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Carnegie Institution of Washington

Washington , DC

LOCATION

1530 P Street NW
Washington, DC US 20005 (map)

PHONE

202-939-1139

WEBSITE

View website
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ABOUT US

The Carnegie Institution’s Administration building was constructed between 1908 and 1909 and conveniently located along historic 16th Street. It is an elegant backdrop for your Wedding... Read more
The Carnegie Institution’s Administration building was constructed between 1908 and 1909 and conveniently located along historic 16th Street. It is an elegant backdrop for your Wedding and Reception. Our Reception area features a Ballroom and beautiful Rotunda with a spiral staircase. The space can be viewed by appointment. Read less
Wedding Venue

PHOTOS

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REVIEWS

4.9
out of 5.0
4.9/5.0
5.0/5.0
4.9/5.0
4.8/5.0
4.8/5.0
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Emma
Wedding:
7/5/2014
4.9/5.0
We had a fantastic wedding reception at Carnegie and are so happy we picked it as our venue location. While it was a bit more expensive than other venues we were looking at, the incredible beauty of the place made it well worth the money for us. We also had a great time working with Becky - she was responsive, kind and accommodating throughout the entire process. Our caterer had worked at Carnegie before and it made the whole process incredibly seamless. We're so happy we ended up at Carnegie and cannot wait to see the pictures!
We had a fantastic wedding reception at Carnegie and are so happy we picked it as our venue location. While it was a bit Read more...
We had a fantastic wedding reception at Carnegie and are so happy we picked it as our venue location. While it was a bit more expensive than other venues we were looking at, the incredible beauty of the place made it well worth the money for us. We also had a great time working with Becky - she was responsive, kind and accommodating throughout the entire process. Our caterer had worked at Carnegie before and it made the whole process incredibly seamless. We're so happy we ended up at Carnegie and cannot wait to see the pictures! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Denise
Wedding:
6/7/2014
4.8/5.0
On June 7,2014 I had my ceremony and reception at the Carnegie and couldn't have picked a better place. One word i would use to describe this location is regal - which is what some of our guest told us after the wedding. I initially worked with Alexis but she took a different position and we continued with Ana. Both ladies were a pleasure to work with and answered all my questions with easy and accommodated my many requests. The venue allows you full use of about 5 rooms - each room is elegant and breathtaking. I loved the idea of having our wedding in a more non-traditional location beside the usual catering hall. The rental fee is the best for the location - I researched about 100 places and they wanted outrageous fees. Carnegie was well within our budget and worth every penny. The space is limited for head count and can only hold about 150 people but that worked for us. We had a photobooth, dedication table, candy bar, cigar bar etc - we made use of every space and it turned out wonderful. The table and chairs are included with the rental however we opted to rent our own chairs. We received nothing but compliments (still are!) on our wedding and I'm sure it's in part due to the beautiful location we selected. A few things to note if you select this location - google the date and make sure there isn't a big event happening in DC on that day! there was actually a parade which was directly on the street of the building - police blocked off many streets leading to the building which made it very difficult for our guests to get to the ceremony. I do wish someone at Carnegie would have informed us but I figure they didn't know either since we didn't know until we saw the parade go by! Secondly, the dinner space best accommodates a plated meal - which is what we went with. It would be a bit tight to have a buffet.
On June 7,2014 I had my ceremony and reception at the Carnegie and couldn't have picked a better place. One word i would Read more...
On June 7,2014 I had my ceremony and reception at the Carnegie and couldn't have picked a better place. One word i would use to describe this location is regal - which is what some of our guest told us after the wedding. I initially worked with Alexis but she took a different position and we continued with Ana. Both ladies were a pleasure to work with and answered all my questions with easy and accommodated my many requests. The venue allows you full use of about 5 rooms - each room is elegant and breathtaking. I loved the idea of having our wedding in a more non-traditional location beside the usual catering hall. The rental fee is the best for the location - I researched about 100 places and they wanted outrageous fees. Carnegie was well within our budget and worth every penny. The space is limited for head count and can only hold about 150 people but that worked for us. We had a photobooth, dedication table, candy bar, cigar bar etc - we made use of every space and it turned out wonderful. The table and chairs are included with the rental however we opted to rent our own chairs. We received nothing but compliments (still are!) on our wedding and I'm sure it's in part due to the beautiful location we selected. A few things to note if you select this location - google the date and make sure there isn't a big event happening in DC on that day! there was actually a parade which was directly on the street of the building - police blocked off many streets leading to the building which made it very difficult for our guests to get to the ceremony. I do wish someone at Carnegie would have informed us but I figure they didn't know either since we didn't know until we saw the parade go by! Secondly, the dinner space best accommodates a plated meal - which is what we went with. It would be a bit tight to have a buffet. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Maya
Wedding:
5/24/2014
4.4/5.0
My husband and I held both our ceremony and reception at the Carnegie on Saturday, May 24, 2014. When we began our search for a venue we wanted a venue that was “DC”, but also could accommodate approximately 120 guests and would be convenient for both local and out of town guests. After searching through the many hotels, museums, restaurants, and other venues in D.C. we decided on Carnegie as it was not only elegant, but accommodated all our other requirements in addition to being well priced in comparison.

Price: $5,200 Base Cost for 8 hours of use of the Ballroom, Rotunda, Boardroom, Mayor Room, Library and Portico with access to the Kitchen. Use and Access to the Portico is an Additional $800. Additional hours if booked in advance are $300 & if holding your event on a holiday or holiday weekend there is an additional 15% fee.

Pros:
• Becky, our liaison at Carnegie, was extremely friendly, responsive, and accommodating
• No Vendor Restrictions
• Temperature is adjusted as appropriate
• You can bring your own alcohol (no restriction on red wine) – we used ACE Beverage who we highly recommend
• Rotunda works great for ceremony (sat 110 chavari chairs comfortably), dance floor, and band acoustics

Cons:
• TINY kitchen with VERY limited refrigeration
• Must Rent Everything - Although Carnegie has a number of round and rectangular tables available (no cocktail high tops), you must rent chairs (if you want Chavari) tablecloths, glasses, etc.
• 8 Space Parking Lot – If you need additional spots for vendors you will need to purchase parking permits for the meters located in front and on the side of the building
• No bathroom on the 2nd floor – Bathrooms only available on the 1st and 3rd floors, however, there is an elevator
• Rotunda must be mopped after use typically causing a late departure for vendors (i.e. $ taken out of deposit)
• No outdoor grass space
My husband and I held both our ceremony and reception at the Carnegie on Saturday, May 24, 2014. When we began our search Read more...
My husband and I held both our ceremony and reception at the Carnegie on Saturday, May 24, 2014. When we began our search for a venue we wanted a venue that was “DC”, but also could accommodate approximately 120 guests and would be convenient for both local and out of town guests. After searching through the many hotels, museums, restaurants, and other venues in D.C. we decided on Carnegie as it was not only elegant, but accommodated all our other requirements in addition to being well priced in comparison.

Price: $5,200 Base Cost for 8 hours of use of the Ballroom, Rotunda, Boardroom, Mayor Room, Library and Portico with access to the Kitchen. Use and Access to the Portico is an Additional $800. Additional hours if booked in advance are $300 & if holding your event on a holiday or holiday weekend there is an additional 15% fee.

Pros:
• Becky, our liaison at Carnegie, was extremely friendly, responsive, and accommodating
• No Vendor Restrictions
• Temperature is adjusted as appropriate
• You can bring your own alcohol (no restriction on red wine) – we used ACE Beverage who we highly recommend
• Rotunda works great for ceremony (sat 110 chavari chairs comfortably), dance floor, and band acoustics

Cons:
• TINY kitchen with VERY limited refrigeration
• Must Rent Everything - Although Carnegie has a number of round and rectangular tables available (no cocktail high tops), you must rent chairs (if you want Chavari) tablecloths, glasses, etc.
• 8 Space Parking Lot – If you need additional spots for vendors you will need to purchase parking permits for the meters located in front and on the side of the building
• No bathroom on the 2nd floor – Bathrooms only available on the 1st and 3rd floors, however, there is an elevator
• Rotunda must be mopped after use typically causing a late departure for vendors (i.e. $ taken out of deposit)
• No outdoor grass space Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Nicky
Wedding:
5/10/2014
5.0/5.0
Amazing venue, with great photo opportunities! Only warning I would give brides is that it can get hot QUICK if it's warm out - the AC was playing catch up the remainder of the night after our cocktail hour with people propping open the side doors to go outside. Becky was amazing to work with and very prompt with her responses. She was also very flexible when we needed to make vendor visits.
Amazing venue, with great photo opportunities! Only warning I would give brides is that it can get hot QUICK if it's warm Read more...
Amazing venue, with great photo opportunities! Only warning I would give brides is that it can get hot QUICK if it's warm out - the AC was playing catch up the remainder of the night after our cocktail hour with people propping open the side doors to go outside. Becky was amazing to work with and very prompt with her responses. She was also very flexible when we needed to make vendor visits. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
4.7/5.0
Fantastic venue. Very accommodating, and everyone was awed by how beautiful the setting was. The staff was very professional and delivered on their promises. Highly recommend this venue.
Fantastic venue. Very accommodating, and everyone was awed by how beautiful the setting was. The staff was very Read more...
Fantastic venue. Very accommodating, and everyone was awed by how beautiful the setting was. The staff was very professional and delivered on their promises. Highly recommend this venue. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Leah
Wedding:
5/7/2014
5.0/5.0
I didn't have a wedding at the Carnegie Institution for Science but I did have a fundraising event that was a cocktail reception and seated dinner. However, the venue is extremely conducive to weddings. The rotunda and ballroom are fabulous! I would highly recommend this venue to anyone who asks.
I didn't have a wedding at the Carnegie Institution for Science but I did have a fundraising event that was a cocktail Read more...
I didn't have a wedding at the Carnegie Institution for Science but I did have a fundraising event that was a cocktail reception and seated dinner. However, the venue is extremely conducive to weddings. The rotunda and ballroom are fabulous! I would highly recommend this venue to anyone who asks. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Private User
Wedding:
4/11/2014
5.0/5.0
The Carnegie Institution for Science is hands down the best place for an intimate wedding and reception, all in one place! It is grand on a small scale, perfect for 80-150 guests. Becky and the rest of the staff are responsive before and during the event and willing to work creatively with vendors to make any bride's vision for her wedding a reality. We LOVED getting married at Carnegie.
The Carnegie Institution for Science is hands down the best place for an intimate wedding and reception, all in one place! Read more...
The Carnegie Institution for Science is hands down the best place for an intimate wedding and reception, all in one place! It is grand on a small scale, perfect for 80-150 guests. Becky and the rest of the staff are responsive before and during the event and willing to work creatively with vendors to make any bride's vision for her wedding a reality. We LOVED getting married at Carnegie. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Erin
Wedding:
3/1/2014
5.0/5.0
So glad we chose the Carnegie for our wedding! It was love at first sight; such an elegant and grand setting that worked perfectly for our small-ish wedding of 110 guests. Becky and all the Carnegie staff worked seamlessly with our wedding planner and were always helpful, responsive and professional.

The Carnegie is such a unique venue and our guests were blown away by the architecture and historic details. We chose to have our ceremony in the round and received so many compliments on the set-up. The photos we took on the portico are especially breathtaking! Just make sure to book well in advance, it is so worth it!
So glad we chose the Carnegie for our wedding! It was love at first sight; such an elegant and grand setting that worked Read more...
So glad we chose the Carnegie for our wedding! It was love at first sight; such an elegant and grand setting that worked perfectly for our small-ish wedding of 110 guests. Becky and all the Carnegie staff worked seamlessly with our wedding planner and were always helpful, responsive and professional.

The Carnegie is such a unique venue and our guests were blown away by the architecture and historic details. We chose to have our ceremony in the round and received so many compliments on the set-up. The photos we took on the portico are especially breathtaking! Just make sure to book well in advance, it is so worth it! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
Recently Married
5.0/5.0
The Carnegie is simply a spectacular venue and the team there could not be nicer and more responsive. The best part about the venue is that it is so elegant you can get away with adding very little to it and it still shines and wows the guests.
The Carnegie is simply a spectacular venue and the team there could not be nicer and more responsive. The best part about Read more...
The Carnegie is simply a spectacular venue and the team there could not be nicer and more responsive. The best part about the venue is that it is so elegant you can get away with adding very little to it and it still shines and wows the guests. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Clarice
Wedding:
10/18/2013
5.0/5.0
I had a dream wedding-- and it was in large part to being married in a dream building. Booking the Carnegie Institution was the FIRST thing I did as a newly engaged bride. The staff, notably, Becky-- helped me set everything up with such ease. I fell in love with the venue and had dreams of walking down the spiral staircase. Becky and the Carnegie Institution made it possible and all of our out of town guests had so much fun and said they had never seen such an amazing/beautiful venue! Thanks, Becky!
I had a dream wedding-- and it was in large part to being married in a dream building. Booking the Carnegie Institution Read more...
I had a dream wedding-- and it was in large part to being married in a dream building. Booking the Carnegie Institution was the FIRST thing I did as a newly engaged bride. The staff, notably, Becky-- helped me set everything up with such ease. I fell in love with the venue and had dreams of walking down the spiral staircase. Becky and the Carnegie Institution made it possible and all of our out of town guests had so much fun and said they had never seen such an amazing/beautiful venue! Thanks, Becky! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Tina
Wedding:
10/4/2013
5.0/5.0
We absolutely loved this venue and received countless compliments on our wedding night of how beautiful, unique, and perfect it was!

Becky and Amanda at the Carnegie were so helpful with everything from providing measurements so I could buy decor, providing recommendations, support with meeting vendors at the venue for walk throughs, and assistance with storage the day before the wedding. They are very professional and helpful!

The space itself is simply gorgeous and cannot be beat when it comes to price and beauty in the DC area. Comparable venues that we saw cost nearly double.

