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Posts Tagged ‘catering’

So, with the Sewall-Belmont House out, i hit the Internet again. This time i was looking for a place that would definitely hold our (rapidly swelling) guest list for both a ceremony and a reception. After having learned about the complications of catering at a place with no real kitchen facilities (and reading about how much caterers charge!), i switched the focus to more inclusive venues.

Enter the City Club at Franklin Square. I found this place on the DC Knot Boards, i think, and it has an awful lot to recommend it. The City Club is a private club that’s closed on weekends; they only book one event a day, so you know you’re not going to be crashing somebody else’s wedding if you show up early to get ready. There’s a site fee and a $6,000 minimum for food (not including a service charge and tax), but that amount includes hors d’oeuvres, dinner, an open bar for the reception, AND wine at dinner. The fee allows you access to the site ALL DAY, which is pretty awesome, and they have separate rooms you can use as a bridal suite, a gift room, and a kids’ room (complete with DVD player).

The City Club shares a building with several offices and, like, a convenience store, which is both good and bad. It’s good because you get to have your ceremony in this gorgeous space they call the Atrium (which is the lobby for the whole building, not just the City Club). The walls are beautiful, and the floor kills me with its awesomeness. If you’re looking for a more formal ceremony, this is a great space, with the tall columns, too. However, the aforementioned door to the convenience store opens directly into the Atrium, so you have to put up a screen to cover the views of coffee stands and Fritos displays. There are also giant screens at either end of the Atrium that host ads and office-locator-thingys; they’re turned off on the weekends, as i understand, but it was recommended that you get screens to place in front of them so as not to have guests wondering why you’re featuring giant LCD screens at either end of your aisle.

The dinner is also held in the Atrium, which is flipped from ceremony to dining set-up during the cocktail hour. Usually the Parkview Room inside the club is the room you’d go with for cocktails; it looks fairly formal and traditional, with heavy chairs and dramatic doors. The wall on the right is mostly windows, if memory serves, which look over Franklin Square. It’s lovely, but it has a very masculine feel, if that makes sense. After you’ve had your cocktail hour in the Parkview Room, you move back out into the Atrium for dinner. While everyone is eating, they re-set the Parkview Room for after-dinner dancing, drinking, and assorted shenanigans.

Overall, the City Club at Franklin Square offered us the best value for the money, both in terms of actual dollars but also in perks like being able to come to the venue as early on the day as we wanted without worrying about paying extra or getting in anyone’s way. And Cassandra, the events manager, is completely fantastic. It just … didn’t feel like us. When we left, Joe turned to me in genuine surprise and said, “I didn’t think you wanted something so formal.” As it turns out, i really didn’t — we’re just not really formal people, and although i think A wedding would be beautiful (and thrifty!) at the City Club, it wasn’t right for OUR wedding.

Stay tuned … i promise only a few more posts until i show you where we ended up!

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