Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our Venue

Mr. UVA and I started our search in the DC area. The initial idea was actually Union Station. Last summer, Mr. UVA and I were enjoying National Train Day and a free Sara Bareilles show and realized how beautiful the station is. Both of our families live in Northern Virginia and we were stoked about the possibility of having the reception downtown with a rehearsal dinner at my parent’s house. Union Station quickly fell from the realm of possibilities when we looked at pricing. So we expanded our search. We looked at the DAR building, Woodend Sanctuary, Woodlawn, Meadowlark, the Carnegie Institute, and a couple other places.
Being from Vienna, Meadowlark Gardens is a hugely popular venue – but it just didn’t fit the feel we were looking for. Carnegie Institute didn’t work for us logistically with having the ceremony and reception near each other. My father can’t get over his distaste for Maryland (who knows?)– so Woodend was out. And a reception at Woodlawn would be hindered by construction on the main road in front of the venue. DAR was perfect and I was set on it – but quickly realized we were not going to be able to get our guest list down to 140 (their limit). We found Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg – which is beautiful. Before even looking at it seriously as an option, we realized it would be a little bit of a hike for our families and maybe wasn’t the most convenient location in terms of hotels and transportation. The logic was if we were getting as far away from Vienna as Leesburg – why not make the full transition to Charlottesville? We would just steer clear of vineyards so not to step on my older sister’s toes (she got married at King Family Vineyards in June 2008 - It was beautiful). So we found Clifton Inn. I had heard awesome things about it and it seemed to allow for the full family reunion feel my mom was hoping for.

is perfect! We have free rein of the property from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon so our family and friends can come and hang out throughout the weekend. They have a pool, a lake, tennis courts, hiking trails, games, fishing poles, and it’s beautiful. We fell in love with it – but not so much the price. I knew it was what we were looking for, so I started negotiating. We ended up getting an awesome deal on the rental fee and the food (which they prepare onsite to rave reviews). Everything started to fall into place. Clifton provides the food and cake, which helps our planning immensely. We’re having our ceremony outside on their croquet lawn and then the reception in the main house.

{from cliftoninn.net}

Even though we signed the contract in February, we just took Mr. UVA’s mom to see it and she loved it. My parents just saw it for the first time this past weekend and I think everyone is really going to enjoy relaxing at the beautiful estate and being able to invite their families for some casual fun before the formal wedding festivities.

Our venue is not new to DCNearlyWeds. Check out:
Miss Capital Hill 2007

Speaking of beautiful venues - is anyone getting married in Louisiana? I saw this place on "Ace of Cakes" on TLC. The trees hurt my heart they are so awesome! Seriously stunning.

<3 miss uva

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Blogger Unknown said...


Just like you, I love the Clifton, but the price is too much. Do you mind sharing what kind of deal you got with the rental?


Friday, June 11, 2010 4:47:00 PM  

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