Choosing Your Charlottesville Wedding Venue!
What are some of the important things to consider when choosing a wedding venue? Do all of the beautiful venues and all of the amenities they offer overwhelm you? There are many things to consider when choosing a venue for your wedding and lucky for you, I have done some research to help make your process go a little smoother.
The wedding venues I will be sharing with you each have their own unique offerings. From getting married on a lake to getting married at the downtown mall in Charlottesville, there are many options you need to consider:
What is your budget?
Having a good idea of what you want to spend for your venue is a great starting point because you can separate the most expensive places from the less expensive venues. Keep in mind that a decent venue is usually not cheap so a bulk of your wedding budget may have to go to this. Also when deciding your budget, you need to consider what venues offer for their price. You may be surprised to know that at the beautiful Keswick Vineyards, (which just so happens to be five minutes outside Charlottesville!) you get the whole venue when you book with them. That means no one will be bothering you while you’re saying “I Do”. Also at Mount Ida Farm, you will have room for almost 300 people at the venue! Every venue offers different amenities so make sure you do your homework!
What is the deposit? When is it due, and is it refundable? Is there a cancellation policy?
These are great questions to ask your potential wedding venue because some venues might be family run and they might not be able to offer a refund if something catastrophic happens. If they are a big venue and you have to pay all of it up front, that might be a problem too. Always make sure you ask the important questions to people you are in contact with so nothing can be sprung on you before your big day!
Can I hire outside vendors or does the venue provide all that I need?
This is a big one! As a wedding photographer I know that sometimes certain venues will hire their own vendors and the price that you pay for the venue will include certain things. Sometimes they have their own wedding photographer or videographer. Sometimes they have their own catering abilities and you will not be able to have other options for food. Usually the venue’s website will tell you if they hire their own vendors but make sure you are clear about this so that on your wedding day you aren’t paying for two catering companies.
What are the facilities like?
You may not think about it, but restrooms, parking and the seating are very important when picking a venue! If there are no restrooms, you have a problem. If there is no parking, you have a problem. If you invite your 90 year old Grandma and there is limited seating, you have a problem. Even though this day is all about you and your fiancé, make sure your guests are well taken care of. Also if you have a chance, go and scope out the venue before you book with anybody. Being in contact with a representative from the venue will allow you to see what their venue has to offer. Go and visit and take some pictures so that you can compare to other places you like. Take extra time to look at the cleanliness of the place and how they keep everything in order. Taking the time to see where you are going to get married will help you out in the end!
Is the venue the style I want?
This is where I throw in my pitch for good photography! If you and your fiancé are beach people and you’re getting married in the woods, you’re probably not going to like your venue. If you love the venue but the reception area is dimly lit or has a lot of yellow lights, you may not like the pictures. If your venue is in the city and you want a lot of good landscape in your pictures, you are not going to like your venue. As I mentioned before, take some pictures of the venue yourself, with your phone! You will get a general idea of how the place will look in pictures. Maybe even ask your photographer to come with you when you visit a venue you are really interested in! Ultimately, the only way you will be able to completely remember your venue is through your wedding pictures and you need to choose the best looking venue that suits you!
Phew! That is a lot of information! This is a good list but is not an exhaustive one. There are many other things you can consider for your venue pick (is it handicap accessible, does it provide overnight accommodations, are you allowed to get ready there, are you allowed to have your reception there, etc…). If you have more questions or just want to talk about your wedding, I am always here to chat with you about your options! I have some great recommendations on local venues and I can also help you decide which place will work for you! Happy hunting for that perfect place where your life will change forever!
A Few Beautiful Venues Located Near (and in) Charlottesville
- Devils Backbone Brewing Company – Just 45 minutes outside of Charlottesville, DB offers a wide selection of beer and wine for your wedding party and guests. Beautiful scenery of mountains and forests pair really well with the intimate feel of this rustic venue.
- Barn at Edgewood Farm – This fantastic venue features amazing landscape with huge fields and breathtaking mountain views. An incredible indoor reception area that can host around 150. This venue has a lot to offer!
- Mariner’s Landing Resort – A small trek from Charlottesville (2 hours) this Smith Mountain Lake wedding venue has more to offer than other local venues. This place has it all: lodging for you and your whole family, golf courses, boating, catering and an indoor reception area. You can book Mariner’s Landing Resort and basically be done with most of your wedding planning (except for the wedding photographer of course ;)).
- Keswick Vineyards – One of the most beautiful, elegant venues Charlottesville has to offer! Can seat 150 to 200 in the reception hall, this wedding venue is something else! Check out their website for more info, you wont be disappointed!
- Old Metropolitan Hall – Love Charlottesville so much that you want to get married here? Well you can! At Old Metropolitan Hall they give you the kind of wedding only downtown Charlottesville can offer. A beautiful reception hall with a lot of history everywhere you look, this place might be for you!
- Mount Ida Farm – Whether you want rustic or a more formal feel, this venue can suit your needs. Located minutes from Charlottesville, this place has it all! Horse-drawn carriages, 30 foot tall fireplaces, beautiful vineyards and amazing views of the mountains, this is one venue you will not want to pass up when doing your search.
I sincerely hope this guide has helped you and if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact me!