Venues Revisited

19 12 2008

If you recently became engaged, congratulations! A reception venue is one of the first items most people want to check off their to-do lists. However, don’t let your venue decide what kind of wedding you want to have. Go through the exercise of figuring what kind of wedding you want first. Once you have done that, click the VENUE category to the right and see the places we’ve visited. Here are also some from our old blog:

Washington, DC venues:

Equality Center (DC)

American News Womens Club (DC)

Decatur House (DC)

Maryland venues:

Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts “VisArts” in Rockville, MD

Black Rock Center for the Arts (Germantown, MD)

Virginia venues:

Signature Theatre Arlington (Shirlington, VA)

West Belmont Place (Lansdowne, VA)

Top of the Town (Arlington, VA)

Middleburg Community Center (Middleburg, VA) – summer and fall

George Washington Masonic Memorial (Alexandria, VA)

International Country Club (Fairfax, VA)

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (Vienna, VA)

Clarendon Ballroom and Arlington Arts Center and here (Arlington, VA)

Foxchase Manor (Manassas, VA)

Mount Vernon Inn (Alexandria, VA)

Site Visit: Mexican Cultural Institute

16 12 2008

I recently attended my husband’s company holiday party at the Mexican Cultural Institute in the Columbia Heights area, just north of Meridian Hill Park. What a magnificent building! Built in 1910, it later served as the Mexican Embassy. Main Event catered the event and did an excellent job (loved the prosciutto and brie mini sandwiches!) and the Moonlighters band kept up the festive atmosphere. I hope to be able to post some pro photos soon from Tony Brown of Imijination Photography.

Advantages: about 4 block walk from Columbia Heights Metro station; great for 100 people or less. Could do wedding ceremony and reception in same location; elevator available for those who could not climb stairs.

Challenges: no on-site parking. only a 2-stall ladies room; some of the lighting could not be dimmed.

Mexican Cultural Institute

Mexican Cultural Institute entrance

dsc02709Amazing murals all along the stairwell

Amazing murals all along the stairwell

Spacious foyer

Spacious foyer could be good for cocktails. Art exhibition space to the right.

Another beautiful room which was used for cocktail hour

Another beautiful room which was used for cocktail hour. One side has a piano and pipe organ.

The room between the ballroom and cocktail room was were the bar was located.

The room between the ballroom and cocktail room was were the bar was located. Note the beautiful fireplace and mirror.

Main ballroom, looking back into the hallway.

Main ballroom, looking back into the hallway.

The magnificant tiled alcove, which is attached to the main ballroom. Perfect spot for a band and dancing.

The magnificent tiled alcove, which is attached to the main ballroom. Perfect spot for a band and dancing.

Site Visit: Glen Echo Park

20 08 2008

One of the most interesting places that rent its facilities out for private events is Glen Echo Park. I have never visited this place but have read a lot about the famous, recently restored carousel and Spanish Ballroom. For private event, there are a few spaces you can rent. 1) Spanish Ballroom, 2) Bumper Car Pavilion (outdoor reception), 3) Cuddle Up (great for ceremony), and 4) lawn of the Crystal Pool (outdoor ceremony). This is a great venue for the off beat couple!


  • Location: Just off MacArthur Blvd in DC; a park setting so close to the city
  • Ample park
  • Unique atmosphere
  • Outdoor ceremony option at the lawn of the Crystal Pool (tenting possible)
  • Spanish Ballroom: huge stage and dance floor
  • Bumper Car Pavilion: large area, existing stage, xmas lights, outdoor feel with overhead cover, sound system
  • Lots of great photo ops locations


  • Not Metro accessible
  • Limited to 4 approved caterers
  • Spanish Ballroom: food & drinks are not allowed on the main ballroom park, although OK in lobby/foyer and surrounding promenades/hallways
  • Bumper Car pavilion: open air facility with no air conditioning

Venue Spotlight: Harman Center for the Arts

9 04 2008

The new home of the Shakespeare Theatre, Harman Center for the Arts, is a beautifully modern building. With floor-to-ceiling glass on both the 2nd and 3rd floor lobbies, there is a great view of the city below. If hosting an event, you could have dinner on one floor with dancing on another. There is a bar situated in the middle of the 2nd floor lobby. I wasn’t able to find other photos on-line of actual events so here are the ones are took while I was there to see the Washington Ballet.

We hope to tour the facility soon and give you more details!

I did also find this collage from Lara Swanson of A Softer Image Photography.

harman center lara swanson

Venue Spotlight: Sneak Peek of the Newseum

7 04 2008

Last week, I had the privilege of previewing the Newseum, which will open to the public on April 11. What I like about it is that it’s an incredibly modern design with lots of glass windows and the view on the terraces are incredible. You can see the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Catering for private event is done by the Newseum’s exclusive caterer, Wolfgang Puck Catering.