` Tucked away between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the nation’s capital, along dirt roads and country curving streets, lies a secret garden of green pastures growing local produce, freshly painted farms with white picket fences and acres of vineyards with large succulent grapes and tasting rooms filling visitors’ glasses with the latest and greatest new wines. Hidden in these foothills are also lists of wedding venues, vendors and anxious brides hoping to secure their spot in peak season at the pavilions located here. Say goodbye to the destination weddings on sugar white sandy beaches in the Caribbean and hello to the horses and historical lands in the country side of Virginia. There is something to be said when a small town stubborn girl from the rocky coast of southern Maine who doesn’t think anything is more pristine and precious than her local beach town in New England begins to have second thoughts when driving along Loudoun County. This area may lack the sound of crashing waves, but it is smothered with kindness, tranquility and nature that could de-stress any city slicker. This area is truly the spot where fairy tale weddings come alive and bride’s dreams come true. Allow yourself to explore the opportunities each season will bring to your special day in a handful of options ranging from bed and breakfasts and farms to vineyards and mansions. The Goodstone Inn & Estate ------ Location: Middleburg, Va. Cost: $23,935- $30,174 Contact: Emily Tabachka 540 687 3092 Emily@Goodstone.com Goodstone.com This bed and breakfast is more than a place to rest your head, but an inn where you will be swept away. With 265 acres of open fields and cottages with rooms filled with original antique furniture and four post beds, a bride can live like a princess for a weekend with up to 150 friends and family members. Elegant weddings over the meadows on this estate are hosted poolside by the façade of an old mansion with overgrown ivy and gardens. Rehearsal dinners and receptions can be held outdoors or inside at the Carriage House, where guests can enjoy local food and wine designed by executive chef William Walden. Wherever you choose to say your vows, a picturesque view of the country side is sure to be in sight. Why we love it here: The Goodstone Inn & Estate offers in-house catering and planners to help make your event exclusive and as easy to plan as possible. The Fox Den at Briar Patch ------ Location: Middleburg, Va. Cost: $10,000 + tax Contact: Charlotte John 703 327 5911 Info@BriarPatchBandB.com BriarPatchBandB.com This historical bed and breakfast has unlimited possibilities for today’s bride. On 47 acres of property dating back to 1805, the guests stay the weekend to enjoy family, friends, Virginia wines and mountain views. Rehearsal dinners, receptions and ceremonies can all be accommodated for groups up to 200 people (and your pets are welcome, too). Whether you choose to say “I do” outside or in, Briar Patch has several options to choose from. Dance the night away in the Fox Den, a spacious hall filled with white linen tables, floor to ceiling windows and plenty of room to mingle. Have your first kiss by the shaded trees along the property or choose to have your event poolside in the warmer season. Why we love it here: When you book your wedding here, you’re given access to it all and have the option of getting married at just about any spot on the property. The Pavilion at The Farm at Broad Run ------ Location: Broad Run, Va. Cost: $1,750 Contact: Michelle DeWitt 703 753 3548 ShellyD96@aol.com TheFarmAtBroadRun.com Greenhouses, vegetable patches, fresh fruits and animals graze this 72-acre family-owned farm located just a short trip down a classic gravel driveway. At first glance, this may look like an unexpected place for a grandiose affair, but look again. The family recently opened “The Pavilion” to host events including weddings, which owner Michelle DeWitt said have often been over the top. The contrast between the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere of the farm mixed with an elegant white gown has been simply majestic here and word is spreading. Events are booking frequently and we’re not surprised. The Farm at Broad Run offers a solely outdoor wedding with a covered pavilion protecting a large, outdoor, artisan stonework kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and a grill to allow your chosen caterers to complete a fantastic meal for your guests (and the option of eating produce right from the farm). Why we love it here: A newly built two-bed, two-bath farmhouse with a wrap-around porch and exquisite decor has been placed on the property for the convenience of the wedding party to relax and prepare before the main event. Whitehall Manor ------ Location: Bluemont, Va. Cost: $4,500 - $8,000 Contact: Douglas Armstrong (703) 948- 2999 HistoricWhitehall.com Stepping in to Whitehall Manor is like stepping back in time. This mansion, built in 1790, was once occupied by our first president’s brother, John Augustine Washington, and survived the Civil War’s Battle of Snickersville. A catering company later purchased the property from dairy farmers in the 1990s and has since turned the home in to the ultimate wedding venue (and offering, of course, a gourmet meal for your guests). Brides are given access to the entire first floor of the mansion to prepare prior to the ceremony and to unwind during and after the reception, which takes place in the newly added pavilion built in 2005. This