Despite its metropolitan area reaching upwards of a million residents, the city of Richmond maintains a small-town feel. With its undeniable southern charm intertwined with urban development, RVA offers an intimate vibe even in the midst of a big city.
It’s no secret that Richmond has a significant arts community. It boasts a top-notch arts university, a roster of internationally recognized street muralists, professional theatrical performers, musicians, and much more.
Well established as a haven for epicureans, Richmond’s dining scene offers a menu of foodie delights, from innovative, gourmet fare created by up-and-coming chefs to an awesome assortment of ethnic and specialty food shops.
Richmond is the backdrop for countless festivals, from its widely popular Folk Festival to the fun-loving, offbeat Watermelon Festival. No matter what time of year, there’s always a crowd ready to celebrate in RVA.
Rich in Revolutionary and Civil War history, RVA was the site of several notable events in American history — not to mention the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere. As such, Richmond has become a must-see destination for history buffs from across the globe.
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 Richmond’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 breathe 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 Richmond’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.)
Planning a wedding ceremony in Richmond is exhilarating and, we’re pumped to help. Your best asset for planning the ultimate bash? A first-class local wedding planner who knows this city like the back of their hand. He or she will take you through the planning process with ease. When it comes to finding a venue, Richmond couples are lucky to enjoy temperate weather, which makes for outdoor ceremony magic. To amp up the charm, many local inns, historic venues, and parks are steeped in Southern romance—read on to see our favorites. Next, it’ll be time to find the right Richmond wedding officiant. Choose someone who clicks with you and your partner, and you know they’ll help you muster up the right words when the time comes. Lastly, tie your ceremony up with a bow by hiring some talented Richmond ceremony musicians to play you through your special day.
Once the vows have been said, it’s time to celebrate. In Richmond, we see lots of receptions set in historic homes and inns, giving your party a dash of cozy with heightened elegance. If you’re into more of a big city feel, Richmond offers lots of hotels and country clubs with glamorous ballrooms fit for the finest post-wedding soirées. Fill up your venue with blooms from local florists and incredible food—often sourced from nearby farms, since Richmond loves local—from catering experts. Next, it’s time to get your guests in for a serious party, documented by your incredible wedding photographer down to the last detail. We’re sure that with the help of these savvy vendors, planning your all-star Richmond wedding will a cinch.
Set the tone for the main event with a remarkable rehearsal dinner the night before your wedding. After you’ve all practiced your parts, it’s time to enjoy some quality time with those you love most before you and your partner make it official. Richmond’s restaurant scene is very diverse, so show off what you and your fiancé love best about local food when you choose your rehearsal dinner venue. For seafood and a scenic vista, head to The Boathouse at Rockett’s Landing. If urban ambiance is more your thing, try Havana 59, whose seasonal cuisine and central location is tough to beat. If your wedding has a Roaring ‘20s theme, maybe the time is right for a rehearsal dinner at the Hippodrome Theater. This space has a variety of rooms and a cool Prohibition-era atmosphere, with plentiful food options to boot. If you’re looking for more options, don’t worry: we’ve got you covered with some of our favorites below.
Mimosas, anyone? Planning a farewell brunch the day after your wedding is the perfect way to prolong the party and subject your guests to a few more toasts before they hit the road. The Boathouse at Sunday Park has several private event spaces to suit your needs, plus some seriously excellent house specialties. If keeping it casual is more your m.o., head to the Innsbrook Silver Diner for classic diner grub, perfect for curing what ails you. Since Richmond is such a brunch hotspot, we’re confident you can find the perfect place to meet your needs. Check out our recommendations below for local spots with scrumptious spreads that can help you plan brunch for a crowd.
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. Richmond’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.
Show off RVA’s style by putting together a wedding welcome bag for your out-of-town guests. This is your chance to get your visitors excited about the area and to thank them for being a part of your weekend festivities. Start small with helpful information like a wedding itinerary (including directions to all wedding-related events), plus ideas for great places to check out during their downtime. Don’t miss the chance to share local snacks, like crowd-pleasing Route 11 potato chips washed down by a refreshing beer from Hardywood Brewery. For a window into the local scene, tuck in a copy of the latest Richmond Magazine so your guests can get the scoop. Seal the deal with a thoughtful thank you note reminding your guests how glad you are that they could be with you for this special weekend. Read on for more ideas to achieve welcome bag success.
Your reception is sure to be extra stunning with the help of some Richmond-inspired wedding favors. Send folks home with delicious coffee beans in custom-stamped favor bags from Apropos Roasters or rich, elegant truffles from Gearhart’s. Also, as if you didn’t know, everyone loves a late-night snack. Offer up a freshly baked treat from Red Eye Cookie Company at the end of the night, and sweeten up that bus ride back to the hotel. Richmond is a city that loves to shop local, so there are endless options to suit any style or theme you might have. Check out some of our favorite ideas for local wedding favors and get inspired.
