Low Key Big Day (or, please save our sanity in wedding planning)
October 12, 2008 6:39 PM   Subscribe

Group cabin/house rental in a lovely location in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area? Seeking beautiful spot that can host a celebration for around 70 people and (maybe) provide sleeping accommodations for some of them? State parks, beach rentals, lodges, summer camps all welcome.

I confess: we're looking for a place to hold a wedding that is absolutely not a place one normally holds a wedding, hence the "celebration" in the opening question. There are fabulous venues all over the area for weddings, but future Mr. Xaire (Inkoate to you) and I are hoping to find a place where our personalities can show through (independent, outdoorsy, non-traditional).

Our absolute ideal location would be a secluded circle of cabins or houses (w/water and elecctricity) where our friends and family can stay, a short hike away from some outdoorsy spot (a shore? a meadow? a mountain overlook) where we can say our vows and have a grand old time. If this place had a shower my mother wouldn't freak out at, it would be perfect.

So, hive mind, have you been to a retreat, a reunion, a campout, or a weekend trip in some place that meets those specifications? We are hoping to be within one hour of a DC area airport (BWI and IAD included). This will be an early fall wedding.

In a perfect world, this place would have a pavilion of some kind we could set up food (REALLY ideally, a central kitchen). Old barns or other similar structures welcome (Civil War era manors NOT required). Regardless, we'd make do if it was extra-special.

If all else fails, we can do without the cabins and just need a beautiful spot close to a pavilion/barn/other structure); there's always B&Bs or Holiday Inns for accommodations. Happy to answer follow-ups--please feel free to be outside the box.
posted by xaire to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
DC Area State Parks
posted by DonSlice at 6:43 PM on October 12, 2008

The Guest House in Lost River, WV (just over the line from VA, maybe 3hrs from DC) is gorgeous. It has a main lodge, a couple or three cabins, and a block of motel-style rooms. Pool and outdoor jacuzzi. They cater. It's primarily a gay b&b, but I've been there with mixed groups and been there when there are mixed groups and gay groups there and it all seems copacetic. The location is stunning, and there are good hiking spots nearby.
posted by rtha at 7:04 PM on October 12, 2008

Doh. Missed the one-hour caveat. Apologies.
posted by rtha at 7:06 PM on October 12, 2008

The Airlie Center might be too upscale for what you want but they have beautiful grounds and do conferences, weddings, etc.

If you want more rustic, try contacting some of the children's summer camps in the area. Most would be more than welcome to accommodate a large group for a much more reasonable price than a conference center or resort. A lot of the camps will actually work with you to schedule something the week after the camp ends, so you get to use their staff (if needed) before they all depart. Start your communication now because a lot of these camps book a year in advance for this type of thing.
posted by camworld at 9:02 PM on October 12, 2008

Prince William Forest Park Nice rentals. No remarkable views, but pretty forest.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:19 AM on October 13, 2008

Response by poster: Hydropsyche, PWFP was the original link I posted about the showers my mom might be afraid of :) We're actually thinking about it (Mom can stay in a hotel) because otherwise it's great.

Camworld - I'm going to try looking into kid's camps. I really like that idea. If anyone has suggestions for kids camps in the area I'd love to hear them, otherwise I'll just take to the google.
posted by xaire at 7:19 AM on October 13, 2008

Pretty close to DC are Black Hill, Little Seneca, and Little Bennett parks. All three parks are within a few miles of each other and close to Germantown and Gaithersburg areas which have ample lodging.

For camp sites, you could try searching the American Camp Association for a facility. My kid stayed at one of their accredited camps, Camp Friendship, but it's probably too far away for your needs.
posted by hoppytoad at 7:58 AM on October 13, 2008

Maybe look into a little North of Baltimore? I'm thinking up I-83. Within an hour of BWI you could even get into the edge of PA. I don't know a specific place, this isn't so much my kind of place (your mom and I would be at the hotel together), but you might check it out.
posted by KAS at 8:17 AM on October 13, 2008

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