Mawwiage, Mawwiage Weception Is What Bwings Us Togever Today.
August 26, 2012 9:46 AM   Subscribe

What are some good restaurant/bar venues in DC to host a medium-sized reception in mid-October? It's for a low-key wedding reception for friends. Considerations are: availability of private or semi-private space that can accomodate 40-50 people, relatively inexpensive catering menu, and a huge bonus would be something that offers outdoor/rooftop space.

Ideally, something in the Logan/U Street/Dupont/Columbia Heights area would be great, but if you know something in another DC neighborhood (easily accessible by public transportation from Logan), that would be great, too.

The one request the bride made was that there be outdoor space if at all possible. I'm also open to a venue that purely provides space where we could bring in outside catering/booze. Local 16 fits the bill, except for the part about it being Local 16. Charging per hors d'oeuvre platter rather than per head is infinitely preferable. Budget is pretty tiny. A few of us are kicking in at different levels as our gift to the couple, but I don't know that we'll have more than about $750 at the high end to work with (I know).
posted by HonoriaGlossop to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Not sure about budget, but one of my favorite DC restaurants, Tabard Inn, meets a lot of the criteria. Small/medium size, Dupont location, outdoor space. Friends of mine had a small wedding there and loved it.

If she's willing to go farther afield, H Street might have decent prices.
posted by semacd at 11:25 AM on August 26, 2012

Try Sewell-Belmont House on Capitol Hill.
posted by jgirl at 12:08 PM on August 26, 2012

You can reserve a space in a public park in DC for your ceremony and reception relatively easily and cheaply. To do so, you must contact either the DC Department of Parks and Recreation or the National Park Service to obtain a permit for your event.

If you have your ceremony at 2:00 pm or 3:00 pm in the afternoon, it is reasonable to serve your guests only light refreshments such as cake, punch, fruit, and maybe cheese and crackers. This could be a more affordable option to heavy hors d'oeuvres or a meal, which are more expensive.

Costco and Walmart make reception platters, as well as wedding cakes. This could be another way to cut down on costs rather than using a caterer.

And everything from chairs and tables, to cutlery and napkins, can be rented at reasonable rates from party rental companies. You will save money by picking up the items yourself rather than having them delivered, if you are able.
posted by eviltiff at 1:00 PM on August 26, 2012

Science Club on 19th street (south of dupont) doesn't have outdoor space, but they allow you to rent out the basement or top floor for next to nothing ($100-$150) and don't charge a food and drink minimum. The owner worked with a friend of mine for a birthday party and I don't know how much it cost her in the end (she paid for food, we paid for our own booze), but it was definitely the best deal she could find.
posted by echo0720 at 2:36 PM on August 26, 2012

Given your budget, I think you want to think a little outside the box....places like the Tabbard Inn or any traditional wedding venue are going to be out of your budget. Wedding venues in DC are obscenely expensive. A picnic in a park, or on the Mall, like Eviltiff suggested? Do you have any friends with a row house and a yard? Friends in apartment buildings with roof decks and/or community rooms? What about your offices--any of you work in a building with roof or courtyard access? Do you have any friends who work at one of the churches or schools in the area? What about a breakfast wedding? Bagels & coffee & fruit salad for 50 would be probably $200-300 and then you'd have some left for reserving a space.

For bars in the area you're looking, you could call Marvin, Masa 14, El Centro, the Standard, Jack Rose, Stetson's, or the Saloon. (I know there are more; but those are places I like and I hate Local 16.) They all have outdoor space/private rooms/roof decks that you might be able to reserve cheaply if you're willing to do this at an off time like early Saturday afternoon; you may need to meet some sort of drink minimum, though. If you have a cash bar that would definitely save your budget; you're looking at a budget of $10-15/person which is not likely to cover much for food and drink.

Having just planned my own wedding, I also want to say, WOW, you are an amazing friend for doing this!
posted by min at 4:23 PM on August 26, 2012

Thanks, all. This is a party on a separate day from the wedding itself, so we have some flexibility. I'm going to look into picnics and other venues suggested. (Science Club is the go-to happy hour joint for my office, and it didn't occur to me at all. I've dealt with the owner before and he's incredibly nice. Probably good for a meetup space at some point.)
posted by HonoriaGlossop at 8:24 PM on August 27, 2012

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