Walter E. Washington Convention Center



Washington, US


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We had our ceremony and reception at the Carnegie Library in Mount Vernon Square which is managed by Events DC. First let me say the building and facilities are absolutely stunning. Historic architecture mixed with modern amenities makes for a perfect DC wedding venue. There is a horrible dark side to the venue though. The staff was absolutely awful. Rude, disrepectful, unresponsive, deceptive, and constantly tried to charge us for anything and everything up until the wedding day. On the day of, our event manager was no where to be found 90% of the time. She didn't respond to phone calls the entire week of. She lied about open hours and accessibility to the grounds. Janitors would walk through pictures. At one point a man walked into a wedding picture and stood in the background. Upon asking him to move, he responded with "I only work here" rather sarcastically. Just before the ceremony started, one of the staff that was supposed to helping us was showing the venue to other potential clients. Mind you, we rented the building for the whole day. All in all, the wedding went off just fine. But not without unnecessary stress from the staff. Steer clear! The beauty of this building will lead to a path of frustration and anger!
Services Used: Wedding Venue
This was our hidden gem. First of all, the convention center is three blocks from the church we used so we couldn't ask for anything more convenient. There were definitely pros and cons to using the convention center as our reception location. First the pros: 1. It is an impressive building. Grandiose staircases, beautiful floor to ceiling windows, gorgeous art pieces throughout. 2. Location - it is in the heart of DC...which in itself is impressive...and also metro accesible :) 3. Shockingly affordable. Any other venue in the DC area that can give you 8000 sq feet will cost you an exorbiant amount of money. We rented the space for about $2200. That is a steal in DC! And on top of that, the rental fee included foyer space for the cocktail hour, another smaller space for the wedding party "ready room" before the dinner, tables and chairs with standard white linens, a stage if needed (we put the djs on it) and the room was available to us from 7am - midnight. THAT is crazy. Other venues we researched commanded $4000 for like 6 hours and did not include table and chair rental. Now since we had access to the room all day that also saved us from hiring a wedding coordinator. With the wedding at 2pm I was able to ask friends to go to the center earlier in the day while I was getting ready and they set out the place cards and wedding favors on the escort table, set menus at each place setting and basically check on the room for me.
4. They came with their own caterer, Centerplate and you have to work with them. This was good since it was one less decsion we had to make :) But really the food was impressive and the options are a little less expensive then what you would find in downtown hotels.
Cons: 1. We were I think the 3rd wedding at the convention center so because of that their catering menus did not have an all inclusive per person package. We chose the entrees ourselves and we paid on consumption for the drinks. That was actually fine by me because I knew that since our wedding was on a Sunday (Columbus Day was the next day) we were't going to have a lot of people "rage" that night. And plus I knew my guests...some weren't drinkers and so to have paid for them to drink would have been a waste.
2. Some hidden costs. We ended up paying for 2 hours of service fee for the waitstaff since we went over the allotted four hours of included service time. My gripe with that was nowhere in any of the contracts did it state that there was a possibility of added service fees nor did it say service was for four hours to include 1 hour of setup and 1 hour of breakdown.

All in all, the pros FAR outweighed the cons. The staff I worked with there truly made the efforts to ensure I had a beautiful day. They were generous and attentive and I was very appreciative of their work.
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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