Recognized as one of the top event and wedding venues by the Washingtonian since 1999, Decatur House offers the ideal balance of historical significance and classic Washington style. Our rental rates differ, based on the year of your event. Below you will find a detailed list of the rates for 2023.
Preferred Vendor Winter and Summer Rate
- The event must be held January 1st March 31st or July 1st August 31st (not including holidays). If client contracts with at least one (1) Decatur House Preferred Vendor they will receive the 10% off of the standard rental rate. Discount applies to evening and weekend rental blocks only.
Fees & Restrictions
Endowment Fee: All contracting parties give a contribution that will ensure the future maintenance and upkeep of the Decatur House historic site and event spaces. Contracting parties will give a $100 level contribution if they are renting the space for a private or non-profit event and a $200 contribution if they are renting the space for a corporate event.
Event Timing: Music and bars must end by 11:30 p.m., with all guests leaving no later than midnight. If your event goes longer than the contracted time, overtime will be billed at $600/hour, or any fraction thereof. Set-up and breakdown overtime will be billed at $200/hour, or any fraction thereof.
Overtime: Event time is counted when you or your first guest arrives and ends when you or your last guest leaves. Any event overtime will be billed at $600 per hour, or any fraction thereof. For events requiring more than its allotted time for set-up and clean-up, the Contracting Party will be charged $200 for each additional hour, or any fraction thereof.
Final Walkthrough: Decatur House staff will schedule a required final walkthrough for each event during business hours, Monday through Friday.
Holiday/Heavy Season Charge: For events being held on a holiday or heavy season day, Decatur House requires an additional donation as part of the rental fee. Please refer to the Director of Special Events for specific charges.
Food/Drink: Only hosted bars are permitted on the premises.
Security Deposit: A $600 refundable security deposit is required of all contracting parties and will be refunded no later than thirty (30) calendar days after the event, if it is determined that no damage has occurred and no other charges are outstanding.
Audio-visual: For use of the AV system in the Carriage House space, we require a technician from RCI Systems to be on site. RCI is the only AV vendor authorized to plug into our system.
Tent Vendor: Sugarplum Tent Company is the exclusive tent provider for any event at Decatur House. Please call Sugarplum Tent Company at 301-869-2054 to discuss tenting packages for your special event.
Wedding Guidelines: The ten (10) and twelve (12) hour blocks allow for an additional one (1) hour of rehearsal time, though the hour and date is subject to availability. Date and time can be reserved six weeks prior to event date. In most cases, the latest time slot available for a rehearsal is 3:30-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Due to holiday and event scheduling earlier times may be required. Please also note that Decatur House does not allow the throwing of rice, confetti, birdseed, sparklers, flower petals or bubble blowing.
Wedding Photography: Included in every weekend rental is the opportunity to have pictures taken in the Upper Level Entertaining Parlors within the contracted block of time. No food or beverage service is allowed in the Upper Level Entertaining Parlors while pictures are being taken. Otherwise, a fee will be incurred to the contracting party.
Chair Rental Guidelines: Decatur House chairs are $4.00 per/chair and does not include set-up. Maximum number of chairs available is 180. Final number confirmation must be received 72 hours prior to event. Decatur House chairs are to be used in the Carriage House and Historic Parlors only, chairs cannot be used in the Courtyard. Chairs can be used for meetings, panel discussions and other events not serving food and beverage.
Restrictions: Cash bars are not permitted. The throwing of rice, confetti, birdseed, flower petals and bubble blowing are not allowed. No food or drink is permitted in the Historic House Museum, unless as part of a Historic Entertaining Parlors rental. No red beverage or food (berries, red wine, cranberry or tomato juice), open flame, or amplification is permitted in the Historic Entertaining Parlors. Functions must end by 12 midnight; music and bars must stop by 11:30 p.m.
Cancellations: The full amount of the rental fee deposit (less a $500 processing fee) shall be returned to the Contracting Party if the Director of Special Events is notified of the cancellation at least 180 days prior to the contracted event date. Between 150 days and less than 180 days prior to the event, one-half (1/2) of the rental fee deposit will be returned. With less than 150 days prior to the event, there will be no refund.