Friday, July 03, 2009

The Chevy Chases find a venue: Part II

I apologize for the long delay since Part I.  I've been busy the past few weeks and spending every free moment in the evenings catching up on the day’s Wimbledon matches.

So, a quick recap: We had penciled in a date at the National Museum of Women in the Arts – a gorgeous marble hall. But, it was expensive and we didn’t have a good option for the ceremony, other than having it at the museum. So, when we finally got engaged 4 months after wehad stopped our venue search, we opened it up again.

We had initially rejected any sites that required a tent because we didn’t want to worry about it being too hot/cold, since May weather in DC can be unpredictable. But I had always imagined that I would have an outdodor wedding, and all of a sudden, we couldn’t figure out why we’d refused to consider venues with tents.

After extensive online research, we came up with two places: George Washington’s River Farm in Alexandria, and Woodend Nature Sanctuary in Chevy Chase.

The River Farm has an amazing setting on the banks of the Potomac, with a wildflower meadow and large lawns. There’s a tented patio in the back of the house, right off the ballroom. Of course, I saw the place in February just after the snow melted, but it was still pretty and didn’t take much imagination to realize how stunning it would be come spring.


Woodend has a similar setup, with a tented patio off the ballroom. I liked how at Woodend, the patio and ballroom are connected by french doors that enable the space to feel more continuous. The patio was also a little bit bigger than at the River Farm. For the ceremony, there are a few outdoor options. Most people hold their ceremony in the grove – a flat grassy area surrounded by hemlock trees.  If it’s been raining, another option is the south lawn, which is elevated a bit and has better drainage. If it rains and we have to have the ceremony in the tent, we’d hold it facing the south lawn so that our guests are looking out at the woods. So, we were happy with the different options.  For the cocktail hour, there’s a covered portico where we can set up a bar so that guests can enjoy the outdoor evening and maybe even spot some deer (I saw one when I was checking out the place!).


In the end, we went with Woodend, both because it felt “right” to us, and because the River Farm no longer had our date available.  There are lots of hotel options in Bethesda (all of which are metro accessible), and we’re close to the city, where many of our guests live.  We are really happy that we reconsidered our venue to find a place that was more “us” – not a formal ballroom but a beautiful setting where we can bring in our own style through flowers and décor.

And that, ladies (and the occasional gentleman?) is how we became the Chevy Chases.

How have you all let your venue reflect who you are as a couple?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your venue! For us, both the ceremony and reception venues have a gorgeous view of the Kanawha River in West Virginia, so we get to see all the beautiful fall foliage that WV has to offer.

Saturday, July 04, 2009 9:26:00 AM  

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