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Carlyle House

Alexandria , VA

LOCATION

121 N. Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA US 22314 (map)
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ABOUT US

Thank you for considering the Carlyle House Historic Park for your event. This historic mansion, with its exquisite gardens, offers a stately setting for your wedding ceremony and/or... Read more
Thank you for considering the Carlyle House Historic Park for your event. This historic mansion, with its exquisite gardens, offers a stately setting for your wedding ceremony and/or reception.

Carlyle House offers a unique historic ambience. When Scottish merchant John Carlyle built his home in 1753, it was the grandest mansion in the new town of Alexandria. Carlyle, a founder of Alexandria, once entertained such luminaries as George Washington and Lord Fairfax. Today, you can recapture the timeless elegance of this rich history in an evening reception at Carlyle House.

Carlyle House is located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria—only two blocks from the majestic Potomac River and within minutes of Old Town’s many specialty shops and antique stores.

The museum's tented Magnolia Terrace is available for late afternoon and evening rentals April 1 through October 31.

Maximum capacity is 100 people. The property is wheelchair accessible.

Events take place on the tented Magnolia Terrace overlooking the lovely gardens and the 18th-century style summerhouse. The mansion is open for tours during your function.

No amplified music, DJ’s, or singers with microphones allowed.

The Carlyle House staff will assist you in designing a unique event. For more information or to arrange a rental tour, please call 703-549-2997. Read less
Wedding Venue

PHOTOS

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REVIEWS

3.9
out of 5.0
4.2/5.0
4.0/5.0
3.8/5.0
4.1/5.0
3.4/5.0
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summer
Wedding:
6/28/2014
5.0/5.0
This was the PERFECT venue for our outdoor wedding! It didn't rain but they had set up the canopy just in case. The garden was perfect. The staff was very professional and helpful with everything. The won't let you toss anything unless you want to sweep it up so that was a let down but we went with bubbles. It was VERY cheap considering the area. We just did our ceremony there for $700 with a $500 sec deposit that you get back.
This was the PERFECT venue for our outdoor wedding! It didn't rain but they had set up the canopy just in case. The garden Read more...
This was the PERFECT venue for our outdoor wedding! It didn't rain but they had set up the canopy just in case. The garden was perfect. The staff was very professional and helpful with everything. The won't let you toss anything unless you want to sweep it up so that was a let down but we went with bubbles. It was VERY cheap considering the area. We just did our ceremony there for $700 with a $500 sec deposit that you get back. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
2.0/5.0
We had a beautiful wedding at the Carlyle House, despite the staff and volunteers.

The gardens are lovely and made a beautiful backdrop to our outdoor wedding.

However...
Mind you, we had a contract to use the space until 6:00 p.m.

Our wedding was to take place at 5:00. At 4:00 we were in the gardens for our first look and family photos. In the middle of family photos, a volunteer of the house disrupted the occasion to demand that we were off the land by 5:30 because she had a personal commitment. She spoke harshly to our families and vendors and the groom had to stop taking photos to discuss the issue with the manager and volunteer; coming to no conclusion. I've since heard that the volunteer also stopped our guests as they entered the space to tell them they had to be gone by 5:30. With a contract stating we had paid to use the space until 6, this should not have been an issue at all. It was handled unprofessionally, disrupted and caused stressed for all involved an hour before the ceremony, and set quite an unwelcoming tone for our guests.

We had other issues with the staff late in the planning process due to lack of communication and ability to accommodate. They made changes to the terrace without notification (we learned through a 3rd party) and were unwilling to assist us in resolving our concerns without major fees. As a result, the week of the wedding, we moved the ceremony location to the gazebo and had to spend additional funds to correct the issue (and lose money spent on our original plans). On the day of, the manager told the groom that having now seen the space, she understood why we were unhappy with the changes they had made (to little too late) but did nothing else to resolve the poor service we received.

Again, in the end, everything was fine and looked just lovely; but if you're looking for a venue that is helpful, accommodating, and stress free...this isn't it.
We had a beautiful wedding at the Carlyle House, despite the staff and volunteers.

The gardens are lovely and Read more...
We had a beautiful wedding at the Carlyle House, despite the staff and volunteers.

The gardens are lovely and made a beautiful backdrop to our outdoor wedding.

However...
Mind you, we had a contract to use the space until 6:00 p.m.

