Weddings at The Lyceum
Please email the Rentals Coordinator if you would like to receive an information package.
There is a short list of caterers included in that information packet. These are simply caterers who have worked here and know the layout. You are free to use absolutely any caterer that you want. Also, you can have a friend or relative do your catering for your wedding reception at The Lyceum, if you so desire.
The entire second floor of The Lyceum is a large hall (28' x 58') decorated in the Greek Revival style of the 1840's---dusty rose colored draperies and valences, tall, narrow mullioned windows, high ceiling, a Greek frieze going around the top of the walls, and armchairs for your guests, done in upholstery to match the draperies. The walls are off-white, and the carpeting is a burgundy pattern. We refer to this as "the Lecture Hall", as that was its original name when The Lyceum was built in 1839.
The Lecture Hall is where both ceremony and reception take place. When we have both a wedding ceremony and a reception following, it is usually done in one of two ways.
- The altar, or whatever will be used, gets set up on our stage ( 9' x 22', and 13" above the floor ), and the chairs are set up in rows facing the front. We often set them up with a wide center aisle, and two more narrow side aisles. You can decide and sketch it out on the floor plan enclosed in the information package. We have a conservatory grand piano which you can use for $100, if you want. If not, we push it way over to the side to give you room. After the ceremony the guests depart for about one hour while your caterer sets up for your reception. Sometimes they go downstairs to visit our exhibit galleries, sometimes they have cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (this would have to be after 5 pm, when we close to the general public), and sometimes they simply go walk around Old Town, because we are absolutely in the middle of it. One wedding hired a horse and carriage to come by and take guests on short rides during the time needed to change over to a reception set up. Our galleries can be opened to your guests for $50 to open the front two permanent ones, and $50 to open the one gallery in the back of the museum that is for changing exhibits.
- The altar, or whatever will be used, gets set up on our stage ( 9' x 22', and 13" above the floor ), and tables and chairs are set up everywhere, just as you would want them for a reception. People simply conduct their wedding ceremony with all of their guests seated at their tables. After the ceremony, the caterer serves your reception dinner. (We have a large caterers' kitchen located just off the Lecture Hall, separated by a swinging door.)
We can accommodate 90 people at a sit-down reception, and 140 at a buffet style reception. Receptions should end by 11 PM so that caterers can do their clean up and be out by midnight.
- Security Deposit: $500; due immediately
(This is not applied to rental fees, is fully refundable up to 90 days before your event, and is returned after your event is over.)
- Wedding ceremony only: 3 hour time block $750, additional time is $300/hour, due 60 days before event
- Reception only: 6 hour time block $2,300, additional time is $300/hour, due 60 days before event
- Ceremony & Reception: 9 hour time block $2,600 (additional time is never needed--this is always enough)
- Use of our 7' 4" conservatory grand piano $150
- Open our two permanent exhibit galleries after 5pm $50
- Open our changing exhibit gallery after 5pm $50
You can have a DJ or band, and can hire a dance floor to be brought in, if you want. Candles are permitted, as is red wine.
Tables and Chairs
We have many rectangular tables, and we will set them and the chairs up where you want. Our rectangular tables are 3' x 6', and also 3' x 8'. We have enough to accommodate any size group. We also have 140 upholstered armchairs for your guests to sit in, which work fine at the tables. If you want round tables they would have to be rented from an equipment rental company. Our caterer's kitchen is on the second floor, adjacent to the Lecture Hall. This kitchen has a refrigerator/freezer, a large sink, a hand sink, a microwave oven, garbage disposal, counter space, and lots of floor space. We do not have a conventional stove. Caterers also do a lot with chafing dishes that they roll in on carts, which is why the floor space is helpful.
Use of the Entrance Hall
After 5 PM, our large and attractive 1st floor entrance hall is available for your guests, where you can set up a table and/or bar. There is no charge for this.
We strongly encourage you to come by and look our historic facility over. Please call before coming to ensure that the Lecture Hall is available to be seen when you arrive, as we are quite busy, and someone else might be using it at the very time that you come by.
If you have any questions please email me or telephone me at 703-746-4994.
Thanks for considering The Lyceum, Alexandria's History Museum, for your wedding and wedding reception.
(click photos to enlarge)