Top Non-Hotel Wedding Venues in DC

August 30, 2019. Category: advice, DC Wedding Planner, DC Wedding Venue, uncategorized, venue, wedding planner

Are you newly engaged and looking for the best wedding venues in DC? Well look no more, if you are a hotels aren’t for me kind of person. These are our top 6 non-hotel venues in the District.

Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium

The “Mellon” as some reference it, is a beautiful and grand open space with large capacities, high ceilings and incredible architectural details which can be transformed into almost anything.

If you are looking for the best non-hotel venue in DC for your wedding and have a large guest count, this is a wonderful option to consider for your “big day” This particular venue can accommodate 200-600 guests. If you plan on having both your wedding ceremony and reception here, then they recommend that the space can accompany 200-400 guests. However, if you plan on only having your wedding reception here, then a guest count of 200-600 is fine.

Andrew W. Mellon Wedding. A. Dominick Events. Abby Jiu Photography
Photography: Abby Jiu Florist: Amaryllis Floral & Event Design

For more inspiration for Andrew W. Mellon weddings click here and here.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, located in Washington, D.C., is “the only major museum in the world solely dedicated” to celebrating women’s achievements in the visual, performing, and literary arts. When guests arrive at the museum they are greeted by a luxurious marble reception area which is accented with three beautiful crystal chandeliers, which in themselves are showstoppers! Though the real gems are all of the works of art from NMWA’s collection that grace the walls where your guests will be mingling and dancing the night away!

Grande marble staircases which sweep upward to the spacious Mezzanine make for the perfect entrance for the bride as she descends into the Great Hall.

The Great Hall and the Mezzanine can each seat 250 guests, this elegant event space is ideal for dinner and dancing. If a party is 250 guests or less, both of these areas may be used at different times throughout the event. A ceremony may be held in the Great Hall and dinner can be served in the Mezzanine.

For more inspiration for National Museum of Women in the Arts weddings click here and here.

Meridian House

A historical landmark, the Meridian House is a classic, timeless, intimate venue which holds up to 150 guests. The gorgeous architecture both inside and outside and luscious gardens almost make you feel like you are at someone’s grand estate.

The gardens are the perfect place for an outdoor ceremony, and if for some reason you have inclement weather the ballroom inside is just a beautiful and intimate.

Meridian House Wedding. Outdoor Ceremony. A. Dominick Events. Abby Jiu Photography

For more inspiration for Meridian House weddings click here

Dock 5

Located at Union Market, this unique space with flexible floor plans offers you an industrial blank-canvas for your special event. There’s more than 12,000 square feet of warehouse space and exceptionally high ceilings – a rare find in D.C! Dock 5 can accommodate up to 400 seated guests, which includes room for cocktails.

Decatur House

One of the oldest and most prestigious homes in Washington DC, the Decatur House has an undoubtedly magical atmosphere.

Decatur House Wedding. Grand Entrance. Sweet Root Village. DC Wedding Planner. A. Dominick Events
Photography: Jodi & Kurt Floral: Sweet Root Village

From an intimate gathering to a large celebration, the Decatur House has the abilities to transform your day into something spectacular. The Carriage House can accommodate 150 banquet style seating with dance floor. The bricked Courtyard is perfect for receptions and dinners, this space can be enjoyed tented or alfresco! 220 guests can be seated banquet style with dancing in the carriage house.

Decatur House Spring Wedding, Washington DC Wedding, A. Dominick Events. Jodi and Kurt Photography. Sweet Root Village
Photography: Jodi & Kurt Floral: Sweet Root Village
For more inspiration for Decatur House weddings click here and here

Union Station

The Presidential Suite at Union Station embodies the historic grandeur of old D.C. If you are looking for a truly magnificent and historical DC experience, then the Presidential Suite at Union Station is perfect for your wedding. It has recently undergone an expansive renovation and is currently available as a private event space in D.C. This uniquely historic room can accommodate up to 300 for cocktail receptions, 160 for a seated dinner and 130 with a dance floor.

