by Amanda Greenberg, Marketing Coordinator & Emily Rubin, Writer
The photogenic national capital entices the senses with its one-of-a-kind landmarks, international-inspired architecture, vibrant greenery, and seasonal cherry blossoms. From climbing the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and soaking in the treasured view of the National Mall, to strolling along Georgetown’s waterfront, and admiring the iconic Kennedy Center, the city offers much to celebrate. See our list of the best museums and landmarks in Washington, D.C. for your own perfect celebration. There are stunning, meaningful spaces for everything from weddings and milestone birthday parties to corporate events and fundraisers.
The Carnegie Institution for Science combines beautiful design elements with classic architecture to wow guests and event hosts alike. Offering spaces for corporate functions, weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and more, it’s no wonder that the Carnegie Institution for Science is consistently listed as one of Washington, D.C.’s top venues. We love how the gold, grey and silver marble rotunda creates an intimate setting for a wedding ceremony where guests will feel close to the bride and groom on their special day. It can also easily double as an amazing dance floor for an evening reception. The Ballroom space is conveniently located adjacent to the rotunda, allowing for larger party sizes.
Rotunda Capacity: 125 (seated) – 150 (standing)
Ballroom Capacity: 150 (seated) – 180 (standing)
Standing as the largest structure in Washington, D.C., The Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center boasts cultural significance, as well as physical prominence. The center offers a multitude of event spaces, ranging from an astounding atrium to a charming ballroom, efficient meeting spaces, and even an outdoor plaza — hosting from 150 up to 2,000 guests. Overlooking symbolic Pennsylvania Avenue in the heart of downtown Washington, D.C., The Ronald Reagan Building captures the essence of the city through its striking architecture, superior location and stunning spaces. Plus, the fact that their culinary team can satisfy the tastes of any international palette is the icing on the (wedding) cake.
Atrium Capacity: up to 1550
Atrium Ballroom Capacity: up to 1275
Woodrow Wilson Plaza Capacity: up to 2000
Walking into Arena Stage, you are immediately awakened by a wall of striking floor-to-ceiling windows that fill corporate events with energizing natural night and let wedding receptions glow under enchanting moonlight. With multiple levels of rounding balconies that wrap around the center, we love that you can host your cocktail hour, ceremony, and reception in distinct areas of the same space. Located along the District Wharf, you and your guests will be just steps away from one of the city’s most gorgeous waterfront views.
Rooftop Terrace: Up to 250
The Grand Lobby Capacity: 350 (seated) to 500 (standing)
The Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium features spectacular limestone-finished walls, large historic columns, and gorgeous hardwood floors perfect for a dance floor. We imagine a beautiful wedding ceremony or an over-the-top Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration in the Great Hall space. Guests will love partying in the breathtaking and historically significant building. Its gorgeous pillared entryway outside the building makes for a grand entrance area that sets the scene for a memorable celebration.
Third Floor Capacity: up to 200
Great Hall Capacity: 600 (seated) – 1000 (standing)
Union Station is a restored transportation and shopping center which also doubles as an incredible location to host a grand celebration such as a wedding or corporate event. We love that guests will feel part of the historic bustle of Washington, D.C. with this space’s location, just blocks from the U.S. Capitol Building. Light, bright, and airy built-in décor elements are perfect for a celebration that transitions from day to night, such as a wedding ceremony and reception.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts offers unparalleled event spaces for your next dinner, dance, cocktail party, or wedding. The Great Hall is both elegant and historic featuring beautiful marble floors and gorgeous works of art, all part of NMWA’s collection. Picture dancing the night away in black-tie attire beneath ornate crystal chandeliers that light up the space. For a more intimate gathering, consider the Elisabeth A. Kasser Board Room or Third Floor Gallery, both impeccable spaces that will leave guests stunned by their amazing architectural features and artwork.
