You have finally made it! The person most special to you popped the question and now it’s time to start planning your wedding day. One of the first and biggest decisions you are going to make is going to be your venue. Your choice of venue sets the tone for your wedding day. There are so many directions that you can go when making this choice.
While there are so many factors to consider, I have put together a list of my favorite venues to hopefully make the decision a little easier! These venues are absolutely gorgeous and are known for treating their couples like the VIPs that they are. They also provide a stunning backdrop for timeless photos of your special day.
Dover Hall is one of Virginia’s most well-known wedding venues. I mean look at it. It’s that way for a reason! The architecture here will make any couple feel like royalty. Along with the beauty of this venue, the service is impeccable. Dover Hall is on top of all the details and stays one step ahead of you. I have heard amazing things from my couples and have always had great interactions with the staff here.
The architecture at Dover Hall is out of this world. The exterior and interior complement each other perfectly which makes photos so cohesive and beautiful for your wedding album. Starting at the beginning of the day, couples get ready in the bridal and groom’s suites. The bridal suite is full of natural light and romantic furniture. Your getting-ready photos will be timeless. The billiards room is a groom’s dream! The boys will be playing pool and laughing for hours in this Roosevelt-styles room.
Moving onto the ceremony, many couples exchange vows in front of Dover Halls’ ornate fireplace. This fireplace is perfect for anyone wanting to incorporate a large floral arrangement, like the one pictured by Weddings by Vogue. Not only does it lend well to full florals, but the tall ceilings and standout chandeliers will give your wedding a grand feel. If you’d prefer a different setting for your ceremony, don’t worry. Dover Hall has plenty of other options to choose from. Overall, Dover Hall is a dream wedding venue for those looking for that grand, elegant wedding day that makes you feel like the main characters of your own story.
Located in Ashland, Virginia, Oakdale is a relatively new white barn venue. Maintaining the rustic feel of a barn, this venue provides an upscale vibe that every couple wants on their wedding day. Surrounded by a stunning landscape, this venue promises to deliver the perfect backdrop for those dreamy sunset portraits.
Along with the picture-perfect landscape, Oakdale provides an elegant inside setting. The main area where you can choose to have your ceremony or reception is the perfect blank slate for any type of décor you plan to set up. Not to mention, this interior provides the perfect rain plan. While you may dream of an outdoor wedding, you are not missing out on much if you have to move your ceremony indoors. You can put your mind to rest with these easy contingency plans. With the white walls and bright natural light, your pictures in here will turn out stunning.
Another great thing about this venue is the gorgeous bridal suite. Getting ready photos are a dream with the natural light and elegant furniture in this bridal suite. Together with the great space, you and your girls are bound to feel special getting ready for the day ahead. I mean, just look at those golden fixtures! It is also a great place for your favorite hair and makeup vendors (my fav HMUA is Kelsea at Radiant Reflections) to set up and do their magic.
Photographing at the Estate at River Run is always a dream! This wedding venue is another mansion that will make you feel like the prince and princess of the day. This venue feels like it came straight out of a show like Bridgerton. Between the gorgeous estate grounds that have countless ceremony and reception grounds and the charming interior that you will spend the day getting ready in, this venue has so many photographic areas to chose from.
One extraordinary room in this venue is the ballroom that many couples hold their receptions in. Talk about a grand entrance! This room is so light and airy because of the massive window in the room. The crystal chandelier gives this room such elegance and will make you feel like the belle of the ball. Because of the natural beauty of this room, decorating is so easy. The floral arrangements by Starry Night Events at Tatem and James’ wedding were the perfect touch to this gorgeous ballroom.
The Williamsburg Inn is a hidden gem. It is one of the first places you see in Colonial Williamsburg, depending on which direction you come in from. Being in Colonial Williamsburg has its perks because it has a plethora of gorgeous places for photos. However, with this venue, you don’t even really have to leave the property! When booking your big day at the Williamsburg Inn, you get a few options to choose from. You can have a grand ballroom wedding indoors, or you can have a dreamy outdoor wedding at the Social Terrace. Whether you choose to stay indoors or take on Virginia’s fresh air, the terrace is the perfect spot to capture your romantic portraits.
One of the greatest things about this venue is that it’s a hotel – and a very timeless one at that! This is a venue that you can literally spend the entire weekend at, which makes life so much easier for you. Your guests can also stay there, making for an even more eventful weekend. Even if you don’t spend the whole weekend there, being able to get ready here makes your day so much easier. You don’t have to worry about traveling in the morning to arrive at your venue. Wedding day stress? Count you out.
Who doesn’t love entertainment at a wedding? Being located right in Colonial Williamsburg means you get access to the Fife & Drums band of Colonial Drummers. Having the band will add an unexpected historical touch. Plus, look how great they look against the lush backdrop.
Lakeside at Welch Estate – where do I even start with this gorgeous venue? This wedding venue sits waterside with a beautiful building to get ready in and a bright tent building for the reception. Though this venue is naturally beautiful, my heart flutters seeing it decked out with gorgeous florals. One of the frequent planners at this venue, Jami with Curated Design, always coordinates the most beautiful days for the couples at Lakeside.
The reception space here is always so fun to see come to life. Being in a tented building, most of the time the lighting is soft and beautiful. This means that your pictures always look soft, glowing, and dreamy. Just look how amazing these shots are! The florals at this wedding were done by Grey Sol Designs and really tie the look together.
There are so many places at this venue to take portraits. The options are endless. To add some fun, there are cows in the fields by the driveway. Who doesn’t love adorable animal pictures? Overall, Lakeside is stunning and fun. It’s a great place for any couple to have their big day.
These are my favorite venues in Virginia. They all give way to the perfect backdrop for gorgeous photos and provide the luxury experiences many people are looking for. If you love these venues – or even want some more recommendations – and want to have me capture your wedding day there, let’s chat. I can’t wait to connect with you!
© 2023 Chelsea Schmidt Photography