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Shenandoah Valley Travel Association

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					                  S h e n a n d o a h Va l l e y Tr a v e l A s s o c i a t i o n
                  277 West Old Cross Rd ! PO Box 1040   !   New Market, VA 22844
                  (540) 740-3132 ! Fax (540) 740-3100
                  www.visitshenandoah.org




   Plan a Unique, Magical Wedding in the Beautiful & Historic
                      Shenandoah Valley
Breathtaking scenery, extraordinary history, abundant natural resources – words that can
only begin to describe the beautiful and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West
Virginia.

Truly a four-seasons wedding destination, this picturesque 200-mile region stretches from
Harpers Ferry, WV south to the Roanoke Valley of Virginia, and lies between the Blue
Ridge Mountains to the east and the Alleghenies to the west.

Rich in Civil War history, this region was nicknamed "The Breadbasket of the
Confederacy,” but today the Shenandoah Valley is more commonly referred to as its
Native American meaning implies, “Daughter of the Stars.”

The Shenandoah Valley features picture-postcard farms and inns along country roads, and
the popular Skyline Drive (within Shenandoah National Park) and Blue Ridge Parkway, two
of the most beautiful scenic byways in the nation. One of the seven natural wonders of the
world can be found here – the 100-million-year-old Natural Bridge, located just south of
Lexington, VA. And there are underground wonderlands in the form of caverns scattered
throughout the region, including the world-renowned Luray Caverns; the east’s largest and
most popular.

So why get married in the Shenandoah Valley? In short, there are literally hundreds of
unique wedding opportunities in the region offering something for everyone’s taste and
budget. Beginning with the obvious, the Valley offers some of the most spectacular
landscapes in the eastern U.S. – the perfect backdrop for all those wedding photos. The
majestic Shenandoah National Park rises over the Valley with peaks exceeding 4,000 feet
within its 300-square miles of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This range of elevation, slopes
and aspects, rocks and soils, precipitation, and latitude create a unique mix of habitats and
unparalleled scenery.

Let’s explore some of the Shenandoah Valley’s unique wedding sites.

Imagine heading deep underground for a subterranean ceremony in one of the regions
many caverns. As mentioned, Luray Caverns is the largest and most popular, and boasts
the world’s only ‘Great Stalacpipe Organ’ within an underground chamber large enough to
accommodate your guests. One of the large double columns in Luray Caverns is aptly
named the Bride and Groom Formation because it’s the site where couples tie the not.
And you’ll never have to worry about the weather in the caverns because the temperature
remains a constant 54 degrees all year long.

Or what about taking your vows beneath the 215-foot-tall Natural Bridge of Virginia, a
grand rock arch formation taller than Niagra Falls, once owned by Thomas Jefferson
himself? There is a full-service hotel on site with beautiful ballrooms and great
accommodations, and a professional staff who can tend to all your needs. Consider one of
their all-inclusive, themed wedding packages that simplify your planning for smaller,
intimate weddings and vow renewal ceremonies. These packages can be quickly
arranged and can be ordered within days or weeks of your affair.

At American Celebration on Parade at Shenandoah Caverns, you and your guests will
have exclusive access to this 40,000-square-foot attraction. Comfortably seating 250, this
facility houses a unique collection of stunning parade floats, props, and stage settings from
famous presidential inaugurals. Over 30 floats from the Rose and Thanksgiving Day
parades are on display.

The Yellow Barn at Shenandoah Caverns offers visitors a whimsical look at the Valley’s
agricultural heritage and rural life with historical displays that include restored antique farm
wagons, equipment, carriages and vehicles. An indoor beehive depicts the social life of
honeybees, and a mineral cave pays homage to the caverns. A Country Store Gift Shop
and a Virginia Wine Shop are all part of the Barn experience. This facility can seat up to
400 guests and includes use of a state-of-the-art kitchen, commercial refrigeration,
convection ovens, steam table, ice machine, commercial sinks, ample stainless steel prep-
counters, and three buffet tables. The 24-foot rotating stage, stage lighting, and
microphone system are also available for your ceremonial use.

Springtime in the Shenandoah Valley means flowers, glorious flowers, and there are some
great wedding locations in the area that make for a spectacular garden-themed wedding.
Investigate the Glen Burnie House and Gardens at the Museum of the Shenandoah
Valley in Winchester, VA. The Glen Burnie Gardens provide a number of spaces for a
beautiful natural setting, from intimate garden rooms to a spectacular Grand Allée – the
most dramatic space in the gardens, accommodating 300 guests for a standing reception,
350 guest for a seated ceremony, or 200 guests for a seated dinner. The museum’s
reception hall accommodates 80-100 guests for a seated dinner, and a special occasion
tent can easily be added to accommodate larger numbers.

You’ll also want to check out the area’s two arboretums for garden-themed weddings – the
Edith Johnson Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Garden at James Madison University
in Harrisonburg, VA, and the State Arboretum of Virginia in Boyce, VA.

Climate conditions in the Shenandoah Valley, with an average annual rainfall of 32 inches,
create just enough drought stress on grape vines to produce intense flavors and aromas,
making the region a prime winemaking location. Thus, with winemaking comes beautiful
tasting rooms and facilities perfect for any bride’s dream wedding.
At CrossKeys Vineyards & Estate in Mt. Crawford, VA, you can expect beautifully
appointed event rooms, the natural beauty of rolling vineyards and sweeping mountain
views, and lovely terraces with café-style tables and chairs. Of course, there won’t be any
shortage of authentic Virginia wine for your guests, either!