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How to decide on an indoor or outdoor wedding

June 21, 2017. Category: advice, tips, venue, wedding planner, wedding tips, weddings

One of the hardest decisions a couple has to make while planning their wedding is the venue. Some couples really love the idea of having part of their celebration outdoors, but in the DC area, that can be tricky.

For some, the thought of not having an outdoor ceremony and/or tented reception is heartbreaking, and for others the risk of an outdoor soirée seems too stressful. If you are a couple who is still going back and forth, we have put together a list of Pros and Cons for both which we hope will make the the decision and planning process a little bit easier.

Indoor Wedding

If you have always dreamed of having your wedding in a gorgeous ballroom or at an iconic historic location, such as a museum, having an indoor wedding is the perfect choice for you. However, if you are still on the fence below are some Pros and Cons to an indoor wedding that might help sway your decision.

Pro: Weather is not a concern – With an indoor wedding, there is no need to worry about the weather. It doesn’t matter if it there is an unexpected down pour that day or if it is unseasonably warm or cold, the weather will not be an issue. Also, your guests will not have a problem packing the dance floor with good air conditioning.

Photography: Jodi and Kurt  Floral: Edge Floral    Venue: The Hay-Adams

Con: Windows and natural light – If you find a venue with windows, this is not an issue, but many ballrooms are built on the lower level of a hotel or in interior rooms of a museum and do not have any natural light.  This can be an issue if you want light, dreamy photos or hire a photographer who only shoots in real film.

Photography: Abby Jiu   Floral: Amaryllis  Venue: Decatur House

Pro: Endless décor options – Depending on the space, most if not all indoor venues will allow you to manipulate the space in some way or another, especially if you have selected a venue that has blank walls which will provide the perfect backdrop to customizing your wedding.

Photography: Sam Hurd   Floral: Southern Blooms

 Venue: Pippin Hill Farm &  Vineyards

Con: Unexpected décor costs – While having a blank space is very appealing and exciting, this can also get very expensive very quickly. As you may have to consider all the elements that will be needed to bring your vision to life from lighting to flowers to draping to all the rentals. Just make sure that when you are looking at the space, you are also adhering to your budget.

Photography: Abby Jiu     Floral: Amaryllis    Venue: Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium

Pro: Intimate Dinner Party – With all of your guests in one room, depending on the size of your event, indoor receptions can often feel like an intimate dinner party.

Photography: Abby Jiu    Floral: Amaryllis

Venue: National Museum of Women in The Arts

Outdoor Weddings

Have you always envisioned yourself getting married at your parents house or sitting in a lush garden under a tent surrounded by your nearest and dearest? If so, then an outdoor wedding is for you. However, one of the biggest challenges with an outdoor wedding is the weather. An outdoor wedding ceremony and/or reception, though beautiful and often breathtaking, can sometimes be logistically a bit more challenging, especially if the weather does not corporate. If you are up for the challenge or still find yourself on the fence here are some Pros and Cons to an outdoor wedding that might help you decide.

Pro: Beautiful scenery and backdrop – Outdoor weddings offer beautiful settings for a wedding and as a result, couples that decide on an outdoor soirée often save on design costs. Since the scenery is so lovely you really don’t need to add too many additional decor elements.

Photography: Eric Kelley     Venue: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

Con: High rental costs – Most outdoor wedding venues will need you to be tented, which can be expensive depending on the type of tent to want. Also be prepared to budget for items you may not necessarily have thought of, such as portable restrooms, flooring, a dance floor, tables, chairs, and lighting.

Photography: Kate Headley    Venue: Private Estate

Pro: A bit more relaxed atmosphere for your guests – An outdoor venue is also a great option for cocktail hour. Your guests can enjoy cocktails on the lawn while also playing lawn games or and taking in the view. Also, if you are allowing guests to bring their children, an outdoor wedding allows children space to run around.

Photography: Jen Fariello

Con: Unknown Weather – If you decide to have part or all of your celebration outdoors, be sure to have a plan B for bad weather.  There is no way to know how hot, cold, rainy or windy it might be.  If you don’t have a back up plan that you love (tent/interior space), you will make yourself crazy in the lead up to your wedding checking the weather.