We paid extra to use the main doors and purchased an extra hour as the base package of 4 hours was too short since we held our ceremony there as well. If using the Carnegie for your ceremony, definitely have your chairs set up in a circular pattern. It was intimate, beautiful and my guests were raving that it was the best venue they had ever been to. The bride's suite is an upstairs library which is perfect for unique photos and allows you to peek downstairs at everyone coming in!

We booked this venue over a year in advance and had to settle for a Friday date since it books so quickly on Saturdays but it was totally worth it and I would not have changed a thing! Thanks, Carnegie staff for maintaining such a gorgeous piece of DC!
We absolutely loved this venue and received countless compliments on our wedding night of how beautiful, unique, and Read more...
We absolutely loved this venue and received countless compliments on our wedding night of how beautiful, unique, and perfect it was!

Becky and Amanda at the Carnegie were so helpful with everything from providing measurements so I could buy decor, providing recommendations, support with meeting vendors at the venue for walk throughs, and assistance with storage the day before the wedding. They are very professional and helpful!

The space itself is simply gorgeous and cannot be beat when it comes to price and beauty in the DC area. Comparable venues that we saw cost nearly double.

We paid extra to use the main doors and purchased an extra hour as the base package of 4 hours was too short since we held our ceremony there as well. If using the Carnegie for your ceremony, definitely have your chairs set up in a circular pattern. It was intimate, beautiful and my guests were raving that it was the best venue they had ever been to. The bride's suite is an upstairs library which is perfect for unique photos and allows you to peek downstairs at everyone coming in!

We booked this venue over a year in advance and had to settle for a Friday date since it books so quickly on Saturdays but it was totally worth it and I would not have changed a thing! Thanks, Carnegie staff for maintaining such a gorgeous piece of DC! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Adam
Wedding:
10/4/2013
5.0/5.0
The Carnegie was the perfect venue for our wedding. The staff was excellent to work with and made sure our special day was perfect. The site itself is absolutely beautiful right in downtown DC near DuPont Circle. Our guests were blown away with how nice our venue was.

I would highly recommend the Carnegie Institution to anyone that is looking to married in DC.
The Carnegie was the perfect venue for our wedding. The staff was excellent to work with and made sure our special day was Read more...
The Carnegie was the perfect venue for our wedding. The staff was excellent to work with and made sure our special day was perfect. The site itself is absolutely beautiful right in downtown DC near DuPont Circle. Our guests were blown away with how nice our venue was.

I would highly recommend the Carnegie Institution to anyone that is looking to married in DC. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Cydney
Wedding:
7/20/2013
5.0/5.0
Alexis and the Carnegie team were amazing. They have hosted many events so the entire team is extremely knowledgeable about local event policies as well as those for their venue. A big part of why we chose them is that you get the use of the full venue for your day, they only schedule one event per day, and it was and visual that we wanted at the best price point in the city. The marble floors, beautiful skylights and details meant that we didn't have to invest a lot of extra money into heavy decor also! I can't say enough wonderful things about this venue and the events team.
Alexis and the Carnegie team were amazing. They have hosted many events so the entire team is extremely knowledgeable Read more...
Alexis and the Carnegie team were amazing. They have hosted many events so the entire team is extremely knowledgeable about local event policies as well as those for their venue. A big part of why we chose them is that you get the use of the full venue for your day, they only schedule one event per day, and it was and visual that we wanted at the best price point in the city. The marble floors, beautiful skylights and details meant that we didn't have to invest a lot of extra money into heavy decor also! I can't say enough wonderful things about this venue and the events team. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Robin
Wedding:
5/26/2013
5.0/5.0
After extensively looking for a non-hotel venue that could hold more than 120 people in DC that I could afford, I finally found Carnegie. From the minute I contacted the venue (even before I was engaged!), Alexis Fleming was extremely responsive and helpful and she continued to be so throughout the entire process. I went to the venue and it was as beautiful as I thought it would be and booked that day for 15 months out. This is truly a hidden gem and it made the wedding. Though there was a pretty steep 15% holiday weekend up-charge, fortunately, there was also a 10% military discount. There are also a few significant costs that you’ll likely want ($800 to open the portico, $300/hour for extra hours for set-up or a longer event), so in the end the price may wind up higher than you planned, but it’s definitely worth it. To have the extra rooms to set up and have a separate bride and groom rooms is awesome (and for Jewish brides, the library works great for the ketubah signing). So much about the venue is amazing – the incredible spiral staircase, getting married in the round so no one is more than 5 rows away from you, the beautiful façade, and the vaulted ceilings. Just gorgeous. Two concerns I had were the acoustics and fitting guests into the ceremony and ballroom. The DJ was able to accommodate the echoing in the rotunda and he had a speaker in the ballroom – I think another speaker would have been helpful and possibly one on the portico as it was hard to get people to dinner as the people there couldn’t hear the DJ. As for the guests, I had 17 tables and 163 people and though it was cozy, it definitely fit comfortably. The ballroom did get hot during dinner and that was with the doors open and having perfect 72-degree weather outside; I’m not sure how to rectify that except maybe to bring in fans for the ballroom. Overall, Carnegie is an amazing venue both because of the fantastic event planners and the venue itself! I highly recommend it!
After extensively looking for a non-hotel venue that could hold more than 120 people in DC that I could afford, I finally Read more...
After extensively looking for a non-hotel venue that could hold more than 120 people in DC that I could afford, I finally found Carnegie. From the minute I contacted the venue (even before I was engaged!), Alexis Fleming was extremely responsive and helpful and she continued to be so throughout the entire process. I went to the venue and it was as beautiful as I thought it would be and booked that day for 15 months out. This is truly a hidden gem and it made the wedding. Though there was a pretty steep 15% holiday weekend up-charge, fortunately, there was also a 10% military discount. There are also a few significant costs that you’ll likely want ($800 to open the portico, $300/hour for extra hours for set-up or a longer event), so in the end the price may wind up higher than you planned, but it’s definitely worth it. To have the extra rooms to set up and have a separate bride and groom rooms is awesome (and for Jewish brides, the library works great for the ketubah signing). So much about the venue is amazing – the incredible spiral staircase, getting married in the round so no one is more than 5 rows away from you, the beautiful façade, and the vaulted ceilings. Just gorgeous. Two concerns I had were the acoustics and fitting guests into the ceremony and ballroom. The DJ was able to accommodate the echoing in the rotunda and he had a speaker in the ballroom – I think another speaker would have been helpful and possibly one on the portico as it was hard to get people to dinner as the people there couldn’t hear the DJ. As for the guests, I had 17 tables and 163 people and though it was cozy, it definitely fit comfortably. The ballroom did get hot during dinner and that was with the doors open and having perfect 72-degree weather outside; I’m not sure how to rectify that except maybe to bring in fans for the ballroom. Overall, Carnegie is an amazing venue both because of the fantastic event planners and the venue itself! I highly recommend it! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Elizabeth
Wedding:
5/10/2013
4.9/5.0
We absolutely loved Carnegie for our wedding ceremony and reception venue. My husband is from New Zealand and I am from DC, so we wanted to make sure we had a really "DC" venue for all our overseas guests. Carnegie ticked all the boxes and our guests loved it. We love how well maintained the space is and the different rooms that can be used for the ceremony, cocktail hour and the reception. We held our ceremony in the Rotunda and I was able to come down the spiral staircase which made a beautiful entrance. We paid for use of the Portico and it was great to have the big doors open for cocktail hour so guests could mingle out on the steps and enjoy the nice spring weather. The ballroom was a great size for our group (100 guests at 13 tables), although you could definitely put more in there. Dancing in the Rotunda was a lot of fun and made for some very cool pictures!

The Carnegie staff was very easy to work with and responsive to emails. My main point of contact was Becky and she always answered by questions quickly. They were also very accommodating in terms of viewing the space more than once and scheduling rehearsal time. I liked that they were able to store our additional alcohol over the weekend so that we didn't have to pay an expensive weekend pick-up fee from the alcohol supplier. It was also great that they do not stipulate which vendors may work in the space so we did not feel restricted in our choices. The only slight issue was that vendors can only start loading into the space 2.5 hours before the event begins. Several of my vendors commented that this was a bit tight and therefore they needed to bring a few extra staff. Thankfully most my vendors had worked at Carnegie before, though, so they knew the layout and this was not a big problem.

Overall Carnegie is a gorgeous DC venue and a great price for the area!
We absolutely loved Carnegie for our wedding ceremony and reception venue. My husband is from New Zealand and I am from Read more...
We absolutely loved Carnegie for our wedding ceremony and reception venue. My husband is from New Zealand and I am from DC, so we wanted to make sure we had a really "DC" venue for all our overseas guests. Carnegie ticked all the boxes and our guests loved it. We love how well maintained the space is and the different rooms that can be used for the ceremony, cocktail hour and the reception. We held our ceremony in the Rotunda and I was able to come down the spiral staircase which made a beautiful entrance. We paid for use of the Portico and it was great to have the big doors open for cocktail hour so guests could mingle out on the steps and enjoy the nice spring weather. The ballroom was a great size for our group (100 guests at 13 tables), although you could definitely put more in there. Dancing in the Rotunda was a lot of fun and made for some very cool pictures!

The Carnegie staff was very easy to work with and responsive to emails. My main point of contact was Becky and she always answered by questions quickly. They were also very accommodating in terms of viewing the space more than once and scheduling rehearsal time. I liked that they were able to store our additional alcohol over the weekend so that we didn't have to pay an expensive weekend pick-up fee from the alcohol supplier. It was also great that they do not stipulate which vendors may work in the space so we did not feel restricted in our choices. The only slight issue was that vendors can only start loading into the space 2.5 hours before the event begins. Several of my vendors commented that this was a bit tight and therefore they needed to bring a few extra staff. Thankfully most my vendors had worked at Carnegie before, though, so they knew the layout and this was not a big problem.

Overall Carnegie is a gorgeous DC venue and a great price for the area! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Meghan
Wedding:
4/20/2013
4.0/5.0
Carnegie is an architecturally beautiful site, well maintained and reasonably priced, but access was a problem. My planner had difficulty getting into the venue early on the day of the wedding to set up so it was a scramble to complete the set-up.
Carnegie is an architecturally beautiful site, well maintained and reasonably priced, but access was a problem. My planner Read more...
Carnegie is an architecturally beautiful site, well maintained and reasonably priced, but access was a problem. My planner had difficulty getting into the venue early on the day of the wedding to set up so it was a scramble to complete the set-up. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Allison
Wedding:
4/6/2013
5.0/5.0
My husband and I really wanted to have our wedding someplace unique and beautiful, and we absolutely fell in love with the Carnegie once we saw what an amazing space it is. We had about 145 guests, and everyone fit comfortably in the ballroom for dinner. The rotunda is an amazing dance floor, and the lighting through the grand front doors during our first dance was fantastic. Becky and Alexis were incredibly responsive and helped us make sure that everything ran smoothly.
My husband and I really wanted to have our wedding someplace unique and beautiful, and we absolutely fell in love with the Read more...
My husband and I really wanted to have our wedding someplace unique and beautiful, and we absolutely fell in love with the Carnegie once we saw what an amazing space it is. We had about 145 guests, and everyone fit comfortably in the ballroom for dinner. The rotunda is an amazing dance floor, and the lighting through the grand front doors during our first dance was fantastic. Becky and Alexis were incredibly responsive and helped us make sure that everything ran smoothly. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
Let me start off by saying that having my wedding at the Carnegie was one of the best decisions I made regarding my wedding. The Carnegie played an integral part in my vision of an elegant wedding. If you've ever been inside, you know how gorgeous and absolutely breathtaking the space is. All of my guests were raving all night long about the building and its beauty. And the building is surprisingly versatile too! We had our ceremony in the Rotunda like most others, but we actually had our chuppah in the middle, with guests sitting all around us. It made for an incredibly unique and personal ceremony. It was also great to have three separate "rooms" (the Rotunda, Boardroom, and Ballroom) that were equally stunning and full of character for the different events of the night, as opposed to the standard hotel ballroom (one looks like the next, doesn't it?) that has to be dressed up with so much artificial decor (like neon lighting) to make it look nice.

Additionally, from day one it was very obvious that the staff the Carnegie hires is extremely professional and they will not disappoint. I had a great time working with Alexis and Becky in the weeks leading up to my wedding. They were so responsive and on top of everything. During the walkthrough, Becky made helpful suggestions about lighting and took notes on some of my quirky preferences for the reception layout. Michelle Fischer, the person on site during the actual wedding, was fabulous as well. She worked behind the scenes to make sure everything I requested was carried out seamlessly.

Finally, like most others, it's important to note how flexible the Carnegie is. You can bring your own alcohol, there is no restriction on red wines, they allow you to use their tables and chairs free of charge, and you can choose your own caterer, which is a huge plus. I highly, highly recommend holding your wedding at the Carnegie!
Let me start off by saying that having my wedding at the Carnegie was one of the best decisions I made regarding my Read more...
Let me start off by saying that having my wedding at the Carnegie was one of the best decisions I made regarding my wedding. The Carnegie played an integral part in my vision of an elegant wedding. If you've ever been inside, you know how gorgeous and absolutely breathtaking the space is. All of my guests were raving all night long about the building and its beauty. And the building is surprisingly versatile too! We had our ceremony in the Rotunda like most others, but we actually had our chuppah in the middle, with guests sitting all around us. It made for an incredibly unique and personal ceremony. It was also great to have three separate "rooms" (the Rotunda, Boardroom, and Ballroom) that were equally stunning and full of character for the different events of the night, as opposed to the standard hotel ballroom (one looks like the next, doesn't it?) that has to be dressed up with so much artificial decor (like neon lighting) to make it look nice.

