Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photography by Tec Pataja
WHY MAKE CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA, your choice for a wedding destination? The historic central Virginia town is the winner of the Scouted Cities Contest’s Wedding Destination category, and as The Scout Guide Charlottesville co-editors Susie Matheson and Christy Ford explain, between the picturesque venues, a range of hotel options, and an impressive food scene, this bucolic college town in The Old Dominion is the perfect mix of small town charm and big city amenities. Whether you dream of a big southern soiree set in one of the many stunning vineyards or a chic affair at a downtown social club, there is truly an option to fit every couple’s taste.
Ready to plan your dream wedding? Here, Susie and Christy share their favorite local finds, vendors, and activities for making the most of your special occasion.
*Please note that due to COVID-19 some of these businesses might be closed or have specific guidelines in place. We recommend calling ahead and/or visiting their websites for the latest information on their status, offerings, etc.
HOTELS & VENUES
Whether you’re seeking a stylish downtown hotel, an intimate inn, or a peaceful retreat, wedding parties and guests alike will have choice accommodations when it comes to hotels and venues.
Stay Charlottesville. A locally owned and online-operated business that allows travelers to rent a vacation home in Charlottesville for as little as two days or as long as needed. The housing options range from a large abode in wine country to a downtown apartment, making it ideal for wedding guests with wide ranging tastes.
Oakhurst Inn (122 Oakhurst Circle). A small, well-appointed inn nestled in a residential neighborhood close to the University of Virginia. If you are interested in a smaller affair, this could be the perfect opportunity to buy out the entire inn.
Quirk Hotel (499 West Main Street). A highly “Instagrammable” hotel that has won multiple awards for their design. With amenities like an upscale restaurant, rooftop bar, coffee shop, and art gallery, your guests will have everything they could want at their fingertips. The gorgeous rooftop and in-house art gallery also make for perfect venue options if you prefer a one-stop shop when it comes to hotel block and venue.
Keswick Hall (701 Club Drive, Keswick, Virginia). The recently renovated Keswick Hall is a luxury resort just outside of town. If you are having a summer soiree, we suggest making time to lounge by their gorgeous pool (or even better, host a pool party).
Waterperry Farm (4284 Ballards Mill Road, Free Union, Virginia). Located just 20 minutes from downtown Charlottesville, this countryside estate features a ten-acre garden and Blue Ridge Mountain views. Two luxury guesthouses are perfect for reunions, family gatherings, or corporate retreats. Bookings available for engagement and wedding photography in the garden.
The Clifton (1296 Clifton Inn Drive). Southern charm is epitomized at The Clifton, an elegant venue and inn with perfectly manicured lawns.
Common House (206 West Market Street). Located just off of Charlottesville’s historic walking mall, this private club oozes downtown cool and is a great option for brunches, rehearsal dinners, and after parties. Be sure to check out their rooftop lounge, which we love for wedding weekend welcome drinks.
Charlottesville and its surrounding towns are known for their vast winery options. These are a few of our favorites that promise excellent wine-sipping in a storybook setting.
Early Mountain Vineyards (6109 Wolftown-Hood Road, Madison, Virginia). A few miles north of Charlottesville, Early Mountain is well worth the short drive out of town. While we love their outdoor options for warmer months, we are particularly impressed by the grandeur evoked in their large event hall, perfect for fall and winter weddings.
Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards (5022 Plank Road, North Garden, Virginia). A picture-perfect winery with pristine landscapes owned by the famed Easton Porter Group. No event hosted at Pippin Hill is complete without portraits in front of their iconic hydrangea bush walkway.
King Family Vineyards (6550 Roseland Farm, Crozet, Virginia). This family-friendly winery has a laid-back atmosphere, making it perfect for an afternoon spent wine tasting with wedding guests. We encourage you to check out their Sunday afternoon polo matches while enjoying a bottle of their signature Crosé rosé.
Helpful hint: Buses are recommended for transporting guests safely to and from wineries.
Charlottesville knows style. Pop into any of these chic boutiques for designer duds and an excellent shopping experience.
The One Bridal Salon (603 West Main Street). A highly curated selection of bridal gowns and accessories. With the help of owner Peggie, brides are able to try on a diverse range of styles in a relaxing and warm environment.
Alton Lane (112 Fourth Street North East, Upper Floor). Perfect for fashion-forward and classic grooms alike, Alton Lane specializes in custom-made suiting and tuxes to ensure the best look and fit.
