Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And the Beat Goes On... (and the planning continues)

So, while I didn't bore you with the preliminary stages of arguing over guest lists, budget and details on dates, we're moving into the fun of choosing a venue. While both my fiance's and my parents live in New Jersey, we decided the DC metro area was the natural choice for our celebration location. Here is just a flavor, in no particular order, of what we have discussed.

Of late, many of my brides have the desire to use more than four walls of a hotel and wish to bring their guests to a location with more "character" as they put it. One location of interest is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Located at 1615 H Street, NW, the building sits right across the street from Lafayette Square and the White House and shares a block with the Hay Adams Hotel (the location of our engagement). While the building has plenty of rooms for a ceremony, cocktails and reception, the Hall Of Flags, most often used for receptions, is an interesting mix of traditional and regal with ceiling detail you would only find in a building nearing a century old.

Choosing a hotel as your venue can sometimes be the most practical choice given expected guest count, amount of out of town guests and convenience. First class service and impeccable hospitality can surely contribute to easy decision making. The Park Hyatt located at 1221 24th Street, NW, offers all of these things. The recent renovations done throughout this hotel and covering all of the guest rooms will allow your guests to feel like they are on a vacation retreat instead of a quick stop into town for a wedding. Four walls of a hotel ballroom easily become a blank slate with the stunning drapes that can be hung around the room.

And finally, if you take a trip outside of DC, we have entertained a meaningful yet unexpected venue for both of us. While it would be too cliche for me to get married at the brand new Alumni Center of our Alma Mater the University of Maryland, the thought did cross our minds, Terps sports enthusiasts that we are, to get married at Cole Field House, the one time men's basketball arena where we cheered on the National Championship Team in 2002. The arena stands as it did in that day although the floor has been stripped and it now hosts a number of indoor sporting events and galas. Would attending a wedding surrounded by 14,000 bleacher seats be too strange for our guests who have no significant ties to such a distinctive venue?

I guess we'll see.