Picking venues is a big deal and mainly for weddings it is an incredibly overwhelming process because venue plays such a vital role to make the memories last forever.
I started researching on venues from quite a long time. When ever we are invited to our friends parties, I always used to have an eye on the venue. But its really became a tedious task to find one that is near to my imagination. How can you possibly find a venue that A) you can afford, B) you actually like, C) is convenient for your guests, and D) isn’t already booked?
One day, when I was having a conversation with my friend, I mentioned to her about my upcoming event and asked her suggestions. Then she asked me what kind of venue that I am interested in. I told her I want something that has Character, Class and Grandeur. She immediately proposed me to check "The Bellevue Conference & Event Center" and also mentioned that it is the "Sabyasachi" of all the halls in Northern Virginia.
With so much of excitement I checked their online site for rental prices but to my dismay I didn't find much details there. So I called them up and booked an appointment to tour the venue.
My husband and me took the tour and got all the details. The venue is like a dream, its like we are in heaven throughout the tour but the rental prices are over the moon. Bummer!! how can I not see that coming. Well, I started looking for other options and found few like Martin Crosswinds, Fox Chase Manor, Hyatt Regency Dulles.... etc. I got quotations from these venues and realized that The Bellevue is the most expensive one. My husband wanted me to consider other options but you know bellevue is my first love!
So I reassessed all my possible options and decided to pursue with my first love. It took a month to make my husband agree to this hall. To be frank, it is way too much for our budget but he agreed just because he was convinced how happy I would be if we have to celebrate our event there. Our 5 years of journey, it is not surprising that he know so much about me and stuff that makes me happy.
The Bellevue Conference & Event Center has 4 venues
The Grand Marquesa Ball Room (900 capacity)
The Milan Room (350 capacity)
The Bolour Room (400 capacity)
Vera Sky Lounge (700 capacity)
Initially when we had our tour, we thought The Milan Room would be a good fit for our guest count. Therefore we signed the contract for the same. There are 2 suits for men and women included in the rental. As our event date approaching, we were invited for food tasting as we opted for in-house food service. And the tasting was held in The Grand Marquesa Ball Room.
we both along with one of our friend went for tasting. There she saw both the rooms for the first time and she was speechless with the Venue and she loved The Grand Marquesa Ball Room more.
Well The Grand Marquesa Ball Room is magnificent, with exotic marble flooring and beautifully arched windows that welcome natural lighting. The room is such a charm with tall towers, corinthian limestone columns basking in the ambiance of crystal chandeliers. The grand entrance with large staircase will leave everyone in awe. It is sure an unforgettable affair. But price is the major deciding factor because it is double the rental than The Milan Room.
We went home and slept on it. But my unsettled mind kept thinking about The Grand Marquesa Ball Room.
So I went and asked my husband about it. Surprisingly, he didn't argued but he just wanted me to consider by asking two questions about
1. Our guest count
2. The room rental is double than our initial choice.
I am good at convincing people, mainly my Mom and my Husband ;-), Hence it is The Grand Marquesa Ball Room! Yayyyy.......
Initially my plan is to have 2 separate events.
1. Pooja &
When you book your venue with The Bellevue, that means we literally booked it for whole day. From morning 8AM to midnight 12.
My mischief mind got a thought - why not celebrate Pooja as a morning ceremony in the same venue just like american weddings, where their ceremony will happen in the morning followed by reception in the evening.
Luckily, when you rent The Grand Marquesa Ball Room, we can choose one from other 3 rooms for extra cost for 2hr ceremonies if they are available! So I picked the roof top. But due to rainy weather I had to choose the inside rooms. Then I decided to pick my initially planned The Milan Room for my morning ceremony. This way I can have these two beautiful rooms for my events.
Decorations: These are totally my choices as its a surprise to my husband as well.
I browsed multiple options in Google, Pinterest for some ideas on how the decorate the pooja venue. I came across some beautiful Mandap decor and decided to go with auspicious colors Yellow, Red and Green along with floral touch.
I contacted Frenzy beats entertainment for my Pooja decoration. And to my surprise, they outdid my vision. I have no words expect tears after seeing the decor. I cried in happiness that my husband felt equally happy seeing my dream is almost about to come true. I worked with them in the past and no doubt they are exceptional. But as this is my dreamy event and I don't want anything to go wrong, so I have that ambiguity but Anusha from frenzy beats, told me to trust her and to my awe, she made is so perfect that I wouldn't change a bit in the decorations.
I opted for subtle decor with floral arrangements and red carpet to give that drama. The chairs are sashed in red which is a cute contrast to yellow Mandap decor.
For reception, I went with The Bellevue in-house decor, AV and lighting team.
I choose real flower decorations all over the room. Having black and white theme, I opted for
Black table cloths, Candelabras and Crystal Centerpiece with Floral arrangements, glass chargers and flowers at the end of two stair case. A cake stand on mirror/glass table with floral arrangements. A Large ornate mirror for foyer and 10x10 green hedge welcome wall. A rear end high stage with black back drop to blend with my contemporary theme.
For AV and Lighting,
I choose golden package that offered
1. LED wireless Up lights
2. Moving heads spot lights
3. Spot light for entrance, chandeliers, dance-floor, cake-cutting
4. Shinning stars on the walls
5. Hazer machines
5. DMX Controller
6. Monogram logo
7. Dry ice machine
8. Sound system to the entire hall
9. Monitors, Mics and Projector
The highlight of the evening was, I surprised everyone with heat and fire proof FIRE WORKS during the entrance and for my surprise dance performance. It was best part of the evening which made all the guests and my husband astonish.
I know its too much information, so no more talks lets go straight in to pictures now :-D
The Bellevue Conference & Events Center
The Grand Marquesa Ball Room - It was $31,250 room rental (w/o food)
The Milan Room - It was $14,250 room rental (w/o food)
Reception In-House decor - $6,950
AV & Lighting - $3,500
Extra rental charges for Pooja ceremony - $2,500 for The Milan Room
Hope this information is helpful for local people <3