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We LOVED using this venue. I don't think there are many other places in DC comparable to the value we received from Ft. McNair. The food wasn't the best, but, you get what you pay for. We booked the package that included everything in it, so it was a one stop shop and our guests were very happy. The ball room is beautiful and we had our ceremony downstairs. It was a very classy event overall.
This is a beautiful venue, and the price can't be beat for the city. We had our ceremony outdoors along the Washington Channel, which was very nice despite the helicopter that flew overhead and the somewhat chilly day. We were hoping the cherry blossoms would be visible at Hains Point, but unfortunately they weren't blooming yet because of the cold winter we had.
The reception was in the Crystal Ballroom, which is an elegant room with large chandeliers and windows. The set up worked perfectly, and the club even worked with us to develop an all-vegetarian menu. Unfortunately we did not have the details of the menu before the wedding despite repeated requests, but it turned out okay. We received several positive comments about the food, though my husband and I weren't crazy about the pasta. Apparently the appetizers during the cocktail hour were amazing, though. And the cake from Heidelberg Bakery was to die for!
We planned our wedding date to coincide with the Cherry Blossom Festival fireworks, so we all went downstairs at 8:30pm to enjoy them from the balcony of the club. It was very cool to have free fireworks for our big day. Unfortunately some of our guests still had not been served their main course by 8:30pm, so the timing could have been run better. Also, several guests complained to me after the wedding that the bartenders had been harassing them for tips. Not cool.
We also had a childcare room downstairs in the McNair Room and the club set us up with a tv and kids meals. It was a great solution to the problem of what to do about kids at weddings.
Most of the package vendors were decent, and we particularly loved the linens, centerpieces, and cake. Vanessa, who is the main POC at Ft. McNair, was very accommodating to all of our special requests and is very sweet. Just go into it knowing that she only works part-time, her schedule changes, and if you email her you should call to follow up during her scheduled work hours.
We had our reception at Fort McNair's Officer Club and it was wonderful. Vanessa was great and helped my husband and I through every step. We can't say enough nice thingsvabout her she was a pleasure to work with. Wewere able to personalize the ballroom as much as we wanted. The ballroom was gorgeous! McNair also makes it easy to plan since they have a preferred vendors list. The florist and bakery they recommended were just as amazing and I am so happy we decided to have our reception here. I would absolutely recommend this venue.
My wedding at Fort McNair was exactly what I wanted it to be. All of the vendors who work with the club were fantastic. We ended up not using chair covers and ended up with a credit with the linens vendor and were able to upgrade the linens, add chargers and upgrade napkins without an additional fee. We were also able to add uplighting through the linens vendor and she gave us an excellent deal. We ended up having a band but used the club vendor DJ for the cocktail hour and it worked out perfectly. There are a lot of negative reviews about Vanessa, however we did not have a problem at all. She was responsive both via phone and email when coordinating set up of the band and all of the details. My dad did choose to go talk to her in person a lot since there were so many little details which also worked out well. She was flexible and helpful every step of the way. The food was okay but I expected that from a club. The cake vendor was Heidelberg bakery and was absolutely amazing!! We were able to use the entire club for our wedding and it was absolutely perfect I highly recommend this venue for anyone looking for a wedding with a historic feel on the water for a great price!
The package at this venue was a very good value. We were able to get the cake, DJ, reception flowers and then all of the catering and location for a very reasonable price. The linen selection was also nice with some satin and spandex options. We worked with Helena and she was very helpful and professional. She helped relieve stress and was very realistic with helping to set our expectations; she never over promised during the process. We didn't have the budget to afford a wedding planner and having Helena and the package really helped to reduce overall stress and make things run smoothly. The vendors they included in the package are well rated in their own right and were very easy to work with in tandem with the Officers' Club. We selected Alexandria Pastry Shop for the cake, Royal Floral for the flowers, and DJ Darnell.
The day of the staff was helpful and the reception went smoothly. I wish there had been someone to greet the wedding party when we arrived and tell us where to stage out of. The food was good. We asked Helena for food suggestions and were pleased with all of her recommendations. We really liked the Mahi-Mahi and beef.
Being the bride, I did not get to taste much of the food at the reception, but I heard rave reviews from my guests, and thoroughly enjoyed the warm, freshly baked bread! Vanessa was SO accommodating of all of my requests and freely offered up information to make my day everything I wanted. We had an extra difficulty of lack of AC after a big storm in DC, but the staff pulled out huge fans to make my guests as comfortable as possible. All I can suggest, is that if you request anything in a nice (reasonable) way, Ft. McNair Officer's Club will do their very best to make it happen. On the morning of the wedding, I stopped by to check on things, and even though there were a few things out of place, they immediately stopped what they were doing to make it right. Ft McNair's Officer's Club is the best!!
