DC Art Gallery Wedding - bride and groom and dog

DC Art Gallery Wedding

Gallery O in H is a delightful art gallery comprising three buildings and a lovely courtyard in downtown Washington DC. It is a unique venue for smaller weddings – 80 guests or fewer is what I recommend. Two buildings have upper levels that can be used for dressing; you can spread out your reception activities on the lower floors. The third building is similar to a garage where dancing often takes place. Scroll to the bottom for our actual floor plans for this wedding.

The gallery is well-landscaped and has beautiful and interesting features, so you don’t need a lot of extra wedding decor. The forecast was terrible, but we got lucky with a beautiful day, so we went without a tent in the courtyard. We planned to have 96 seats for the ceremony, but we got to about 90 after working around the landscaping. This was only just enough, so I walked around before the ceremony to ask guests to close any gaps in the chairs. After the wedding ceremony, we invited guests back to the indoor lower levels (where they had entered the building) for cocktail hour. During the cocktail hour, we reset the courtyard for dinner.

We did open seating, meaning guests were not assigned tables or seats. There were pros and cons to this decision.

We didn’t have whole place settings at the tables; therefore, more seats fit at each table than I typically recommend. The venue managers told me they had not had this many seats at an event before. Well, I am a floor plan genius. You can fit more chairs when you don’t have a whole place setting at a table (two forks, two knives, a napkin, 2-3 pieces of glassware, possibly a base plate).

One downside is that you must overset the room – we did 104 seats for about 90 guests. There was a couple who did not know anyone else at the wedding and ended up sitting alone. That did not seem fun to me, so I do not recommend open seating.

Read more: How Many Wedding Guests Fit at a Table and The Correct Table Setting for Your Wedding.

My favorite thing about this wedding was the free little library. M & A asked their wedding guests in advance to bring a book to swap. They started off the mini library with a dozen or so books. I brought a book whose title was the bride’s last name, and I took home a couple of classics that I had not read yet.

Venue: Gallery O on H // Coordinator: Bellwether Events // Catering: Timber Pizza // Rentals: Sammy’s and Hello Rentals // Photography: Shelly Pate // Alcohol: Ace // Beauty: Make Up by Margo // DJ: Batchelor Party