My Reception Venue - The Clifton Inn
So how did we chose our venue? Very Carefully. We looked at a ton of pictures and read all the reviews of our site on TripAdvisor. I had a few requirements....it had to be small and intimate, no ballrooms, and it had to be able to accommodate one long table for all the guests. When we first looked at the Clifton Inn online I counted it out because it seemed to be beyond our budget. With the help of a planner, though, we were able to make it work. The main requirements for renting the Inn are that you have to rent all 18 of the rooms on the grounds for the weekend. This was too pricey for us, but since we are having a Sunday wedding we only had to rent all the rooms for one night instead of two. We also have a lower food/beverage minimum to meet then a normal Saturday wedding has. The lesson here is ALWAYS inquire...don't just assume you can't have something...a lot of places are willing to negotiate. That's not to say miracles can happen but if a place is a little bit more then your budget will allow then you should at least inquire to see what they are willing to do for you.
After negotiating the price of the rooms with the Inn we were able to rent the Inn for an equal price as you would pay for some of the nicer venues in D.C. The only difference is that instead of paying to rent a nice place in D.C. for 5 hours we get rooms for a large number of our guests and get the Inn for 24 hours. Oh, and did I mention that afternoon tea and breakfast is included in the cost of rental? We are splitting the costs of the rooms with the guests who will be staying there (the bridal party and close family members) but you could pay for it all yourself or have your guests pay for the rooms since they would be paying for accommodation normally anyway.
^Driving up to the Clifton Inn
^The front of the Inn
^Looking at the lawn from the front porch. Brides with large guest lists often set up a tent on this lawn.
^View right after you walk through the front door.
Over the next couple days I'll take you on a tour of the Clifton Inn. Fiance and I were very relieved at how great the Inn was...we feel like we really lucked out.