Photo credit: LUEM Photography

Frequently Asked Questions


Is there any parking at FMW?

There is some on-the-street parking available nearby, with a strictly monitored two-hour limit during the week and no limit on the weekends. There are parking garages within easy walking distance of the venue, including two garages at the Universal building located just east of the Meeting House across Connecticut Ave NW.

To reduce our carbon footprint as well as our impact on our neighbors, we encourage you to walk, bike, or take public transit to our venue. The Dupont Circle Metro is just a few blocks away. We also have a bike rack in front which you are welcome to use and Capital Bikeshare is not far away.

For more details about how to get to us, go to Directions.

Is FMW accessible to persons with disabilities or accessibility challenges?

With our recent renovation, our campus is almost completely accessible by persons with disabilities or other accessibility challenges.

What size groups fit into FMW’s rooms?

We have a number of different rooms, and they each work for different sized groups. Our large, simple Meeting Room works well for weddings, memorials, or lectures for up to 300 guests.

Quaker House Living Room and the Decatur Place Room—each work well for groups of up to 45 or more participants. The elegant Living Room is especially lovely for small weddings, office retreats, workshops, and board meetings. Our Parlor/Library room, Carriage House Room, and our Terrace Room are perfect for small meetings of 5 to 20 people.

The Assembly Room can hold more than 100 people in chairs, up to 96 at a sit-down dinner, and 140 for a stand-up reception. This room works very well for all-day retreats needing flexible room setup. It includes two smaller rooms—great for break-out sessions—as well as access to our full kitchen

May I hold my event in your garden?

Absolutely! We have three gardens—a terraced space in front of our main Meeting Room, and a large, spacious private garden on two levels behind our buildings. All are available as event venues and may be rented separately from our indoor spaces for exclusive access. Many groups enjoy taking their breaks there, or conducting team-building exercises in the outdoors.

Am I able to tent the garden during my event?

If you choose, you may rent a tent to avoid inclement weather on the day of your wedding. We are happy to work with you on selecting a reputable vendor familiar with our venue. Tent rental is not included in the cost of your wedding package and will require rental of the gardens from the time tent setup begins to the time it is completely removed.

Will there be restrooms near the space(s) my event is in?

All of our spaces are well served by restrooms in the immediate vicinity.

Is FMW an environmentally sustainable venue?
Yes! Reflecting our commitment to sustainability, our building includes solar panels, a green roof and a zoned HVAC system.  Renewable cork floors cover three of our largest rooms and our kitchen is set up for composting most foods. Following our renovation, our gardens are more attractive and accessible while also slowing the flow of stormwater runoff from our property into DC’s sewer system. We also recycle extensively across our campus.


Who may get married at Friends Meeting of Washington?

We are open to all couples, regardless of beliefs, gender, or orientation. You do not need to attend worship at Friends Meeting of Washington or another Quaker meeting. You need not consider yourself a Quaker, have attended a Quaker school, or have any other connection to Quakerism.

Are same sex couples welcome?

Yes! We are open to all couples and welcome LGBTQ weddings!

Our community has celebrated same sex weddings and commitment ceremonies for decades. We welcome couples of all genders and orientations to celebrate their weddings in our spaces.

Can you provide an officiant for my wedding?

No, identifying and contracting with an officiant is your responsibility.

You are welcome to select anyone that you choose to lead your ceremony. Our list of preferred wedding and event professionals offers several individuals who we know.

As Quakers do not have clergy, we are unable to provide you with an officiant for your wedding, although a few of our members and attenders may be licensed to perform weddings.

If you choose to be married in the Quaker tradition, we may be able to provide one or more individuals to sit “head of meeting” during your ceremony to lead the worship, but this cannot be guaranteed.


What times are your spaces available for rent?
Our spaces are available for rent during the following times:

  • Monday-Thursday: 8am to 10 pm, and cleanup must end by 11pm.
  • Fridays and Saturdays: 8am to 11pm, and cleanup must end by midnight.
  • Sundays: Due to our Quaker worship and related activities, our facilities are unavailable to outside space users until 1pm (at the earliest) and may be rented until 10pm, with cleanup finished by 11pm.

