Wedding Location with Great Food
I'm looking to hold my wedding for 150-180 people in DC next May in DC and am looking for a beautiful location with killer food. (Tall order, I know) The limitations are that it has to be in DC (fiance is a native) and that it should also let us party until later in the night (I know some places like Meridian House and Dumbarton Oaks make you shut down at 11).
We've already considered the Mandarin Oriental and the St. Regis, so if you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it and I'm open to all other suggestions.
First of all Congratulations!
Now I can't account for the food, but when I stayed at the Omni Shorham I thought "what a kickass place this would be to have a wedding!" They obviously do weddings very well, with great spaces inside and out. The rooms are quite nice, too. Great location for guests.
eta: you may want to check out the most recent Washingtonian wedding issue.
I once organized a swanky work event at the St. Regis, and it went really well. I liked the food a lot. They had some sort of lamb lollipop thing on the menu that everyone raved about. If you can get the Crystal ballroom off the lobby plus the patio, it would be great. Might be a little crowded if the weather is bad, though.
I've held many events at Kimpton properties all over the country and the staff at each location, including in the DC area have been uniformly wonderful to work with. The restaurants all do tend to be quite good, as MrsWheatie points out. I'd definitely check in and compare what they can offer.
If you feel comfortable sharing your the budget range you are looking for, it will help narrow some of the options. We got married at the Club At Franklin Square in DC and it was a great experience. The food was good but what was really nice were the facilities, price point, the staff, and the open bar.
We had about 150 at our wedding. The food was good and tasty. I don't know if it was blow your mind off wow, but I thought it was fine. The place itself was great, it had a large open area for the sit down dinner. A nice sized area for the dancing and socializing after dinner, a couple of smaller rooms so so that if there were kids, you could have a kids area, and a really neat bar area in the lower level where smokers can go and where you smoke cigars as well. It had a little something for everyone. The staff was very helpful and the were very generous with their liqour. We were only suppose to receive certain liquours, but at the event, they pretty much agreed to pour anything they had in stock (Grand Marnier, Baileys, etc..) What I heard later was that some people may have enjoyed a little too much, but that just makes for better stories the next day ;)
They also had a parking garage which they let us use, I think it there was a small fee involved as well, but not too bad for DC parking and they let us pay that so that the guests wouldn't have to deal with it. It was also nice since our there were several churches and hotels in walking distance, so there was no need to drive from church, to reception, to hotel (but I suspect this will be the case with most DC sites).
My wife spent several months searching for a place in entire greater DC area (going as far north as Baltimore and as far south as about 2 hours in VA) and we were really stressing out. This place worked out great it was really reasonably priced (actually a great bargain considering all the alcohol involved). Overall, very good exprience.
The only caveat is that I think they may have changed their ownership or management since our wedding. http://www.franklinsquareclub.com/ind.... It looks like they have 2 locations, ours was the Frankling Sq location
I think you'll probably be disappointed if you try to go for both. You'll get a great location but the food will be mediocre or the food will be great and the location won't do it justice. Kinda like finding a great restaurant with a view of the river: you can get one or the other but never both. You're best bet may be finding a nice accomodating place and working with a classy caterer to fit your needs. The DC area is loaded with them. We gave our caterer a list of the dishes we wanted, a few from our favorite local restaurants, and she did a great job reconstructing them for our crowd.