Eloise (505 West Main Street). This cheery women’s boutique offers dress and separates options, perfect for everyone from wedding guests to mothers of the bride and groom.
Scarpa (2114 Barracks Road). A stylish boutique stocking designers like Dries Van Noten and Ulla Johnson. Brides looking for wedding weekend looks or wedding guests looking for day-of attire will have no issues finding something unique to wear here.
From classic florals with a southern flair to cutting-edge designs, these nationally renowned florists rank among our favorites.
Beehive Events (7794 Langhorne Road, Scottsville, Virginia). Green thumb and design-enthusiast Shawn Cossette is the mastermind behind the beauty at Beehive Events. We are constantly impressed by her keen eye for detail.
Tourterelle Floral Design (2216 Ivy Road). Elegance and lushness are two quintessential qualities seen in designs from this floral team.
Hedge Fine Blooms (115 Fourth Street North East). Inspired by a European flower market, floral designs from owner Karen are unique and creative.
These confectioners are Charlottesville staples and will be sure to delight even your pickiest guests.
MarieBette Cafe & Bakery (700 Rose Hill Drive). These French-inspired baked goods will truly transport you to Paris. From the reception dessert table to a post wedding-brunch, do not miss the opportunity to treat your guest to MarieBette’s sugary delights.
Cake Bloom. All natural botanical cakes that photograph beautifully and taste just as magical.
WHERE TO DINE
When it comes to rehearsal dinners, wedding feasts, or post-fete brunches, indulge in any number of these standout restaurants.
Red Pump Kitchen (401 East Main Street). Italian and Mediterranean cuisine served in a warm and cozy setting on the Downtown Mall. Red Pump Kitchen knows how to host a private party, from a rehearsal dinner to bridal lunch.
Oakhart Social (511 West Main Street). Elevated American cuisine served in a warm and stylish atmosphere. If the weather is warm, opt for outdoor seating and enjoy the small town hustle and bustle of West Main Street.
Tavola (826 Hinton Avenue). A popular Italian dinner spot with outstanding pasta and a wine and cocktail menu to match. Their bar in the back has fabulous NYC vibes and could make for a very hip afterparty.
C&O (515 East Water Street). This beautiful cozy restaurant offers top notch service and atmosphere. Select one of their private event spaces for an intimate dining opportunity or opt for their catering services if you are hosting a larger gathering.
Petit Pois (201 East Main Street). A French bistro with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. Located on the Downtown Mall, it’s a great place to settle for the evening and enjoy their curated wine selections.
Perfect for photoshoots and wedding weekend activities alike, visiting these historic destinations will add a touch of history to your nuptials.
Monticello (931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway). You can’t come to Charlottesville without taking in a little bit of the history. Whether you choose to stroll the immaculate grounds or take a guided tour, a visit to the home of Thomas Jefferson shouldn’t be missed.
University of Virginia. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, enjoy a walk on Grounds at UVA. Be sure to check out the private gardens just off the Lawn, hidden behind serpentine walls.
James Monroe’s Highland (2050 James Monroe Parkway). Formally known as Ash Lawn, the gardens and historic home on the property are available for wedding rentals and photoshoots. If you are looking for wedding weekend activities, venture to the Rustic Trails, which offer a beautiful way to take in the Virginia Countryside.
SALONS & SPAS
Whether you are looking for a pre-wedding glam or a post-wedding refresh, self-care is key when it comes to your big day. These are a few of our favorite spots to pamper yourself.
Well Room (134 Tenth Street Northwest). If you are looking for some self-care, try their B12 shots or take some time to relax in their sauna room. Their all-natural spray tan is a game-changer, and if anyone was over-served at the rehearsal dinner, their IVs will set them right for the big event.
The Brow House (722 Preston Avenue, #106). Our go-to for brows and lashes.
Coterie Suites (1208 East Market Street). A collection of independent salons and spas make this a one-stop shop for pre-wedding prep. Hair stylists, makeup artists, and a boutique nail salon are all housed in this conveniently located spot on East Market Street.
Nua Medical Spa (600 Peter Jefferson Parkway, Suite 270). Head to this soothing spa for pre-wedding facials and coolsculpting to ensure you look top-notch in your dress and photographs.
Cville Skin and Laser (2214 Ivy Road, #104). For those wanting to start their wedding day prep in advance, the laser hair removal and injectables at Cville Skin and Laser rank amongst our favorite.
For additional recommendations for what to do, see, and experience in Charlottesville, follow The Scout Guide Charlottesville on Instagram.