Enough talk about places that didn't fit the bill. Let's chat about our first possibility, St. Francis Hall. On first glance, this venue excited me. Their website has so many wonderful pictures of all different types of weddings. The pictures at the Franciscan Monastery were gorgeous and it was buried in one of my favorite neighborhoods in DC- Brookland. We made our appointment to visit and I had stars in my eyes!
Once we arrived, I didn't love the facade. I particularly dislike the awning. Picky much? Anywhoodle, once inside, it is a space that blows you away because it is completely unexpected. It's a blank slate that can go any way you like it, decor-wise. It has a full caterer's kitchen. And those arches! It is spacious. It also has a bride room that can also be used for children. Plenty of parking comes with the package as well.
On the con side - it's does not have a "city" feel which is something that we wanted. It's not near any hotels. Additionally, the outdoor ceremony space left much to be desired. We could use the room and flip it between ceremony and reception but there is no place to "hide" the reception tables, so creative draping would have to come into play. Or, we could have people sit at the tables during the ceremony. Not an option. There is a terrace/balcony that can be used for cocktail hour, however, it looked a little small for our guest list and if the weather doesn't cooperate, where will our guests be while the room is flipped?
Still, these are not deal breakers just things that need to be considered and mitigated. OK enough talk, here are some pics.