Please check with us regarding space availability on major holidays.

We may charge an additional fee if you would like to begin setup or have catering delivered prior to 8am or for late evening hours within the above times.

How much does it cost to rent your spaces?

Rental fees are determined by the space(s) used and the time frame in which they are used.

Is there any space available for free at Friends Meeting of Washington?

Unfortunately, at this time, FMW is unable to offer the use of any space free of cost. We do however offer a non-profit discount rate, and upon proof of non-profit status, are happy to apply that to the total rental fee.

Do you offer a non-profit discount?

Yes, we do. We offer a discount to registered non-profit organizations, Quaker organizations, and social justice groups with missions in line with Quaker values. Please ask about discounts when you inquire about space.

Will FMW “hold” a date while I’m still making the final decision?
We will hold your space of interest for a reasonable amount of time. If we receive another request before you sign a contract, we will notify you.
What is your alcohol policy?

Beer, wine and champagne (no spirits or liquors) are allowed for celebratory events such as weddings, memorial events, and fundraisers. Alcohol is welcome at these events with prior approval by FMW’s office, but must be served by a licensed bartender.

Some events, including weddings, may have an additional charge payable to the venue in order to serve alcohol. This does not include the cost of the alcohol, the bartender to serve it, or any other related costs. A portion of the event cost will be contributed to neighborhood organizations working to counter the sometimes harmful impacts of alcohol on our society.

In addition, we do not have a liquor license. Your caterer or bartender can supply the liquor license or you can apply for a one-day liquor license through the District of Columbia Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA). We have a document that can help you navigate this process. Any event where alcohol is served requires proof of license provided to FMW’s office by the business day before the event, or the serving and consumption of alcohol will be prohibited.

Do you require use of a certain caterer?

Please see our preferred vendors list that includes caterers. We ask that you use one of these preferred caterers, particularly if your event includes alcohol. If you wish to use another caterer, please contact us before you sign a contract with them. A fee may be charged for using a non-preferred caterer.

With a signed contract, renters are also welcome to bring in their own food and beverages — or have food (such as boxed lunches) dropped off by a restaurant.

Do you have a list of preferred vendors (photographers, DJs, etc.)

Other than caterers, you are welcome to use whoever you prefer. However, we recommend a few vendors we have worked with before on our preferred vendors list.

What types of activities are not allowed at FMW?

We do not allow weapons of any kind on our campus, including for event security. Use of tobacco, vaping, or other drugs is also forbidden. This includes the consumption or sale of cannabis and edibles at events. Alcohol (beer, wine, and champagne only) may be served only with the permission of our office and after obtaining a District of Columbia alcohol license. Refer to our event rental guidelines for additional information on what is permitted during your event.

Are there any noise regulations that I should be aware of?
We are located in a residential neighborhood and wish to be considerate of our neighbors. We require that noise levels stay within regulations. Our Event Host will monitor the noise levels and work with your event coordinator and DJ to ensure that your party is fun without violating noise regulations. See the Event Rental Guidelines for specific decibel levels.
Is it possible to add additional time to an event?
Yes, if your space(s) are still available when you make the request. Please let us know as far in advance as possible and we will let you know the additional cost. Changes made on the day of may be subject to an additional charge above and beyond the hourly rate.
How can I ensure that my security deposit will not be charged after my event?
Follow our event guidelines, catering and alcohol guidelines, and leave the space as you found it when you leave. We understand that accidents happen. Please report any damage to the Event Host(s).


What is the earliest I can arrive at FMW to start setting up?
The doors will be open to you at the start of your reservation time as indicated on your event rental contract with us. We ask that you not arrive prior to the start of your reservation time.
Will anyone from FMW be there the day of my event?
Yes, your reservation includes the cost of one or two FMW staff people — called Event Hosts — to be on site to open and close the space, and answer questions. Event Hosts act as the Building Manager during your event. For weekday events, the Event and Rental Manager and/or Administrative Secretary will generally be present throughout the day and serve as the Event Hosts.
Do you have any AV equipment we may use?
We have a projector and a screen you may borrow, as well as a Bose sound system and two hand-held mics.
What tables and chairs are available?
You are welcome to borrow our chairs and tables for your events. We have 12 – 5’ round tables as well as 18 – 6’ rectangular tables. We also have a small number of smaller rectangular tables. We own 150 navy blue banquet style chairs as well as a selection of metal folding chairs.

