5 Washington, DC Wedding Venues for Art Lovers

Thursday, June 6, 2013

It’s pretty stressful looking for the perfect DC wedding venue that best expresses your relationship as a couple. With all the different options, how is a bride or groom to choose?! Well, I took a few days and went gallivanting through DC to find all the different art galleries and museums that allow weddings – which was a feat in itself, let me tell you.  I had a blast looking at all the best art galleries and museums ranging from traditionally beautiful to uniquely funky in order to find the coolest wedding spots in DC.

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Traditionally Beautiful:

The Textile Museum

Textile Museum

French doors open up to the expanding 1920s-esque gardens that look as if Gatsby and Daisy are behind one of the many tall boxwood arbors engaging in secret affairs of the heart. Pebbled pathways weave throughout the formal gardens and around a glorious white tent accented with yellow fairy lights that twinkle from dusk ’til dawn. Your wedding is a complete success as your guests mill and wander about the formal gardens and chat in quiet corners.

Dogwood Flowers and Archway

The two historic houses wherein the Textile Museum lies are the perfect venue for the most sophisticated and stylish of weddings. The entrance, completed with detailed molding and gold lanterns, is the former home of the Museum’s founding family; it was designed in 1913 by John Russell Pope, the famed American architect of the Jefferson Memorial (1943). The Museum was later expanded in 1925 into the adjacent building to hold the Museum’s galleries.

Of course, because the event will be held in a museum, there are certain rules to protect the collections and historic buildings:

• No smoking is permitted within the buildings.
• No food or drink is allowed in the galleries.
• No fresh or dried flowers or plants are allowed in the Museum.
• Only votive candles are permitted, and only in the food-serving areas.
• No red wine or red food is permitted.

Secret Gardens

The Inside Details:

-Primarily an outdoor ceremony-centric venue. Not much indoor activities allowed.
-Exclusive with Windows Catering Company
-Limited on-site street parking (however, only five blocks north from Dupont Circle Metro Station), no valet available
-No on-site overnight accommodations
-Refundable security deposit: $500
-Can accommodate up to 200 people for standing receptions, 125 for seated dinners


-Regular Rate: $3,500 for a seven-hour rental, including set-up and clean-up. Additional hours can be rented for $350/per hour.
-501(c)(3) Rate: $3,150 for a seven-hour rental, including set-up and clean-up. Additional hours can be rented for $315/per hour.
-On-site tent available to rent for: $3,500

Update: The Textile Museum will be moving to George Washington University’s campus in 2014, meaning the space will soon have a new owner.

As I toured the museum, I found that this quaint, simple and elegant venue will leave your wedding guests in a state of enchantment.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Imagine looking over your delighted guests as you and your love stand on the artfully crafted Mezzanine that frames the marble dance floor below. The band plays a slow ballad beneath you as you make your grand entrance by gliding down the elegantly detailed staircase and onto the dance floor.

Earlier that day, you donned on your wedding dress and sipped champagne as your bridal party got ready in the The Elisabeth Kasser Room which was converted into a bridal suite located on the Mezzanine level. Your hair and makeup PrivateRoomwas done in the strategically placed bathroom directly next door. You took pictures in front of the large window where you can overlook Washington, DC. Located just a few blocks up from the White House, you feel like American royalty. You then got married in the Great Hall with your loved ones surrounding you or gazing upon you theatre-style. Every candle, flower, light, bow and even the arch where you exchanged your vows were exactly as you had imagined it. Dinner was hosted on the Mezzanine level, an open space where a conveniently placed private caterer room was available to prepare all your favorite dishes. Once every plate was thoroughly enjoyed, your party proceeded to the Third Floor Galleries where your guests had cocktails and made toasts to your newly-made union while amongst art made famous by influential and awe-inspiring women. You and your guests moved back down to the Mezzanine and looked over the bannister to marvel over how the Great Hall, where you had just exchanged vows, was now a dance floor completed with lounge chairs around the sides and a simple but sophisticated bar fully stocked with every drink imaginable.

A bride will never be lacking in choices if she decides to host her wedding in the National Museum of Women in the Arts. From lighting, vendors, catering, set up for the ceremony or reception to everything else that’s important, will be available for the bride to have her every wedding wish come true. 