Additionally, from day one it was very obvious that the staff the Carnegie hires is extremely professional and they will not disappoint. I had a great time working with Alexis and Becky in the weeks leading up to my wedding. They were so responsive and on top of everything. During the walkthrough, Becky made helpful suggestions about lighting and took notes on some of my quirky preferences for the reception layout. Michelle Fischer, the person on site during the actual wedding, was fabulous as well. She worked behind the scenes to make sure everything I requested was carried out seamlessly.

Finally, like most others, it's important to note how flexible the Carnegie is. You can bring your own alcohol, there is no restriction on red wines, they allow you to use their tables and chairs free of charge, and you can choose your own caterer, which is a huge plus. I highly, highly recommend holding your wedding at the Carnegie! Read less
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Anonymous
Wedding:
3/16/2013
4.5/5.0
Carnegie was a stunning venue for my wedding ceremony and reception. Becky and Alexis were wonderfully helpful as we navigated planning the wedding. The only negative I have is that the venue reports the capacity to be 150-170 (depending on where you look), and with 125 guests, the size was perfect; I would not recommend this venue for events larger than that. Other than that, though, it was an amazing venue with gorgeous architecture and great staff. It's a great "uniquely DC" sort of venue that's a little off the beaten path, while still being downtown. My out-of-town guests loved the location and the venue itself!
Carnegie was a stunning venue for my wedding ceremony and reception. Becky and Alexis were wonderfully helpful as we Read more...
Carnegie was a stunning venue for my wedding ceremony and reception. Becky and Alexis were wonderfully helpful as we navigated planning the wedding. The only negative I have is that the venue reports the capacity to be 150-170 (depending on where you look), and with 125 guests, the size was perfect; I would not recommend this venue for events larger than that. Other than that, though, it was an amazing venue with gorgeous architecture and great staff. It's a great "uniquely DC" sort of venue that's a little off the beaten path, while still being downtown. My out-of-town guests loved the location and the venue itself! Read less
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Mary
Wedding:
12/1/2012
5.0/5.0
We held our wedding reception at the Carnegie Institution for Science on December 1, 2012, and had an absolute blast. The venue is GORGEOUS and our guests raved and raved about the rotunda, board room, and ballroom space. Several of our guests went upstairs to take pictures of the dancing in the rotunda below. Plus, our wedding party had a great time taking pictures in the library and relaxing. Alexis is amazing to work with...extremely responsive and helpful. The venue is pricey, but extremely reasonable in D.C. and you can't beat the location or the classic D.C. building. I would highly recommend the Carnegie to any future brides!
We held our wedding reception at the Carnegie Institution for Science on December 1, 2012, and had an absolute blast. The Read more...
We held our wedding reception at the Carnegie Institution for Science on December 1, 2012, and had an absolute blast. The venue is GORGEOUS and our guests raved and raved about the rotunda, board room, and ballroom space. Several of our guests went upstairs to take pictures of the dancing in the rotunda below. Plus, our wedding party had a great time taking pictures in the library and relaxing. Alexis is amazing to work with...extremely responsive and helpful. The venue is pricey, but extremely reasonable in D.C. and you can't beat the location or the classic D.C. building. I would highly recommend the Carnegie to any future brides! Read less
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Faith
Wedding:
11/10/2012
4.8/5.0
The Carnegie is a GORGEOUS venue and value, especially considering the high prices of wedding venues in DC. They are booked pretty far in advance, so you may have to be flexible with your wedding date (we reserved our 11/10/12 wedding in September of 2011), but it is so worth it!

The building itself is nothing short of stunning, and every one of our 120 guests has mentioned how gorgeous it was. We did a vintage travel-themed wedding, so I wanted a location that kept with the monumental look of DC (my husband and I met in DC), and also had a historic feel about it. I could not have found a more perfect location that melded these two elements. We didn't have much to spend on decorations or flowers, which was not a problem with the beautiful architecture and decór that is already present in the space. We kept the decorations to a minimum and had a small collection of vintage suitcases and travel items, and it worked perfectly. Also, the Board Room, where the bar is typically placed, also worked great to hold our photo booth. The acoustics in the rotunda aren't the best for a DJ, but it was great for the accordionist that we hired to play French and jazz tunes during the cocktail hour. Also, the space looks amazing when photographed!

If you have room in your budget, rent the main entrance (bronze double doors and front steps facing 16th St. NW)! It gives a feeling of grandeur, and guests will appreciate the feeling of entering a concert hall or other elegant venue.

The staff was very friendly and professional, and gave us a fantastic list of suggested vendors to work with, all of whom have years of experience working with the Carnegie. Also, unlike other establishments, the list is truly a "suggestion", and you can work with other vendors if you prefer, and won't find yourself trapped into working with a small, limited list of vendors.

An amazing value overall!!!
The Carnegie is a GORGEOUS venue and value, especially considering the high prices of wedding venues in DC. They are Read more...
The Carnegie is a GORGEOUS venue and value, especially considering the high prices of wedding venues in DC. They are booked pretty far in advance, so you may have to be flexible with your wedding date (we reserved our 11/10/12 wedding in September of 2011), but it is so worth it!

The building itself is nothing short of stunning, and every one of our 120 guests has mentioned how gorgeous it was. We did a vintage travel-themed wedding, so I wanted a location that kept with the monumental look of DC (my husband and I met in DC), and also had a historic feel about it. I could not have found a more perfect location that melded these two elements. We didn't have much to spend on decorations or flowers, which was not a problem with the beautiful architecture and decór that is already present in the space. We kept the decorations to a minimum and had a small collection of vintage suitcases and travel items, and it worked perfectly. Also, the Board Room, where the bar is typically placed, also worked great to hold our photo booth. The acoustics in the rotunda aren't the best for a DJ, but it was great for the accordionist that we hired to play French and jazz tunes during the cocktail hour. Also, the space looks amazing when photographed!

If you have room in your budget, rent the main entrance (bronze double doors and front steps facing 16th St. NW)! It gives a feeling of grandeur, and guests will appreciate the feeling of entering a concert hall or other elegant venue.

The staff was very friendly and professional, and gave us a fantastic list of suggested vendors to work with, all of whom have years of experience working with the Carnegie. Also, unlike other establishments, the list is truly a "suggestion", and you can work with other vendors if you prefer, and won't find yourself trapped into working with a small, limited list of vendors.

An amazing value overall!!! Read less
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
5.0/5.0
We got married at the Carnegie in October 2012, and we couldn't have been happier with our choice for venue - the place is quite spectacular! Everything about the experience was great - from the initial consult with Alexis up through the final second of our event. We made use of almost every room in the place for the entire wedding (moving people to each room for different parts of the ceremony facilitated setting up each successive space/event), and it worked out quite nicely. And if you're wondering if Gangnam Style can be done on the marble floors - the answer is "yes."

I think it goes without saying that the space is quite beautiful; if you're reading this review, you've probably already seen pictures of weddings there and are just making sure everything went well. As you will gather from some of the other reviews and after your consult with the staff, the space / capacity is limited, so unfortunately if you're having over ~150 people attend your wedding, you're going to have to miss out on using this amazing venue (so ask yourself - is it really worth it to have more people and do your wedding somewhere else when you can have a great wedding in an intimate and beautiful setting with a smaller group of people?). One of the things we really liked and appreciated about the Carnegie was the menu of options for rooms at the Carnegie you can rent (you can get different rooms for different prices). Another great point was that you get to choose whichever vendors you want to come in and do your wedding (this was something other venues we researched were inflexible on). The staff is well trained and very courteous and will talk you through logistical concerns and issues you should consider when hiring vendors and coordinating with them.
Highly recommended!
We got married at the Carnegie in October 2012, and we couldn't have been happier with our choice for venue - the place is Read more...
We got married at the Carnegie in October 2012, and we couldn't have been happier with our choice for venue - the place is quite spectacular! Everything about the experience was great - from the initial consult with Alexis up through the final second of our event. We made use of almost every room in the place for the entire wedding (moving people to each room for different parts of the ceremony facilitated setting up each successive space/event), and it worked out quite nicely. And if you're wondering if Gangnam Style can be done on the marble floors - the answer is "yes."

I think it goes without saying that the space is quite beautiful; if you're reading this review, you've probably already seen pictures of weddings there and are just making sure everything went well. As you will gather from some of the other reviews and after your consult with the staff, the space / capacity is limited, so unfortunately if you're having over ~150 people attend your wedding, you're going to have to miss out on using this amazing venue (so ask yourself - is it really worth it to have more people and do your wedding somewhere else when you can have a great wedding in an intimate and beautiful setting with a smaller group of people?). One of the things we really liked and appreciated about the Carnegie was the menu of options for rooms at the Carnegie you can rent (you can get different rooms for different prices). Another great point was that you get to choose whichever vendors you want to come in and do your wedding (this was something other venues we researched were inflexible on). The staff is well trained and very courteous and will talk you through logistical concerns and issues you should consider when hiring vendors and coordinating with them.
Highly recommended! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
2.9/5.0
The venue is gorgeous and we were lucky to get it. Our guests loved it and it made for wonderful pictures.

My only problem is this - we had a wedding that was largely self-directed, and our contact was pretty much unavailable to assist with setup or anything else the day of the wedding. My friends who were helping set things up while we got our pictures said that they tried to find her and couldn't. Apparently she was cold to them when they finally found her.

In short, venue was great, contact before was great, but the day of service was not up to their usual professionalism. Lesson learned: you should negotiate that beforehand!
The venue is gorgeous and we were lucky to get it. Our guests loved it and it made for wonderful pictures.

My Read more...
The venue is gorgeous and we were lucky to get it. Our guests loved it and it made for wonderful pictures.

My only problem is this - we had a wedding that was largely self-directed, and our contact was pretty much unavailable to assist with setup or anything else the day of the wedding. My friends who were helping set things up while we got our pictures said that they tried to find her and couldn't. Apparently she was cold to them when they finally found her.

