The Blue Ridge Mountains might just be the most compelling reason to get married in the Charlottesville area, and it only takes one gander to understand why.
One of the best things about C’ville is that it offers both a stunning countryside with rolling hills and mountain views and a lively downtown culture. Show your guests what Charlottesville is all about by hosting weekend festivities in each area of the city.
Perhaps the biggest draw for destination brides and grooms in C'ville is returning to their alma mater, the highly esteemed University of Virginia. There’s just nothing quite like returning to Grounds to say “I do.” Wahoowa!
Charlottesville is definitely the Napa Valley of the East Coast, so it’s no wonder winery weddings are popular here. You'll find over thirty local venues where you can get married amongst the vines!
It’s a decision that some young women dream about for years, wondering just what fate has in store for her. Looks, personality, degrees of compatibility...all these elements cycle through her imagination. Will she have to compromise? Is the right fit out there somewhere? Oh, the search for The One. Wait—did you think we were talking about soul mates? Sorry, friend. No. We’re talking about The Dress. Find your sartorial match made in heaven at one of Charlottesville’s fabulous bridal shops, where your fairy godmothers of fashion are waiting to outfit you in the gown you were born to wear. (While you’re there, dress up your whole wedding party to match; you’ll see your entire wedding vision really come to life.) Then gild the whole ensemble with help from your local ring and jewelry specialists, where those eye-catching details, from wedding bands to a “something new” necklace, will secure the look you’ve been searching for. Then sit back and breath a sigh of relief...whew. The hunt is over.
Unless you are a model or a celebrity (and if so, well then congrats to you), the twenty-four hours surrounding your walk down the aisle might be the most photographed day of your life. With all those cameras flashing, you’ll want to be sure you’re looking mighty fine, so book an appointment or two with local hair and makeup professionals well in advance to work through the finer details of your wedding appearance. They’ll help you achieve that polished, but not too “done” affect so that you look like you...just a really, really stunning version of you. What could be better? Reward yourself for all that hard work of being gorgeous with a trip to one of Charlottesville’s pampering salons, preferably with your best buds in tow, to get that relaxed, glowy vibe that comes from a killer facial and massage. Oh, and remember when we said this was the most photographed you’ll ever be? Same message applies for your hands, so get those digits in front of a nail technician while you’re there. (Trust us, “ragged cuticles” is not a hot look.)
Whether you want your vow exchange to be traditional or playful, plan your ceremony so that it reflects you and your love. Choose a wedding officiant who really connects with each of you and understands you as a couple, and walk down the aisle to carefully chosen tunes played by talented local musicians for a truly personalized ceremony that has your guests saying, “Oh this is so them.”
I had the honor of serving as Mayor of Charlottesville from 2008-2012 and was... Read More
What makes a great wedding reception? A meal plated up by talented local caterers, out-of-this-world decor, and an exhilarating live band all come to mind, just to name a few key ingredients. In Charlottesville, all of these goods are at your fingertips. Your guests are going to be blown away when they walk into your wedding venue.
The best way to kick off your wedding weekend? With an awesome rehearsal dinner for your nearest and dearest, of course. We suggest making your rehearsal a bit of a welcome party, forging introductions wherever you can. Then when guests meet up on the dance floor the following night, it will feel like a gathering of old friends. For the many Charlottesville couples marrying at a vineyard or farm, we suggest hosting the rehearsal on the lovely and historic Downtown Mall. On the flip side, if you’re having a downtown wedding, rent out the barrel room at a local winery. Either way, you'll be showing off both faces of this fair city—the town and the country.
What better way to end your Charlottesville wedding weekend than with a lovely morning-after brunch? Lucky for you, C’ville offers a plethora of spaces around the city with scrumptious spreads and private rooms for hosting large groups. Check out Hamiltons', Commonwealth, and Brookville, all conveniently located on the Downtown Mall. Your guests will love the chance to say goodbye more intimately, and besides, who doesn’t love brunch?
That envelope, standing out like a diamond amidst the bills and junk mail, is the first piece of information your guests will receive regarding your wedding. The invitation is an insight into your affair’s personality, offering clues about such fundamentals as formality, mood, size, and setting. It’s a gift, really, and can be as pretty as any present—if done well. Don’t waste the opportunity to make a first impression with your invites; enlist the design expertise of a local invitation and paper goods boutique to help craft an original, considered, and cohesive paper suite that truly plants the style seeds for your complete wedding vision. Of course, if your budget allows, going the extra mile to have your stationery hand-calligraphed will pack a majorly sophisticated, not to mention personalized, punch. Charlottesville’s talented calligraphers can do just about anything with a pen and ink, so whether your vibe is clean and modern or elegantly casual, consider adding an extra touch of artistry to your wedding stationery. That envelope will shine all the brighter for it.