For our ceremony site, Fort McNair Officers' Club was more than accommodating. I was truly pleased with the end result. For our reception, the club did a wonderful job setting up for the cocktail hour and the reception. The staff was professional and courteous. We did have some concerns about getting in touch with the club points of contact and despite some delays in communication, our requests were always met. For the value, you can't beat it. This rating is only for the club and staff, I will submit vendor ratings separately.
We had a really good experience with Ft. McNair. Vanessa Mozee was really easy to work with (though she is better with phone calls than emails). It was great for us because everything was included in one package deal (venue, food, booze, cake, dj, flowers etc). It made planning a lot easier because all the vendors were pre-approved to work at the O Club so it put us at ease. The service was good and I had a ton of compliments about the food. It is also a beautiful room -- very elegant -- so that added to the atmosphere. It was an all around great time and I would definitely recommend this venue to a friend.
Fort McNair has definite pros and cons. It was perfect for what my husband and I were looking for - something traditional but not a hotel ballroom (we really wanted natural light), something inexpensive, and something big enough for 150 guests.
Fort McNair gave us excellent value for the money. It was, by far, one of the least expensive places we looked (though they have recently changed their menus and may be slightly more expensive). In fact, we had considered getting Sunday brunch out near Frederick, MD but were able to afford a Saturday night dinner in DC thanks to the great prices at Fort McNair.
The location is also beautiful. We had both our reception and ceremony at Fort McNair. My husband and I walked into the ballroom and knew this would be a wonderful place to have our reception. The room was large, light, and attractive. And best of all, the Officers' Club overlooks the Potomac, so our wedding photos show us by the Potomac, with the Washington Monument in the distance. One pro to Fort McNair is that you will likely be the only event there, especially if you reserve the downstairs dining room for $300 (where we had our ceremony).
For us, another pro was that Fort McNair includes the DJ, florist, and cake baker in the cost of the contract. This saved us money and time as we didn't have to select these vendors ourselves. We did pay a bit extra for the cake because we wanted special frosting (but less than $100) and did pay for upgraded floral arrangements. If you don't want to use Fort McNair's vendors, you can get a small refund.
If you care a lot about food, this is not the place for you! Though some of our guests complimented us on the food, my husband and I both felt that it was mediocre. However, we expected that. There was plenty of food, all edible, but far from great.
Finally, there has been a lot of reviews mentioning Vanessa. Vanessa is definitely difficult to work with. She is very difficult to get ahold of. She seems to work from 11-2, with a break for lunch - and her voice messages are always either full or isn't working! Vanessa is pleasant and actually noted all of our special requests correctly on our contract form; however, getting in touch with her is a real challenge. Our saving grace was Myrna, our wedding planner who owns For All Occasions. Myrna's contract with us started 2 months before the wedding and she did all of the communicating with Vanessa, so the biggest con was not a problem for us.
Overall, Fort McNair is an inexpensive and beautiful location but has mediocre food and a difficult catering head.
Overall, we loved our wedding at Fort McNair. You really can't beat it for the price, great location, beautiful spot on a historic base, and great all inclusive package at a really low price. We liked the DJ, the flowers provided were fantastic, the cake got rave reviews, and the food and setup were adequate for the price we paid. We appreciated not having to pay extra for the open bar.
With all that said, dealing with Vanessa and the other staff in the office at the club was a terrible experience. Vanessa was impossible to get a hold of and actually left half way through our planning process. No one bothered to inform us, and when I called to follow up on details the interim person had no idea what I was talking about or any of the details we had previously planned. To make matters worse, the interim person gave me attitude and made rude remarks... "oh it must be nice to have rich parents to help you pay for your wedding." Really?!?!?!?!?!
The day of the wedding, there were some problems getting the tables set up... there were no table numbers on the tables and when my mother-in-law asked for assistance in how to order the tables, she was told, "that's not my job."
I would definitely recommend this venue, as the value was unbeatable and saved us a ton of money. Everybody loved the wedding reception, our photos were beautiful due to the great location (waterfront with the DC monuments in the background) and the outside vendors (DJ, bakery, florist) provided quality products at very low cost. However, be prepared to be treated like a nuisance for trying to confirm basic details and make sure you have people in place to get to the reception early and set everything up as the staff won't lift a finger to help you the day of (and that can really ruin the day for your family - if they end up dealing with it). If you are looking for a coordinator who cares about you and your day... look elsewhere.
