4 Prom Negotiating Tips

April 15th, 2015


Prom season is here! Loudoun County Public schools start planning for the busy prom season in January. Usually there is a prom planning committee made up of students, teachers and parents who are responsible for picking the theme, location, music, activities and ticket price.

Some schools use their gymnasium or another designated area on school grounds, while others take the event off campus. If you’re looking at a variety of venues from a boat to a museum to an outdoor space, keeping the ticket price affordable is always a consideration. West Belmont Place, with the largest ballroom in Northern Virginia, is not only affordable, but offers a variety of options and pricing.

No matter what venue the committee is negotiating with, here are a few things you should ask in your initial call for information:

  1. Rates and price: What is the rental cost? How long is the rental (i.e. 1 hour setup, 4 hours for the event, and 1 hour breakdown)? What space is included in the rental (i.e. mezzanine for check-in, ballroom, outdoor space)? What is the deposit to hold the space? Is there a discount if we decide on a mid-week or Sunday date? Is there a fee for parking?
  2. Capacity and Setup: How many people does the space hold? What is the preferred setup (i.e. rounds, high tops, communal table, dance floor, space for DJ)? Are tables/chairs/linens included? Is there ample parking? Is there a fee for parking?
  3. Food: Do they have in-house catering? If so, what is the pricing for a buffet, sit down dinner, or small plate option? Is there a food and beverage minimum? If so, is the space rental waived if the minimum is met? Is outside food allowed?
  4. Decorations and Music: What is your decoration policy? Are there any limitations? Are there noise restrictions? Are there any other events at the venue during the same time period? When can we drop off items? Is there any storage space? Is there a charge for storage?

When looking at venues, remember that each locations has its own rules. Be sure to visit the potential venue beforehand to see how they handle crowds and if they have security and parking. Lastly, don’t forget to consult with your photographer and DJ to see what their needs are and where they will be located. You want to make sure you have a few options and have some fun!

Pink & Turquoise, Bakery Inspired Bat Mitzvah

August 30th, 2013

We sat down with Sharon Meyers, Director of Catering to chat about a very special Bat Mitzvah for Alexandra. The event took place on July 27th, 2013 and was nothing short of amazing.

Hear from Sharon herself as she describes all the fun and creative elements that went into planning this special celebration…

I met Alexandra’s mother, Suzanne, through a mutual friend who referred me. We met to discuss Alexandra’s Bat Mitzvah and I found out that two of her interests were dancing and baking.  After speaking about the event, Suzanne decided to work with the baking theme for her daughter’s special party.  She also came by the property to see the set up of various events.

We brainstormed ideas of creating a bakery in the room, incorporating bakery décor on the tables such as edible centerpieces, chef’s hats, rolling pins and non-floral items.  I also recommended several vendors for her to use.  With a pink and turquoise theme, I recommended that she purchase overlays or table runners in those colors.  She was thrilled with the ideas.

The event really came together beautifully. She had a decorator hang pink and turquoise lanterns over the dance floor and the tables were covered with the same color overlays and coordinating sashes on the chairs.  The room was also lit with hot pink lights.  There was a bakery station set up with cupcakes, cake truffles and decorative sugar cookies all in the color scheme with a red and white canopy over the tables.  A poster backdrop of “Al” hung on the wall. The table centerpieces were also creative. There was a clear cylinder with blue gel lights in each one with silver branches coming out of the container. Hanging from the branches were miniature lanterns with lights and “bakery” style ornaments.  Each table was named after “Al’s” favorite desserts such as the cupcake table and the cheesecake table. The sign in board was a Chef’s coat and hat with a logo of “Al’s bakery,” which all the guests signed.  In addition, there was a life sized-cut out of the guest of honor, of course wearing a chef’s coat and hat and holding a mixing bowl.