In short, venue was great, contact before was great, but the day of service was not up to their usual professionalism. Lesson learned: you should negotiate that beforehand! Read less
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Karen
Wedding:
9/29/2012
5.0/5.0
The staff at the Carnegie was wonderful. We were able to schedule times to meet our vendors there to design and plan the wedding. The space is so beautiful, clean and very well taken care of. The perfect venue!
The staff at the Carnegie was wonderful. We were able to schedule times to meet our vendors there to design and plan the Read more...
The staff at the Carnegie was wonderful. We were able to schedule times to meet our vendors there to design and plan the wedding. The space is so beautiful, clean and very well taken care of. The perfect venue! Read less
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Kelly
Wedding:
9/15/2012
5.0/5.0
Best venue and best deal in DC, hands down. Great location, great space, a real hidden gem (but not for long, I imagine). The staff was responsive and very relaxed. They have very few limits on what you can do there, within reason. I loved that I could bring in my own alcohol, my own caterer, my own EVERYTHING. You can add hours and the ability to open the portico up to four weeks in advance. The weather was perfect on my wedding day and the space was perfect for the use of the portico -- it allowed lots of space for everyone to move around and truly mingle. The dance floor was the perfect size, and the space has so many beautiful spots to take photos. It's just...perfect. I would recommend it to anyone.
Best venue and best deal in DC, hands down. Great location, great space, a real hidden gem (but not for long, I imagine). Read more...
Best venue and best deal in DC, hands down. Great location, great space, a real hidden gem (but not for long, I imagine). The staff was responsive and very relaxed. They have very few limits on what you can do there, within reason. I loved that I could bring in my own alcohol, my own caterer, my own EVERYTHING. You can add hours and the ability to open the portico up to four weeks in advance. The weather was perfect on my wedding day and the space was perfect for the use of the portico -- it allowed lots of space for everyone to move around and truly mingle. The dance floor was the perfect size, and the space has so many beautiful spots to take photos. It's just...perfect. I would recommend it to anyone. Read less
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Amy
Wedding:
9/8/2012
4.8/5.0
This is a beautiful venue if you are looking for an impressive "Washington DC" space. Our wedding had 135 people and we fit very comfortably inside. The venue is VERY flexible (you can choose all your vendors and bring in your own alcohol), and the staff is extremely accommodating. Of all our vendors, the venue was the best!
This is a beautiful venue if you are looking for an impressive "Washington DC" space. Our wedding had 135 people and we Read more...
This is a beautiful venue if you are looking for an impressive "Washington DC" space. Our wedding had 135 people and we fit very comfortably inside. The venue is VERY flexible (you can choose all your vendors and bring in your own alcohol), and the staff is extremely accommodating. Of all our vendors, the venue was the best! Read less
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Stacy
Wedding:
8/11/2012
5.0/5.0
We loved our venue!! Everyone at the Carnegie was so easy to work with; extremely responsive to any questions or concerns we had and just really helpful. It's also just an amazingly beautiful space and our guests were raving about how wonderful and unique it was. I would highly recommend the Carnegie!
We loved our venue!! Everyone at the Carnegie was so easy to work with; extremely responsive to any questions or concerns Read more...
We loved our venue!! Everyone at the Carnegie was so easy to work with; extremely responsive to any questions or concerns we had and just really helpful. It's also just an amazingly beautiful space and our guests were raving about how wonderful and unique it was. I would highly recommend the Carnegie! Read less
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Tanya
Wedding:
7/21/2012
5.0/5.0
The Carnegie is just an absolutely beautiful place for a wedding. Alexis and staff were responsive to every call and email. You get a lot of value for the rental fee (rotunda, ballroom, library and boadroom) We had just under 100 people and it was perfect size. I think they list the max as 140 but but i think that would be a bit tight in the space 120 is probably max in order to be most comfortable.
The Carnegie is just an absolutely beautiful place for a wedding. Alexis and staff were responsive to every call and Read more...
The Carnegie is just an absolutely beautiful place for a wedding. Alexis and staff were responsive to every call and email. You get a lot of value for the rental fee (rotunda, ballroom, library and boadroom) We had just under 100 people and it was perfect size. I think they list the max as 140 but but i think that would be a bit tight in the space 120 is probably max in order to be most comfortable. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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kelly
Wedding:
5/19/2012
4.8/5.0
We fell in love with Carnegie because of the beautiful building design and structure. The interior was spectacular, the rotunda was perfect for our ceremony- about 150 seated. Our guests loved the 360 view of the ceremony. The spiral staircase made for a grand entrance. The rotunda turned into the dance floor, the highlight of the night. The other rooms are lovely as well. The staff is very responsive and professional. I enjoyed working with Alexis. My only note is that they should have turned the AC up, earlier. But it cooled eventually and the guests really enjoyed themselves. I definitely recommend this venue, great layout, great photos!
We fell in love with Carnegie because of the beautiful building design and structure. The interior was spectacular, the Read more...
We fell in love with Carnegie because of the beautiful building design and structure. The interior was spectacular, the rotunda was perfect for our ceremony- about 150 seated. Our guests loved the 360 view of the ceremony. The spiral staircase made for a grand entrance. The rotunda turned into the dance floor, the highlight of the night. The other rooms are lovely as well. The staff is very responsive and professional. I enjoyed working with Alexis. My only note is that they should have turned the AC up, earlier. But it cooled eventually and the guests really enjoyed themselves. I definitely recommend this venue, great layout, great photos! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Toya
Wedding:
5/18/2012
5.0/5.0
The Carnegie Institute was the perfect venue for our vintage, yet modern DC wedding. The venue is GORGEOUS and required little decoration. Our guests were wowed by the rotunda. The staff was extremely helpful, professional and responsive. A note to interested couples: BOOK EARLY. When we visited in May 2011, the Saturdays through September 2012 were already booked. We opted for a Friday night and had magical night.
The Carnegie Institute was the perfect venue for our vintage, yet modern DC wedding. The venue is GORGEOUS and required Read more...
The Carnegie Institute was the perfect venue for our vintage, yet modern DC wedding. The venue is GORGEOUS and required little decoration. Our guests were wowed by the rotunda. The staff was extremely helpful, professional and responsive. A note to interested couples: BOOK EARLY. When we visited in May 2011, the Saturdays through September 2012 were already booked. We opted for a Friday night and had magical night. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Julia
Wedding:
5/5/2012
5.0/5.0
Carnegie was absolutely amazing to work with for my wedding. We found the venue when I was looking for a downtown DC location where we could have a ceremony and reception in the same space and find a place beautiful enough to pass for Paris, France, where my parents were married. Carnegie took my breath away when I first visited with my roommate...and I snatched up the first available date they had. My groom is active duty military, and when an unexpected deployment ruined our original wedding date, I could not have hoped for a better group of women to work with to reschedule my wedding. I had already paid a deposit, and they could have easily offered an opening that came up in May to another couple and made more money, but instead they called me and were patient while I waited to hear from the groom and the US Army to see if we could make it work. I was moved to tears by their generosity. They were very easy to work with and were wonderful about coming in to use the space to show it off to family before the big day. They also did a wonderful job sneaking in an opera singer the day of the rehearsal so that my mother wouldn't see or hear him. (He was a surprise for her, and they were very accommodating to him as well.) The staff at the Carnegie Institution is hands down fantastic. They will forever be a happy memory of our wedding day...especially since we have so many wonderful pictures of our guests arriving and giving jaw-dropped stares at how stunning the interior is. ;-)
Carnegie was absolutely amazing to work with for my wedding. We found the venue when I was looking for a downtown DC Read more...
Carnegie was absolutely amazing to work with for my wedding. We found the venue when I was looking for a downtown DC location where we could have a ceremony and reception in the same space and find a place beautiful enough to pass for Paris, France, where my parents were married. Carnegie took my breath away when I first visited with my roommate...and I snatched up the first available date they had. My groom is active duty military, and when an unexpected deployment ruined our original wedding date, I could not have hoped for a better group of women to work with to reschedule my wedding. I had already paid a deposit, and they could have easily offered an opening that came up in May to another couple and made more money, but instead they called me and were patient while I waited to hear from the groom and the US Army to see if we could make it work. I was moved to tears by their generosity. They were very easy to work with and were wonderful about coming in to use the space to show it off to family before the big day. They also did a wonderful job sneaking in an opera singer the day of the rehearsal so that my mother wouldn't see or hear him. (He was a surprise for her, and they were very accommodating to him as well.) The staff at the Carnegie Institution is hands down fantastic. They will forever be a happy memory of our wedding day...especially since we have so many wonderful pictures of our guests arriving and giving jaw-dropped stares at how stunning the interior is. ;-) Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Gareth
Wedding:
5/5/2012
5.0/5.0
Carnegie is beautiful, no question about it. Cant say enough positive things about the Carnegie. They have an incredible building, location, and staff. Laura and the other staff at Carnegie were ever responsive and helpful. One thing that did kind of catch us by surprise was the start time on the day of that our vendors could get access to the building. All the vendors had seemed to want access prior to when the Carnegie would provide it. Everything worked out fine, but just something to make your vendors aware of before hand. We also paid for the doors to be opened, but ended up only having them open for the beginning and end of the night, as it was raining during the ceremony and reception.
Carnegie is beautiful, no question about it. Cant say enough positive things about the Carnegie. They have an incredible Read more...
Carnegie is beautiful, no question about it. Cant say enough positive things about the Carnegie. They have an incredible building, location, and staff. Laura and the other staff at Carnegie were ever responsive and helpful. One thing that did kind of catch us by surprise was the start time on the day of that our vendors could get access to the building. All the vendors had seemed to want access prior to when the Carnegie would provide it. Everything worked out fine, but just something to make your vendors aware of before hand. We also paid for the doors to be opened, but ended up only having them open for the beginning and end of the night, as it was raining during the ceremony and reception. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
4/7/2012
4.8/5.0
I want to convey my sincere thanks to the staff at the Carnegie Institution for Science! My husband and I held our April 2012 wedding ceremony and reception at the Carnegie Institution and could not have picked a better location. Neither of us is religious so we had already decided that we wanted a non-traditional venue. Having investigated many options in Washington, DC we quickly decided upon Carnegie. Not only was it more beautiful, it was much less expensive than many other options.

The space itself is beautiful and very DC--marble floors, soaring ceilings, and stately columns. We had the ceremony in the Rotunda which created an intimate ceremony "in the round". Later, the Rotunda turned into a dance floor and dinner was served in the Ballroom. We utilized the gorgeous spiral staircase to make the bridal party's entrance. We had also rented the Library which we utilized for the cocktail hour and bar, and the Portico served as a gorgeous outdoor space for our guests to sip beverages and enjoy celebratory cigars. The entire space looked absolutely gorgeous in photographs and I can't tell you how many of our guests commented on what an amazing place we had chosen to have our wedding. I have to say I agree.

The staff at Carnegie were also a pleasure to work with. They were helpful whenever we needed them but also very accommodating of all of the requests from us and our vendors. Carnegie has very few restrictions on what you can do with the space which allowed all of our vendors to really show off their creativity. My one complaint is that we had to end the event at midnight. We would have loved an additional two hours for sure!

Thank you again Carnegie for helping us host such a memorable night!

Joy
I want to convey my sincere thanks to the staff at the Carnegie Institution for Science! My husband and I held our April Read more...
I want to convey my sincere thanks to the staff at the Carnegie Institution for Science! My husband and I held our April 2012 wedding ceremony and reception at the Carnegie Institution and could not have picked a better location. Neither of us is religious so we had already decided that we wanted a non-traditional venue. Having investigated many options in Washington, DC we quickly decided upon Carnegie. Not only was it more beautiful, it was much less expensive than many other options.

The space itself is beautiful and very DC--marble floors, soaring ceilings, and stately columns. We had the ceremony in the Rotunda which created an intimate ceremony "in the round". Later, the Rotunda turned into a dance floor and dinner was served in the Ballroom. We utilized the gorgeous spiral staircase to make the bridal party's entrance. We had also rented the Library which we utilized for the cocktail hour and bar, and the Portico served as a gorgeous outdoor space for our guests to sip beverages and enjoy celebratory cigars. The entire space looked absolutely gorgeous in photographs and I can't tell you how many of our guests commented on what an amazing place we had chosen to have our wedding. I have to say I agree.

The staff at Carnegie were also a pleasure to work with. They were helpful whenever we needed them but also very accommodating of all of the requests from us and our vendors. Carnegie has very few restrictions on what you can do with the space which allowed all of our vendors to really show off their creativity. My one complaint is that we had to end the event at midnight. We would have loved an additional two hours for sure!

Thank you again Carnegie for helping us host such a memorable night!

Joy Read less
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ChelseaZ
Wedding:
3/17/2012
5.0/5.0
My husband and I had our ceremony and reception at Carnegie. I was really nervous for the months leading up to the big day that our 160 person guest list would not fit....However, I was so wrong! It was the absolute perfect size venue for us. It was large enough to accommodate everyone for a sit down dinner yet small enough to still feel intimate. The venue is gorgeous and the set-up in terms of flow from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception is perfect. We would 100% recommend this venue to everyone but book now- it fills up fast!!!
My husband and I had our ceremony and reception at Carnegie. I was really nervous for the months leading up to the big day Read more...
My husband and I had our ceremony and reception at Carnegie. I was really nervous for the months leading up to the big day that our 160 person guest list would not fit....However, I was so wrong! It was the absolute perfect size venue for us. It was large enough to accommodate everyone for a sit down dinner yet small enough to still feel intimate. The venue is gorgeous and the set-up in terms of flow from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception is perfect. We would 100% recommend this venue to everyone but book now- it fills up fast!!! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Andrea
Wedding:
2/19/2012
4.8/5.0
the carnegie is beautiful. We used up-lighting - even more beautiful. We did not mikes - in the end I wish we had because some people told me afterwards that they had trouble hearing. Laura and Alexis were very responsive. The venue looks much more expensive that it is - I would definitely recommend it to anyone considering it. the only limitation is the size - only 160 can be comfortable. WE originally had more on our list but in the end had to cut down alot to fit the venue. Otherwise I would definitely recommend it.
the carnegie is beautiful. We used up-lighting - even more beautiful. We did not mikes - in the end I wish we had because Read more...
the carnegie is beautiful. We used up-lighting - even more beautiful. We did not mikes - in the end I wish we had because some people told me afterwards that they had trouble hearing. Laura and Alexis were very responsive. The venue looks much more expensive that it is - I would definitely recommend it to anyone considering it. the only limitation is the size - only 160 can be comfortable. WE originally had more on our list but in the end had to cut down alot to fit the venue. Otherwise I would definitely recommend it. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Nicholas
Wedding:
12/9/2011
5.0/5.0
The minute we saw Carnegie we knew we'd found our venue. It is an exceptional space and has a very DC feel to it which is exactly what we wanted. First, the price for the space is very reasonable for what you get and is far cheaper than nearby alternatives. Second, unlike other nearby venues, we had the run of the place. No special charges to use the library, no rules about what food could or could not be served in the boardroom, etc. Other venues made us feel like there were tons of hidden fees and surcharges for using the space. The Carnegie staff was incredibly responsive, flexible, and patient with us and Laura and Alexis are fantastic to work with. During the event everything was perfect and our guests raved about the space. We had a perfect wedding and the space played a very large part in that. It turns out the venue is very popular and books up quickly so plan ahead!
The minute we saw Carnegie we knew we'd found our venue. It is an exceptional space and has a very DC feel to it which is Read more...
The minute we saw Carnegie we knew we'd found our venue. It is an exceptional space and has a very DC feel to it which is exactly what we wanted. First, the price for the space is very reasonable for what you get and is far cheaper than nearby alternatives. Second, unlike other nearby venues, we had the run of the place. No special charges to use the library, no rules about what food could or could not be served in the boardroom, etc. Other venues made us feel like there were tons of hidden fees and surcharges for using the space. The Carnegie staff was incredibly responsive, flexible, and patient with us and Laura and Alexis are fantastic to work with. During the event everything was perfect and our guests raved about the space. We had a perfect wedding and the space played a very large part in that. It turns out the venue is very popular and books up quickly so plan ahead! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Rachel8
Wedding:
11/20/2011
5.0/5.0
When we found Carnegie, I couldn't believe this beautiful architectural gem was somwhow "hidden" in the middle of Dupont Circle. It is truly a grand space and was an amazing setting for the wedding. Alexis was easy to work with from the start and incredibly responsive. The ability to have so many beautiful rooms at your disposal was also a plus. The rotunda is magnificent and there is hardly a space in the city that can rival it. We did not bring in any outside lighting and the natural lighting during our sunset ceremony was gorgeous. All our guests could not get over how elegant and grand the space was. The dining room is warm and initimate and when the pocket doors are open for dancing back in the rotunda, it creates the perfect distance between dining and dancing, while still making everyone feel a part of the event. Overall, I could not have picked a better venue - they were flexible on so many issues with vendors and the space was just gorgeous and timeless, while initimate for groups large or small.
When we found Carnegie, I couldn't believe this beautiful architectural gem was somwhow "hidden" in the middle of Dupont Read more...
When we found Carnegie, I couldn't believe this beautiful architectural gem was somwhow "hidden" in the middle of Dupont Circle. It is truly a grand space and was an amazing setting for the wedding. Alexis was easy to work with from the start and incredibly responsive. The ability to have so many beautiful rooms at your disposal was also a plus. The rotunda is magnificent and there is hardly a space in the city that can rival it. We did not bring in any outside lighting and the natural lighting during our sunset ceremony was gorgeous. All our guests could not get over how elegant and grand the space was. The dining room is warm and initimate and when the pocket doors are open for dancing back in the rotunda, it creates the perfect distance between dining and dancing, while still making everyone feel a part of the event. Overall, I could not have picked a better venue - they were flexible on so many issues with vendors and the space was just gorgeous and timeless, while initimate for groups large or small. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
4.7/5.0
Beautiful venue (everyone was impressed, even the guys who normally couldn't care less about such a thing) and a wonderful team of people to work with at Carnegie. The best part of working with them (besides the truly amazing photos we were able to get because the whole place is just so beautiful) was that there was always someone available to answer our questions, so we never had to wait and wonder like with some other vendors. If we could do our whole wedding over, we would still do it at Carnegie.

