One of the tough parts of planning a wedding in Washington DC is that there are just so many options! If you’re still searching for a wedding venue, then you know I’m right. And, if you’ve just started your search, well then you really know the confusion of what I’m talking about! With countless unique wedding venues in the Washington DC area to choose from, it makes the planning just a tad more difficult. But fear not, my lovely readers! We turned to some of the top DC-area wedding venues to share some pro advice on what to look for when venue hunting—we’ve got you all covered! Here is what some of the coordinators at these local venues had to say…

Photo Credit: Rebekah J. Murray Photography from Elegant Outdoor Wedding in Virginia


With many great venues located within the heart of DC, it’s worth considering a space within walking distance of a Metro to minimize the responsibilities of driving and parking. For out of town guests, are the nearest hotels also within walking distance? Near the venue, are there cool places for guests to meet before or after the wedding? – Wyatt at The Loft at 600 F

Look At The Total Cost

Make sure that the venue fits into your dream wedding idea (not just your budget!). Also, a full service venue (usually a restaurant or hotel) usually means much less work for you since there are less people and companies to coordinate with. —Roneeka, event manager at Sonoma Restaurant and Winebar

What is important about a venue really comes down to your personal preferences.  When you begin your venue search be sure you are comparing apples to apples before you rule any out.  Take a look at everything that is included in that price compared to other venues.  What may seem to be a much lower price could really just be a price that doesn’t include everything you need. The best way to really compare venues is to ask for a complete proposal from the venue, which includes everything you are receiving line by line to give you a good idea of a bottom-line. —Chelsea, sales manager at Potomac Point Winery

Consider Flexible Spaces

Time after time I think having a venue that gives you the option of indoors and outdoors is key. If you are planning a ceremony/cocktail/meal and dancing, then a venue must have 3 separate indoor spaces able to each accommodate all your guests for each of the key elements (ceremony/cocktail/meal & dancing).  At the same time it must have both hard surfaced and natural outdoor space able to also accommodate the ceremony and cocktail elements.  Anything less can work, but is less than perfect.  Like driving a car with a missing wheel, sure it might get you around, but not really.  On you wedding day, of all days, don’t go for the car with a missing wheel, go for the perfect. —Antonio, manager at Rose Hill Manor

On the practical side, look for a venue space that gives you flexibility—the concept that you have for your wedding a year or more in advance will grow and change as the planning progresses. If you’re expecting 140-150 guests, but there is the possibility that your size could grow, don’t commit yourself to a location that maxes out at 150. Ask your venue manager about any unusual last-minute changes or accommodations that have occurred in the past so that you can be mindful of all the “what if’s?” —Danielle, director of special event at Arena Stage

Be True To Your Personality

How it feels and does it fit who they are and the type of wedding celebration that want to create. —Michelle from Belle Grove Plantation

While cost and location are some of the major factors that couples will consider while looking for a venue, couples should also look for a venue that is unique to them and their personality. The nice thing about the Washington DC-area is that there are so many options: from historical sites, to modern hotels; from rustic barns to luxurious mansions; from intimate inns to grand ballrooms. There is something for everyone! —Heidi, event coordinator at National Cathedral School


Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world and the best DC area wedding vendors who make it all happen.

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