Our wedding was to take place at 5:00. At 4:00 we were in the gardens for our first look and family photos. In the middle of family photos, a volunteer of the house disrupted the occasion to demand that we were off the land by 5:30 because she had a personal commitment. She spoke harshly to our families and vendors and the groom had to stop taking photos to discuss the issue with the manager and volunteer; coming to no conclusion. I've since heard that the volunteer also stopped our guests as they entered the space to tell them they had to be gone by 5:30. With a contract stating we had paid to use the space until 6, this should not have been an issue at all. It was handled unprofessionally, disrupted and caused stressed for all involved an hour before the ceremony, and set quite an unwelcoming tone for our guests.

We had other issues with the staff late in the planning process due to lack of communication and ability to accommodate. They made changes to the terrace without notification (we learned through a 3rd party) and were unwilling to assist us in resolving our concerns without major fees. As a result, the week of the wedding, we moved the ceremony location to the gazebo and had to spend additional funds to correct the issue (and lose money spent on our original plans). On the day of, the manager told the groom that having now seen the space, she understood why we were unhappy with the changes they had made (to little too late) but did nothing else to resolve the poor service we received.

Again, in the end, everything was fine and looked just lovely; but if you're looking for a venue that is helpful, accommodating, and stress free...this isn't it. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Leslie
Wedding:
5/4/2014
4.8/5.0
Great venue for our outdoor wedding. We even had a built in rain location on the terrace in case of rain. They don't provide any extras, just the space, but we wanted a low key wedding and it turned out perfect. And the backdrop in front of the blue door in the garden was beautiful. Many comments from guest about the look and feel of the place. The volunteers/staff who were assigned to us during our event (to keep others out of the garden) were very nice. Had a bit of a hiccup starting the wedding (forgot the wedding licence) so they were nice enough to let me hide behind the gift shop inside while we waited. Would choose this site again if I had to do it over! The contract is pretty strict about noise and outside vendors but I found they were more flexible than they first came across once we spoke a few times.
Great venue for our outdoor wedding. We even had a built in rain location on the terrace in case of rain. They don't Read more...
Great venue for our outdoor wedding. We even had a built in rain location on the terrace in case of rain. They don't provide any extras, just the space, but we wanted a low key wedding and it turned out perfect. And the backdrop in front of the blue door in the garden was beautiful. Many comments from guest about the look and feel of the place. The volunteers/staff who were assigned to us during our event (to keep others out of the garden) were very nice. Had a bit of a hiccup starting the wedding (forgot the wedding licence) so they were nice enough to let me hide behind the gift shop inside while we waited. Would choose this site again if I had to do it over! The contract is pretty strict about noise and outside vendors but I found they were more flexible than they first came across once we spoke a few times. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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l
Wedding:
9/20/2013
3.9/5.0
Carlyle House is a beautiful setting. However, it was rather expensive as the fee only provides the space. We had to bring in everything (from the dance floor, tables, chairs for both the ceremony and reception). any bar service had to be contracted through them which turned out okay because the 2 bartenders were great! They also have a very strict no DJ, no amplifier, no microphone policy. That being said, the staff was wonderful to work with and were very friendly and nice. It was a difficult venue to work with, but the people were by and large nice.
Carlyle House is a beautiful setting. However, it was rather expensive as the fee only provides the space. We had to bring Read more...
Carlyle House is a beautiful setting. However, it was rather expensive as the fee only provides the space. We had to bring in everything (from the dance floor, tables, chairs for both the ceremony and reception). any bar service had to be contracted through them which turned out okay because the 2 bartenders were great! They also have a very strict no DJ, no amplifier, no microphone policy. That being said, the staff was wonderful to work with and were very friendly and nice. It was a difficult venue to work with, but the people were by and large nice. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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meghan
Wedding:
9/14/2013
1.1/5.0
We had our wedding ceremony on the back patio of the Carlyle House and it was gorgeous, but the planning was painful. Spring-early Nov the patio is covered by an old, stained, rusty tent that makes a beautiful space look run down, dark, & crummy. My husband, his parents, & I went to visit the venue and spoke w 2 people a year before the wedding. We asked if the tent could be taken down for our ceremony. Both people said yes and we booked the space. I went over there 6 weeks before our wedding to confirm details. Confirming that the tent would come down, they said no. I spoke directly with the woman with whom we had the initial conversation. She said we never had the conversation & she never would have agreed to that. On top of taking back a promise they previously made, they also implied that my husband, and his parents, and I were all either lying or all 4 of us completely misunderstood what happened. I told them I'd paid to take down the tent. They said no & offered to refund my money. At 6 weeks to our wedding, that wouldn’t work. I called the director of the Carlyle House. She did not return my phone call, but rather had another person return the call the following day. Again they offered no solutions, no apologies, nothing. I asked how much a new tent would cost to see if just buying a new tent would be a better option. They said no to that. Later another woman mentioned that a bride had paid to have the tent draped. 4 weeks before our wedding we determined that at a cost of $1800 we needed to drape the dilapidated tent that we had previously been told would be removed. We confirmed we'd be able to wait for the ceremony to begin in the foyer of the house. On the day of, we were told we weren't allowed to wait in the foyer of the house. My wedding planner resolved that. The ceremony rental is 2 hours, so I had to pay extra to have our vendors work within the timeframe. Everything was difficult, but it was beautiful.
We had our wedding ceremony on the back patio of the Carlyle House and it was gorgeous, but the planning was painful. Read more...
We had our wedding ceremony on the back patio of the Carlyle House and it was gorgeous, but the planning was painful. Spring-early Nov the patio is covered by an old, stained, rusty tent that makes a beautiful space look run down, dark, & crummy. My husband, his parents, & I went to visit the venue and spoke w 2 people a year before the wedding. We asked if the tent could be taken down for our ceremony. Both people said yes and we booked the space. I went over there 6 weeks before our wedding to confirm details. Confirming that the tent would come down, they said no. I spoke directly with the woman with whom we had the initial conversation. She said we never had the conversation & she never would have agreed to that. On top of taking back a promise they previously made, they also implied that my husband, and his parents, and I were all either lying or all 4 of us completely misunderstood what happened. I told them I'd paid to take down the tent. They said no & offered to refund my money. At 6 weeks to our wedding, that wouldn’t work. I called the director of the Carlyle House. She did not return my phone call, but rather had another person return the call the following day. Again they offered no solutions, no apologies, nothing. I asked how much a new tent would cost to see if just buying a new tent would be a better option. They said no to that. Later another woman mentioned that a bride had paid to have the tent draped. 4 weeks before our wedding we determined that at a cost of $1800 we needed to drape the dilapidated tent that we had previously been told would be removed. We confirmed we'd be able to wait for the ceremony to begin in the foyer of the house. On the day of, we were told we weren't allowed to wait in the foyer of the house. My wedding planner resolved that. The ceremony rental is 2 hours, so I had to pay extra to have our vendors work within the timeframe. Everything was difficult, but it was beautiful. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Rebeccah
Wedding:
6/8/2013
4.0/5.0
The Carlyle House was a beautiful wedding venue! We had a ceremony with about 75 guests on the front lawn. I am ultimately very pleased with my wedding ceremony and am glad it was at the Carlyle House. Everyone I worked with throughout the booking process was very kind although slightly difficult to get in touch with. The biggest hiccup was then the wedding coordinator went on maternity leave. I was not notified or given a new point of contact at the Carlyle House which made planning difficult.

