Planning A Wedding In Charlottesville, Virginia
Charlottesville is a popular Virginia wedding destination for numerous reasons. From the local vineyard and brewery scene, to the historic downtown charm, there are dozens of venues to host your wedding and ample accommodations to host and entertain all your guests. The rolling hills boast scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in all four seasons, but especially come alive for fall foliage. Whether your style is classic, vintage, boho, rustic, modern, or eclectic, Charlottesville has a space perfect for your wedding and reception. As a wedding photographer, I created this guide to help you get started planning a wedding in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Why Charlottesville is a perfect destination wedding location
It’s not just the weddings that lure people to Charlottesville. Albemarle county has long been a destination for weekend getaways, great food, relaxation, shopping, and concerts. Many enjoy a slow drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, winery and brewery hop along the Brew Ridge Trail, and spend time enjoying local food and entertainment on the downtown pedestrian mall.
Charlottesville has become a place for destination weddings largely due to the incredible variety of venues, food, and accommodations. There are options that can host it all, from welcome party to the big day, overnight stays, group itineraries for the perfect weekend, and brunch send-off to round out the weekend! The creative and small business community locally is booming, so you won’t have to go far to create incredible welcome baskets, have unique wedding entertainment, develop custom signage and stationery, or serve your guests the meal of a lifetime from non-chain, independent wedding vendors.
University of Virginia grads love getting married in Charlottesville!
Many people find themselves planning a Charlottesville wedding because of its proximity to UVA! Many couples, both from out of state, meet in college and decide to tie the knot in the sentimental location where their story began. Rather than choosing one family’s town over the other, all their guests travel in and get to experience a piece of the couple’s history firsthand. Whether they plan to stay local or not, UVA grads love getting married in Charlottesville.
How to start planning your wedding in Charlottesville
First, I’d recommend a visit! It’s an area you really need to see to understand. I know for a fact you’ll be charmed and dying to come back. Once you know you want to get married here, the best starting point is finding a local planner who knows the area’s best venues for your wedding’s needs. Each wedding is so different in terms of style, flow, size, budget, and venue requirements. There are easily over 50 places you could get married in the Charlottesville area. A planner is going to help recommend only the venues that would best suit your wedding day.
Highly recommended Charlottesville, Virginia wedding planners
Below are a few of my favorite planners in the Charlottesville area. I know they’ll take great care of you! If you’re looking for more recommendations, view the full list of Charlottesville area wedding planners and coordinators.
Lemondrop Events Co
Lemondrop Events, owned by Brooke Benson, offers Bespoke wedding planning, coordination, and design services in Charlottesville Virginia, and available for travel. Her designs are described as “classic with a twist,” inspired by European trends and old world elegance. She’s known for her entertaining and thorough wedding venue tours on Instagram. Consider Brooke to manage your wedding day experience! Plus, you can read her top tips for wedding planning right here on my site.
Little Acorn Events is a Central Virginia wedding planning team that offers month-of coordination and wedding management, as well as full & partial planning packages. The cost of their services ranges from $2,400-$9,200, and they list their values as equality, diversity, and intentionally curated celebrations. Their founder, Mia, says, “I believe wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful, but rather a creative & collaborative process that should feel joyful and easy.” Be sure to check out this unique team!
Sarah Fay Waller, lead planner and designer for Day by Fay Weddings, says that she draws her inspiration from her “travels abroad, classical art and architecture, literature, music, and tradition.” This minority-owned team offers full and partial wedding day and wedding weekend planning packages, and are based in the Charlottesville area of Virginia. Submit an inquiry through their website for current pricing information!
Wedding Venues in Charlottesville
While you’re finding the perfect wedding planner, I wanted to share some of my favorite Charlottesville wedding venues. There’s truly something for everyone in this area, but these stand out as fantastic accommodations, photogenic, and so wonderful to work with from a photography perspective. I’ve done my best to seek out information on capacity, price, and layout.
As a wedding photographer, I work in dozens of places each year. I’m always observing the available light, layout and flow of a wedding, what happens when there’s rainy weather and changes of plan, and how the staff respond to the couple, guests, and vendors. Some venues are just fantastic on all fronts! It doesn’t mean the others are bad–I haven’t worked everywhere and there are plenty of other great venues. These are my personal favorites, and I’m happy to share more about why!
