Shelly Pate

The Perfect All-Inclusive Outdoor Wedding Venue: Iron Gate Restaurant DC

Do you want your wedding day taken care of from start to finish? If this is the case, most couples opt for an all-inclusive wedding venue. Planning out a wedding shouldn’t have to fall completely on your shoulders when there are amazing wedding planners and spectacular all-inclusive venues ready to help! Planning a wedding takes a lot of time and strategy so delegating that to professionals allows you to better enjoy the wedding planning process. If you’re local to Washington, DC, I wholeheartedly recommend the Iron Gate Restaurant DC!

Couple kisses in woods at National Arboretum wedding

Why I Recommend All-Inclusive Wedding Venues

Pink and Red roses decorate railing at Iron Gate Restaurant DC wedding

In general, an all-inclusive venue is one that provides spaces to host your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. It varies, but these venues generally include in-house catering, staff, tables, chairs, and linens. Whether or not you must use the vendors provided by the all-inclusive venue can depend on the location. For example, you can always bring in your own wedding planner but often you must use their catering if it is in-house. All-inclusive venues may still offer a recommended list to assist in your search for vendors not included. The Iron Gate Restaurant allows for anything besides the catering and bar to be swapped with an outside vendor.

Passing the baton to your wedding venue doesn’t mean that your day lacks a personal touch. Most all-inclusive venues offer a variety of options for your wedding package so that it can be tailored to your style and tastes. Ashton and Graham chose to bring in some of their own personal decor. Such details included phrases pulled from The Lord of the Rings book series etched on wooden signs that hung around the Iron Gate Restaurant DC. Phrases such as “No Admittance Except on Party Business” and “Speak Friend and Enter” were written in a Lord of the Rings stylized script.

Wooden etched sign used as decor for Washington DC wedding

What an All-Inclusive Wedding Venue Generally Includes:

  • signature cocktails & cocktail hour bar
  • ceremony/cocktail hour/reception spaces
  • in-house catering, staff, tables, chairs, linens
  • cake
  • day-of coordinator

Varies by Location:

  • place settings
  • getting-ready spaces for couple and wedding party
  • lodging for at least the night before for wedding party/guests

Usually Not Included:

  • photographer
  • full planner (not day-of)
  • florist
  • officiant
  • DJ and/or musician

What The Iron Gate Restaurant DC Includes:

  • signature cocktails & cocktail hour bar
  • ceremony/cocktail hour/reception spaces
  • in-house catering (with customized menu & wine pairings), staff, tables, chairs, linens, china, flatware, glassware, place settings
  • cake
  • day-of coordinator
  • full restaurant buy-out option for access to all rooms (for up to 100 guests)

The Iron Gate Restaurant DC: A Secret Garden with Magical Touches

Wedding guests seated at candlelight reception at Iron Gate Restaurant DC wedding

The Iron Gate Restaurant DC located in Dupont Circle boasts several spaces that can be transformed into whichever vibe you two wish! Ashton and Graham made use of the Garden Patio for both their ceremony and reception, planning their getting ready and first look at other nearby locations. The Iron Gate also offers an indoor Dining Room and Side Courtyard (with tent option) for smaller and more intimate weddings.

Glowing lit lanterns sit on staircase at Iron Gate Restaurant DC wedding

Iron Gate provides a secret garden vibe right in the middle of the city that’s great for all seasons (they include heaters during cold weather). You have the option to rent the full venue or select solely the ivy-covered Garden Patio as these two did! The garden transforms perfectly no matter the time of day especially with its magical candles and twinkle lights at night.

Reception tables lit by candlelight under twinkle light ivy covering at Iron Gate Restaurant DC wedding

Be Sure that an All-Inclusive Venue is Right For You

Many couples become overwhelmed by decision-fatigue with the number of different vendors they must select and the additional choices these include. A huge pro to an all-inclusive venue like the Iron Gate is they make it so easy to plan! Your day is much more relaxed having most everything in one place!

But, you still want to make sure you absolutely LOVE what your venue includes. For starters: the food! Ashton and Graham specifically picked Iron Gate Restaurant DC because of their excellent food. The couple worked with the chefs to develop the most amazing menu! 

White and brown cakes at wedding reception

If you want to use a caterer you really love, double check that your all-inclusive venue permits it. Read the fine print, paying attention when booking to what your all-inclusive package includes. If you do have the option of substituting vendors, look to see if you have to book the full day at the all-inclusive site.

Often in the city, you’ll want to go to a secondary location for couples and/or family photos. This is actually pretty awesome because you can easily get a totally different vibe for your photos! My couples who have gotten married at Iron Gate have done their couple and getting-ready photos at the LINE DC Hotel utilizing its gorgeous rooftop for a city perspective. Ashton and Graham got ready at the Topaz Hotel (now permanently closed) and went to the National Arboretum for their first look to incorporate some nature into their day!

I recommend all-inclusive wedding venues to anyone who wants a super relaxed wedding day! If you’re looking for someone to assist in planning your all-inclusive wedding then let’s get started!

Here are some of my favorite all-inclusive wedding venues like the Iron Gate Restaurant DC that each have AMAZING food and atmosphere!

  1. Goodstone Inn
  2. The Blue Door kitchen & inn
  3. Tabard Inn
  4. Maketto Restaurant
  5. Red Fox Inn
  6. the LINE DC Hotel
  7. District Winery
  8. Hotel Washington
  9. The Mansion on O & O Street Museum

The Team

Planner | Noelle Ahmad-Snedegar of Silk + Slate Co.
Venue and Catering | Iron Gate Restaurant
Equipment Rentals | DC Rental
Officiant | AC Warden of Capital Ceremonies
Videographer | Michael Brazda Films
DJ | Shew-sical
Ceremony Harpist | Cara Fleck
Cake | Buzz Bakeshop
Florist | Bee Inspired Events
HMU | JKW Beauty
Rings/Jewelry | I. Gorman
Bride’s Shoes | Bella Belle
Menswear | The Black Tux

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