While a beautiful venue, the Carlyle House is a very finicky venue. They are very strict about all stipulations in the contract which had more implications than I first realized. For example, you only have the Carlyle House for 2 hours. None of your things (flowers, chairs, etc.) can be there before your time and must be gone by then end of two hours. I had to pay additional fees with some of my vendors to secure such a quick turn around time. Also, the Carlyle House is serious about no amplified sound. This was generally fine, however I really wish our officiant could have used a microphone because with the street traffic the ceremony could be hard to hear.
The Carlyle House was a beautiful wedding venue! We had a ceremony with about 75 guests on the front lawn. I am ultimately Read more...
The Carlyle House was a beautiful wedding venue! We had a ceremony with about 75 guests on the front lawn. I am ultimately very pleased with my wedding ceremony and am glad it was at the Carlyle House. Everyone I worked with throughout the booking process was very kind although slightly difficult to get in touch with. The biggest hiccup was then the wedding coordinator went on maternity leave. I was not notified or given a new point of contact at the Carlyle House which made planning difficult.

While a beautiful venue, the Carlyle House is a very finicky venue. They are very strict about all stipulations in the contract which had more implications than I first realized. For example, you only have the Carlyle House for 2 hours. None of your things (flowers, chairs, etc.) can be there before your time and must be gone by then end of two hours. I had to pay additional fees with some of my vendors to secure such a quick turn around time. Also, the Carlyle House is serious about no amplified sound. This was generally fine, however I really wish our officiant could have used a microphone because with the street traffic the ceremony could be hard to hear. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Susan
Wedding:
6/2/2012
5.0/5.0
We used the garden at the Carlyle House for the ceremony. It's a perfect setting for a smaller outdoor wedding. A big plus is the covered portico that is available at no extra charge in clase of rain.
We used the garden at the Carlyle House for the ceremony. It's a perfect setting for a smaller outdoor wedding. A big plus Read more...
We used the garden at the Carlyle House for the ceremony. It's a perfect setting for a smaller outdoor wedding. A big plus is the covered portico that is available at no extra charge in clase of rain. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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MLS716
Wedding:
10/7/2011
2.6/5.0
Roxana was extremely unresponsive to emails after we gave our initial deposit. Up until then, she was friendly and accommodating. I thought nothing of it as I've experienced unresponsive vendors in the past and went through other avenues to get answers to my questions.

