Choosing a Venue

Wedding Tips

Y’all, I love being engaged and it has been such a fun time for Colby & I! One of the first things we did when we got engaged was to research wedding venues so that’s what today’s blog post is all about for y’all!

When we thought of our wedding venue, we envisioned having a nice backdrop, but also somewhere that felt like home so our guests could feel comfortable. That was extremely important to us and one of the big reasons we ended up choosing Rock Hill Plantation House as the location for our wedding!

We looked at a bunch of wedding venues virtually just by googling “Fredericksburg Wedding Venue”, “Stafford Wedding Venue”, “local wedding venue”, “Fredericksburg Plantation Wedding Venue”, etc.

Something else we really wanted in a venue was recommendations for other vendors and how much they relieved stress on our lives by providing us with as much information as possible. For example, Rock Hill works closely with a select few caterers and we actually liked that because it cut down on all of the research we had to do on caterers! It was super helpful and we LOVE our caterer, but that’s a whole other blog post itself.

Richard is the owner of Rock Hill Plantation House in Stafford, Virginia and was so nice and upfront about everything with us from the start. There were no hidden fees, no added costs. He was just purely amazing. They were even in the midst of adding an entire location in the house for the groomsmen to get ready! That was super important to me as a photographer because I know how often the groom and his guys are left out of all the “prettiness” of a wedding and the venue. I’m SO excited to see what they do down there!

I chatted with some #jessbrides about the most important aspects of their wedding venues and a lot of them said that:

  • Being an outdoor venue to take advantage of the weather. But also having an indoor backup!
  • Having the venue feel like home, yet still classy
  • Inclusion (including alcohol, catering, linens, tables, chairs, etc.) was a huge one!
  • A gorgeous scenery
  • The option to pick your own vendors – I definitely agree with this!
  • Having the ability to only host your reception there if you’re doing your ceremony at a church or elsewhere
  • Having an easy transportation/parking system!
  • The time that you can arrive at the venue! This is a big one for me because I know it can be really hard to do photos beforehand with a first look if you can’t get to the venue until 30 minutes before the ceremony. That’s a deal-breaker for me as a bride, for sure!

Some suggestions I have for y’all after going through searching for a wedding venue myself include:

  • Do your research
  • Ask questions – don’t assume anything is included (like tables, chairs, linens, plates, etc.)
  • Know the venue rules (like where and where you can’t go on the property)
  • Some venues are the owners’ actual homes!
  • Ask for recommendations from friends
  • If you know a friend who recently got married, don’t forget to ask her for advice or recommendations of venues she may have toured!
  • See if they have a list of required or preferred vendors (and if you’re okay with that)
  • Know their capacity (Rock Hill has a capacity of 120 people)

I hope this was all super helpful for y’all and that you’re having so much fun now that you’re engaged! For those who have already gone through the process, I’d love to hear your suggestions or advice on choosing a wedding venue – drop it in a comment below!

  1. Kayla Grey says:

    This is perfect! I love the tips you share! I can’t wait to hear more about your wedding planning! That was one of my favorite parts for our wedding!

  2. Holly Frazier says:

    These are such great tips! I know brides will definitely benefit from this post! Hope your wedding day is perfect!! I’m not from the area but looked up your venue and it’s gorgeous!

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Jessica Green Photography provides a stress-free and luxury portrait experience for busy mamas at her studio is located in Warrenton, VA. She serves the greater DC and Northern Virginia areas. She is also available for travel to areas including but not limited to Fredericksburg, Gainesville, Manassas, Alexandria, Stafford, Leesburg, Arlington, Reston, Herndon, Vienna, and Woodbridge. Jessica photographs simple, organic, and timeless newborn, maternity, family, and milestone photography in her studio and on location.