As every bride knows, once the excitement following the bending of the knee wanes, the reality of actually planning a wedding sets in — and one of the first and foremost decisions is figuring out where to do it.
With swamp air settling over the District, a potentially much cooler option lies nearby — in the pastoral beauty of the mountains of Virginia. Fortunately, the Commonwealth offers a number of options, particularly rustic venues that frame the pastoral setting so well.
Besides mountain views, Virginia’s countryside offers lush vineyards and bucolic meadows, all of which offer a natural alternative to incense-choking, high-arched cathedrals for the rustic wedding of your dreams. We’ve picked four of the best, within just a couple hours or so from D.C.
Middleburg’s Goodstone Inn offers a perfect balance of plush luxury and country coziness — a delightful setting for your rustic nuptials. Located in the heart of Virginia wine and hunt country, the inn combines an unhurried and intimate atmosphere with breathtaking views of the countryside and the Blue Ridge Mountains. With its historic guest residences restored in English and French country décor, an ivy-covered façade, an elegant pool and a restaurant serving farm-to-table gourmet cuisine, you and your guests will enjoy the finest of Southern hospitality and gracious service in a luxury retreat atmosphere.
This historic, award-winning indoor/outdoor venue offers couples endless possibilities to create a wedding pulled right from their imagination — from the intimate to the incredible. The property’s 11,000-square-foot, classically built post-and-beam barn provides an expansive year-round party spot. Terraced lawns with exquisite 360-degree views of Virginia’s countryside and the Blue Ridge Mountains create an idyllic backdrop for wedding receptions and photography. Castle Hill Cider received the 2014 Borrowed & Blue Honorable Mention Award for Most Desirable Wedding Venue in the Charlottesville, Virginia, area.
While Trump Winery is relatively new, having opened in 2011, it has quickly established itself as one of the most sought-after wedding venues in gorgeous Charlottesville. The barn at Trump Winery is Virginia rustic elegance at its finest: high ceilings, expansive windows and French doors opening to a terrace with sweeping views of the vineyard, lake and lush countryside — make it the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable rustic wedding in high style. It is Trump, after all. And now the largest vineyard in Virginia, the winery offers a fine selection of sparkling, red and white wines to toast the new bride and groom.
Another award-winning option, King Family Vineyards is tucked into the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers the rustic wedding planner the popular Carriage House: a warm, sophisticated room decked out with chandeliers, exposed beams, rough-cut oak floors and a large stone fireplace to keep the festivities going during the cooler months. The rural farm setting has panoramic mountain views that guarantee your wedding album will not disappoint. Nor will the wines, which helped the King Family win Borrowed and Blue’s 2014 Best Vineyard Wedding Venue for the Charlottesville area.