I had to repost the question during the live chat, but Tom answered my question regarding a good restaurant location for the surprise wedding.
“Arlington, Va.: I know this is an odd request, but my fiance and I are planning on throwing an engagement party for our immediate family and close friends, no more than 25 people. However, we’re going to surprise everyone and actually have an officiant there to marry us after our orders are taken. (I’ll excuse myself for a business call and quickly change into my dress.) I’ve already contacted Restaurant Eve, but they unfortunately cannot accomodate my request. We would really like a restaurant that has more atmosphere and better food than a chain restaurant like Maggiano’s. Any suggestions?
Tom Sietsema: For such an important occasion, you want to pick a restaurant that has legs and will probably be around for future anniversaries. I’m thinking 1789, Vermilion (upstairs), Zola, the Oval Room, the Occidental, Tabard Inn?
Great idea, by the way. Congrats!”
Out of all of the above, the Vermilion fits us the best. I need to get more information about their private party seating and policies though.