On my wedding day, Roxana was very rude and disrespectful to me and my guests.

She also told some of my guests that they would not be allowed to use the bathroom while tours going in progress. Really?

The garden itself was a beautiful setting and if it hadn't been for my experience with Roxana, I would give this venue a higher rating. She was terrible to deal with and her behavior on my wedding day was inexcusable and unwarranted.

The other staff members were very nice.
Roxana was extremely unresponsive to emails after we gave our initial deposit. Up until then, she was friendly and Read more...
Roxana was extremely unresponsive to emails after we gave our initial deposit. Up until then, she was friendly and accommodating. I thought nothing of it as I've experienced unresponsive vendors in the past and went through other avenues to get answers to my questions.

On my wedding day, Roxana was very rude and disrespectful to me and my guests.

She also told some of my guests that they would not be allowed to use the bathroom while tours going in progress. Really?

The garden itself was a beautiful setting and if it hadn't been for my experience with Roxana, I would give this venue a higher rating. She was terrible to deal with and her behavior on my wedding day was inexcusable and unwarranted.

The other staff members were very nice. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Carlyle House responded with the following comments:

On behalf of Carlyle House, I would like to apologize for the negative experience you had. Based on your feedback, we have worked with Roxana to correct the behavior. We appreciate your positive review of the other staff. From now on the other staff will be playing a bigger role in the management of rentals and we don't anticipate any problems going forward. Thank you for your valuable feedback.
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Juliana
Wedding:
9/17/2011
5.0/5.0
We had our ceremony here. It was a beautiful setting, and the staff were accommodating and easy to work with. We were very pleased!
We had our ceremony here. It was a beautiful setting, and the staff were accommodating and easy to work with. We were very Read more...
We had our ceremony here. It was a beautiful setting, and the staff were accommodating and easy to work with. We were very pleased! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jennibee
Wedding:
9/25/2010
4.4/5.0
My reception here was perfection. Roxana was easy to work with, answered all my questions, and was upfront about any costs/restrictions they had. The garden is gorgeous, and we used the gazebo as our receiving area. The terrace is not a huge space, but for our party (open-house reception, 140 guests but NOT all at once) it was perfect. You can't have any amped music here, and the lighting doesn't extend into the garden. So this worked perfectly for our quieter party, with strings of little white lights to give it a very romantic feel. It's not the place to host a huge, rockin party, but if you are looking for a gorgeous outdoor venue with a magical feel to it, you found it. Loved working with the staff too. Highly recommend.
My reception here was perfection. Roxana was easy to work with, answered all my questions, and was upfront about any Read more...
My reception here was perfection. Roxana was easy to work with, answered all my questions, and was upfront about any costs/restrictions they had. The garden is gorgeous, and we used the gazebo as our receiving area. The terrace is not a huge space, but for our party (open-house reception, 140 guests but NOT all at once) it was perfect. You can't have any amped music here, and the lighting doesn't extend into the garden. So this worked perfectly for our quieter party, with strings of little white lights to give it a very romantic feel. It's not the place to host a huge, rockin party, but if you are looking for a gorgeous outdoor venue with a magical feel to it, you found it. Loved working with the staff too. Highly recommend. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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tracystuba
Wedding:
11/1/2009
5.0/5.0
We were married in the outside garden of the Carlyle House. We had a sweet and simple ceremony under the gazebo. It was beautiful. We had 0 guest just us a best man and made of honor. I did go all out on my wedding gown and he were a hansome suit. It was perfect.
We were married in the outside garden of the Carlyle House. We had a sweet and simple ceremony under the gazebo. It was Read more...
We were married in the outside garden of the Carlyle House. We had a sweet and simple ceremony under the gazebo. It was beautiful. We had 0 guest just us a best man and made of honor. I did go all out on my wedding gown and he were a hansome suit. It was perfect. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue

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121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA 22314 See On Map
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