GreatHallThere are a few restrictions practical for every museum (votive candles, please), but the NMWA is definitely among the most accommodating venues in DC. I had the pleasure of meeting with one of the lovely and personable event planners as she showed me around the museum. I left the NMWA knowing that any bride will certainly be taken care of by the wonderful team at the NMWA, because they take customer satisfaction to the next level.

Another perk: the rental fee for the venue is tax deductible! Downside: pretty booked throughout 2013 and most of 2014 – better make that reservation ASAP!



The Inside Details:
-Primarily an indoor ceremony-centric venue. Not much outdoor activities available.
-Wheelchair accessible
-Exclusive list of 25 caterers, six are open to partnering with chefs. (Also, allowed to have all the red wine your heart desires, just not in the carpeted third floor art galleries)
-On-site parking and valet available
-No on-site overnight accommodations
-For a plated dinner, the Great Hall can accommodate up to 180 guests on the dance floor , the Mezzanine level can fit 250
-Price varies during season. (Note: multiple reviews on different sites have said that it’s worth every penny)



National Building Museum


Your wedding will be the event of the season if you choose to have it at the National Building Museum located on G Street. The first thing your guests (which can be as many as 2,000 people) will notice as they enter the breathtaking Great Hall are the eight DSCF5815Corinthian columns reaching 75 feet into the air, each eight feet in diameter. Your wedding will be among the many important events that have been held in the National Building Museum, such as the 1885 Inaugural Ball held for President Grover Cleveland.

Before your party (that must end by 1:00 am, alcohol has to stop being served at 12:00), you can host a more intimate affair with 110 seated guests for an elegant dinner, or 200 standing guests for a chic reception. A caterers kitchen, just off the east court on the lower level, is convenient if you choose to have dinner on the main floor.

Having your special day at the National Building Museum would make a statement about who you are, in a very big way.

The Inside Details:
-Primarily an indoor ceremony-centric venue
-Wheelchair accessible
-Has a set list of preferred caterers and vendors (no on-site caterers or vendors available) 
-On-site parking and valet available
-No on-site overnight accommodations
-Can accommodate up to 2,000 guests
-$$$$ Pricey, pricey, pricey – regardless of season

Uniquely Funky

LongView Gallery
DSCF5762 This rustic, new age venue with track-lighting, concrete floors and brick walls creates an environment that every wedding guest will always remember. LongView’s expansive space can comfortably fit 400 of your lucky guests who will all be saying that you are, without a doubt, the hippest and coolest bride in town. Flooded with natural light and filled with groovy modern art, you and your guests will be able to dance the night away knowing that you are at the coolest party in all of DC.

Located in NW DC, the gallery is in walking distance of three metro stops, seven different lodgings, and two critically-acclaimed restaurants. It is the perfect venue for the trendiest of brides who just want a wedding where guests can, as the people at LongView gallery say, “p’arty”.

The Inside Details:DSCF5759
-Primarily an indoor ceremony-centric venue with 2,500 square feet outdoor patio available for activities
-Wheelchair accessible
-Has it’s own carefully-picked list available, but open to options. (Allowed to have all the red wine your heart desires)
-On-site parking and valet available
-No on-site overnight accommodations
-Can accommodate up to 300 guests at cocktail capacity
-Unique perks: 20’x11′ wall panel for projections, speakers, iPod and wireless mike hookup, wireless internet access available-Price varies during season
-There is a preferred list of vendors. However, it is more diverse and varied than most lists at other venues
-Monthly exhibitions of unique a new artists
-Reasonably priced


Touchstone Gallery


Simplicity and style is the name of the game if you choose to host your wedding or reception in this intimate and DSCF5752one-of-a-kind art gallery. Although the space is small, there is no doubt that you would have a tasteful event complete with thought-provoking art and stimulating conversation. As you and your guest sip on Pinot Grigio and nibble on slices of baguette and cheese, you’ll be celebrating your union in complete sophistication. You will forever be known as the most creative of brides for being able to convert the space into something that is uniquely you.



The Inside Details:
-Completely open to any and all caterers or vendors
-1600 square feet flooded with natural light
-15 ft. ceilings lined with track lighting and modern ceiling fans
-Catering prep area, 2 unisex bathrooms
-Handicap accessible
-Onsite parking available
-Capacity: 130-160 standing cocktail reception, 70 sitting
-Perk: art changes monthly

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