Ft. McNair ended up looking beautiful, our guest LOVED the atmosphere, the ambiance, and the location, and the food- however I spent 1 full year arguing with Vanessa Mozee. She was a horrific and awful woman. I think if I saw her I would vomit. Vanessa just about ruined my wedding. If it wasn't for her manager Nic (who even mentioned that he wished he could fire her) we would have had an awful wedding.
If you are interested in Ft. McNair- all I would say is be prepared for NO phone calls, NO e-mails no extras no caring at all if you deal with vanessa, my advice would be- is to say to her, you are a worthless person, and deal directly with Nic. Nic cares about the appearance, and the weddings. He is a sweet and genuine man.
I'm not going to write much, because my experiences were just horrible with the service from Vanessa.
I don't even know where to begin... First off, Vanessa was pretty terrible. Don't get me wrong, she was very polite, but super up professional. Initially, when they sent the confirmation of our deposit she not only had the time for the cocktail hour and reception wrong but had them occuring at the same time. Secondly, we did not have a contract signed until the Wednesday before our Saturday wedding. Yes, that's right, four days before the wedding. It was incredibly difficult to get a hold of her and she made several mistakes. We hased to upgrade the vodka at the bar to Grey Goose and to have a specialty cocktail. She told us she had to look into the prices which took over a month (she had previously told us it would take a couple of days). Discussing the upgraded vodka, she only provided one bottle of Grey Goose, which is a problem when you have 165 wedding guests. She was fairly disorganized, I had to call her several times in order to speak with her. Fort McNair does not provide tastings-- buyer beware-- the food is not that good, especially the hors d'orves. They were very bland and incredibly greasy. Also, the meal we ordered (filet mignon with a red wine reduction sauce) was not very good. The steak wasn't filet mignon and the sauce was way too sweet.
Up until a week or two before our wedding there was no other event scheduled for the same day as our wedding. At some point in these two weeks, the Fort booked another event which did not get completed in time for them to set up our reception. They were still setting up the reception until 15 minutes before it was supposed to start. Yes, that means that as our guests were at the cocktail hour, they were still setting up the tables for the reception.
On to the DJ. What a disappointment. The DJ did not have several songs that we requested to be played (during dinner we had intended for the first dance song from our parents' and the married members of our bridal party's wedding to be played-- I hope this makes sense). I had to find the songs on iTunes (apparently, the DJ company is not a member of iTunes, which seems very odd to me) and burn them onto a CD. The DJ also cut our first dance song in the middle of the song, which we incredibly frustrating since my fiance and I had taken dance lessons specifically for the first dance and we had incorporated some photo opps we really wanted. The DJ played slow songs for over half of the reception, which really stinks when many of your guests are single people.
We met with the florist which was included in the package. Since this review is getting long, I will keep this part brief. We did not use the florist (we did receive a $200 credit).
The cake was really good, but had the wrong filling. I will, however, right more about our wedding cake under a review for the bakery.
Ultimately, the old adage is true. You get what you pay for at Fort McNair. Based on the reviews, I know many people have had more positive experiences with Ft. McNair. I felt like I was working with a completely different venue. Look around a lot before you go with them. Beware.
I loved Fort McNair. It's perfect for the bride on a budget. For one low per person price, you get dinner (served or buffet), the centerpieces for each table, head table and dinner table arrangements, the wedding cake, a DJ, AND three hours of open bar! Even if you decide to go with other vendors (other than the catering), you can receive a credit towards someone outside of the "included" package.
Vanessa can be difficult to get a hold of, but once you do, she's incredible! She does best by phone, so forget about emailing her. They really were great to work with, and their food tasted awesome :) I could never have afforded such a gorgeous wedding in DC without the Officer's Club, and all of my guests raved about it! Highly recommend this venue!
Since my father was in the military, this made it possible to be at Fort McNair. And what a beautiful location! We had an outdoor ceremony by the water and during the sunset in October. It was goregous. We then moved inside to the Crystal Ballroom for the reception. The Officer's Club did a wonderful job laying everything out. Plus the catering was sponsored through them and their Four Star Catering service. The food was wonderful too. We actually got to eat thanks to the way they set up the sweet heart table!
Great all-around. Gorgeous, intimate Crystal ballroom. Next to river- lovely.
My parents ended up spending the entire cocktail hour settiing up the wedding reception. The tables weren't set up and there weren't even enough tables for everyone to sit down at. We had assigned tables (for which i made up a seating chart) and they had it completely mixed up. I personally thought the food was horrible, too. The food at the cocktail hour was very good, but my family didn't even get to enjoy that b/c they were too busy setting up the wedding reception.