The only downside was that they were not flexible with regards to the rehearsal time and then asked us to change the time after we had already booked a restaurant and paid a deposit for brunch that day (we put our foot down on the time change, and they seemed to be okay with it). That inflexibility was understandable since our rehearsal had to be on a Saturday, and they had to work around that Saturday's wedding. We ended up not being able to have a traditional rehearsal dinner and instead had to have a rehearsal brunch beforehand, but it worked out okay in the end.
Beautiful venue (everyone was impressed, even the guys who normally couldn't care less about such a thing) and a wonderful Read more...
Beautiful venue (everyone was impressed, even the guys who normally couldn't care less about such a thing) and a wonderful team of people to work with at Carnegie. The best part of working with them (besides the truly amazing photos we were able to get because the whole place is just so beautiful) was that there was always someone available to answer our questions, so we never had to wait and wonder like with some other vendors. If we could do our whole wedding over, we would still do it at Carnegie.

The only downside was that they were not flexible with regards to the rehearsal time and then asked us to change the time after we had already booked a restaurant and paid a deposit for brunch that day (we put our foot down on the time change, and they seemed to be okay with it). That inflexibility was understandable since our rehearsal had to be on a Saturday, and they had to work around that Saturday's wedding. We ended up not being able to have a traditional rehearsal dinner and instead had to have a rehearsal brunch beforehand, but it worked out okay in the end. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Megan
Wedding:
11/12/2011
4.4/5.0
The venue cannot be beat. It is stunning and our guests were amazed at how beautiful it was. The women at the venue are generally very helpful. We did have a hiccup with one of them (who is no longer there) exaggerating how many guests could fit there, only to find out with a month to go that our expected guest count would be a super tight fit. Unfortunately we had many guests decline (out of town for both sides) so our actual turnout fit just fine, but it would have been an unpleasant squeeze had everyone been able to attend, and that wasn't great to find out so close to the event. Also, they're a little inflexible in terms of load-in and load-out time, and while the base price sounds great (for DC), with the 10% holiday weekend surcharge and the extra hours we added, it ended up being rather pricey. However, the sheer beauty of the venue outweighs all of that. Just keep in mind that you really only get tables and chairs included so it's a lot of work to find all of the additional services you will need.
The venue cannot be beat. It is stunning and our guests were amazed at how beautiful it was. The women at the venue are Read more...
The venue cannot be beat. It is stunning and our guests were amazed at how beautiful it was. The women at the venue are generally very helpful. We did have a hiccup with one of them (who is no longer there) exaggerating how many guests could fit there, only to find out with a month to go that our expected guest count would be a super tight fit. Unfortunately we had many guests decline (out of town for both sides) so our actual turnout fit just fine, but it would have been an unpleasant squeeze had everyone been able to attend, and that wasn't great to find out so close to the event. Also, they're a little inflexible in terms of load-in and load-out time, and while the base price sounds great (for DC), with the 10% holiday weekend surcharge and the extra hours we added, it ended up being rather pricey. However, the sheer beauty of the venue outweighs all of that. Just keep in mind that you really only get tables and chairs included so it's a lot of work to find all of the additional services you will need. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jamie
Wedding:
10/1/2011
5.0/5.0
Carnegie Institution was an amazing venue! It was so beautiful, and the people we worked with were great. It's the perfect place for a DC wedding, and their prices are much better than similar venues!
Carnegie Institution was an amazing venue! It was so beautiful, and the people we worked with were great. It's the perfect Read more...
Carnegie Institution was an amazing venue! It was so beautiful, and the people we worked with were great. It's the perfect place for a DC wedding, and their prices are much better than similar venues! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Jennifer
Wedding:
9/17/2011
4.9/5.0
I cannot recommend the Carnegie highly enough - they were wonderful. Reasonably-priced venue in DC where you can hire any caterer you want? check. Gorgeous venue that requires no decoration at all? check. Responsive and helpful staff who reply to emails quickly, can set up tours of the site at the drop of a hat, and are always polite and friendly? check, check, check.

The venue was beautiful, had every space we wanted, easily accommodated our 90 guests, and allowed us to drop things off the day before to store in advance. Alexis was great, and was always quick to reply to the endless chain of questions I sent her way. The cost is not extremely low, but a venue of this type (lovely historic building) that is this flexible (amplified music is fine, red wine is fine) that can accommodate all your guests INSIDE and not partially in tents, that allows you to bring in your own caterer and avoid huge food and beverage minimum costs....it balances out.
I cannot recommend the Carnegie highly enough - they were wonderful. Reasonably-priced venue in DC where you can hire any Read more...
I cannot recommend the Carnegie highly enough - they were wonderful. Reasonably-priced venue in DC where you can hire any caterer you want? check. Gorgeous venue that requires no decoration at all? check. Responsive and helpful staff who reply to emails quickly, can set up tours of the site at the drop of a hat, and are always polite and friendly? check, check, check.

The venue was beautiful, had every space we wanted, easily accommodated our 90 guests, and allowed us to drop things off the day before to store in advance. Alexis was great, and was always quick to reply to the endless chain of questions I sent her way. The cost is not extremely low, but a venue of this type (lovely historic building) that is this flexible (amplified music is fine, red wine is fine) that can accommodate all your guests INSIDE and not partially in tents, that allows you to bring in your own caterer and avoid huge food and beverage minimum costs....it balances out. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Courtney
Wedding:
9/10/2011
5.0/5.0
Had my wedding at the Carnegies on 9-10-11. It was truly a beautiful setting. The marble and decor limited the amount we had to spend on floral and other decorations as it is truly beautiful unadorned. It makes for great pics on the steps facing 16th street, in the rotunda, and even in the round driveway on P Street. I had 17 10 seater rounds in the ballroom and that was just enough; anymore and it really would have been too crowded. As is...the waiters had just enough room to maneuver around to serve. Dancing in the rotunda follwoing the reception worked well especially with guests being able to flow in and out of the boardroom for drinks or to sit. We added small circular tables with 2/3 chairs around the edges of the rotunda for our older guests to be able to sit down and watch the fesitivities onf the dance floor. The staff was great and very flexible in terms of letting us come and see the venue multiple times in advance with different vendors. I would most definitely recommend it. Here is a link of the 6 minute "review" of our day that shows how truly beautiful the venue looked...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InqrePFFkDI
Had my wedding at the Carnegies on 9-10-11. It was truly a beautiful setting. The marble and decor limited the amount we Read more...
Had my wedding at the Carnegies on 9-10-11. It was truly a beautiful setting. The marble and decor limited the amount we had to spend on floral and other decorations as it is truly beautiful unadorned. It makes for great pics on the steps facing 16th street, in the rotunda, and even in the round driveway on P Street. I had 17 10 seater rounds in the ballroom and that was just enough; anymore and it really would have been too crowded. As is...the waiters had just enough room to maneuver around to serve. Dancing in the rotunda follwoing the reception worked well especially with guests being able to flow in and out of the boardroom for drinks or to sit. We added small circular tables with 2/3 chairs around the edges of the rotunda for our older guests to be able to sit down and watch the fesitivities onf the dance floor. The staff was great and very flexible in terms of letting us come and see the venue multiple times in advance with different vendors. I would most definitely recommend it. Here is a link of the 6 minute "review" of our day that shows how truly beautiful the venue looked...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InqrePFFkDI Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Malarie
Wedding:
9/4/2011
4.9/5.0
Carnegie is a *breathtaking* venue. I was in love with it from the minute I saw it and feel so lucky we were able to have our ceremony and reception here. The staff, especially Alexis, was so responsive and very flexible the week before the big day. For DC, you cannot get a venue like this for the price. All comparable venues go for 10k and up - this is truly the best bang for your buck if you really want the DC feel. The only downer is that holiday weekends are up-charged, so it ended up being a little pricier than we originally budgeted for. Worth it in the end. Our guests are still raving about the beauty of Carnegie....
Carnegie is a *breathtaking* venue. I was in love with it from the minute I saw it and feel so lucky we were able to have Read more...
Carnegie is a *breathtaking* venue. I was in love with it from the minute I saw it and feel so lucky we were able to have our ceremony and reception here. The staff, especially Alexis, was so responsive and very flexible the week before the big day. For DC, you cannot get a venue like this for the price. All comparable venues go for 10k and up - this is truly the best bang for your buck if you really want the DC feel. The only downer is that holiday weekends are up-charged, so it ended up being a little pricier than we originally budgeted for. Worth it in the end. Our guests are still raving about the beauty of Carnegie.... Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Kerry
Wedding:
8/27/2011
5.0/5.0
This place is the BEST place, for the money, to get married in DC. Laura was incredibly helpful and the most responsive of anyone we worked with. She allowed us to visit the venue countless times (and even practice our first dance more than once!) It is a gorgeous venue and we were thrilled with our choice. I would recommend it to ANYONE. The best part is that you can use any caterer you want and you can even bring your own alcohol. And, everything is all in once place: ceremony, cocktail hour, reception...the perfect choice for anyone trying to have a "simply elegant" affair.
This place is the BEST place, for the money, to get married in DC. Laura was incredibly helpful and the most responsive of Read more...
This place is the BEST place, for the money, to get married in DC. Laura was incredibly helpful and the most responsive of anyone we worked with. She allowed us to visit the venue countless times (and even practice our first dance more than once!) It is a gorgeous venue and we were thrilled with our choice. I would recommend it to ANYONE. The best part is that you can use any caterer you want and you can even bring your own alcohol. And, everything is all in once place: ceremony, cocktail hour, reception...the perfect choice for anyone trying to have a "simply elegant" affair. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Michelle
Wedding:
8/6/2011
4.8/5.0
Pros: The building is beautiful - all the rooms you get with a rental (the library, the boardroom, the ballroom, and the rotunda) have an old-style elegance (marble, wood panels, natural lighting); We were able to hire vendors of our choosing; We were allowed to store items at the Carnegie the day before (and our caterer was even allowed to drop things off the day before); The rental included a rehearsal the evening before; The Carnegie only books one wedding a day; the hotel that is next door (Hotel Rouge) is incredibly accommodating and different than the average hotel.
Cons: It's popular - you need to book a year in advance for popular wedding dates (but that seems to be thet case for most venues); It's not metro accessible. That said, there is parking across the street and its locationon 16th street makes finding a cab easy; While there are cheaper venues in the neighborhood, none of the venues in that area were as gorgeous and spacious at that price.
Pros: The building is beautiful - all the rooms you get with a rental (the library, the boardroom, the ballroom, and the Read more...
Pros: The building is beautiful - all the rooms you get with a rental (the library, the boardroom, the ballroom, and the rotunda) have an old-style elegance (marble, wood panels, natural lighting); We were able to hire vendors of our choosing; We were allowed to store items at the Carnegie the day before (and our caterer was even allowed to drop things off the day before); The rental included a rehearsal the evening before; The Carnegie only books one wedding a day; the hotel that is next door (Hotel Rouge) is incredibly accommodating and different than the average hotel.
Cons: It's popular - you need to book a year in advance for popular wedding dates (but that seems to be thet case for most venues); It's not metro accessible. That said, there is parking across the street and its locationon 16th street makes finding a cab easy; While there are cheaper venues in the neighborhood, none of the venues in that area were as gorgeous and spacious at that price. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Celeste
Wedding:
7/30/2011
5.0/5.0
Our wedding reception was amazing, and it had so much to do with the beautiful Carnegie Institute.

My now husband and I wanted a DC wedding, and were very close to signing a contract with a nearby hotel. However, we felt like we didn't want to be restricted and have the typical cookie-cutter wedding.

We were so fortunate to come across Carnegie and we instantly signed with them. Make sure to book well in advance as the spring and summer dates go very quickly. (We signed in April 2010, and we got one of the last July 2011 dates available.)

Carnegie was a beautiful building, perfect for our sit-down dinner (ballroom) and dancing (rotunda). We paid extra for the use of the main entrance on 16th street, and its impressive stairs. Our bridal party had a wonderul separate area to arrive and relax in, before our introductions.

We were able to bring in our own vendors with Carnegie and there were minimal restrictions. (We did have to purchase day-of insurance, which was very easy). We were able to drop off, and store some items the day before the wedding which made set-up on the day of so much easier.

On the day of, the space showed beautifully. In addition, Carnegie offers tables and chairs at no additional cost. (We did rent chivari chairs from a separate vendor).

Alexis was wonderful to work with. She was always so quick in email responses and made the process run so smoothly. She was always available for questions, walk-thrus and suggestions. She was also there on the day-of to make sure the event ran smoothly.

We are so pleased that we chose Carnegie. Our guests were so impressed and danced the night away in our summer in DC wedding.
Our wedding reception was amazing, and it had so much to do with the beautiful Carnegie Institute.

My now husband Read more...
Our wedding reception was amazing, and it had so much to do with the beautiful Carnegie Institute.

My now husband and I wanted a DC wedding, and were very close to signing a contract with a nearby hotel. However, we felt like we didn't want to be restricted and have the typical cookie-cutter wedding.

We were so fortunate to come across Carnegie and we instantly signed with them. Make sure to book well in advance as the spring and summer dates go very quickly. (We signed in April 2010, and we got one of the last July 2011 dates available.)

Carnegie was a beautiful building, perfect for our sit-down dinner (ballroom) and dancing (rotunda). We paid extra for the use of the main entrance on 16th street, and its impressive stairs. Our bridal party had a wonderul separate area to arrive and relax in, before our introductions.

We were able to bring in our own vendors with Carnegie and there were minimal restrictions. (We did have to purchase day-of insurance, which was very easy). We were able to drop off, and store some items the day before the wedding which made set-up on the day of so much easier.