Pro Tip: Most importantly, try to remember that no matter what location or venue you decided on be it indoor or outdoor, your wedding day will be beautiful and one of the best days of your life. Once you have logistically come up with the plan, all the other pieces will fall into place. Enjoy it – it’s your wedding day after all!

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Picking the right Venue

April 14, 2016. Category: planning, venue

Picking the perfect venue for your wedding can be one of the most stressful tasks a couple faces when planning their wedding! So, to alleviate some of the angst we thought we would share some of our insights on how to get the most out of your relationship when working with a property in hopes that it will make the process a little bit easier!

Wedding Planner_Vicki Grafton1. “The venue representative see the same event over and over again. Ask your contact what they are excited about. Have they seen something that is a unique use of their space or in house items? Is there something they have always wanted to do in their space? Getting your contact interested and looking forward to your day will play to your favor as you work through the planning process.”

Venue: Corcoran Gallery   Photographer: Vicki Graphton

Wedding of Caroline Joyce and Ryan George at St. Joseph's and the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC Saturday, September 12, 2015. (© 2015 Michael Connor / Connor Studios)

2. “Remember a venue contact is not a wedding planner. Be respectful of their role and they will treat you with the same level of respect throughout the planning process. The manager of a venue’s job is to protect their space and in a hotel setting to manage the catering team. They might send over the names of their favorite vendors or offer to set up your escort cards but their focus is on their property and their team on your wedding day. A wedding encompasses so much more than the venue details, a wedding planner will help pull all of those items together so your venue contact put their focus where it needs to be on the wedding day.”

Venue: Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium    Photographer: Connor Studios 

 In house venue rentals_ Kathy Blanchard

3. “Make sure you keep the venue’s in house items in mind when crafting the plan for your day. We are not saying that every venue has chairs that you will like or go with your look but if your space has natural chiavaris don’t get your heart set on gold chairs. If your space offers 5.5′ round tables try to steer clear of the communal table look on Pinterest. Every in house item you use can be another dollar you can spend elsewhere in the wedding.”

Venue: Meridian House    Photographer: Kathy Blanchard 



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May Flowers

May 19, 2015. Category: details, Flowers, inspiration, venue

The sun is shining and flowers are blooming. Spring has finally graced us. Look at these ideas on how the new weather can influence your wedding day!

Rethink your floral arrangements

Succulents are this year’s hottest trend. They are a variation of the cactus. By nature, succulents are tough plants that can endure desert-like conditions.They come in variations of purple and green – sometimes even pink! They represent a timeless, strong love and can add a natural touch to any floral arrangement.

Photo Courtesy of: Belle the Magazine

Photo Courtesy : The Knot

Add a twist to your cocktails

We often suggest having a signature cocktail as it adds a personal touch to any drink menu – not to mention it’s the perfect way to celebrate a new marriage. Infusing your cocktails with floral notes or herbs can add a subtle brightness and depth in an unexpected way.

Check out these Infused Cocktails here!

Set the scene with Spring

Let mother nature be the backdrop! Venues like the Pippin Hill and King Family Vineyards offer breathtaking outdoor settings that will captivate your guests. Outdoor weddings offer a romantic and natural ambiance that can’t be replicated.

Venue: King Family Vineyards

Venue: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

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Barns are Back

March 21, 2014. Category: venue

We thought the rustic look was nearing it’s end, but no ma’am.

It seems that every other bride is asking if there are barn venues near DC.  These are a few of our favorites

Barns at Wolf Trap

We love the proximity to DC that this venue offers, it is only 10 minutes from Tysons!

Be mindful, this is not the space for a large wedding.  We think 130-150 guests work best.


Early Mountain Vineyards

Image by Eric Kelley

I love this venue and they can hold a larger reception, up to 200.  It is gorgeous and you can bring in your own caterer, which gives you so much flexibility on budget and quality.  This venue is about an hour and a half from DC so you may need to think of this as a mini-destination wedding.


The Maples

Image by Jodi Miller

This venue is such a treasure.  It is a barn set on a private estate in Middleburg, only an hour from DC. The barn could accommodate 120 but you can tent for a larger wedding.

There are loads more, but you need a wedding planner to find one that is perfect for you!






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