Top 6 Virginia Wedding Venues
By Meredith Jenkins
Virginia is for lovers. This is especially true after the McAuliffe Administration brought marriage equality to the Commonwealth nine months before the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark Obergefell decision in June of 2015. Moreover, since former Governor McAuliffe’s LGBT Tourism Task force and the Virginia Tourism Corporation modified the famous Virginia is for Lovers logo to include a rainbow letter “O,” Virginia’s LGBTQ couples (and couples from out-of-state) have flocked to their favorite wedding destinations across the state to say, “I do.” While our great Commonwealth has a plethora of inclusive and scenic wedding venues, we narrowed the list down to our favorite six.
Bandit’s Ridge – Louisa, VA
Named after the owner’s beloved quarter horse, Bandit, Bandit’s Ridge is a picturesque estate in central Virginia that has numerous charming amenities to make your wedding a truly memorable experience. Situated on 25 scenic acres with a rustic, red barn overlooking the hay field and a new barn that seats 150 guests, this venue can accommodate the country-style wedding of your dreams. From the personalized service to the warm, inviting spaces, you’ll surely fall in love with Bandit’s Ridge!
The Ward Center for Contemporary Art – Petersburg, VA
Located in the heart of downtown Petersburg’s historic district, The Ward Center for Contemporary Art is a truly unique venue to have your wedding. The building dates back to 1889 when it was the Rucker Rosenstock department store and later the Butterworth’s Furniture store. In 2014, the building underwent a $6 million renovation and was transformed into The Ward Center for Contemporary Art.
Their spacious grand event hall boasts old-world charm with restored wood floors, a grand staircase and elegant chandeliers set against the backdrop of a beautiful modern art gallery. You’ll love the restored historic details, high ceilings, VIP loft area and room for up to 500 guests. If you’re looking for a venue with a fabulous mix of art, history and charm, look no further than The Ward Center for Contemporary Art.
Gunston Hall – Mason Neck
Say, “I do” on the historic grounds of George Mason’s Gunston Hall, a U.S. National Historic Landmark located just south of Alexandria. With 500 acres of beautiful landscape and a breathtaking vista of the Potomac River, you and your guests will have an experience to remember. Weddings at Gunston Hall can include the use of the grounds, the Ann Mason Room (located outside the Visitor Center) and its adjoining private courtyard.
The Ann Mason Room and grounds can accommodate up to 100 seated guests or 175 standing for your ceremony or reception.
If you’re a history buff or just like the idea of having your wedding in the home of one of America’s most important Founding Fathers, look no further than George Mason’s Gunston Hall.
Stone Tower Winery – Leesburg
Stone Tower Winery offers a one-of-a-kind setting for an unforgettable wedding, with over 60-acres of planted vines over rolling northern Virginia hillsides. The vineyard provides the perfect balance of rustic charm and sophisticated elegance, inviting couples to begin their lives together on the land that was born from a love for these rolling hills. Whether planning an intimate occasion for a select few or a grand wedding for over 230 guests, the staff can tailor your wedding to your taste and personality, creating a breathtaking experience that is a reflection of you.
The Historic Cavalier Hotel – Virginia Beach
Born of the Big Band era, host to ten Presidents, a Virginia Beach icon: The Cavalier is steeped in stories—and has now been re-imagined for generations to come. Set atop of one of Virginia Beach’s highest hills overlooking the Atlantic, The Cavalier is among the country’s most notable historic hotels and still brims with the elegance and hospitality of a bygone era. Following an extensive top-to-bottom, multi-year restoration, the soul of its origins remain—now accented by plenty of luxurious surprises.
Whether your celebration calls for 25 - 250 guests this historic gem can host your elegant wedding in one of its uniquely stunning venues. Enjoy the artfully restored Grand Ballroom complete with soft, billowing drapery, crystal chandeliers, ambient ceiling rosettes and delicate finishing touches or dance under the stars on their ocean view lawns perched on Virginia Beaches’ highest knoll. The Cavalier Hotel also boasts 85 luxurious rooms including 23 suites, original marble columns, lush gardens, ornate moldings and architectural details unparalleled throughout the Mid-Atlantic. In addition, this modern marvel includes a luxurious spa and signature bourbon distillery on site, three restaurants, a resort-style pool, a Beach Club and access to a secluded beach.
Unrivaled luxury, refined hospitality and anticipatory service is the epitome of The Cavalier experience. Recently re-opened in March of 2018, this landmark wedding destination does not disappoint!
Crystal Gateway Marriott – Arlington, VA
Experience a gateway into modern sophistication at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. This venue is perfectly situation minutes from Washington, DC and less than one mile from Reagan National Airport, with an interior corridor connecting you to the Crystal City Metro. Their exclusive M Club provides a modern 24/7 sanctuary where guests can recharge, connect and relax. The property has reinvented their spacious guest rooms with modular furniture, premium connectivity, smart TVs and walk-in showers. Boasting almost 40,000 square feet of recently renovated wedding space, 31 event rooms and 30 convenient breakout spaces, they can accommodate weddings of any size. Their Grand Ballroom can comfortably host up to 2,100 guests! This venue is a very popular venue for Indian, military and LGBTQ weddings. If you’re looking for a grand, urban wedding venue, the Crystal Gateway Marriott is your perfect destination for location, space and chic sophistication.