Unless you make prior arrangements with our staff, you must setup and breakdown tables and chairs during your event.

Who will set up and take down the tables and chairs?

You are free to set up FMW’s inventory of tables and chairs up in any way you choose, but your group (and/or your caterer, if in your agreement with them) is responsible for all setup, tear down, and cleanup unless you make prior arrangements with our office. Please return the furniture to where you found it when your event ends.

If you are changing the arrangement of benches in the Meeting Room, it may be helpful to take a photo beforehand to remind you of where they are to go. We have a setup chart for the Meeting Room available to follow as well. The benches may be rearranged, but not removed.

Who is responsible for the setup and removal of event decor?

You, your caterer, or other person(s) you designate are responsible for breaking down and removing anything that you brought in. All materials must be removed from the venue by the end of the reservation.

Do you have a kitchen and what kitchen equipment may we use?
We have a full kitchen in the main Meeting House, included if you are renting the Assembly Room or otherwise by prior arrangement. The room contains a large island that is very handy for serving meals.

We are not licensed for commercial cooking, so you may not cook in the kitchen. However, you may reheat food and make final preparations for your meal. Your caterer may also work in the kitchen.

If you are renting the Quaker House Living Room, you will have access to a small kitchenette.

We require you to bring your own serving items—such as plates, cups, bowls, utensils, tablecloths, coffee, coffee pots and filters. Our refrigerators may be used for short-term storage, but all food and beverage items must be removed at the conclusion of your event.

Do you have WIFI Internet access available?

Yes, we are equipped with a business account for Comcast Gigabit Internet service. Free WIFI is available throughout our indoor spaces.

What about charts and easels?
We supply the easels; you must supply the flip charts and markers. We appreciate the “sticky” kind which adheres to our walls without peeling the paint.
May I hang anything on your walls?
Yes, but be careful about damaging the paint. If you need to use tape, please use only blue painter’s tape. We have some or you are welcome to bring your own. Any paint damage will be charged against your security deposit.

Due to past damage to the Meeting Room’s floor, we do not permit anything to be adhered to the floor, regardless of the type of tape used.


What is the payment schedule and is there a security deposit?
A non-refundable deposit, which is half of the total rental fee, is required to reserve your date. The balance is due at least two weeks before your event. Once we have received the total payment, that amount is considered non-refundable as well. If a payment is declined, there is a $25 processing fee.

For events that include alcohol, there is a refundable damage deposit of up to $1,000 depending on the size, length and nature; for all others, the refundable security deposit will vary depending on the length and nature of your event.

Please note that, if you pay online, you will not actually pay the security deposit upfront. Rather, we ask that you acknowledge you will be liable for up to that amount in the unlikely event of any damage caused during your occupancy or if your event exceeds your scheduled time.

If you pay with a check, we will ask you to write a separate check for the security deposit that we will return to you uncashed after your event if there are no additional charges.

What forms of payment do you accept?
You may either write a check made out to Friends Meeting of Washington, or make your payment online with a major credit card or a checking account.

If you pay with a check, we will ask you to write a separate check for the security deposit that we will return to you uncashed after your event if there are no additional charges.

What’s the cancellation policy?
The initial deposit is non-refundable. The balance becomes non-refundable once received by our office. If you wish to change the date of your event or the spaces on our campus that you use, you may do so within our current fiscal year (ending June 30th), subject to space availability. A fee may be charged for date changes.

“From the moment we came through the gates…the feeling of peace, serenity and being truly welcome was palpable, which was remarkable for us. We immediately made our decision. We were treated with such warmth, respect and support from the moment we walked in through the moment we were married. We just cannot say enough. For anyone contemplating having a wedding here, we highly recommend it.”
~ Sally & Debbie