop gardens or spectacular views, or even alumni clubs. Many of these places would give you a better value than having to rent out a venue, then hire caterers, bartenders, etc. since food and drink would be included. Check out places like Indigo Landing for a fantastic river view or La Bergerie for an old world atmosphere.
Remember, your friends and family are coming to your special occasion, and as long as there is good food, good music and a comfortable atmosphere, they will have a fantastic time. There is absolutely no need to be apologetic because it is about you celebrating the beginning of your married life!
Post # 11
I feel your pain – we’re looking for October 2009 with the same budget and about the same amount of people, and it is VERY hard. A lot of the places that we’ve looked that are affordable are booked, so we’re getting frustrated. I’d check out the Montgomery County and PG County owned properties – most of them will fit into your budget, though the majority of them are best if you have an outdoor ceremony. We’re also probably going to have to do a late lunch reception instead of dinner because of the cost.
Post # 12
I would try looking at some of the park venues.
Here are some in Fairfax County:
And the ones in Mont. County:
I esp. like Brookside Gardens.
Post # 13
- Wedding: March 2020 - Still Looking!
We had our ceremony at the Athanaeum in Alexandria, and loved the space. It’s beautiful and light-filled, and would easily fit 100 people for a ceremony. You could bring in rental tables, etc. and catering for a sit-down dinner, but might have a bit more trouble fitting 100. The rental cost was somewhere around $100/hour.
In terms of monument-area weddings, you definitely should get a permit, but a friend did it, and I don’t believe it’s too difficult. (There are links on the National Park Service website.) Plus side is the beautiful (cheap!) location. Downside is staring tourists. Also, the Park Service does not allow staked tents, so you have few options in case of rain.
We had our reception at Teaism in Penn Quarter. While that particular restaurant wouldn’t work for everyone, I believe restaurant receptions are a GREAT option for budget receptions. You save on a site fee (most restaurants don’t charge site fees because you’re already paying them for food and beverage) and they already have tables, linens, plates, staff, etc., etc. (which add up to a lot of trouble AND money if they don’t come with the venue).
Post # 14
Just FYI – The Athanaeum now costs $250 per hour with a five hour minimum on Saturdays, so it’s unfortunately not quite as affordable as when Miss Tulip used it! A beautiful space, though.
Are you willing to come to MD? I’ve been checking out a LOT of places all over Maryland, so I could give you some prices, if you’re interested.
Post # 15
Look…I understand your frustration…but you can do it…I secong the pg parks suggestion…<span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-family: tahoma; font-size: 13px”>http://www.pgparks.com/places/elegantsettings.html…I’m having my wedding/reception at pg ballroom…but any of the places are good sites…my guestlist is 250 and i’m doing it with a budget of 10,000 as well…so it can be done…trust me…you just have to get a little creative with the catering…since they allow outside catering, I am using st.germaine’s catering…good food and VERY affordable… http://www.saintgermaincatering.com
Post # 16
Speaking of restaurants, I would check out Clyde’s in Tysons Corner. I would not describe it as incorporating the outdoors, but according to https://www.dcknottiereviews.com they do a good job and are probably the most reasonable deal for tasty food with an event planner in Northern Virginia.
I’ve also been to a reception at the outdoor courtyard at Chef Geoff’s Uptown.