Need an Art Deco Wedding Reception - everything's under renovation! : LUSENET : Art Deco Society of Washington : One Thread

I live in London but am returning to Washington, where I was born and raised, to be married. We would love to have an elegant art deco reception but it seems my two best options: the Kennedy Warren and the Glen Echo Spanish Ballroom are both under extensive renovations and not booking events. Does anyone have any other suggestions? In DC OR the Eastern Shore?

Also, I heard about a "Scottish Rites" art deco masonic lodge??? but I cannot find it online. My fiance is Scottish so I thought it would be worth checking out!

Please send any ideas! Thank you!

-- Tracy Stoer (, August 02, 2002


I believe the building you are referring to is the local Scottish Rite Temple at 2800 16th Street NW (as opposed to the national Temple at another address on 16th). It is a 1939 building designed by the Washington architects Porter, Lockie & Chatelain and embellished with an exceptional precast polychrome mosaic concrete panel and decorative urns by John Joseph Earley. It is said to be lavishly appointed inside, but it is probably not available to outsiders.

It is difficult to think of an Art Deco site for events in Washington at this time. ADSW's 2002 Ball was held at the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory, a newly renovated 1933 building with a few Art Deco details, including an early use of structural aluminum. I believe it is used for events under the supervision of the Architect of the Capitol, perhaps through congressional connections. Check the link to the Conservatory on our Web site under Events, 2002 Ball.

Good luck, Linda B. Lyons, Education Chair Art Deco Society of Washington

-- Linda Lyons (, August 06, 2002.

Just to add to Linda Lyons' response - I tried calling the Scottish Rite Temple when I was looking for a site and they do not offer the space for rent for weddings. I too am trying to plan a wedding with an art deco theme - and I ran into the same problems you're having - it's a challenge to find great deco spaces for rent in DC. The closest places I found follow - but you'll have to do some research to find out details, I didn't make contact with all of them...

- in Arlington - the Clarendon Ballroom (they have a website, if you do a search on Google it should come up) it looks like a great space (very art deco) and they have a rooftop terrace where a ceremony could be held

- in DC there a couple of restuarants which might work if you were holding the ceremony elsewhere - such as the Oceanaire Seafood Room and the District Chophouse. I'm actually having my reception at the District Chophouse so I know they do them, but I'm not sure if the Oceanaire Seafood Room could accomodate you.

- also in DC there's an office building lobby that the Club at Franklin Square (which is housed in the same building) uses for wedding receptions it's not art deco per se, but it has a dramatic marble floor and great columns - it would provide an excellent backdrop for a deco wedding

- there are several hotels in DC that were built in the right era, but tend to be other revival styles and not particularly art deco - or the exterior is great but the interior has been updated. I was resigned to finding a space that had a vintage feel if not pure deco. The Jefferson Hotel is one, and the Carlyle Suites Hotel where the Board meets is another. There's a wonderful book by Elise Ford that lists unique meeting places in Washington and has tons of historic homes etc. It's definitely worth looking at.

- if all else fails concentrate on having other aspects of the event reflect the art deco style - I'm wearing vintage rhinestone deco dress clips for instance, and I'll carry a vintage Whiting and Davis mesh purse. You can hire a vintage limo to transport you and ask for ribbon streamers in your bouquet. Your veil can be in the art deco style also - do a search for "vintage wedding photo" on ebay and you'll have hundreds of images to look at for ideas. Your invites can also be designed with an art deco border or font and there's a lot of great clip art out there if you want to use an art deco graphic.

These are just a few ideas - feel free to email me if you have any other questions!

Megan Searing, Program Chair, Art Deco Society of Washington, DC

-- megan searing (, August 13, 2002.

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