On the day of, the space showed beautifully. In addition, Carnegie offers tables and chairs at no additional cost. (We did rent chivari chairs from a separate vendor).

Alexis was wonderful to work with. She was always so quick in email responses and made the process run so smoothly. She was always available for questions, walk-thrus and suggestions. She was also there on the day-of to make sure the event ran smoothly.

We are so pleased that we chose Carnegie. Our guests were so impressed and danced the night away in our summer in DC wedding. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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megga28
Wedding:
7/9/2011
4.7/5.0
We had a great experience at Carnegie. It was the only venue we looked at because as soon as we saw it, we knew it was the perfect place. We wanted a place where we could seamlessly host both the ceremony and reception, where we could choose our own caterer, and a place that would require minimal decor. Plus, you can't beat the gorgeous 16th Street location.

(If it seems expensive to book Carnegie, consider this: We saved a lot of money because we didn't need to go crazy with the flowers or hire professional lighting people or anything like that. The venue stands on its own because it is already so beautiful. Even the ready room for my bridal party and me was beautiful, an old fashioned library with books lining the walls. We got great pictures in it. Plus, we didn't have to pay for limos or other transportation for our guests because the venue is so convenient to many hotels. You can also bring your own alcohol to save even more money.)

We had about 110 guests, the perfect size for Carnegie. We filled the rooms but weren't crowded, and unlike some huge ballrooms, our relatively small group wasn't swallowed up.

We had the ceremony in the rotunda (gorgeous in the early evening light), our cocktail hour in the boardroom and rotunda, our dinner in the adjoining ballroom, and our dancing back in the rotunda. Things flowed incredibly well with the help of the caterer to move chairs and set up everything.

Our guests were SO impressed with the venue. I think we got more compliments on how beautiful it was than on anything else the entire night. The best thing of all: there's a gorgeous spiral staircase that I used for my "grand entrance" before walking down the aisle in the rotunda. Although I was a little nervous about sliding down on my butt, it turned out to be a beautiful and dramatic start to the ceremony, and the guests raved about it. I felt amazing.

The people who work at Carnegie were responsive and helpful all the way through. Alexis and Laura answered my anxious emails right away and really worked to put my mind at ease. Keep in mind, though, that they are not wedding planners, so you may want to consider hiring a day-of coordinator to take care of things like directing other vendors. Our DOC was excellent: Lynnecia Johnson of Sophisticated Events. Highly recommend her, and since she's familiar with the venue, it would be seamless.

Overall, I would recommend Carnegie to anyone, and I am so pleased that we chose to have our wedding there. It was probably the best decision we made in our entire wedding planning process, and it set the tone for a really amazing event.
We had a great experience at Carnegie. It was the only venue we looked at because as soon as we saw it, we knew it was the Read more...
We had a great experience at Carnegie. It was the only venue we looked at because as soon as we saw it, we knew it was the perfect place. We wanted a place where we could seamlessly host both the ceremony and reception, where we could choose our own caterer, and a place that would require minimal decor. Plus, you can't beat the gorgeous 16th Street location.

(If it seems expensive to book Carnegie, consider this: We saved a lot of money because we didn't need to go crazy with the flowers or hire professional lighting people or anything like that. The venue stands on its own because it is already so beautiful. Even the ready room for my bridal party and me was beautiful, an old fashioned library with books lining the walls. We got great pictures in it. Plus, we didn't have to pay for limos or other transportation for our guests because the venue is so convenient to many hotels. You can also bring your own alcohol to save even more money.)

We had about 110 guests, the perfect size for Carnegie. We filled the rooms but weren't crowded, and unlike some huge ballrooms, our relatively small group wasn't swallowed up.

We had the ceremony in the rotunda (gorgeous in the early evening light), our cocktail hour in the boardroom and rotunda, our dinner in the adjoining ballroom, and our dancing back in the rotunda. Things flowed incredibly well with the help of the caterer to move chairs and set up everything.

Our guests were SO impressed with the venue. I think we got more compliments on how beautiful it was than on anything else the entire night. The best thing of all: there's a gorgeous spiral staircase that I used for my "grand entrance" before walking down the aisle in the rotunda. Although I was a little nervous about sliding down on my butt, it turned out to be a beautiful and dramatic start to the ceremony, and the guests raved about it. I felt amazing.

The people who work at Carnegie were responsive and helpful all the way through. Alexis and Laura answered my anxious emails right away and really worked to put my mind at ease. Keep in mind, though, that they are not wedding planners, so you may want to consider hiring a day-of coordinator to take care of things like directing other vendors. Our DOC was excellent: Lynnecia Johnson of Sophisticated Events. Highly recommend her, and since she's familiar with the venue, it would be seamless.

Overall, I would recommend Carnegie to anyone, and I am so pleased that we chose to have our wedding there. It was probably the best decision we made in our entire wedding planning process, and it set the tone for a really amazing event. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Vicki
Wedding:
6/19/2011
5.0/5.0
I had my 6.19.11 wedding ceremony and reception at The Carnegie Institution. My point of contact was Alexis Flemming.

I found the CI to be the perfect place for our DC wedding. It was the most cost effective, elegant place we found! You bring in an outside caterer, so there are no limitations there. You are also allowed candles and red wine, which many museums in the area do not allow. There were little to no restrictions from the CI and we were able to create our ideal wedding!

My only complaint was the heat. We had the large, front doors open before the ceremony, which let out a lot of cold air. We closed them during the ceremony and then opened them again during the cocktail hour. Even though the AC was blasting early on, it was no match for those large doors being open. The staff did everything they could to lower the temperature and raise the fans, though.

Alexis, our point of contact, was helpful, courteous, and prompt. She always answered emails and phone calls immediately.

I highly recommend this venue for hosting any event!!
I had my 6.19.11 wedding ceremony and reception at The Carnegie Institution. My point of contact was Alexis Flemming. Read more...
I had my 6.19.11 wedding ceremony and reception at The Carnegie Institution. My point of contact was Alexis Flemming.

I found the CI to be the perfect place for our DC wedding. It was the most cost effective, elegant place we found! You bring in an outside caterer, so there are no limitations there. You are also allowed candles and red wine, which many museums in the area do not allow. There were little to no restrictions from the CI and we were able to create our ideal wedding!

My only complaint was the heat. We had the large, front doors open before the ceremony, which let out a lot of cold air. We closed them during the ceremony and then opened them again during the cocktail hour. Even though the AC was blasting early on, it was no match for those large doors being open. The staff did everything they could to lower the temperature and raise the fans, though.

Alexis, our point of contact, was helpful, courteous, and prompt. She always answered emails and phone calls immediately.

I highly recommend this venue for hosting any event!! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
5.0/5.0
Carnegie Institute was a wonderful place to have our wedding. It is beautiful and unique. They are very flexible with vendors and allow you to bring your won alcohol with no corkage fee which saved us quite a bit. The only downside is the lighting and sound. We did not bring a lighting company for financial consideration and the lighting in the place was quite dull. The acoustics in the place is also quite strange due to the unique build of the rotunda. But we still had a dance party at the rotunda and our guests had a blast!!
Carnegie Institute was a wonderful place to have our wedding. It is beautiful and unique. They are very flexible with Read more...
Carnegie Institute was a wonderful place to have our wedding. It is beautiful and unique. They are very flexible with vendors and allow you to bring your won alcohol with no corkage fee which saved us quite a bit. The only downside is the lighting and sound. We did not bring a lighting company for financial consideration and the lighting in the place was quite dull. The acoustics in the place is also quite strange due to the unique build of the rotunda. But we still had a dance party at the rotunda and our guests had a blast!! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Diane
Wedding:
5/7/2011
5.0/5.0
The Carnegie Institute was the perfect setting for our wedding! We had around 140 guests and there was plenty of space to walk around and dance. Everything was elegant and beautiful. Alexis was very helpful and flexible- especially after I brought several vendors to the location. She is easy to work with and made everything run smoothly. I couldn't imagine a more perfect location to get that intimate DC feel! Highly recommended!
The Carnegie Institute was the perfect setting for our wedding! We had around 140 guests and there was plenty of space to Read more...
The Carnegie Institute was the perfect setting for our wedding! We had around 140 guests and there was plenty of space to walk around and dance. Everything was elegant and beautiful. Alexis was very helpful and flexible- especially after I brought several vendors to the location. She is easy to work with and made everything run smoothly. I couldn't imagine a more perfect location to get that intimate DC feel! Highly recommended! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Molly
Wedding:
4/9/2011
5.0/5.0
My wedding guests raved about our wedding venue - they couldn't get over how gorgeous the Carnegie is and what a perfect place it is for a wedding reception. My husband and I couldn't agree more! I researched tons of venues in DC and the Carnegie was the one place that I found that was beautiful (inside and out), fit a decent wedding crowd (we had 160 which is about the max), was very affordable, allowed you to hire whatever vendors you wanted (incl. caterers), and felt very old school DC :). Their event coordinators are very professional and helpful as well. I cannot wait to see my photos from the wedding with the Carnegie as the backdrop!
My wedding guests raved about our wedding venue - they couldn't get over how gorgeous the Carnegie is and what a perfect Read more...
My wedding guests raved about our wedding venue - they couldn't get over how gorgeous the Carnegie is and what a perfect place it is for a wedding reception. My husband and I couldn't agree more! I researched tons of venues in DC and the Carnegie was the one place that I found that was beautiful (inside and out), fit a decent wedding crowd (we had 160 which is about the max), was very affordable, allowed you to hire whatever vendors you wanted (incl. caterers), and felt very old school DC :). Their event coordinators are very professional and helpful as well. I cannot wait to see my photos from the wedding with the Carnegie as the backdrop! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Christine
Wedding:
1/15/2011
5.0/5.0
Best hidden gem in DC! We live in the area and must have walked past the Carnegie hundreds of times, each time saying how gorgeous and romantic the exterior is. When it came time to find a wedding venue, it was first on our list to check out, even though it doesn’t show up on a lot of DC wedding venue lists for some reason.

The Carnegie is just beautiful, with amazing architecture that is fun to look at and stunning in photos. The space is so diverse; you get the elegant and intimate rotunda, the cozy and warm board room, and the classic and spacious dining room. Not to mention that they give you full access to the upstairs balcony and historic looking library. You won’t even need many, if any, decorations or flower arrangements because the venue is so perfect on its own. I don’t know how they’ve kept it in such perfect shape all these years!

Our wedding was 100 people, but the place could easily and comfortably hold up to 140 I bet. We had a round ceremony in the rotunda (utilizing the great, spiral staircase to walk down), then we moved everyone into the board room for cocktail hour while the band set up in front of the big doors in the rotunda and while the caterers moved the chairs into the dining room. Then after dinner, we just had a huge dance party in the rotunda. The gorgeous marble floors made for a great dance floor! They dimmed the rotunda lights and kept the uplights from the alcoves on so the place looked very cool. I was worried that the dining room might be too cut off from the dancing, but it wasn’t at all. People could take breaks at their tables in the dining room and were still close enough to the action on the dance floor.

The staff were so friendly, professional, responsive and helpful throughout the entire process, they really are terrific over there. The venue is so laid back compared to most other historic DC venues. Not to mention the price was FANTASTIC! I still can’t get over all we got for the price.

We highly recommend the Carnegie to any and all couples!!
Best hidden gem in DC! We live in the area and must have walked past the Carnegie hundreds of times, each time saying how Read more...
Best hidden gem in DC! We live in the area and must have walked past the Carnegie hundreds of times, each time saying how gorgeous and romantic the exterior is. When it came time to find a wedding venue, it was first on our list to check out, even though it doesn’t show up on a lot of DC wedding venue lists for some reason.

The Carnegie is just beautiful, with amazing architecture that is fun to look at and stunning in photos. The space is so diverse; you get the elegant and intimate rotunda, the cozy and warm board room, and the classic and spacious dining room. Not to mention that they give you full access to the upstairs balcony and historic looking library. You won’t even need many, if any, decorations or flower arrangements because the venue is so perfect on its own. I don’t know how they’ve kept it in such perfect shape all these years!

Our wedding was 100 people, but the place could easily and comfortably hold up to 140 I bet. We had a round ceremony in the rotunda (utilizing the great, spiral staircase to walk down), then we moved everyone into the board room for cocktail hour while the band set up in front of the big doors in the rotunda and while the caterers moved the chairs into the dining room. Then after dinner, we just had a huge dance party in the rotunda. The gorgeous marble floors made for a great dance floor! They dimmed the rotunda lights and kept the uplights from the alcoves on so the place looked very cool. I was worried that the dining room might be too cut off from the dancing, but it wasn’t at all. People could take breaks at their tables in the dining room and were still close enough to the action on the dance floor.

The staff were so friendly, professional, responsive and helpful throughout the entire process, they really are terrific over there. The venue is so laid back compared to most other historic DC venues. Not to mention the price was FANTASTIC! I still can’t get over all we got for the price.

We highly recommend the Carnegie to any and all couples!! Read less
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dslominski
Wedding:
11/6/2010
5.0/5.0
The Carnegie is an amazing venue to hold a wedding reception. My husband and I decided upon a less traditional reception venue and wanted something different, yet elegant. I found the Carnegie through an on-line search and am so happy to have had our wedding reception there.

I worked primarily with Michelle Fisher, one of the event coordinators at the Carnegie, and also with Darla Keefer and Alexis Fleming, both also extremely helpful. Michelle was a pleasure to work with and very quick to respond to any requests or questions I had. We arranged for a site visit with the vendors a month before the wedding, and Michelle stayed later to accommodate everyone's work schedules.

The reception was beautiful and everything went as planned. We had access to the ballroom for dinner, the rotunda for dancing, and the boardroom for cocktails. An added bonus is that the Carnegie allows couples to bring in their own vendors. They also provide a list of recommended vendors, however, the list is not mandatory. The Carnegie is stunning inside and it was nice having multiple rooms for guests to walk through and explore. Every guest commented on how gorgeous this venue is, and we are thrilled to have it's uniqueness and charm contribute to our wedding reception ambiance.