space holds 225 guests comfortably and boasts a large dance floor for those who choose to kick off their shoes and let their hair down after a bit of bubbly. Why we love it here: Your wedding photos will never fail with the mix of historical and modern architecture, green grassy pastures, large trees and views of nearby farms and mountains. The Stable at Bluemont Vineyard ------ Location: Bluemont, Va. Cost: $3,000 - $6,000 Contact: Debbie Zurschmeide Schoeb 540 554 2073 Debbie@BluemontVineyard.com BluemontVineyard.com Off the beaten path and beyond the hustle and bustle you’ll find a vineyard hidden on top a hill with breathtaking panoramic views spanning as far as the Washington Monument. Event planners and coordinators specialize in making your day special and allow you to work with other vendors to perfect your dream wedding. The Stable is one of the largest event facilities in the county holding more than 200 people in a climate-controlled space with stamped cement floors, natural light and original wooden beams from when it was first built decades ago. Step outside the country doors to say your vows and step back in for cocktails on the patio and back in to The Stable for dinner and dancing wherever you choose. Why we love it here: Since I can’t mention the view again (or can I?), I must say the next best thing is that having a wedding on a vineyard means having a wedding with fresh and locally produced wines as well as farm fresh ingredients in all menu items. [gallery ids="100485,117295,117285,117277,117267,117258,117250,117241,117309,117233,117315,117225,117321,117217,117326,117303" nav="thumbs"]
This weekend, the National Symphony Orchestra will play along with clips from “Frozen” and other Disney Animation favorites.
What will you celebrate this Saturday, May 5: the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at the Willard's Bonnets & Bow Ties party or Karl Marx's 200th birthday at the Goethe-Institut?
Farrell, 72, will continue to teach her summer intensive program for dancers aged 14 to 18 at the center and is expected to oversee classes in the dance studios currently under construction.
“202 Creates” events will include a Labor Day Weekend Music Festival at the historic Lincoln Theatre and a family-friendly arts and cultural festival on Sept. 9 at the Southwest Waterfront and Randall Field.
Opening night for the Smithsonian’s Craft2Wear Show is tonight, Thursday, Oct. 5, and it’s also time for the Waterford Fair and the Solar & Green Home Tour.
On Veterans Day weekend: a book signing at the National Archives, a salute to the military at the Kennedy Center and a hike from Fletcher’s Cove to raise funds for Warrior Expeditions.
“La donna è mobile” — just ask the Duke of Mantua at Wolf Trap Opera's "Rigoletto" or Sarah Fraser at her live podcast taping on Friday. On Sunday: the Citi Open finals and Signature Theatre’s open house.
In addition to Christmas music, shows and meals, there are jazz, beer and comedy options this weekend — not to mention a Falafel Frenzy and a Matzo Ball on Christmas Eve.
Closed for repairs since the August 23, 2011, earthquake, the iconic 555-foot obelisk dedicated to George Washington, first President of the United States, reopened to the public May 12. The Georgetowner participated in a media preview May 10, when National Park Service rangers showed off the newly reopened Washington Monument and escorted writers and photographers to the top. The 5.8-magnitude quake -- unusual for the mid-Atlantic -- caused significant damage to the monument which dominates the skyline of Washington, D.C. The monument's foundation was laid July 4, 1848, and -- after years of lack of funds and work halted -- the structure formally opened in December 1884. Scaffolding around the monument was erected for the meticulous repair work to be done. Cracks, especially at the top of the monument, the pyramid, were filled and braced or stones replaced. The work took almost three years. Now, visitors may again take the elevator to the top of monument and look out windows at the height of 500 at each compass point, north, east, west and south. On the floor below, there is an exhibit area which tells the story of the Washington Monument. Tickets are free from the Park Service, but there is a service fee of $1.50 to make a reservation. When NPS first offered tickets in mid-April, 16,000 tickets were snapped in 15 minutes. Most visitors use the online system these days. During the summer, hours have been extended. Visit www.nps.gov/wamo for details. On hand at the Monday ceremony to reopen the monument were Sally Jewell, Interior Secretary; Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton; Mayor Vincent Gray; Jonathon Jarvis, director of the National Park Service; Robert Vogel, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks; David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group; Caroline Cunningham, president of the Trust for the National Mall; and Al Roker of NBC News, master of ceremonies. Jewell noted the need for private-public partnerships in her remarks. She especially thanked Rubenstein who donated $7.5 million to match funds allocated by Congress. For Jewell, it is about "ordinary citizens making extraordinary contributions." For his part, Rubenstein is considered a patriotic philanthropist, and he joked he had received a message from George Washington on his iPad over the weekend. [gallery ids="101730,142161,142156,142153,142148,142145,142140,142169,142176,142134,142173,142164" nav="thumbs"]