We loved getting married at Glen Echo Park. Jackson and his team did a great job of responded to our every question and working with us through all the detailed planning. Our ceremony was in the Cuddle Up Pavilion- a last minute change due to the weather. And the reception was in the gorgeous Bumper Car Pavilion. Our event was a dream come true, thanks to all the great staff at Glen Echo. And of course, the best part, was riding the carousel.
We knew we wanted to get married at Glen Echo eons before we were engaged, and it was the perfect venue for us despite some of the annoyances.
If you're getting married at Glen Echo, you know it's a National Park, not a full-service wedding venue. So don't expect any fancy literature about options, don't expect your contact to be JUST AS ENTHUSIASTIC as you are about, well, anything. But you can expect the answers will be predictable and fair.
It's a National Park, so it can only be so flexible. There are certain definite noes (like hard alcohol - it's beer and wine only). That being said, Jackson was very flexible where he could be. And to get around/cope with where the Park can't be flexible? Get a good caterer who's worked there before (we used Main Event and could not have been happier). When we got married, only nine caterers could operate at the Park, which makes choosing a caterer easier than a lot of venues.
We used the Cuddle Up for our ceremony and the Bumper Car pavilion for our reception. Our cocktail hour was in the area in between.
I know this sounds cheesy, but I can only describe Glen Echo as magical. I rented the Cuddle Up Pavilion for my ceremony and the Bumper Car Pavilion for my reception. They were perfect for our nontraditional, DIY wedding. Jackson was very helpful and responsive. I couldn't have ask for more.
We were looking for something unique and conveniently-located for a fun summer wedding in the DC area. Glen Echo was recommended to us as an historic former amusement park, and we had the reception inside the "Bumper Car Pavilion". It was the first bumper car pavilion in the United States from what we were told! Pricing was reasonable, free parking was plentiful and the venue was very easy to work with. Not to mention, the wooden bumper car floor was perfect for dancing!!! Thanks, Glen Echo!
One of the relatively more affordable venues in the DC area, Glen Echo was a fun place to have my wedding! I have a connection to the park, which is why I wanted to get married there, but on its own it's a beautiful place with a variety of options. I used the Cuddle Up pavilion for the ceremony, and the Bumper Car Pavilion for the reception, and we had 160 people at our wedding.
While it can pose a challenge that everything has to be brought in, the folks at Glen Echo are helpful with coordination with vendors, answering questions, and even allowing you to keep some of your wedding stuff in storage so you don't have to lug it there on the day of your wedding. I do recommend a day-of-coordinator, since this venue has a lot of moving parts that a hotel, for example, doesn't have, but they have a carousel! Great spot.
I LOVED having my wedding at Glen Echo- it was the perfect setting and ended up being wonderful; that being said it was a bit of a bumpy road... I really disliked the extremely limited list of catering options ( I think there are like 5 and one is the Brown Bag... only 2 of them ever replied to my request for proposal) and the strict rules about decorating. I worked around all those things and created the wedding of my dreams despite those issues- however the park was not at all helpful when it came to renting the carousel and dealing with the tickets, still not quite sure why the guy at the ticket booth couldn't just give out the tickets when I said I would happily pay for any party crashes that wanted to ride it. It also took multiple emails to get responses( yes- I'm anal but aren't all brides)... but regardless I got past all of that and was so excited when I showed up to start setup on the morning of my wedding until I was hit with a double booking of the venue! It not only shot my nerves to hell but took loads of time having someone go scan my contract and send it over to prove that my contract was for the full day and no I was not willing to wait until 4:00pm to set up for my 6:00pm wedding- it was the most ridiculous compromise I have ever heard- granted after being yelled at, contracts sent over for proof, many tears they apologized and moved the other event. And just as my nerves were starting to calm we discovered that the ceremony venue had a wasp infestation! Thankfully my friends were faster than the park ranger and quickly got the situation under control. All that being said- if you are willing to do a whole lot of work the day of your wedding and really stay on top of them you can have the most magical wedding at Glen Echo- it really is a fun and unique venue and no one will forget it.
I had no problems working with Glen Echo. They were always very responsive and worked with me. The bumper car pavilion was a fantastic venue for my casual ceremony and reception!
I rented the bumper car pavilion for my wedding in September 2012. I loved how unique the space was and it was geared towards my more offbeat bride tendencies. Everyone that I worked with at the park were extremely professional and they were able to answer whatever weird questions I had. I also rented one of their classrooms to get ready in before the wedding and rented their carousel for guests to ride during cocktail hour. Overall it's an amazing space and I couldn't have asked for more. The only downside was that you had to use one of their approved caterers but that turned out to be a non-issue.
Glen Echo was the perfect find for our wedding. We wanted a venue that would allow us to have a fun and non-traditional wedding and Glen Echo gave us just that. We totally played up the vintage carnival theme and used that for inspiration in our decorations, food, cake topper, etc. We rented the carousel during cocktail hour which our guests loved and it made for great pictures of us and the bridal party.
The staff at Glen Echo were extremely helpful throughout our planning process. Emily and Dwight were prompt and helpful in answering questions and problem solving to make our day go smoothly.
The only slight downside to Glen Echo is that there are rules and guidelines that you must follow because it is a National Park. However, this was all stuff we could work around (i.e. no liquor allowed so we just served beer and wine) and it really was not a big deal.