A few weeks after our wedding, we received news that our photographer lost one of her memory cards with a large majority of our wedding pictures on it. We were devastated and called the Carnegie to see if it was there was anything they could do. The staff was so professional and willing to search the rooms we were in for the card, as well as allow us to come by ourselves to search the site. Unfortunately, we did not recover the lost memory card, but the Carnegie did not hesitate in allowing us to come back to re-shoot any photos that were lost at no additional cost.

I highly recommend the Carnegie to anyone looking for a truly elegant and unique atmosphere for your wedding.
The Carnegie is an amazing venue to hold a wedding reception. My husband and I decided upon a less traditional reception Read more...
The Carnegie is an amazing venue to hold a wedding reception. My husband and I decided upon a less traditional reception venue and wanted something different, yet elegant. I found the Carnegie through an on-line search and am so happy to have had our wedding reception there.

I worked primarily with Michelle Fisher, one of the event coordinators at the Carnegie, and also with Darla Keefer and Alexis Fleming, both also extremely helpful. Michelle was a pleasure to work with and very quick to respond to any requests or questions I had. We arranged for a site visit with the vendors a month before the wedding, and Michelle stayed later to accommodate everyone's work schedules.

The reception was beautiful and everything went as planned. We had access to the ballroom for dinner, the rotunda for dancing, and the boardroom for cocktails. An added bonus is that the Carnegie allows couples to bring in their own vendors. They also provide a list of recommended vendors, however, the list is not mandatory. The Carnegie is stunning inside and it was nice having multiple rooms for guests to walk through and explore. Every guest commented on how gorgeous this venue is, and we are thrilled to have it's uniqueness and charm contribute to our wedding reception ambiance.

A few weeks after our wedding, we received news that our photographer lost one of her memory cards with a large majority of our wedding pictures on it. We were devastated and called the Carnegie to see if it was there was anything they could do. The staff was so professional and willing to search the rooms we were in for the card, as well as allow us to come by ourselves to search the site. Unfortunately, we did not recover the lost memory card, but the Carnegie did not hesitate in allowing us to come back to re-shoot any photos that were lost at no additional cost.

I highly recommend the Carnegie to anyone looking for a truly elegant and unique atmosphere for your wedding. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Megan
Wedding:
10/30/2010
4.9/5.0
I am so grateful that we found the Carnegie Institution- it was the perfect venue for our 105 person wedding.

I'm fairly certain that we saw every single venue in downtown DC. Most of the places we saw were priced so far above our price range, we nearly had to laugh ($15,000 just to rent the space, with nothing included?! Seriously?!). When we finally found the Carnegie, we were thrilled to be offered a gorgeous, functional space that included tables for our reception at a reasonable price. Plus, they allow you to supply your own alcohol, which we were adamant about doing, so it was really a win-win.

Our wedding was held in the Rotunda, which provided a wonderful backdrop for all our photos. We held cocktail hour in the adjoining Boardroom, dinner in the Ballroom and dancing in the Rotunda. Everything was perfect and the changes in scenery kept our guests entertained.

We worked with Alexis at the Carnegie who was responsive, friendly and helpful. She helped me coordinate our vendor arrivals and made certain that everyone was where they needed to be on the wedding day.

I believe that for your money, this is the best venue in downtown DC.
I am so grateful that we found the Carnegie Institution- it was the perfect venue for our 105 person wedding.

Read more...
I am so grateful that we found the Carnegie Institution- it was the perfect venue for our 105 person wedding.

I'm fairly certain that we saw every single venue in downtown DC. Most of the places we saw were priced so far above our price range, we nearly had to laugh ($15,000 just to rent the space, with nothing included?! Seriously?!). When we finally found the Carnegie, we were thrilled to be offered a gorgeous, functional space that included tables for our reception at a reasonable price. Plus, they allow you to supply your own alcohol, which we were adamant about doing, so it was really a win-win.

Our wedding was held in the Rotunda, which provided a wonderful backdrop for all our photos. We held cocktail hour in the adjoining Boardroom, dinner in the Ballroom and dancing in the Rotunda. Everything was perfect and the changes in scenery kept our guests entertained.

We worked with Alexis at the Carnegie who was responsive, friendly and helpful. She helped me coordinate our vendor arrivals and made certain that everyone was where they needed to be on the wedding day.

I believe that for your money, this is the best venue in downtown DC. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
4.4/5.0
We worked with Michelle Fisher at the Carnegie - she was very helpful and answered all of our questions. She even provided us with a great list of recommended vendors.

The venue is absolutely gorgeous with lots of hidden gems, like the upstairs library. We are so happy with how everything turned out and guests won't stop talking about the location!
We worked with Michelle Fisher at the Carnegie - she was very helpful and answered all of our questions. She even provided Read more...
We worked with Michelle Fisher at the Carnegie - she was very helpful and answered all of our questions. She even provided us with a great list of recommended vendors.

The venue is absolutely gorgeous with lots of hidden gems, like the upstairs library. We are so happy with how everything turned out and guests won't stop talking about the location! Read less
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maizey23
Wedding:
9/4/2010
5.0/5.0
The Carnegie Institution is a beautiful venue and an excellent value. The venue boasts a rotunda with a marble floor and an adjacent, high-ceilinged dining room. There are also a couple of smaller adjacent rooms that we used respectively for bridal preparation and the cocktail reception. With all of this space, we were able to use the venue for both the ceremony and reception. The staff were incredibly helpful with planning, and they ensured that the event went smoothly. I would highly recommend this venue to anyone.
The Carnegie Institution is a beautiful venue and an excellent value. The venue boasts a rotunda with a marble floor and Read more...
The Carnegie Institution is a beautiful venue and an excellent value. The venue boasts a rotunda with a marble floor and an adjacent, high-ceilinged dining room. There are also a couple of smaller adjacent rooms that we used respectively for bridal preparation and the cocktail reception. With all of this space, we were able to use the venue for both the ceremony and reception. The staff were incredibly helpful with planning, and they ensured that the event went smoothly. I would highly recommend this venue to anyone. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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margoz
Wedding:
8/8/2010
5.0/5.0
Carnegie was the perfect place for our wedding this summer. It is a beautiful building inside and out, and offers a good value for high quality venues in DC. Michelle the event coordinator and the rest of the staff at the Carnegie are really helpful and accommodating. We had 135 guests with our ceremony and reception at the Carnegie. I am excited to see pictures because it was such a beautiful night and I couldn't imagine getting married anywhere else. I highly recommend the Carnegie to other couples in DC.
Carnegie was the perfect place for our wedding this summer. It is a beautiful building inside and out, and offers a good Read more...
Carnegie was the perfect place for our wedding this summer. It is a beautiful building inside and out, and offers a good value for high quality venues in DC. Michelle the event coordinator and the rest of the staff at the Carnegie are really helpful and accommodating. We had 135 guests with our ceremony and reception at the Carnegie. I am excited to see pictures because it was such a beautiful night and I couldn't imagine getting married anywhere else. I highly recommend the Carnegie to other couples in DC. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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saraashley
Wedding:
6/19/2010
5.0/5.0
The Carnegie has a large staff that is very accomodating and professional and could not be a more beautiful venue. It photographs lovely and has the perfect amount of space. It is also a wonderful value for DC.

We had a seated dinner for 140 and it filled up the space but there was still plenty of room to move around between the tables in the ballroom and have the rotunda as the dance floor. We had a bar set up in the boardroom. LOVE the Carnegie!
The Carnegie has a large staff that is very accomodating and professional and could not be a more beautiful venue. It Read more...
The Carnegie has a large staff that is very accomodating and professional and could not be a more beautiful venue. It photographs lovely and has the perfect amount of space. It is also a wonderful value for DC.

We had a seated dinner for 140 and it filled up the space but there was still plenty of room to move around between the tables in the ballroom and have the rotunda as the dance floor. We had a bar set up in the boardroom. LOVE the Carnegie! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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mpham
Wedding:
4/10/2010
4.9/5.0
Carnegie is one of the best kept secrets in D.C. in terms of wedding venues. We wanted a very "D.C." location that was reminiscent of a monument or historic building, not just a hotel ballroom that one could find anywhere. Carnegie did not disappoint and the cost is amazing when you compare it to similar looking buildings like Mellon Auditorium or Union Station. Plus they let you bring in your own caterer and alcohol! We originally thought we would have around 200 guests, which would have meant tables in the ballroom and rotunda, but we ended up with 170 and our caterer fit 17 5.5-foot rounds in the ballroom comfortably.
Carnegie is one of the best kept secrets in D.C. in terms of wedding venues. We wanted a very "D.C." location that was Read more...
Carnegie is one of the best kept secrets in D.C. in terms of wedding venues. We wanted a very "D.C." location that was reminiscent of a monument or historic building, not just a hotel ballroom that one could find anywhere. Carnegie did not disappoint and the cost is amazing when you compare it to similar looking buildings like Mellon Auditorium or Union Station. Plus they let you bring in your own caterer and alcohol! We originally thought we would have around 200 guests, which would have meant tables in the ballroom and rotunda, but we ended up with 170 and our caterer fit 17 5.5-foot rounds in the ballroom comfortably. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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beccadc
Wedding:
2/20/2010
5.0/5.0
I highly recommend the Carnegie. An earlier reviewer is right: it is a hidden gem. The rotunda is just stunning. We got tons of compliments from our family and guests about how lovely the building was. Working with Carnegie staff, especially Michelle, was great. Very responsive and professional. And unlike other venues, you can use candles, red wine, pick your own caterer, bring your own liquor. All of this makes the Carnegie a great value for the cost. It was great.
I highly recommend the Carnegie. An earlier reviewer is right: it is a hidden gem. The rotunda is just stunning. We got Read more...
I highly recommend the Carnegie. An earlier reviewer is right: it is a hidden gem. The rotunda is just stunning. We got tons of compliments from our family and guests about how lovely the building was. Working with Carnegie staff, especially Michelle, was great. Very responsive and professional. And unlike other venues, you can use candles, red wine, pick your own caterer, bring your own liquor. All of this makes the Carnegie a great value for the cost. It was great. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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RickieK2
Wedding:
2/14/2010
5.0/5.0
A gorgeous space, made very convenient by the very helpful staff. You get the run of the building, so there's always extra rooms you can use if you'd like, even though we technically only rented the rotunda, ballroom, and board room. They don't schedule any other events on your day, and they'll work with your needs. They'll also let you store your things in a room there so you can bring them over early and pick them up the day after. So convenient. The only thing I think could have been better is if we'd met with them in person during the week before to go through the building and get a last understanding of where everything would be. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of a blizzard, so they were closed most of the week and so there were some surprises and a little confusion that could have been avoided. http://www.ciw.edu/events/building_rental
A gorgeous space, made very convenient by the very helpful staff. You get the run of the building, so there's always extra Read more...
A gorgeous space, made very convenient by the very helpful staff. You get the run of the building, so there's always extra rooms you can use if you'd like, even though we technically only rented the rotunda, ballroom, and board room. They don't schedule any other events on your day, and they'll work with your needs. They'll also let you store your things in a room there so you can bring them over early and pick them up the day after. So convenient. The only thing I think could have been better is if we'd met with them in person during the week before to go through the building and get a last understanding of where everything would be. Unfortunately, we were in the middle of a blizzard, so they were closed most of the week and so there were some surprises and a little confusion that could have been avoided. http://www.ciw.edu/events/building_rental Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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SarahA1219
Wedding:
12/19/2009
5.0/5.0
The Carnegie building is such a hidden gem in DC! The building is beautiful and it was the perfect place to hold our reception. It has plenty of space but at the same time feels intimate... it's formal, but not stuffy.

We had nothing but the most positive of exchanges with Michelle Fisher and her team from the time we booked the location. Michelle is incredibly friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable- she really was amazing to work with.
The Carnegie building is such a hidden gem in DC! The building is beautiful and it was the perfect place to hold our Read more...
The Carnegie building is such a hidden gem in DC! The building is beautiful and it was the perfect place to hold our reception. It has plenty of space but at the same time feels intimate... it's formal, but not stuffy.

We had nothing but the most positive of exchanges with Michelle Fisher and her team from the time we booked the location. Michelle is incredibly friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable- she really was amazing to work with. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
Bg2
Fall Bride
Wedding:
10/11/2009
5.0/5.0
My husband and I were looking for a elegant, unique to DC and beautiful reception place. We must have visited a multitude of places and thought it was hopeless to find what we were looking for. Finally, after visiting the Carnegie Institution of Washington, we knew we found our location. We immediately fell in love with it and was perfect for our needs. The Carnegie is intimate, and was a perfect size for our 100 to 120 guests. The best was that it was within our budget.

The Carnegie has a beautiful portico, with a grand indoor rotunda with adjoining board room. In addition, the rotunda leads you to an impressive ballroom. We decided that we wanted to pay the extra fee for the portico because it is a beautiful way for your guest to come into the rotunda. We had our cocktail hour in the rotunda and board room. We closed off the ballroom until dinner. The rotunda is very grand and impressive with its marble columns and beautiful ceiling. Dinner and dancing was held in the ballroom. We wanted to keep the rotunda for the desert hour and our cake caking. We rented a dancefloor for the ballroom and had tables and chairs (tables and chairs are included in the rental price) flanked around the ballroom. It worked so well with 100 guests. While most opt to have dancing in the rotunda, we wanted to have dancing occur throughout the evening while people were enjoying their dinner. This worked very well. We received many compliments from our guests about having dinner and dancing kept together. They were really entertained and enjoyed themselves.

We were very happy with our experience at the Carnegie. Michelle was very professional, responsive, and awesome! She truly worked to come up with good ideas to ensure that we could keep dinner and dancing together. She went above and beyond to draft up a drawing to ensure our wedding concept went off without a hitch! She is awesome!!

