Brides! Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the venue options? Are they all just blurring together? I feel you. I really do. As a planner, I have seen every type of venue, vineyard, found space, ballroom. You name it, I’ve seen it. Everything can blur together. Never fear! This past week I had the opportunity to tour two fabulous venues. Dover Hall, right outside of Richmond, is a venue unto itself, and Early Mountain Vineyard redefines a vineyard wedding. Check out a quick review of both below!
Early Mountain Vineyard is the perfect venue if you want the vineyard photos, but a more classic venue for the reception. Situated about 30 minutes outside of Charlottesville, Early Mountain boasts vineyard views during your ceremony, an enclosed reception and cocktail hour space that doubles as your inclement weather ceremony space, and a separate bridal cottage. Food and Beverage is all provided in house with a non-alcoholic beverage served to your guests upon arrival. This venue is perfect if you love a winter wedding but still want those vineyard photos (stunning in the snow), as most of the venue is in doors, which most vineyards cannot offer.
This venue does have a couple major downsides. The biggest drawback is its location relative to Charlottesville. Early Mountain is not close to a single hotel or happening night life. If I were to plan a wedding here, I would budget for a shuttle service for guests who are unable to drive after the reception. This venue also requires a hefty food and beverage minimum of $18,000 (as of January 15, 2023), however, most couples have no trouble hitting this number. Both things really factor into your wedding budget and should be a consideration when looking at the given price of the venue.
Where do I even start with this estate? Dover Hall is a sweeping Tudor estate that was a private residence up until 2014. There is not a room without love, personality, and thought poured into it. Antiquities and a distinct Tudor décor style leave an impression upon an initial walkthrough and leaves the sweetest memories after your last guest leaves. Light seeps in from the floor to ceiling windows in the ballroom, and there are multiple ceremony options. As of now (January 15, 2023), there are plans for a permanent tented space that has glass walls and temperature control. A huge selling point is the incredible bridal suite that would make Marie Antoinette swoon. Cream and gold adorn every surface and there is ample space for any sized bridal party. Couples even have the option to rent out the entire estate for the weekend. Imagine 10 guest rooms, decadent food, and a palace all your own.
The main drawback of Dover Hall is also its greatest strength—this venue is so distinct. Every room is furnished to a particular taste and style, and it is not everyone’s style. There is no blank canvas here. You cannot build your wedding from the ground up.
Would you get married at either venue? Let me know your favorite venue mentioned in the comments!
Inquire here to start planning your wedding at one of these incredible venues!