For the candle lighting, they came up with a very non-traditional idea that tied into the theme.  Typically, family members and close friends are called up by the Bat Mitzvah celebrant to light 13 candles.  A poem is read and background music is played as the guests come up to light the candles.  In this case, we provided a very large stainless steel mixing bowl on a cocktail table. As the guests were called up, they had to add an “ingredient” to the bowl that would be used to “bake” the cake.   After all the guests were called up to the table, we took the bowl in the back.  Magically, about 20 minutes later, a beautifully decorated cake was placed on the table. This was very clever and unique and all the guests really enjoyed this part of the evening.

Not only did the room look spectacular but they had a wonderful DJ with dancers and a green screen to take many photos during the evening.  The kids got to take home a tumbler filled with candy and a duffle bag to remember the occasion.

Needless to say, the guests had a wonderful time and it was a pleasure to host the event, especially being able to reflect Al’s personality and watch our ideas come to life.


New On-site Design Center

August 5th, 2013

Da Vinci’s Work at West Belmont’s Recent “Big Chill” Event

We’re excited to announce that we have recently partnered with award-winning Da Vinci’s Florist & Uplighting and have opened an on-site Design Center. The Design Center features a wide array of special inventory including contemporary-style sofas, chairs, linens, lighting, backdrops, hanging crystals, unique decorative pieces and much more. For more than a decade, Da Vinci’s Florist has been creating spectacular weddings and special events throughout the Washington, D.C. region and has recieved high praise and top reviews for its amazing weddings and events. The Design Center provides convenient, competitive decor for weddings, receptions and special events and enables brides to make their wedding day vision come to life, creating an atmosphere that is memorable and personal and reflects the bride and groom. For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact us: catering@westbelmontplace.com or 877.363.3104


Details, Details, Details [Photos]

June 18th, 2013

Our favorite weddings are those with unique details especially when it comes to cultural traditions. For the Kalyanchaganti wedding on June 2nd, the celebration was full of unique, colorful details… of course, too pretty not to share. The traditional Hindu ceremony lasted three hours and took place in our ballroom which was decorated in reds and golds. The celebration was even complete with a live video stream to India! Congratulations to Kalyan and Vidushi! Enjoy photos of the beautiful decor by Yaadein Weddings.


Invitations that were hand-delivered to guests.



Spring Trends by Guest Blogger, Lawan McFerren

April 29th, 2013

The wedding and special event arena is ever changing and that is reflected more and more each year as technology plays a greater role in our lives. We have access to web sites such as Pinterest with our smart phones so that we can keep up with what’s hot instantly.  Some of the latest trends are leaning towards the NYC club or lounge feel.  Brides and grooms are frequently requesting hi-end lounge sofas and chairs to create a club feel to their cocktail reception or even the evening reception space.  The idea is to create a space that invites guests to kick back and relax during and after dancing as well as to facilitate more guest interaction. The furniture pieces can be provided by a local furniture company or a party & event rental company.  The cost can be steep but if creating that club feel is important, it can be accomplished.

Guests are also asking for live and interactive projection so that all of the day’s festivities are not only recorded but projected live on a full size projector screen.  Interactive photo booths are also “in” because those fun shots can be displayed instantaneously for all of your guests to see.  Hi-end and elaborate lighting and staging continues to be popular especially for So. Asian receptions that require the bride & groom sit on a stage for a portion of the evening.  Lighting and staging companies can provide these services but shop around for the best deals.

As trends evolve throughout the year, the most important thing to remember is to make the event your own, whether that is done with lounge furniture, lighting or simply weaving your favorite hobbies or sporting activities into the day, make it reflect you!


Learn more about Lawan, wedding planning extraordinaire here!

West Belmont Place Wins “Best Venue”

April 15th, 2013

We are thrilled to announce that Rachael Mull, catering manager at NCC, recently won the “Best Venue” award at the International Special Events Society (ISES) 18th Annual Capital Awards Gala, for her submission of a decadent Indian wedding at West Belmont Place.



