Managing a large wedding guest list in VA. Venue suggestions?
September 16, 2022 2:35 PM   Subscribe

Trying to get married near Harrisonburg, VA. Need venue suggestions that are affordable and can fit a guest list of 100+.

Finding a wedding venue no greater than 1 hour from Harrisonburg has been daunting. Two huge hurdles:

- We're trying to be frugal ($5k for a venue, not including food, drink, music... seems excessive). The traditional barn, vinyard, and wedding-specific sites have been far too expensive.
- Our guest list is 100+, so we need a large space.

Although those ideas are at odds, we're still hoping for a gem in the rough. Ideally, a space that can accommodate an outdoor ceremony with backup inside space for rain, indoor reception area, and is accessible for older guests.

This ask.mefi post from 2016 was extremely helpful in pointing us in the general direction of finding a venue like a community center, sleepaway camp, or and similar. Those seem like great options, but none we've found have matched what we need.

That mefi post linked above had some great suggestions specific to Missouri. Can you recommend anywhere local to central Virginia?

Thanks in advance for your help.
posted by mr_bovis to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I know of someone who went to a wedding at the Carrier Arboretum at JMU. It looks like they do weddings, though not sure if it's too expensive or not.
posted by Fortran at 4:13 PM on September 16

You might want to contact Shrine Mont in Orkney Springs, Virginia, and discuss your needs with them. It is a historic conference and retreat center of the Episcopal Church in a breathtakingly beautiful Allegheny mountain setting, with an outdoor stone chapel.
posted by apartment dweller at 8:54 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]

A little more than an hour away since it’s located in Warrenton, but I recently heard about Aerlie on a podcast. The woman who had been married there was over the moon about it, and said that they also have a social justice history.
posted by bluloo at 10:12 PM on September 16

I went to camp at Shrine Mont and I heartily second apartment dweller. I would have had my wedding there at the native stone Cathedral Shrine of the Transfiguration in 2001 but there were disability access issues that they've since amended. There's not much more beautiful as a reception setting than the Virginia House ballroom.
posted by jocelmeow at 6:20 AM on September 17

Check out the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, they have a couple of venues that might be suitable.
posted by ruddlehead at 6:24 AM on September 17

Have you seen Pine Creek Retreat?

This is a wedding venue that can definitely accomodate your numbers but I do not know about pricing. I drive by it probably twice a week and it looks beautiful.
posted by emkelley at 9:09 AM on September 21

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