Richmond is such a fun city to explore, and we bet your guests would like some direction about where to wander while they’re in the area. Head downtown to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to catch the latest exhibits and take a stroll through their beautiful grounds. Lovers of food and shopping should head to Carytown, or walk around Church Hill if you’re feeling a more historical flavor. For an afternoon out, assemble a sumptuous picnic and head to Maymont Park to enjoy the beautiful gardens and zoo park—or head over to Belle Isle for some riverside sights, sunbathing, and a bit of light splashing. We’ve compiled a big list of where to hang while you’re here—enjoy.
Richmond’s culinary scene is absolutely flavor-packed, driven by local ingredients and innovative dishes. Roll up to one of the local hotspots and you’re bound for success. Sub Rosa has a trademark as coziest breakfast spot, with gorgeous pastries and free-flowing espresso. In the mood for an afternoon brew? Legend and Hardywood has local beer and bar bites covered. The Roosevelt is an obvious choice for cocktails and supper; this Church Hill jewel has been winning awards ever since it opened in 2012, for good reason. Long story short: don’t let your wedding guests come to Richmond and not indulge in the vibrant restaurant scene here. For more options, point guests to our handy list of great places to eat in Richmond below.
As your out-of-town guests travel to Richmond for your wedding weekend, have no fear that they’ll find the perfect home away from home. From top-tier hotels to charming bed and breakfasts, you and your guests can rest assured that Richmond has some of the best accomodations for all your needs. Book a few room blocks at places near the wedding festivities and have your guests thanking you for making their trip planning that much easier.
You’re engaged: now’s the time to bask in (and document) that happy glow before you move on to planning, okay? Get together with your favorite local wedding photographer to pick out some A+ places to pose. Richmond is rife with options, from the murals that turn walls into art all around the city to the majestic backdrop of the James River. We love the idea of heading to Belle Isle to pose on the boulders and play in the water. If you want to capture a bit of RVA urban grit head downtown or to Shockoe Bottom to take photos near your favorite shops and restaurants. The Richmond area is also home to farms like Big Spring, a country wedding venue with sweeping fields, a barn, and a pond. Bring a picnic along and make a day out of it. Wherever you choose, make sure you have fun and enjoy the company of your partner and your photographer. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out four favorite spots shared by Richmond photographers for more inspiration.
If you’re looking for a standout spot to plan a bachelorette weekend, look no further than the River City. Richmond packs a big-city punch with a pretty affordable price tag, so you’ll be able to get into all kinds of shenanigans without breaking the bank. Get your aerial or pole dance on at Soul, or enjoy the most recent exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. For a little extra fortitude, fill up on Southern small plates at Pasture before catching a concert at The National. Alternately, make this trip a real bonding experience for the whole bridal party by working with Ravenchase to create a custom scavenger hunt all around the city. Whatever you choose, wrap up your day with great beer and food at Hardywood. The activity options in this capital city really might be endless, so to give you some direction, we’ve put our favorite Richmond bachelorette party ideas all in one place. Go check it!
Planning a bachelor party in Richmond is an effortless way to turn yourself into the best Best Man any guy could ask for. Ready for some of our best ideas? With the James, Appomattox, and Chickahominy Rivers all close at hand, it seems like a no-brainer to hit the water for quality kayaking or tubing time. Head to Strangeways for some weird but wonderful beers, or take it easy on the patio at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. Move the party indoors for rock climbing at Peak Experiences, then head to Boka Taco Bar to eat muchos tacos and their house specialty, honey truffle tater tots. Drool. No matter what you do, you can explore the city safely by taking advantage of The Hop RVA, the free public transport which brings you from Carytown to Shockoe Bottom and vice-versa. Read on for more takes on the best bachelor party ideas in Richmond.
Where would we be without the immensely talented pool of Richmond 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 and tricks, straight from the source.
We’re psyched that you’ve picked Richmond as the backdrop for your big day. This area is rich with its own history, culture, and landscape that make it a killer place for weddings of all kinds. That said, RVA draws crowds for reasons other than your wedding all year long. As the state capital, Richmond is a hub for all kinds of big events that could disrupt your day without some advance planning. Traffic on I-95 at rush hour on a normal day is a pain: now imagine it flooded with out-of-towners for an event. Don’t despair, though: we’ve gone ahead and singled out the largest area events of the year so you’ll know which times of the year to avoid when choosing your wedding date. Check out our annual calendar of major Richmond festivities below.
Check out some other useful local online resources to get you acquainted with all-things Richmond, from travel guides to the local restaurant scene to great local wedding blogs run by our friends in the industry:
Borrowed & Blue makes finding your ideal Richmond, VA venue a snap. With over 193 venues within 80 miles of Richmond, VA, we have your options covered. From intimate spaces to grand ballrooms to outdoor spots with a view, our search tool allows you to view photos and real weddings held at each location, read reviews from verified couples, and contact venues directly for pricing and availability