Picking a Venue:
I was absolutely overwhelmed by the wide variety of reception venues there are to choose from in the DC, Virginia, and Maryland (often referred to as DMV) area. What kind of wedding did we want?
Quaint? Like the Hendry House?
Grand? National Museum of Woman in the Arts?
Modern? Torpedo Factory Art Center?
I just didn’t know!
With so many choices, I thought I’d never be able to decide, but I found visiting the venues really helpful. It’s one thing to look at places online and it’s a whole different to see it in person. By going to a venue, we were able to find out the details (like cost and space), which sometimes completely eliminated a choice from our list because of our budget and size.
Ironically, we did not find out venue looking at venues!
We found it attending a bridal show! After checking out various venues one Saturday, we headed to our first ever bridal show. I was so excited, because I had never been to know and was dying to see what they were all about!
When we pulled into the parking lot of Oxon Hill Manor, I told Mr. Brooch, "By the way, this place is a venue. People have weddings here!" I spoke those words with no sort of motive or inkling that we were going to fall in love with the place...
Not two steps out of the car, Mr. Brooch turns to me and says, "This is my dream house!" We walked into the foyer and even though there was a lot going on (dozens of vendors, lots of people, and music playing) we stood in awe. We couldn't believe our eyes! This place is gorgeous!!
We weren't there 10 minutes before we turned to each other and confessed how impressed we were. Big wide open doors in the dining room beckoned us outside and that's when were really swept off our feet! We were stunned by the gigantic patio with gardens all around, trees in the distance surrounding the property, and a view of the Potomac river! We didn't need to say much to each other because we know the other's sentiment - this is it!
We put our excitement to the side and continued walking around to talk to different vendors. We fell in love with a crab dip from Putting on the Ritz Catering and really enjoyed talking to their rep. I was having a ball, tasting cakes and talking to various florists.
Eventually, I picked up a packet for the house and we braced ourselves...
We thought for sure this place was going to cost more than we could afford! To our surprise (and giggling excitement), it was a lot cheaper than many of the other venues we've seen and researched! It was comparable, for sure, which was a huge relief. So many places we researched were automatically ruled out because of the cost, this a good sign!
I told Mr. Brooch, "I have to see the bridal suite," which was advertised in the brochure. We inquired about it, and were pointed down the hallway to a windy staircase (with a beautiful rod iron handle) and I tell you no lie--I cried when I got to the top of those steps!
It sounds cliché, but I became so overwhelmed with joy and excitement that tears literally streamed down my face! I loved the elegance of the room. It wasn't too big, but wasn't too small. There is a couch, two chairs, a long mirror, nice bathroom, and best of all, a window view to the patio! Everything I'd wanted. I started crying even harder and sobbing to Mr. Brooch when I realized they had tissues on the coffee table.
"They even have tissues!!!" I said.
It was a moment I'll never forget. One of those moments you read about, but don't quite grasp. It felt real. This wedding thing, this getting married thing, just felt very real and very exciting all at one time. It was beautiful! It was magical! I can't wait until the day I step back into that room!
Check out these pictures of the venue (there's lots more on the way!):
One last thing!
For me no venue considerations are complete without a look at a few real weddings! Through a quick online search, I discovered a ton of gorgeous and diverse weddings that took place at Oxon Hill. Have you searched for pictures of real weddings at your venue? I highly recommend it!
Man, I have to take a deep breath looking through these pictures because I get so excited!! Especially this last photo! That's the moment every girl waits for!
How did you decide on your venue?
Did you find it by accident?