Glen Echo Park is a VERY magical, happy place. It's so joyful and warm and fun with the unique architecture, signage, history and of COURSE the carousel. When my husband and I looked into it after my Mom recommended it, we KNEW we had to get married there.
We had our wedding ceremony on the stage in the Cuddle Up Pavilion, and our wedding reception at the Bumper Car Pavilion. We also rented a small room inside the office for getting ready and later on, for babysitting. We also rented the carousel for an hour (during cocktail hour) which the guests LOVED.
- It's SO unique. Memorable. Fun. Joyful. Magical.
- The carousel!
- Fairly affordable (for the DC area)
- Outdoors but also covered so you're ok if it rains.
- Can accommodate a lot of people!
- Absolutely beautiful for photos.
- There are SO many rules. Since it's a national park and they want to preserve it, they have a lot of hard rules. Like no hard liquor (BOO! Even though you can serve champagne/beer/wine), no candles (BOO!) and no using tacks or staples to hang decorations (so you have to get creative). They also have a strict pre-approved set of caterers so you are pretty limited there.
- Everything is spread fairly far apart, so if it rains even though your areas will be fine, it would also
- The carousel is open to the public until 6pm every day, so unless you want randos around and also LOUD carousel music, you pretty much have to have an evening wedding.
- Some walking is involved since the parking lot and restroom are kind of spread far away; so if you have elderly guests it could be a challenge.
It's also worth noting that our contact person changed like 3 different times. So everything was kind of confusing. We had a walk through with a girl who wasn't there 2 months later during the time of our wedding. And the new contact lady (who was actually the ORIGINAL one-long story-wasn't even at the event. It ended up being fine of course, but it was hard to get replies and calls back about certain issues. Our caterer was definitely getting frustrated.
Overall, it was beautiful and happy (and GREAT weather!), and everyone (especially the out of town guests) LOVED the venue. It was GORGEOUS and magical. Just know you have to make a lot creative compromises. All of them are worth it...but still...worth noting.
I absolutely loved Glen Echo Park. Wouldn't change a thing about the location, it's just fantastic. It's too bad no liquor is permitted - they seem to be very strict on that -- but it's a National Park so not much to be done there. Emily Mah Rogers was very nice to work with and responsive to emails. The price to book the park is a steal, but with the added catering costs it can be a pricier venue that you originally think.
We enjoyed a perfect wedding reception in the Bumper Car Pavilion. Emily Rogers (contact person) was professional, responsive and super sweet with our requests. They made it so easy to have a blast at our wedding. You can't beat the ambiance of the neon and the history of that place! Book early!!
Glen Echo was the perfect wedding reception venue for us. The hubby and I had our 2nd date at the restaurant next door, so when we found out we could have it at the Park (in the Bumper Car Pavilion), we signed on the dotted line. After a formal Catholic wedding, we wanted to reward our guests with a party, and Glen Echo provided the perfect setting. You can't help but smile when you walk into the Park.
There are some considerations that are unique to the park - you have to pick from an approved list of caterers, only beer/wine and no candles. But none of those caused us any heartburn. Actually, only beer/wine was really good for the budget. The only "stress" I had was about the worrying about the weather, but that's inevitable for any bride that's having the event outdoors. For the bumper car pavilion, there's plastic that can be rolled up on the sides in case the weather's not good (thankfully we didn't need to do that - the weather cooperated!). We were so pleased with Glen Echo (Emily from the Glen Echo Partnership was a pleasure to work with, too), we'd definitely recommend it to others.
Glen Echo was an awesome place for our reception. It was so fun to ride the carousel with our guests, great locations for photos all around the park (give yourself an hour! we regret only having a half hour), and the Bumper Car pavilion created great atmosphere with the christmas lights. Emily was easy to work with, even with a change in contract after a few months. Storing alcohol the day before was easy. Staff the day of were helpful keeping out some teens who tried to crash the party (it is a public park, and other events happen at the same time). It was one of the least expensive rentals I found. The one downside was the restrictive choices of caterers, most of which were some of the most expensive in the DC area. However, it did make the search less time-consuming and the least expensive catering option did a great job.
Glen Echo is a fun and unique venue. I went there as a child to watch plays and ride the carousel. As I got older, I always imagined my wedding there. We used the bumper car pavilion and were able to use minimal decorations to bring in our wedding colors and make the venue unique to the vision for our wedding. Our guests really enjoyed the atmosphere and especially enjoyed riding the carousel. Emily Rogers is easy to work with and the price is great ($2500 for whole day, we started decorating at 9am and the wedding was from 4 – 9:30ish). We were also able to get really great wedding photos due to the amazing venue.
We just had our wedding in the grassy circle/bumper car pavilion on July 9th, and it was absolutely beautiful. Emily Mah Rogers, the event coordinator at Glen Echo, is a pleasure to work with - very responsive, flexible, and understanding of the last minute changes and questions that come up as you get closer to the day. We went through several iterations of our contract and Emily never even blinked.
Glen Echo has an ambiance all its own, and it's not for everyone, but it's a gorgeous blank slate to work with and our guests loved the park. We even had a few wedding crashers from the swing dance! There are some limitations which can be frustrating (no liquor, very limited catering list), but due to the historic nature of the park it's understandable that you'd need to make some compromises. I'd definitely recommend the place without any qualms!