Performance Hall Capacity: up to 200
Built in 1905 and located on Washington, D.C.’s Embassy Row, The Society of the Cincinnati works to preserve the memory of the American Revolution. Today, the Beaux-Arts masterpiece opens its doors to provide premiere spaces to host stunning celebrations such as large cocktail gatherings, intimate dinners, or beautiful dances. Jaws will drop as guests walk around the Neoclassical mansion, taking in its gorgeous finishes and 20th century chandeliers hanging in the grand ballroom. We particularly love the carved-wood walls, ornate marble floors, and papier-mâché ceilings featured in the Anderson House.
Capacity: 170 (seated) – 300 to 450 (standing) with tented garden
Located just one block away from the White House, The Decatur House is one of the oldest and most prestigious homes in Washington, D.C., and it provides the perfect location for event hosts planning special celebrations. Offering incredible indoor and outdoor spaces to accommodate parties of varied sizes, The Decatur House mixes rich historic charm with updated conveniences. Our favorite spots in the venue are the Entertaining Parlors located on the lower level of the historic house museum, which offer the perfect setting for a more intimate event. Guests will feel as though they’ve been transported to old-Washington in the Carriage House, and will love the beautiful outdoor Courtyard, perfect for wedding ceremonies, cocktail parties, milestone birthdays, and other special celebrations.
Entertaining Parlors Capacity: 80 (seated) – 120 (standing)
Carriage House Capacity: 150 (seated) – 250 (standing)
Courtyard Capacity: 220 (seated) – 300 (standing)
The Dumbarton House serves as national headquarters to The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, an organization that inspires patriotism and love of America. While the Dumbarton House is normally a museum featuring period rooms, it also invites event hosts to wow guests in a variety of party spaces. Check out the elegant Belle Vue Room with breathtaking 13-foot ceilings and french doors which open up to a gorgeous attached courtyard, perfect for an outdoor event. We’re loving the home’s combination of art exhibits with functional spaces for large parties.
Capacity: 80 (seated) – 140 (standing)
Unbelievable views of Washington, D.C. await at the International Spy Museum, one of the most popular attractions in the city. With multiple private event spaces available to hosts, the museum offers anywhere from a classic ballroom to a contemporary and colorful event space perfect for a standing cocktail reception. We’re obsessed with the museum’s 7th floor Ballroom, which features floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing guests to see the U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument, and the Potomac River. While some may enjoy dancing inside the Ballroom, other attendees can head outside to the landscaped Rooftop Terrace, which offers even more functional space for large events.
Rooftop Terrace Capacity: 150 (seated) – 200 (standing reception)
Terrace & Ballroom Combined Capacity: up to 700 guests
With a multitude of spaces for event hosts to choose from — including an incredible rooftop perfect for an outdoor wedding ceremony and a breathtaking atrium space — the opportunities for spectacular celebrations are endless. With enough space to accommodate 1,500 seated guests, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is ideal for large corporate events, galas, or receptions. The more intimate Bird Room is great for smaller sized events like a milestone birthday or anniversary party. We especially love the intricately decorated Israeli Lounge featuring 40 wooden ceiling panels decorated with 22-carat gold leaf — an amazing spot to host a elevated dinner party.
Bird Room Capacity: 50 (seated) – 60 (standing)
Atriums and Foyers Capacity: 400 (seated) – 550 (standing)
North Plaza Capacity: 1500 (seated) – 3000 (standing)
The Meridian House fits perfectly into the thriving architecture scene of Washington, D.C., acknowledging the fact that it was crafted by the designer of the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art. The landmark is gorgeous both inside and out, with multiple event spaces including different garden areas, a ballroom, foyer, and library spaces representative of a timeless old school mansion. The award-winning venue offers superior planning expertise and execution to ensure your event — whether intimate or large scale — goes off without a hitch.
Capacity: 150 (seated) – 200 (standing)
PartySlate is the place where leading event professionals share their work with the world. Find new ideas by viewing and saving hundreds of thousands of beautiful event photos from weddings to birthday parties, corporate events to galas. Easily connect with the best local event professionals and find stunning venues. Sign up now »
Featured event professionals and venues receive additional links within articles. Learn about membership plans »