We highly recommend the Carnegie! If you are not looking for the typical hotel ballroom, the Carnegie has incredible architectural zest!! We knocked our guests socks off and our reception was the most memoriable. The Carnegie is flexible and you can use any caterer and most of all, Michelle is so wonderful to work with! She was amazing to work with and extremly accommodating. She is willing to try anything new!! We also highly recommend, paying extra to open the portico door. It requires a security guard but this allows guests to come directly into the rotunda rather than through the side door. It makes for great picture taking as well!!

Everyone complimented us on our wedding reception location, including our vendors. The building is absolutely beautiful!! In terms of parking, while the Carnegie does not have their own parking lot, most of our guests parked at our contracted hotel. We neogiated with the hotel cheaper parking and the guests were fine with paying for parking. If not, guests were able to find street parking. It worked out well!!
My husband and I were looking for a elegant, unique to DC and beautiful reception place. We must have visited a multitude Read more...
My husband and I were looking for a elegant, unique to DC and beautiful reception place. We must have visited a multitude of places and thought it was hopeless to find what we were looking for. Finally, after visiting the Carnegie Institution of Washington, we knew we found our location. We immediately fell in love with it and was perfect for our needs. The Carnegie is intimate, and was a perfect size for our 100 to 120 guests. The best was that it was within our budget.

The Carnegie has a beautiful portico, with a grand indoor rotunda with adjoining board room. In addition, the rotunda leads you to an impressive ballroom. We decided that we wanted to pay the extra fee for the portico because it is a beautiful way for your guest to come into the rotunda. We had our cocktail hour in the rotunda and board room. We closed off the ballroom until dinner. The rotunda is very grand and impressive with its marble columns and beautiful ceiling. Dinner and dancing was held in the ballroom. We wanted to keep the rotunda for the desert hour and our cake caking. We rented a dancefloor for the ballroom and had tables and chairs (tables and chairs are included in the rental price) flanked around the ballroom. It worked so well with 100 guests. While most opt to have dancing in the rotunda, we wanted to have dancing occur throughout the evening while people were enjoying their dinner. This worked very well. We received many compliments from our guests about having dinner and dancing kept together. They were really entertained and enjoyed themselves.

We were very happy with our experience at the Carnegie. Michelle was very professional, responsive, and awesome! She truly worked to come up with good ideas to ensure that we could keep dinner and dancing together. She went above and beyond to draft up a drawing to ensure our wedding concept went off without a hitch! She is awesome!!

We highly recommend the Carnegie! If you are not looking for the typical hotel ballroom, the Carnegie has incredible architectural zest!! We knocked our guests socks off and our reception was the most memoriable. The Carnegie is flexible and you can use any caterer and most of all, Michelle is so wonderful to work with! She was amazing to work with and extremly accommodating. She is willing to try anything new!! We also highly recommend, paying extra to open the portico door. It requires a security guard but this allows guests to come directly into the rotunda rather than through the side door. It makes for great picture taking as well!!

Everyone complimented us on our wedding reception location, including our vendors. The building is absolutely beautiful!! In terms of parking, while the Carnegie does not have their own parking lot, most of our guests parked at our contracted hotel. We neogiated with the hotel cheaper parking and the guests were fine with paying for parking. If not, guests were able to find street parking. It worked out well!! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Savannah
Wedding:
9/5/2009
5.0/5.0
We envisioned our wedding reception being classy, unconventional, elegant and distinctly Washington, though we wanted the flexibility to bring in our own decorations, alcohol, as well as to set our own timeframe. After visiting numerous historical mansions and hotel ballrooms, we immediately fell in love with the Carnegie Institution for Science. It was perfect for our needs. Darla and Michelle are professional, polite, and responsive, and they allowed us to bring floral arrangements, decorations and liquor the day prior.

The wedding reception was intimate, beautiful and perfectly sized for our 120 guests and within our limited budget. The marble rotunda is impressive and grand, and we received so many compliments the entire night that continue still.

A few pointers:

1. Pay the extra fee to open the portico door. It requires an extra security guard, but allows guests to enter directly into the rotunda rather than through the side door. The sun sets directly into the rotunda and makes for a gorgeous backdrop at dusk.

2. The Carngie suggested that guests use the parking lot down the street, which was apparently full prior to our guests arriving around 5PM for the reception. Warn guests of this possibility and direct them elsewhere. If your budget allows, I would advise that you look into valet services.

3. Pay extra to have a second sound system in the dining hall. We had the DJ set up his main table in the rotunda, and the acoustics don't travel well into the ballroom where dinner was served. Fortunately, we were advised of this prior to the wedding.

We were very happy with our experience at the Carnegie and highly recommend it to any couple looking for an unconventional, elegant, and classy venue.
We envisioned our wedding reception being classy, unconventional, elegant and distinctly Washington, though we wanted the Read more...
We envisioned our wedding reception being classy, unconventional, elegant and distinctly Washington, though we wanted the flexibility to bring in our own decorations, alcohol, as well as to set our own timeframe. After visiting numerous historical mansions and hotel ballrooms, we immediately fell in love with the Carnegie Institution for Science. It was perfect for our needs. Darla and Michelle are professional, polite, and responsive, and they allowed us to bring floral arrangements, decorations and liquor the day prior.

The wedding reception was intimate, beautiful and perfectly sized for our 120 guests and within our limited budget. The marble rotunda is impressive and grand, and we received so many compliments the entire night that continue still.

A few pointers:

1. Pay the extra fee to open the portico door. It requires an extra security guard, but allows guests to enter directly into the rotunda rather than through the side door. The sun sets directly into the rotunda and makes for a gorgeous backdrop at dusk.

2. The Carngie suggested that guests use the parking lot down the street, which was apparently full prior to our guests arriving around 5PM for the reception. Warn guests of this possibility and direct them elsewhere. If your budget allows, I would advise that you look into valet services.

3. Pay extra to have a second sound system in the dining hall. We had the DJ set up his main table in the rotunda, and the acoustics don't travel well into the ballroom where dinner was served. Fortunately, we were advised of this prior to the wedding.

We were very happy with our experience at the Carnegie and highly recommend it to any couple looking for an unconventional, elegant, and classy venue. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Three's Bride
Wedding:
7/25/2009
4.9/5.0
The Carnegie is definitely a hidden jewel in DC! I stumbled across it after looking at nearly 50 venues from Baltimore to Northern Virginia. As soon as we walked in, we knew it was the place for us! We really wanted to get married in the city but wanted something different than just a normal hotel ballroom. Most of the venues we looked at were either too expensive with rental fees and mandatory catering minimums, were in need of updating or lots of decoration, or too small for our numbers. As previous posts said, the rental is a little high but being able to bring in your own caterer can significantly offset the costs.

We LOVED the rotunda and also got married "in the round" to utilize all of the space. The women in the bridal party all walked down the spiral staircase, which created a very dramatic entrance. We had cocktails in the library while they moved the chairs into the ballroom for dinner. Dancing was back in the rotunda. Everything was beautiful and our guests couldn't stop talking about the uniqueness of the venue.

Michelle and the rest of the team were AMAZING to work with, extremely flexible and accommodating and willing to try anything new!

I would just make a few points. We initially were going to have around 175 people attend but with last minute cancellations our numbers were around 165. It was definitely tight with 165 people seated for dinner in the ballroom. If we had another table in there, I'm not sure how the caterers would have been able to move to serve everyone. Also, it definitely gets a little warm in there if you are having the front door open (which we did). Make sure they turn the A/C up all the way prior to the ceremony starting to cool the place down. The last note is we took formal pictures on the front steps during the cocktail hour but guests kept wanting to come out onto the steps since the door was open. Ask one of the security guards or your wedding planner to stand inside the rotunda to prevent people from opening the large door until you finish taking your pictures.
The Carnegie is definitely a hidden jewel in DC! I stumbled across it after looking at nearly 50 venues from Baltimore to Read more...
The Carnegie is definitely a hidden jewel in DC! I stumbled across it after looking at nearly 50 venues from Baltimore to Northern Virginia. As soon as we walked in, we knew it was the place for us! We really wanted to get married in the city but wanted something different than just a normal hotel ballroom. Most of the venues we looked at were either too expensive with rental fees and mandatory catering minimums, were in need of updating or lots of decoration, or too small for our numbers. As previous posts said, the rental is a little high but being able to bring in your own caterer can significantly offset the costs.

We LOVED the rotunda and also got married "in the round" to utilize all of the space. The women in the bridal party all walked down the spiral staircase, which created a very dramatic entrance. We had cocktails in the library while they moved the chairs into the ballroom for dinner. Dancing was back in the rotunda. Everything was beautiful and our guests couldn't stop talking about the uniqueness of the venue.

Michelle and the rest of the team were AMAZING to work with, extremely flexible and accommodating and willing to try anything new!

I would just make a few points. We initially were going to have around 175 people attend but with last minute cancellations our numbers were around 165. It was definitely tight with 165 people seated for dinner in the ballroom. If we had another table in there, I'm not sure how the caterers would have been able to move to serve everyone. Also, it definitely gets a little warm in there if you are having the front door open (which we did). Make sure they turn the A/C up all the way prior to the ceremony starting to cool the place down. The last note is we took formal pictures on the front steps during the cocktail hour but guests kept wanting to come out onto the steps since the door was open. Ask one of the security guards or your wedding planner to stand inside the rotunda to prevent people from opening the large door until you finish taking your pictures. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Debby
Wedding:
5/9/2009
4.6/5.0
The building is absolutely beautiful. The atrium is perfect for the ceremony - we did a theater-in-the-round. I walked down a spiral staircase. The adjacent room opens up for seating. We had about 75 people. It is perfect - people can eat or sit comfortably at the table or go dance in the marble room. Everyone commented on how nice a place it is for a wedding - even the photographer and DJ who have seen many places

Michelle Fisher and the rest of the staff are very nice and very helpful. The only drawback in the cost ($4000 for a Saturday night) but you can pay more for less nice places. You can bring in your own caterer. Everyone loved it.
The building is absolutely beautiful. The atrium is perfect for the ceremony - we did a theater-in-the-round. I walked Read more...
The building is absolutely beautiful. The atrium is perfect for the ceremony - we did a theater-in-the-round. I walked down a spiral staircase. The adjacent room opens up for seating. We had about 75 people. It is perfect - people can eat or sit comfortably at the table or go dance in the marble room. Everyone commented on how nice a place it is for a wedding - even the photographer and DJ who have seen many places

Michelle Fisher and the rest of the staff are very nice and very helpful. The only drawback in the cost ($4000 for a Saturday night) but you can pay more for less nice places. You can bring in your own caterer. Everyone loved it. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Mysti
Wedding:
10/25/2008
5.0/5.0
This is a hidden jewel!! We spent over two months looking for a reception venue and were not finding anything that really clicked with us. Everything had either crazy high food and beverage minimums, or was not convenient to DC, or wasn't in good shape, etc. etc. etc. At the very end of our search, I stumbled across the Carnegie, and I am SO thrilled that I did. As soon as I walked in, I knew it was our venue. The venue is gorgeous and elegant and requires very little (if any!) additional decoration (all we did was put a few pink-colored DIY uplights in the rotunda and reception room to add a little bit of our color scheme). The architecture of the building also has a "DC" feel -- the exterior, for example, reminds me of the National Archives, albeit on a much smaller scale. I cannot count how many guests complimented us on our venue choice.

The staff at the Carnegie is AMAZING. They are super-friendly and accomodating. Various great points about the Carnegie include: (1) you can bring your own caterer, which allowed us to save tons of money; (2) you can drop stuff off at the Carnegie the Friday before your event (so we dropped off our favors, liquor, etc. so that we didn't have to worry about getting them there on the wedding day); (3) they didn't have the irritating rules that I found at other sites (e.g. other places said no votives or no red wine or whatever).; (4) tables and chairs are included in the rental. At first glance, the rental fee may seem a bit steep, but don't let that put you off! The ability to bring our own caterer saved us SO much money, and in the end we ended up only spending about half of what the hotels in DC wanted to charge us.

I could not have been happier with the Carnegie as a reception venue -- when set up for my reception, it was more beautiful than I even dreamed! I cannot recommend this venue highly enough!!!
This is a hidden jewel!! We spent over two months looking for a reception venue and were not finding anything that really Read more...
This is a hidden jewel!! We spent over two months looking for a reception venue and were not finding anything that really clicked with us. Everything had either crazy high food and beverage minimums, or was not convenient to DC, or wasn't in good shape, etc. etc. etc. At the very end of our search, I stumbled across the Carnegie, and I am SO thrilled that I did. As soon as I walked in, I knew it was our venue. The venue is gorgeous and elegant and requires very little (if any!) additional decoration (all we did was put a few pink-colored DIY uplights in the rotunda and reception room to add a little bit of our color scheme). The architecture of the building also has a "DC" feel -- the exterior, for example, reminds me of the National Archives, albeit on a much smaller scale. I cannot count how many guests complimented us on our venue choice.

The staff at the Carnegie is AMAZING. They are super-friendly and accomodating. Various great points about the Carnegie include: (1) you can bring your own caterer, which allowed us to save tons of money; (2) you can drop stuff off at the Carnegie the Friday before your event (so we dropped off our favors, liquor, etc. so that we didn't have to worry about getting them there on the wedding day); (3) they didn't have the irritating rules that I found at other sites (e.g. other places said no votives or no red wine or whatever).; (4) tables and chairs are included in the rental. At first glance, the rental fee may seem a bit steep, but don't let that put you off! The ability to bring our own caterer saved us SO much money, and in the end we ended up only spending about half of what the hotels in DC wanted to charge us.

I could not have been happier with the Carnegie as a reception venue -- when set up for my reception, it was more beautiful than I even dreamed! I cannot recommend this venue highly enough!!! Read less
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1530 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 See On Map
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