As a photographer in Virginia, I get to work with some amazing vendors, most specifically, some incredible venues. For a couple getting married, the location is often the jumping off point of the planning process- once you figure out where everything else kind of falls into place. A winery wedding is going to have certain elements that a beach wedding may not. A great vendor with an even more remarkable staff- that can make not only the wedding day magical, but the planning process a little easier.
While there are so many fantastic venues, here are some of my absolute favorite local wedding locations:
- On Sunny Slope Farm Located in the hills of Harrisonburg, VA, On Sunny Slope Farm is so picturesque. Guests can sit by the fire pit in Adirondack chairs and enjoy the incredible scenery, while the just married couple takes photos throughout the 67 acre farm. There isn’t much On Sunny Slope Farm hasn’t thought of to include in their wedding package and I love how their website has links to real weddings that they’ve hosted so you can get inspiration.
- The Market of Grelen The Market of Grelen is such a magical venue. It’s lush and green, full of these pockets of photographic perfection. As a photographer, a venue can inspire you to be creative, or it can force you to be creative. The Market of Grelen gives you so much inspiration to explore the grounds and get lost in the garden atmosphere. It’s like you’re in your own version of “The Secret Garden”. Some of my favorite weddings at The Market of Grelen have been when the reception was held under the open sky. You can see pictures of this on their website and it is simply stunning.
- Celebrations at the Reservoir Celebrations at the Reservoir is kind of this retreat south of Richmond. Moseley, VA, a mostly rural area is located just minutes away from Midlothian where there are restaurants and hotels, so you get to have this off the beaten path, waterfront wedding, with your guests still able to have the amenities they need. There are NINE different locations for your wedding to take place here. NINE! You have so many options that it can work for just about any couple. I love the Manor House with its lake views and plantation style charm. It also has the perfect spot for an epic sparkler exit!
- Bedford Columns This venue is perfect for the southern belle at heart. The columns are gorgeous and harken back to this time when homes were estates and architecture was about more than “how many houses can we fit on this block”. And those ceilings! When you get a chance to go here, walk through the home and check out some of its amazing ceilings. I also love their blog, which highlights their infamous brunches.
These are just a few of the venues I have had the privilege of working with. There are so many to choose from that sometimes it seems overwhelming. But finding the perfect location for your wedding can create this excitement for the planning process that wasn’t there before. So take your time. Do your research. And talk to the people who work there. Sometimes the best way of determining if a venue is right for you, is seeing real weddings, so check out photographers who have worked weddings there. Happy venue hunting!