Be the ultimate host and greet your out-of-town guests with stocked wedding welcome bags waiting for them in their hotel rooms. Full of brag-worthy Charlottesville goodies and pertinent wedding weekend info, this is one of our favorite ways for couples to usher guests onboard the celebration train with a bit of personalized, local flair. Let them brew up some hot C'ville flavor with a cup of Shenandoah Joe coffee, or go cold brew in the form of local Champion or Three Notch'd bottled beers. They'll love the gesture, and will leave with a happy mouthful of Charlottesville memories.
Gift your loved ones with all that C’ville has to offer by handing out creative and locally inspired wedding favors. Another way to thank guests for attending your special day, they'll be charmed by your thoughtfulness. Whether you're looking for a sweet, sour, or practical memento, your options are endless. For inspiration, check out some of our favorite Charlottesville wedding favor ideas.View Local Wedding Favor Ideas
In Charlottesville, wedding guests will never want for things to do. If they’re outdoor lovers, suggest one of the many great nearby hikes. (For a challenge, we suggest Old Rag; for something easier, how about Humpback Rock? No matter their comfort level, adventurers will see some stunning views!) For foodies and oenophiles, how about a winery tour, or one of the walking food tours available on the Downtown Mall? There’s truly something for everybody in C’ville. Check out the local Visitors Bureau for more great ideas.
Charlottesville is heralded as a great foodie town, so don’t miss the chance to suggest some fabulous local restaurants to friends and family. If they’re staying in Belmont, suggest MAS Tapas or tavola. On the Downtown Mall, we can’t get enough of Zocalo and Commonwealth. Away from downtown, check out Ivy Inn or Blue Mountain Brewery. There are so many to choose from, each deliciously unique in its own right, whether you prefer white tablecloths or picnic tables. Take a peek at The Charlottesville 29, a local food blog, for recommendations and reviews on the very best restaurants in the area.
Don’t forget to suggest accommodations—and preferably reserve blocks of rooms to score major hosting points—for your out-of-town guests. If you’re saying “I do” downtown, the Omni has you covered. Near UVA, suggest the cozy Oakhurst Inn. Or for more unique lodgings wherever your venue is located, tell guests about Stay Charlottesville, a local company offering short-term rentals all around town. The variety in Charlottesville wedding accommodations will make sure you find the right fit for you and everyone on your guest list.
From the Downtown Mall's historic brick sidewalks to undulating vineyards just outside of town, the possibilities are endless here in Charlottesville when it comes to striking backdrops for your engagement photos. We asked local wedding photographers to share some of their favorite engagement shoot locations, so be sure to give it a read before you head out to strike a pose with your betrothed.
There's good reason why so many women in the Commonwealth (and beyond) flock here for their last fling before the ring—bachelorette parties in Charlottesville are simply a blast. From chauffeured wine tours to a lingerie party at favorite local shop derriere de soie to a night on the town at some awesome restaurants and bars on the Downtown Mall, you have your pick of fun activities. Check out our Charlottesville bachelorette party ideas as you make arrangements so that you don’t miss out on anything this city has to offer.
Your favorite groom-to-be has it made with a bachelor party in C’ville. Book a chauffeured winery or brewery tour or take him out for a night on the Downtown Mall. If he’s an outdoorsman, plan a camping trip at one of the many nearby parks or preserves, or book a cabin for a weekend of relaxing and camaraderie in nature. You’ve got lots of options here—trip to Vegas not included.To get your wheels turning, we’re sharing a few of our favorite Charlottesville bachelor party ideas. You’re welcome.
Where would we be without the immensely talented pool of Charlottesville wedding vendors? Their passion for planning, commitment to their couples, and incredible ingenuity is what makes the local wedding scene as remarkable as it is, and it's the unique team behind every wedding working together that makes each event an affair to remember. Their combined experience and expertise is second to none, and we want you to benefit from it while assembling your dream team of vendors. Check out our Spotlight Series for in-depth Q&As with the best of the best in the industry, and make sure to read the articles they've contributed to Borrowed & Blue for the most reliable wedding tips & tricks, straight from the source.
When planning a wedding in Charlottesville, it’s crucial to consider the availability of guest accommodations and how local events can impact a wedding weekend. This is a small city, so make note of some of the big events that will bring people to town—like UVA football games on Saturdays in the fall, marathons & the CVL 10 miler, and film festivals—and select your date around them. This conscientious act will go a long way towards ensuring that your guests can find somewhere comfortable to stay close to the festivities, and that getting around town will be hassle free. We've compiled a few of the major annual events that take place in Charlottesville below, so check to see if your potential wedding dates are in conflict.
When planning something as complex and significant as your wedding day, sometimes you just want friendly experts to step in and share some pearls of wisdom. Lucky for you, we know people (we’re sitting right here — wink wink). And we’ve got your back: insider tips, exhaustive research, and inspiring takes on all aspects of the planning process, compiled here specifically with your wedding location in mind. You’re just a few clicks away from wedding planning peace of mind… You’re welcome! (No thank-you note required.)
Check out some other useful local online resources to get you acquainted with all-things Charlottesville, from travel guides to the local restaurant scene to great local wedding blogs run by our friends in the industry: