You’ve heard the saying…Virginia is for lovers. So, I’ll spare you clichés, but, when we listed the reasons to get married in Washington, DC we couldn’t very leave out our engaged friends in Virginia. Vicky Grafton, Virginia wedding planner and owner of My Simple Details, was so awesome to put together a list of the top 10 reasons to get married in the Commonwealth. (Just a bit of warning, this is literally the mega list of places to get married in Virginia, so hold on tight if you are wedding venue shopping in VA!) Check ’em out, I think our Virginia brides and grooms will love all the reasons to get married in Virginia! After you, Vicki…
One of the reasons so many couples decide to marry in Virginia is multitude of historical venues to choose from. From the Mount Vernon Inn where you can plan a night tour of Washingtons’ Mansion before your rehearsal, to Collingwood Library and Museum, which was part of George Washington’s River Farm and houses thousands of book and artifacts relating to American history. Alternatively, you could say your vows at James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland where the President and Mrs. Monroe shared over forty blissful years as husband and wife.
2. Southern Charm
Virginia has many venues that ooze southern charm and hospitality. You can wine and dine your guests at River Farm where the manor-style house is set on sprawling lawns overlooking the Potomac River. You could choose to entertain your guests at the gracious 126-acre Woodlawn estate that was also part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. If you’re looking for a venue a little further out from the city, Oatlands Historic House and Gardens near Leesburg, Virginia is sure to deliver with magnificent magnolias and stately grounds for your guests to stroll through as they sip whisky.
3. Love of Weekend Getaways
Since Virginia is centrally located along the East Coast it is the perfect spot for a destination wedding. Some great venues that provide lodging include Keswick Hall at Monticello, The Clifton Inn, and Barboursville Vineyards. With a weekend getaway wedding in mind, you can plan many events for the families to get acquainted with one another and truly celebrate your marriage in style.
4. Wine Country
While many think of California when they hear wine country, Virginia is home to over 60 wineries, which produce a wide variety of wines to enjoy during your wedding events. Virginia currently ranks as the fifth largest wine producing state in the U.S. Many of these wineries offer unique event spaces whether your looking for a charming venue like Barboursville Vineyards, an opulent fabric draped ballroom at Veritas Vineyard & Winery or a vast stone patio and historic stone barn at Hillsborough Winery. There are also so many great wineries with stunning vistas overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains where you can say “I do” and enjoy local Virginia wine such as King Family Vineyards.
5. Mountain Air and Lake Fronts
Many couples, and grooms especially, love the outdoors, the fresh mountain air, and being near pristine lakes or rivers, and Virginia aims to please. Breathtaking outdoor venues are all over the state, from rustic farms such as Montfair Resort Farm outside Charlottesville to country estates such as Historic Whitehall Manor, at the base of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. The Clifton Inn in Charlottesville is just a stones throw from Jefferson’s Monticello and offers gently rolling lawns that drop off into amazing mountain views and you can plan for your first look on the dock at their private lake. The Historic Kinloch is also a great example of a grand estate in the heart of Virginia river country.
6. Fall Foliage
Virginia is the perfect location for anyone who loves the changing of the seasons and the colors of autumn. Fall inspiration and colors can easily add to your wedding design, you can plan for an apple picking adventure prior to your rehearsal or even hot air balloon rides as a wedding weekend event. The tastes of fall can also be a great element to add to your wedding menu. Last but not least you can stroll the cobblestone street of Old Town Alexandria and take in the historic vibe and colorful leaves.
7. Love of the Seasons
Virginia has the wonderful blessing of experiencing all four seasons. This means couples can plan anything from a cozy winter wedding to a summer wedding on the lake, or a fall wedding at a vineyard. Couples can also save some money by planning their wedding on the shoulder seasons between the winter and spring or the fall and the winter season, as the weather is a little more temperate than more northern states.
8. Love of the Quaint and Cozy
For couples looking to plan intimate and cozy events for their nuptials they need not look any further than Northern Virginia. The 130 year-old Amish barn at Sunset Hills Vineyard in Purcellville has a warmth that can not be beat. The Barnet Sanders House in Great Falls with its wrap around porch is perfect venue for an intimate family affair, and downtown Leesburg with super cute antique shops, and unique one of a kind stores and bakeries, has some amazing venues such as the Thomas Birkby House. Last but not least, the state has a ton of quaint B&B’s to host your wedding and celebrate with close friends and family.
9. Rustic Beauty and Working Farms
Couple can plan their big day at The Mill at Fine Creek where guests can stroll along the rock formations and explore the ruins of the original gristmill. Cabell’s Mill in Centerville, was built prior to 1800 and operated as a mill until 1916, now offers hardwood floors, deep window sills, a working fireplace, and a stone terrace overlooking a quaint steam. For those in search of a rustic farm vibe, Great County Farms in Loudoun County has the perfect barn with amazing views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
10. Unique Spaces Close to the National Capital
Virginia has a venue for everyone including unique spaces such as the Torpedo Factory Art Center on Alexandria’s waterfront. Built in 1918 to manufacture torpedoes, this three-story building retains its former identity as a factory with exposed pipes and ductwork. The Barns at Wolf Trap located in Vienna, right outside the DC beltway, consists of two relocated 18th century barns that are currently used for the performing arts. The Signature Theatre in Shirlington has a gorgeous modern event space that is just minutes from Washington, DC and can be rented for a fraction of the cost of many similar venues on the other side of the river.
Phew! How’s that for a few reasons (and the locations to boot!) to get married in Virginia!? Thank you so much, Vicki!