Thursday, January 31, 2013

DC Area Wedding Venues {Fabulous Resorts}

Today we're highlighting a few of our favorite properties that are not right in the heart of DC, resort properties that are still close enough to the city to make it an easy trip but far enough away to feel like another world.

Keswick Hall

We've done quite a few fabulous weddings at Keswick Hall in Charlottesville, Virginia and we can't get enough of the stunning property and relaxed Southern hospitality. UVA grads love this property and often pair it with a ceremony at the UVA Chapel. The hotel is also perfect for a couple looking for a charming spot for a destination wedding as the area offers lots for guests to do from wine tastings to golf to tours of Monticello. An Engaging Affairs favorite!

The Inn at Perry Cabin

Our couples love the Eastern Shore of Maryland because it's an easy getaway from the city but is charming and quaint. The Inn at Perry Cabin sits on the water in St. Michaels and provides a gracious backdrop for waterfront ceremonies. We love tenting the lawn for a truly gracious reception.

The Omni at Bedford Springs

The Omni at Bedford Springs is only a couple of hours away from DC but it feels like you've stepped into another world. The classic resort evokes the Old South with rocking chairs and long porches extending the entire length of the hotel. Perfect for intimate weddings, we love the outside ceremony options as well as the charming reception rooms.

The Inn at Little Washington

The world-renowned restaurant has always been a go-to spot for true foodies wanting an intimate affair but now the property is expanding to host larger weddings by tenting the property. If you love fine cuisine and attention to detail, this is the venue for you!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

DC Wedding Venues {Small Hotels}

above image of The St. Regis ballroom by Steve Canning Photography

We love some of DC's intimate hotels. If you're planning a wedding for around 150 guests, be sure to check out these lovely options. They are unique, often historic and have tons of character. No basic ballrooms here!

The St. Regis

This stunning hotel features an elegant ballroom as well as a tented patio right in the heart of the city. Step right out of the hotel's garden gates and take your photos in front of The White House!

above photos by Fotobriceno

The Hay-Adams

The enclosed rooftop of this charming jewel of a hotel has perhaps the best view in the city-- overlooking The White House and the Washington Monument! The hotel also features a classic ballroom with rich wood details and the light-filled Lafayette Room.

photos by Connor Studios

The Hotel Monaco

We love the chic style of this hotel-- such a fun blend of modern detailing in a historic DC building. Dramatic staircases, wide hallways and a fabulously cool ballroom with built-in bookshelves!

 above images by Love Life Images

The Tabard Inn

You can't get more intimate than this sweet and classic downtown inn. With a charming courtyard and rooms with fireplaces, pianos and original art, this venue is perfect for a couple who wants something truly unique!

above photos by Sweet Tea Photography

Monday, January 28, 2013

DC Wedding Venues {Unique Large Hotels}

photo by Fotobriceno

Welcome back to our DC Wedding Venue Review!  Last week we highlighted some favorite modern venues, grand spaces and historic homes. Now we're showing you the best of DC's fabulous hotels!

Often, we have couples come to us saying they don't want a hotel wedding. If they've only seen sterile hotel meeting rooms or boring ballrooms, we don't blame them.  But DC is home to some really gorgeous and unique hotels. Hotels that are historic sites in and of themselves.  A wedding in one of these beauties is anything but boring!

Because we're lucky enough to have lots of fabulous hotel options, we're dividing our review into larger hotels, small hotels and resort properties. Up today-- our favorite of the city's unique larger hotels.

The Mandarin Oriental

We love working at The Mandarin and have had some of our favorite weddings there since the hotel opened. We love the garden for a ceremony or cocktails and the small garden rooms that open onto the outdoor space. The ballrooms are stunning and can handle larger groups so we've had more than a few Indian weddings here but they are also ideal for a couple that likes an elegant and sophisticated ballroom. And the hotel's suites are amazing (especially the Presidential) and its spa is to-die-for!

photo by Robert Isacson

The Fairmont

This beautiful hotel has the advantages of a larger hotel with the intimate feel of a small one. You can choose to have your wedding in the glass-walled Colonnade for a smaller group or in the recently renovated ballroom for a larger group. We love both spaces and you can't beat the stunning courtyard for photos or cocktails!

The Colonnade

The Ballroom

The Willard

We love the Willard's history, its amazing location and the unique character of each of its event spaces.  You can have your ceremony or reception in the Crystal room with soaring marble columns, in the Willard Room with rich wood detail or in the mural-topped ballroom. And did we mention the stunning suites with views that will take your breath away?

The Willard Room

The Crystal Room

Grand Ballroom photo by Justine Ungaro

The Omni Shoreham

We love the outside gazebo and the number of ballroom options available. This hotel is truly flexible with ballrooms ranging from intimate to spacious and each completely unique, from built-in stages to columns to wall murals. And the gorgeous lobby space and hotel restaurant make the perfect gathering spot for guests!

Friday, January 25, 2013

DC Wedding Venues {Historic Homes}

photo by Greg Gibson

We're rounding off the week with a few of our favorite historical wedding venues. Lots of people love DC for its history and for the buildings that have played a part in it. And if you love the Federal style, you're in luck! Most of these spaces are perfect for weddings of 150 guests or fewer.

