Let’s Get Married!

Wedding season is almost here, which means now is the time for the blushing bride and her groom to select the location of their most memorable occasion.

Central Virginia is home to some of the most beautiful wedding venues in the state. And, finding the perfect location isn’t easy in Richmond because there are so many options to choose from.

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Antebellum of New Kent

This exclusive event venue — located in the heart of New Kent County,  between Richmond and Williamsburg — offers 5,800 square feet of space to accommodate your nuptials and reception. Having just opened in the fall of 2018, Antebellum is brand new to the Richmond area. This southern event venue is perfect for the couple who wants an intimate celebration.

Antebellum can host indoor or outdoor events during any time of year. The event space offers a large covered patio with a fireplace, a beautiful lawn, as well as an indoor ballroom that can fit up 180 guests for a sit-down dinner or 280 guests for a cocktail hour or reception. Lining the ballroom is an upstairs balcony, overlooking the dance floor, that can be equipped with cocktail tables or used for the DJ. Two staircases lead down into the ballroom and would be great for the bridal party’s entrance into the reception. Tables and chairs are available for use. Antebellum also offers a variety of decorations that can be used for a rental fee. There is a rental room full of décor options to choose from. The venue works closely with its preferred vendors for catering, but they do allow outside vendors that meet a certain set of guidelines. The in-house kitchen is available for the catering team to use during the event.

The venue also has a beautiful bridal dressing suite, decorated specifically to appeal to the senses of the bride and her bridal party. In the bridal suite, there are two hair-and-makeup stations with perfect lighting for getting glam. There also is a dressing area for the groom and his groomsmen that is aesthetically tailored to the gentlemen. Each suite comes with a full bath that can be used by the bridal party or groomsmen to get ready the day of the event.

Allison Kuhn Creative

Dover Hall

Dover Hall is the optimal wedding venue for you if you want an elegant, almost-all-inclusive wedding venue right outside of Richmond. This beautiful English Tudor-inspired estate, located in Manakin-Sabot, is the perfect place to entertain. Dover Hall is opulence at its finest, with every inch of the estate designed precisely, down to the smallest detail.

The estate, which was once home to the Pryor family, boasts nine bedrooms, a library, 30 bathrooms, a ballroom, a pub-style bar, billiards room, front parlor, solarium, summer kitchen and great room. These amenities are now used to host luxurious events. The bride and groom each have their own extensive dressing quarters to use the day of the event — each in a different wing of the house. Both suites were once the dressing area of the initial residents. The bridal suite is perfect for photos because of the vast amount of beautiful natural light that comes in through the window. While using these suites, the bride and the groom can enjoy snacks and drinks served to the wedding party as they get ready for the big day. The bridal suite is also available for rental as a honeymoon suite the night of the wedding.

One of the most celebrated amenities of the estate is the billiards room — a trophy room. The room is a conversation piece for guests, as well as a popular place for the groom and his groomsmen to enjoy before the ceremony.

On its grounds, Dover Hall has a reflecting pool, often used as the centerpiece for an outdoor ceremony, and a stone terrace that is often used for cocktail hours or ceremonies. Also available outside are the cobblestone courtyard, the rose garden and a soon-to-be-tented reception space.

While outdoor space is a wonderful option to have on the big day, if weather does not permit, Dover Hall’s ballroom is a prime location for the ceremony as well as the reception. The ballroom can seat up to 150 guests for a sit-down dinner and up to 250 for a cocktail-style reception.

Available for use during the event are table linens, china, glassware, flatware, chairs and table. The estate also has its own in-house executive chef, who provides artisanal-designed menus for each event.

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Branch Museum of Architecture and Design

Monument Avenue…You don’t get much more historical Richmond than that. With sophisticated interior space and a beautiful outdoor garden and courtyard, the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design is a great option for hosting the historical wedding of your dreams. Once the Virginia Center for Architecture Foundation, the Branch Museum is a Tudor-style mansion that provides exhibits to entertain guests. It is the first museum of its kind in the southeast.

Inside, you will find the social gallery, the long gallery and the great hall. The social gallery is designed specifically for entertaining guests and can  easily serve as a functional reception space together with the long gallery and great hall — gallery spaces that can be transformed for an indoor reception.

The garden behind the museum is surrounded by stone walls that give an old-world feel to the courtyard. This space is ideal for holding the ceremony and can be set up in a variety of ways. The stairs, leading up to the mansion, provide a perfect spot for the bride and groom to exchange their vows.

As a wedding space, the Branch Museum includes the use of the three galleries, library, terrace and gardens, as well as tables and chairs. Couples that use the venue for their ceremony have access to the parlor rooms located upstairs to get ready before the “I do’s” begin. The Branch Museum does work with a preferred list of caterers, which includes a Sharper Palate, Mosaic and Groovin-Gourmet. They also work with a preferred list of lighting companies.

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Wisteria Farms

If you are looking for the Southern charm wedding venue of your dreams, look no further. Wisteria Farms on Ivey Mill is situated on 190 acres right outside of Richmond in Chesterfield County. The farm is owned by the Gordon family, and it is also their home. The property boasts country meadows, formal Italianate gardens, expansive fields, as well as a federal-style home and barn.

Located behind the Gordon’s home, the Italianate garden is perfect for an outdoor ceremony that brides only dream of. The garden offers a reflecting pool and fountain as the centerpiece for the nuptials. If weather doesn’t permit, there is also the elegant finished brick barn.

The grounds feature a number of spaces that can be considered for a memorable reception. The finished barn is perfect for a cocktail hour. The barn allows you to open the former stables to use as seated areas for guests, as well as an attractive seating area equipped with a cozy fireplace. There is also an inviting patio outside that creates an intimate feel for the open reception and cocktail hour. The meadow behind the barn is perfect for a tented reception that you can make all your own.

The bridal party has access to the upstairs barn space — fully furnished and equipped with a gorgeous kitchen and striking bathroom — for the day, prior to the ceremony. The open space has ideal lighting for photos, as well as hair and makeup. Not to mention that both ends of the upstairs have balconies which also serve as great backdrops for pictures.

Wisteria Farms does have preferred vendors that they work with, but they are open to other vendors that couples may want to use for the big day. Included in the use of the property for your wedding day is the  barn for your rehearsal dinner.

The southern charm of this venue can be found on every inch of the property — not to mention the unrivaled hospitality of the owners.

These are a few of my favorite finds. Now, let’s get married!

Please refer to the directory below for additional information on the wedding venues in this article.

Antebellum – 4370 N. Courthouse Road, Providence Forge; 804-519-3245; AntebellumOfNewKent.com

Branch Museum – 2501 Monument Ave.; 804-644-3041; BranchMuseum.org

Dover Hall – 1500 Manakin Road, Manakin-Sabot; 804-784-6051; DoverHall.com

Wisteria Farms – 11825 Ivey Mill Road, Chesterfield; 804-920-9797; WisteriaonIvey.com