Wedding Venue Shopping

As many of you know, Brian and I are planning to get married in the Richmond, Virginia area where  I was born and raised.  Planning a wedding is pretty intimidating,  so for the first couple months of our engagement my tactic was to delay.   I wanted to just enjoy being engaged without adding the stress of planning.

After a couple of months though, I did start to get antsy about picking a date and starting the whole process.

So the venue shopping began…

I don’t know how you other brides have felt, but picking the right venue was much harder than I originally thought.  The venue dictates the rest of the  wedding day details (color, style, decor etc.) so I wanted to be sure I picked something that fit our style and budget.

I know a lot of girls already have an idea in their minds of what they want their wedding to look like and I was no exception.  I soon came to realize though, that an idea can be harder to make a reality and you have to consider the  34570923475 details that come into play with a wedding.

I originally wanted to get married in an old refurbished barn.I grew up on a farm so I thought this would be a perfect way to honor my childhood. I fall head over heels in love with every reception photo I see with a beautiful bride in her soft white wedding gown standing in front of a rustic wooden barn.

I began searching online for venues, using sites like Richmond WeddingsRustic Wedding Chic,   and even posting on facebook hoping to find a barn that could accommodate our wedding. Unfortunately, the right venue just doesn’t exist in Richmond.  I did find a few barns in Charlottesville and in Northern Virginia, but I’ve always pictured myself marrying in my home town.

So I had to readjust my view a bit,  keep an open mind, and most importantly still try to have fun in the process. Here were some of our  top contenders.

Westover Plantation

I was drawn to it’s rich American history, lovely grounds, and breathtaking views of the James River.

westover plantation richmond, vawestover plantation richmond, va

Benefits: Duh it’s beautiful and I got that feeling that this really could be the place when I visited there for the first time.  Unlike other plantations around, guests would actually be able to view the house for the first two hours of the event.  Also I loved the event coordinator and owner of the house, Andrea.  Westover Plantation has been in her family for 6 generations!

Downside: Westover just provides the venue, nothing else. We would have to take care of renting a tent, bathrooms, tables, chairs etc. I knew this would be a lot more work and could be harder to stay within budget. Also, it’s about 30 minutes outside of Richmond so setting up shuttles would be a necessity for all of our out of town guests.

Bolling Haxall House

A Women’s Club founded in 1894. I’m drawn to its lovely,  grandiose architecture. These ladies knew what they were doing when they picked the location for their women’s club. It’s right in downtown Richmond, so its easy to get to from the church and there are lots of hotels within 4 blocks.

Also another upside, chiavari chairs (you know what I’m talking about ladies) and tables are included in the cost and we don’t have to worry about renting a tent and bathrooms. Also they allow outside caterers, so we could pick food we really like instead of being pigeon holed into using their vendors, like some venues.

Downside: It’s not the original idea of my wedding reception I had in my head…

bolling haxall bolling haxel house

Boat House at Sunday Park

This quaint venue right on the Swift Creek Reservoir is located about 35 minutes outside of Richmond.  This place offers breathtaking views and a more laid back feel.

Also this venues comes with some nice convenience factors like the a day of event coordinator, tables, chairs, and choice of linens are included. They also provide food and beverage packages so you can easily calculate how much the whole day will cost!

boathouse2 boathouse boathouse at sunday parkHere are some other venues we checked out in our search:

Brian was a good sport visiting around 10 venues 🙂

If you’re planning your own wedding, here are some helpful questions to ask your wedding venue.

Stay tuned for more wedding planning tips and details. Can’t wait till October 4th, 2014!

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