visits the nation's capital!
BridesmaidAid.com hits the D.C.
metro area to show you all the best spots both in and outside
A word to the wise -- be sure to
confirm store hours and locations before making an in-person visit.
Where to Buy Your Bridesmaid Dress
The D.C. metro area offers 'maids with
many choices. For a sense of history, check out Rizik Brothers, which has
been in business since 1919 (Rizik Brothers, 1100 Connecticut Ave. NW, second
floor, 202-223-4050, Hours: M-W, F-S, 9-6; Th. 9-8). For you high-end
types, Vera Wang also has
two shops in town. Hannelore's of
Old Towne is a traditional bridal shop with an enormous shoe and
accessory department, but watch out: some 'maids have reported snooty
service. Lady Hamilton,
a smaller shop with nice, personal service is in nearby Arlington. Robinson's offers
many dresses to choose from at its two Maryland locations. There are also David's Bridal shops
throughout the area.
If you want to look for off-the-rack
dresses, Nicole Miller, Jessica
Macy's, Hecht's, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue,
Marcus, J.C. Penny
and Lord & Taylor are all
in town. For maximum efficiency, hit Tysons
Corner Center and Tysons
Galleria. As the commercial says, that's where the stores are -- all
of the above can be found there.
Thrifty bridesmaids should also make a
trip to Loehmann's. One
D.C. bride reportedly found designer dresses there for a mere $99 -- they
were going for $400 at department stores. The Rockville
and Falls Church
branches have the best selection, we're told. D.C. is also home to two
great outlet malls. You'll find premium deals at Leesburg
Corner Premium Outlets. You never know what you'll find at the
enormous Potomac Mills
Mall, which is a short drive (depending on traffic) down 95 South.
For a wide selection of shoes, try DSW (locations throughout the
Bridesmaid Beauty (this is not an oxymoron)
Hair: Visit Hair International of Georgetown (1740 Wisconsin Ave.,
202-337-0383, 202-337-7567, or 202-337-5377). Susie does great wedding
up-dos. Lucier (1400 Chain
Bridge Rd., McLean, Va., 703-761-1111) is also highly
Make-up: Not sure how to avoid shine
in all those wedding photos? Let one of the make-up artists from Faces by Gustavo
take over for you.
Other: For great, no-nonsense waxing
visit Cynia near Tysons Corner.
Where to Throw a Bridal Shower
or Bachelorette Party
Located in North West, Celadon day spa offers a
serene environment and sells luxurious products. Also in the city is Lillian Laurence, which offers
names that sound like the ideal marriage (joy, delight, happiness and
House Day Spa is a friendly spa in a restored townhouse in Old Towne
D.C. is a traditional town -- the
perfect spot for an old-fashioned bridal tea. With three area locations (Tysons, D.C., Pentagon City), The Ritz Carlton makes it
easy to throw a tea party. Also consider The Hay-Adams Hotel, a
beautiful D.C. landmark. In Virginia,
consider the Cedar Knoll Inn's
English afternoon tea. Located along the George Washington Parkway, the Inn
has a beautiful view of the Potomac River.
With an enormous menu and decadent
desserts, the casual and affordable Peacock
Cafe in Georgetown
is a great place to take a group of ladies. Out in the suburbs, Reston's
Jasmine Cafe has a tasty brunch overlooking a lake (1633-A Washington
Plaza, Reston, Va., 703-471-9114). Many area hotels
offer good brunches including the modern Westin Grand (2350 M St. N.W.,
202-429-0100), which has a pretty outdoor patio; the Monarch, located right across the
street; and the St.
Regis. For great city views, try the Kitchen Brunch at the Kennedy Center's Roof
Terrace Restaurant (Sun:11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.).
For a night out, consider starting at
the lively Georgetown
waterfront. Both Tony & Joe's
and Sequoia (3000 K St. NW,
202-944-4200) have enormous outdoor decks and are popular with
bachelorette parties, but the average American food is a bit pricy. Other
popular spots include Mexican at Lauriol Plaza
(1835 18th St. NW,
202-387-0035) and Jaleo (480
17th St. NW, 202-628-7949), which has more
than 50 different tapas to choose from.