Meridian House

We adore this beautiful home nestled in the city with its European architecture, stone fountain tucked among the Linden trees and lovely gardens. Couples can use the inside of the historic home as well as the outside, lending it true flexibility (and great rain plans).

 photo by Fotobriceno

Decatur House

Location, location, location! Decatur House is located right next to The White House and carries with it plenty of history. We love the fact that you can tent the pretty courtyard and use the newly renovated Carriage House to give your event an easy flow.

 photo by Greg Gibson

Dumbarton House

We love the gardens of this pretty Georgetown house. It also has a lower ballroom and terrace for tenting but the charming gardens are what guests will remember!

Anderson House

For a truly intimate wedding of around 100 or fewer guests, this exclusive venue is worth exploring. We love the pretty back garden and the airy atrium space that looks into the formal ballroom.

photos by Greg Gibson

We'll continue next week by showcasing some of our favorite hotels in the city and some off-the-beaten-path venues. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

DC Wedding Venues {Grand and Glamorous}

photo by Robert Isacson

Day Two of the Great DC Wedding Venue Review! Today we focus on our favorite grand and elegant buildings in the city in which to host a wedding.  These are quintessential DC venues with soaring columns, sweeping staircases and breathtaking rooms. Want to make your guests' jaws drop?  Pick one of these beauties!

The Andrew Mellon Auditorium

We adore working at The Mellon and have planned some of our favorite weddings in this grandiose space. An impressive entrance on Constitution Avenue, towering columns lining a stunning grand hall and an outdoor terrace with monument views make this building perfect for weddings!

photo by Dennis Reggie

And ceremonies in the grand hall are equally amazing!

The National Museum of Women in the Arts

Perhaps the most feminine grand space in the city, we love the Women's Museum for the gorgeous marble, the stunning chandeliers and the curved pair of staircases that make for dramatic entrances. Although glamorous, this space always feels warm and intimate!

photo by Fotobriceno

The Corcoran Gallery of Art

Another gorgeous DC museum, this impressive site wows guests with its grand staircase and dramatic columns, not to mention the world class art exhibits. We love having cocktails on the second floor so guests can peek over to the grand pair of atriums below.

photos by Greg Gibson

Union Station

You heard correctly. You can host your wedding or reception at DC's bustling train station. East Hall provides a private space that is grand yet not overwhelming. We love the details in the decor, the soaring palms that come with the rental and the natural light from the ceiling!

photo by Greg Gibson

The Building Museum

If you're expecting several hundred guests and want to go for major drama, check out The National Building Museum. This massive site can hold thousands of guests or can be divided to create more intimate cocktail, dinner and lounge settings.

photo by Fotobriceno

We hope you enjoyed sampling some of DC's most impressive spaces. Finding the perfect venue--one that is appropriate for your guest count and works with your style of wedding-- requires lots of legwork. If you need help narrowing the field, we'd love to help! or 1.888.481.5156

Tomorrow we'll highlight our city's more intimate historical homes. See you then!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

DC Wedding Venues {Sleek & Modern}

It's that time of year when tons of couples get engaged and start searching for the perfect wedding venue so we thought we'd share some of our favorites.  Today we're highlighting some of DC's more modern venues. Those sites that aren't Georgian or Federal  and don't have sweeping staircases or soaring columns. If you're into grand and stately, hang on, those venues will be up later this week. But, for now, bring on the neon and glass!

The Ronald Reagan International Trade Center or "The Reagan Building"

We love this cool uber-modern venue because it can hold lots of guests and does have a dramatic staircase for an equally dramatic entrance (pictured at the top of this post by photographer Todd Laffler) and also has some of the best cuisine in town from their in-house catering. We have planned numerous fabulous weddings here and love the space and the staff!

Longview Gallery

This is DC's answer to a New York style loft space. It's cool, urban and large enough to do a ceremony and reception. You will love the exposed stone and the outside back terrace, not to mention the artwork that hangs in this working art gallery. Ceremony above photographed by Fotobriceno.

The Park Hyatt DC

One of our very favorite hotels underwent a complete transformation a couple of years ago and the new ballroom is so chic! Lots of modern details and crisp lines to match the rest of the hotel's sleek vibe (like this nook in the cocktail area outside the ballroom).

And our couples love being photographed in front of the cherry blossom glass art installation in the lobby. We adore working with catering director Michael Deltette and the cuisine (think Blue Duck Tavern) is always supurb!

The Newseum

You can't beat the views from this Pennsylvania Avenue venue with terraces overlooking the Capitol and floor to ceiling glass in the ballrooms.  For the truly adventurous, you can rent out the entire museum space, as one of Amanda's clients did (wedding pictured above by Greg Gibson), and dine surrounded by exhibits!

The W

 You can't find a more hip hotel in DC than the W. We love the rooftop ballroom with the option for cocktails on the terrace overlooking the White House. Breathtaking! We love the look below created at the W last year for the Engaged Show by Amaryllis. Masses of enormous white paper flowers paired with the hotels sleek chairs and funky chandeliers made for a stunning ceremony look!

Happy wedding venue hunting. Next up on the blog-- classic and imposing venues in the city!  Need more help finding the perfect wedding site. We'd love to help streamline the process and make your planning fun!  www.engagingaffairs or 1.888.481.5156