Further north in Maurertown, VA is North Mountain Vineyard and Winery, another
fantastic ‘storybook’ option. Facilities are available for the bride and bridesmaids to
prepare, and you can choose either the picturesque vineyard or the Woodland Garden for
your ceremony. Photos may be taken in the gardens or the vineyards with the panoramic
views of the mountains as a backdrop. North Mountain can accommodate gatherings up
to 500 persons on the spacious grounds, or up to 65 for an indoor event.

The list of Shenandoah Valley wedding options wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a
ceremony at one of the region’s historic sites (and there are a lot to choose from!)

How about an 18th-century plantation? Built for gracious entertaining and family life by
Isaac Hite, Jr. and his wife, Nelly Madison Hite, between 1794 and 1797, Belle Grove
Plantation in Middletown, VA is a National Historic Landmark and a center for Virginia
history and cultural heritage. For more than 200 years, Belle Grove has been the site of
countless celebrations, including the early 19th-century weddings of all six of the Hite
family's daughters. Imagine you, your family and guests enjoying Belle Grove's lawns and
gardens, sweeping mountain views, and its historic Manor House, an architectural gem of
the Shenandoah Valley.

Long Branch Historic House & Farm, a beautifully restored manor house located in the
picturesque surroundings of Millwood, VA has been a place of memorable weddings since
1913. The stately manor house built in 1811 provides the perfect backdrop for elegant
wedding ceremonies, vow renewals, receptions, anniversaries, and other special events.
Outdoor ceremony locations include the south porch overlooking the beautiful Sheila
Macqueen Gardens, the Centerpiece Gardens with the mountain vistas, or the rose garden
with the views of the sparkling lake with fountain. The Grand Hall of the mansion is
available for intimate weddings of 50 people or less and during inclement weather. After
the ceremony, the bride and groom can make arrangements to use the manor house for
photos while guests are given a guided tour. The landscaped terrace is a lovely location
for tented receptions.

The quiet dignity of the Lee Chapel in Lexington, VA, especially dear to those who are
associated with Washington and Lee University and the local area, lends itself to a unique
and special wedding. It is a privilege to be married at this significant historic site. Since the
days of Robert E. Lee, the “College Chapel” has been at the heart of campus life at
Washington and Lee University. As evidenced by its architecture, it was initially designed
as a place of worship, although it was never consecrated. Today, the Lee Chapel acts as a
non-denominational facility and host to a variety of ceremonies and activities; it carries on
the tradition, established by President Lee, of being a gathering place for the University's
most important events.
Other historic sites worth considering for a memorable Shenandoah Valley wedding are:
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in Harpers Ferry, WV; the Frontier Culture
Museum in historic Staunton, VA; and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and
Museum, also in Staunton, VA.

So consider a unique wedding in the beautiful and historic Shenandoah Valley. You'll be
singing "Oh, Shenandoah!" when you arrive and experience this magnificent place for
yourself.

For more information about any of the wedding locations in this article, visit the
Shenandoah Valley Travel Association’s website at www.VisitShenandoah.org.

GARDENS

Edith Johnson Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Garden at James Madison
University
Harrisonburg, VA
http://www.jmu.edu/arboretum/programs/weddings.html
540-568-3194 or email: turnbugl@jmu.edu

Glen Burnie House & Gardens (at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley)
Winchester, VA
http://www.shenandoahmuseum.org/occasions/
540-662-1473, Ext. 227 or email: events@shenandoahmuseum.org

The State Arboretum of Virginia – The Commonwealth’s Public Garden
Boyce, VA
http://www.virginia.edu/blandy/weddings/weddings.html
540-837-1758 Ext 223 or email: heo5z@virginia.edu


MUSEUMS & HISTORICAL SITES

Belle Grove Plantation
Middletown, VA
http://www.bellegrove.org/rentals.html
540-869-2028 or email: banderson@bellegrove.org

Frontier Culture Museum
Staunton, VA
http://www.frontier.virginia.gov/rentals.html
540-332-7850 or email: linda.bowers@fcmv.virginia.gov

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Harpers Ferry, WV
http://www.nps.gov/hafe/planyourvisit/weddings-at-harpers-ferry-national-historical-
park.htm
304-535-6162
Historic Long Branch House & Museum
Millwood, VA
http://www.historiclongbranch.com/weddings.htm
877-868-1811 or email: info@historiclongbranch.com

Lee Chapel & Museum
Lexington, VA
http://chapelapps.wlu.edu/secondary.asp?ID=23&NavOrder=45
540-458-8768 or email: ldonald@wlu.edu

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum
Staunton, VA
http://www.woodrowwilson.org/visit/visit_show.htm?doc_id=399605
540-885-0897, ext. 106 or email: bwimble@woodrowwilson.org


NATURAL WONDERS

The Natural Bridge of Virginia
Natural Bridge, VA (Lexington area)
http://www.naturalbridgeva.com/wedding.html
800-533-1410 or email: linda@naturalbridgeva.com

Luray Caverns
Luray, VA
http://www.luraycaverns.com/index.html
540-743-6551 or email: john.shaffer@luraycaverns.com

Shenandoah Caverns’ Family of Attractions –
American Celebration on Parade & The Yellow Barn
Shenandoah Caverns, VA
http://www.shenandoahcaverns.com/v.php?pg=83
540-477-4300 or email: americel@shentel.net

WINERIES

CrossKeys Vineyards
Mt. Crawford, VA
http://www.crosskeysvineyards.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=34&Ite
mid=8
540-234-0505 or email: events@crosskeysvineyards.com

North Mountain Vineyard & Winery
Maurertown, VA
http://www.northmountainvineyard.com/weddings.html
540-436-9463 or email: wine@northmountainvineyard.com