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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Virginia venues and caterers

Being engaged is pretty awesome. I mean I'm excited for the life we're going to make together, I know it's the marriage that's important, not so much the wedding.

But right now.. I'm enjoying myself. I mean you do get So Much unsolicited advice, and then there's so much self-inflicted sensory overload with all the wedding porn out there, it can be kind of overwhelming (having said that I definitely have no plans to stop reading these blogs). But every time someone notices the ring, or it comes up in conversation some other way (I've grown really fond of being able to say "my fiance blah blah blah"), I always get really warm and sincere congrats and wishes for our happiness and I have to say, it feels good. Not that I was ever really concerned about "public opinion," but I was getting a Little tired of the "why would he buy the cow when he's getting the milk for free" type of comments about our relationship. Also there's just so much joy surrounding weddings! I'm happy to be at the center of it for this short period of time.

Anyway! I was going to share some research with you. If you're looking in the DC area for non-traditional venues (no hotels, no churches), here are some venues I discovered that you might like:

Arlington
Hendry House at Fort C.F. Smith (the venue of the previous Miss Fairfax!) - very good for outdoor weddings or fairly small gatherings (50 - 60 would be a good number if you want to be inside, up to 150 with a tent outside). Very economical at $2,000 for 5 hours. Unfortunately since our wedding is in March, we needed more space inside.

Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse - now here's a non-traditional venue for you. It's a great little dinner theater, seems like a great place if you're going very informal and fun. Think of the slideshows! I'm pretty sure there's no site fee, you just need to meet a minimum on food & beverage (I think like $2,500).

Falls Church
State Theatre - have your name on the marquee! That's what I got excited about. Would be great for a 40's movie star type wedding. For a Saturday night affair you need to meet a food & beverage minimum of (I think) $12K. In the end it was just too big for us, but I would just love to hear about a real wedding there, I think it would be fabulous.

OK I think I'm getting carried away here. I have info on a ton of venues (including a sweet little non-denominational wedding chapel in Annandale), please feel free to leave questions in the comments section!

The caterer we picked was The Purple Onion Catering Company, based in Centreville. Bernadette is my contact there and she is just wonderful to work with. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera at the tasting so I can't share any food porn! But it was delicious, and reasonably priced, and they were (literally) the only caterers I contacted who gave me All the costs up front the first time I asked. Everyone else would give me the per person cost but not include things like staff, equipment, taxes, etc. So Frustrating! I'll have to report back after the wedding, but so far I highly recommend the Purple Onion.

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