The Meridian House is one of Washington DC’s most elegant and intimate venues. It is located about 1.5 miles from the white house in a residential setting. The house was built by renowned architect John Russell Pope, who designed the Jefferson Memorial, the National Gallery of Art (West Building) and the National Archives.
The venue has had some renovations over the years, but they have kept the historic nature of the venue. The pebbled courtyard has 40 linden trees, imported from Europe when the house was built. The statues throughout the garden are original to the house. In the dining room hangs a beautiful Mortlake tapestry, which has been dated by experts as late 17th century. The tapestry, purchased by the Laughlin family in England at the turn of the century, depicts the legendary reception given Alexander the Great by the Greek philosopher Diogenes.
Your reception can take place in the drawing room, dining room, and library. These space are complete with marble tables, Chinese temple vases, crystal chandeliers, and pillars that you are able to add your own florals to.
This venue can technically hold up to 150 guests. This is max capacity. If you are hoping to bring in a large bar, a band, or have lots of dancing, I would suggest reducing that number. Ideal capacity would be between 100-130. The library can hold an estimated 50 guests and the reception space another 100. The gardens are beautiful and a great option for ceremony and or cocktail hour.
Some of my favorite details of the venue are the inscriptions over the doors. The Latin inscription “Quo habitat felicitas nil intret mali” appears over the front door and translates “Where happiness dwells, evil will not enter.” The inscription over the rear courtyard doors reads: “Purior hic aer: late hinc conspectus in urbem,” meaning “Purer here the air whence we overlook the city,” a quotation also inscribed on a house at the top of Rome’s Spanish Steps.
It is recommended to secure a hotel room block at one of the nearby hotels, or provide transportation for your guests. Being in a residential neighborhood parking is a bit limited.
The Meridian House does require that you use one of their preferred caterers. They are all great, and offer a range of cuisine and pricing.
There are lots of great opportunities for photos, both inside the venue and in the gardens. The Meridian House is truly a hidden gem in Washington DC.
I would love to see a highly stylish, chic, romantic, intimate wedding take place here. This venue is the perfect location for smaller weddings that are big on style and romance.
Photography: David Abel Photography