Top Charlottesville VirginiaWedding Venues
King Family Vineyards is a family-owned and operated winery that doubles as a wedding and event venue, and is located just outside of Charlottesville in Crozet. The property features a carriage house as well as outdoor space, and can host events year-round. This iconic Central Virginia wedding venue can house up to 200 guests. King Family does not include catering as part of their packages, but does require couples to use a caterer from their approved list. The cost of weddings at King Family varies by day of the week and season, but ranges from $4,750 – $12,000.
Although Castle Hill is not technically a winery, it deserves a spot among the top wedding venues in the Charlottesville area. This historic orchard features both indoor and outdoor spaces including the tasting room, bridal suite, and loft, and can accommodate up to 350 guests, making it one of the larger venues on this list. Contact directly for pricing and other information.
Located just ten minutes outside of Charlottesville in one of the most elegant parts of Virginia wine country, Keswick Vineyards offers pristine grounds, rolling farmland, and sweeping mountain views. Their full-day rental package includes access to the grounds and an elegant Aurora reception tent. For more information regarding guest count, catering requirements, and pricing information, reach out to the venue directly.
This boutique hotel situated on 100 acres is located only minutes from downtown Charlottesville and features an elegant manor house, garden cottages, and an award-winning on-site restaurant. The Clifton Inn offers couples the option to book their venue for day-of or full weekend events. The inn itself can sleep up to 39, with space for up to 300 reception guests. Contact directly for more information.
Pippin Hill Farm describes themselves as a “culinary vineyard in the heart of Virginia’s wine country,” and hosts some of Charlottesville’s most elegant weddings and events. Pippin Hill provides in-house farm-to-table catering as well as event services included in each package. This upscale venue has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides Magazine, and Vogue, and has multiple event spaces to choose from. Base rates for weddings at Pippin Hill range from $7,000 – $22,000 depending on day of the week and season, with food and beverage minimums ranging from $19,000 – $55,000.
Hazy Mountain is a picturesque estate featuring timeless Tuscan architecture, 35 acres of vines, and panoramic views of the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Parkway. There are several event spaces on the property including a stunning villa that can sleep up to 14 guests. The wedding venue holds up to 200 guests for events and requires a 75 guest minimum. Rental rates range from $18,000 – $30,000 depending on day of the week and season, with an additional required food and beverage package.
Early Mountain offers modern facilities with breathtaking views of the surrounding farm and Blue Ridge Mountains. The event hall features a stone fireplace and vaulted ceilings, and holds up to 200 guests. Their package includes day-of coordination services, 12 hours of time on-site, and several spaces for the wedding party and guests to use. Early Mountain does require couples to use their in-house catering service, but does allow outside vendors for cakes and desserts. Contact directly for pricing and availability.
Farmington Country Club offers couples a blend of classic country club ambiance with all the luxurious amenities of a modern club. This venue has the best of both worlds, located right in the city of Charlottesville, but still featuring a large estate with mountain views. Farmington Country Club can accommodate up to 250 guests and boasts multiple event rooms for couples to choose from. Contact their planning team directly for pricing.
The Wool Factory is a one-of-a-kind industrial venue in the heart of Charlottesville, VA. This modern wedding venue is perfect for those who want something a little different than the vineyards and historic properties across the valley. The space seats 220 guests and offers space for both indoor and outdoor events. The onsite mirco-brewery offers craft wine and coffee, and their culinary team is unmatched.
Looking for more recommendations? Get the complete list of Charlottesville wedding venues.
Accommodations for your wedding guests
There’s no shortage of hotels, historic bed and breakfasts, inns, and resorts in the Charlottesville area. Here is a curated list of the best places to stay for your trip to Charlottesville.
Places to eat in Charlottesville
Known for its incredible variety in local food, Charlottesville ranks number 14 in the US for most restaurants per capita. There’s truly something for everyone! Here are some fan favorite, unique places to eat in Charlottesville.
Things to do in Charlottesville
Whether you’re looking for a family friendly itinerary, a weekend of quiet and relaxation, or a trip that reminds you of your college days, there’s plenty to do in Charlottesville. Search by category, location, and popularity on Visit Charlottesville.
Looking for a Charlottesville, Virginia wedding photographer?
I’m glad you found me! I created this guide to help you get started planning your wedding in Charlottesville. And, I’d love to chat about your vision for wedding photography! Every wedding photography proposal starts with a conversation or zoom call to hear all about your plans, what’s most important to you, and how you’d like your day captured. I want to make sure I’m the absolute best fit for you and your wedding first and foremost.
Ready to talk wedding photography details? Inquire here!