Across the Potomac,
you can also check out Old Towne Alexandria's famous Fish Market, which
offers traditional seafood along with boisterous sing-alongs to live
piano music in the upstairs dining room. The accommodating piano players
take requests and have no problem embarrassing your bride-to-be. In nice
weather, the waterfront patio at the the Alexandria
Chart House is another good place to kick off your night.
THE PERFORMING ARTS: THE KENNEDY CENTER
Want to bring a little culture to your
evening? Check out Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center. It's been
running for 14 years and the ending changes every night (the audience
solves the crime at the center of the show). Tickets cost $32.00 and
group rates are available. There are even places to eat at the Kennedy Center: With phenomenal views of
the city, the Roof
Terrace Restaurant is a perfect place for a pre-show dinner or you
can stop by Hors
D'Oeuvrerie for appetizers, drinks, dessert or coffee afterwards.
flexing those vocal cords? Try Peyote Café (2319 18th St., NW, 202-462-8330) or
the sushi bar/karaoke lounge upstairs at Cafe Japone. Sing it baby.
READY TO GET RAUCOUS?
Grab a fist full o' one-dollar-bills
and take the party to see the naughty male dancers at the Hanger Club (6410 Old Branch Ave., Camp Springs, Md.,
301-449-6970). If you want to stay in D.C., try Wet (52 L St. SE, 202-488-1200), an
all-nude gay strip club that is popular with the ladies. The clever
dancers wear socks so they have a place to hold their tips.
For dancing try the New Orleans'
themed Lulu's or the enormous
Third Edition (1218 Wisconsin Ave. NW at M St., 202-333-3700, open 'til 3
a.m. on weekends), which has several dance floors, bars and an outside
patio. There's plenty of young eye-candy to help your party celebrate.
For disco fun there's a Polly
Esthers (605 12th St. NW,
202-737-1970, Th only, open 'til 3 a.m.). You can also head over to
Adam's Morgan and stop by the very cool Madam's Organ, which
was recently named to Playboy's best bars list. One patron described the
suave 1223 Club (1223
Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-822-1800) as
"heroin chic, techo, trendy."
If you want to stay in Virginia, check out the Clarendon section of Arlington where you
can find a friendly, kick-back, remember-your-college-days atmosphere at Clarendon
Ballroom, Clarendon Grill and
Mr. Days (3100 Clarendon Blvd.,
open 'til 2 a.m.). They're all within walking distance of one another so
if you get sick of one, you can easily move on to another.
You can find some fun bachelorette
items at Night Dreams (4866
Cordell Ave, Bethesda,
301-986-4711) or the Pleasure
Place (1063 Wisconsin Ave. NW,
Gifts also has a good
selection of gag gifts and ways to embarrass the bride.
Where to Buy Gifts
There's no shortage of shopping in the
metro area. You can order online (our suggestion) or take a trip to the
mall or one of the area's shopping districts to fulfill your gift-giving
Corner Center (Bloomingdale's, JC Penny, Restoration Hardware) and Tysons Galleria (Pottery Barn,
Williams Sonoma, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Sur
la Table) have almost every national chain store your bride-to-be
could chose for registering. Nearby is also a giant Crate &
Barrel store (1800
International Dr.) Tiffany
& Co. has two area locations, in Chevy Chase, Md.
and at Fairfax Square,
across from Tysons Corner. The always-popular Target
Bath & Beyond are located throughout the area. There's a Crate
& Barrel outlet in Alexandria
(1700 Prince St.,
703-739-8800), but gift registries cannot be printed out there. A great
Virginia-based store is Michael
Round, where you can find high-quality crystal, silver and china at
discount prices. Located in Bethesda
and Fair Oaks Mall.
Going off the registry? We love stores
around King Street
in Old Towne Alexandria. Visit Random Harvest (1117 King St., 703-548-8820) or
browse the collection of French imports at Sister's Maison Unique (116 S. Royal St.,
703-683-7533) where they'll even wrap your selection with a sprig of
fresh lavender. Appalachian Spring, with locations in Reston (Reston Town
Center, Reston Parkway, 703-478-2218) and Georgetown (1415 Wisconsin
Ave., N.W., 202-337-5780), offers a good selection of American crafts.
Where Else to Look
Want more Washington, D.C.
information? Visit Washington.org,
BridesmaidAid.com's next "City of
the Month" stops include San Francisco
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