You might recall the utter gorgeousness of this wedding from last summer…

The Wedding of Danielle and Chuck

Here’s a brief recap to jog your memory:

Pooja and Vivek’s wedding took place on June 9, 2012 with 310 guests in attendance. Pooja arrived at 9:30 that morning and had her make-up and hair done in our executive bridal suite. Close family and friends arrived at 2:00pm to take part in the festive Baraat, where Vivek arrived in a blue mustang. Following the Baraat was the traditional Hindu ceremony, which took place on our beautiful courtyard patio adorned with white and pink paper lanterns. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed an ice-cream reception under our covered porte cochere, followed by dinner and dancing in our National Ballroom. More photos here.

Congratulations to Rachael and the catering team on your well-deserved award! It’s no wonder why our brides love working with you! :)

Spring Wedding Inspiration

March 22nd, 2013

Happy Spring! While the weather is still a bit chilly, we can’t help but be excited for Spring weddings. From pastels to peonies to whimsical details, we’re ready for all of it! Here are some ideas we’re loving this week. Hope everyone enjoys the first weekend of the new season!



Nothing says Spring like Cherry Blossoms!

Credit: Wedding Inspiri

coffee filters

Creative DIY: Coffee filters as floral decor

Credit: Ruffled

 cupcakes and flowers

Almost too pretty to eat! The hot pink peonies are such a nice touch.

Credit: Scoop.It!

colored silverwear

Water color utensils!


Couture petals.

Credit: St. Pucchi.com Spring 2013 Collection

Valentine’s Day Wedding

February 22nd, 2013

Love was truly in the air on February 14th at West Belmont Place, as we had the pleasure of hosting a traditional Hindu wedding. The Valentine’s Day wedding was nothing short of magical, with an ornately decorated mandap and ganesh display. The bride, who was carried into the ceremony on a doli (palanquin), chose a vibrant fuschia, red and gold theme. The décor was beautifully executed by Partyland Flowers and Event Rental. Check out the photos of the morning and afternoon setup in our ballroom!


AM Ceremony Setup







Afternoon Setup






St. Theresa School’s B&W Masquerade Auction

February 18th, 2013

On February 9th, St. Theresa School of Ashburn, held its Black and White Masquerade Auction at West Belmont Place. As the school’s biggest fundraiser of the year, the event drew over 200 guests including parents, staff and supporters. Past fundraising efforts have helped to raise money for educational tools and equipment including books, science lab equipment, technology, safety and expansion. Due to the overwhelming response from supporters, St. Theresa’s efforts have grown tremendously, prompting them to hold the event outside of its campus for the very first time. The event had a wide variety of donors including Bowl America, DC United, Great American Restaurant, Paula Deen Enterprises, Baltimore Orioles and many more.

STS Table

Setup from the Live Auction

STS B&W Masquerade

Table Decor

Tourism Forum: Loudoun’s Wedding Industry

January 30th, 2013

As Loudoun County continues to be a booming destination wedding location, there’s no secret that it’s home to some of the best wedding professionals in the industry. So what do you get when you put all this talent in one room? A very informative, engaging discussion on how collaboration equals success. Over a hundred wedding professionals gathered for Visit Loudoun University’s Tourism Forum to discuss working together to meet an ever-increasing demand.

Hosted by the Briar Patch Bed and Breakfast Inn, the discussion was moderated by Ashleigh Dawson and featured four panelists, Holly Heider Chapple, Kristina Bouweiri, Kimberley Feys and Rachel Merkle. As each guest shared their experiences, one thing was clear: Social media and networking/developing relationships continue to be driving forces in the wedding industry. It was enlightening to hear their pearls of wisdom, especially with such diverse areas of expertise. Our team had a wonderful time and left with some great takeaways. The 60 degree, Springlike weather was just the icing on the cake!


Marketing Manager, Dyanne Lagman and Catering Sales Managers, Rachael Mull and Lawan McFerren

Beautiful day in Middleburg