When I started this wedding planning process, I was determined to not let certain things stress me out or become difficult. Hotel rooms was one of them. I've traveled enough personally and for business that I thought I knew what I was doing. And I live here, so I'm familiar with the streets and metro stops. How hard could it be?
Well. It's pretty hard. To begin with, I've had trouble getting people on the phone from these hotels! Wedding blocks sometimes go through a hotel's event planner, sales office, or regular reservation desk. But none of them pick up the phone. And not many of them return calls. Ugh.
Right now I think it's down to three properties, and I need the advice of other DC brides. The wedding ceremony is at the Universalist National Memorial Church, at 16th and R NW. It's not confirmed yet and I don't want to blow the surprise until it's sure, but the reception will probably be a few blocks away. Both venues have parking. I think many of our guests will want to do some sightseeing while they're here, and the wedding is actually the first day of the 2010 Cherry Blossom Festival. So here we go.
Courtyard Washington Embassy Row
I was first planning to check prices at the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue. My mom has stayed there a few times and always found good prices online, I think through Expedia. It looks like the regular rates are just too high for what I want though, and there are a few conventions there that weekend. So I submitted a request online (which the lady who answered the sales line told me to do) to the Embassy Row Hilton. I've had good experiences with Hiltons but don't know anything about this one. It's very close to Dupont Circle. I haven't received a response to my online request yet, but regular rates for that weekend seem to be $170 plus $35 for parking.
I just heard back from this property. I've heard very good things about them, and even about wedding receptions there. The location is very comparable to the Hilton. The prices are $119 for a queen bed, $139 for two queens or a king. Parking is $35. If we book 95% of the block and stay there ourselves, our room will be upgraded to a suite. The block expires 4 weeks before arrival though, while the Courtyard holds it until three weeks before.
Phew - that was exhausting. Our save the date's are going out in the next few weeks and I'd like to make a decision by the time people are receiving them. I guess we have some thinking to do! Thoughts?