On my way back from the Labor Day weekend, I had the opportunity to visit with some of my Shenandoah Valley wedding buddies. As they say, I was in the neighborhood ...
My first stop was historic downtown Winchester and a visit to Suzi Smith of the George Washington Hotel. This is a gorgeous hotel rich in history and elegance with a ballroom accommodating up to 300 guests. The guest rooms are to die for, appointed in such a manner you may never want to leave. But the best part of this Wyndham Hotels gem is their spa - a total oasis of pampering (which every bride needs on her wedding day). Winchester makes a great wedding weekend location with lots of activities for your out of town guests.
The ballroom was set for a women's luncheon that day, and who did the flowers but my wedding buddy Laura Larrick Walker, owner of Buttercups Floral Design. Laura's design esthetic is fresh and natural and many of the flowers she uses in her work come from her own garden. I would be remiss if I didn't show you a sample of her work.
My next stop was the town of Front Royal to visit with the "Queen of Cloth" Lori Shepherd, owner of Everything Linen. From burlap and lace to rich colors and textures, Lori's specialty linens have graced the tables of weddings throughout Northern Virginia and the Valley. Lori recently moved into new, larger space to accommodate her growing business and she's putting together a beautiful showroom to display her table cloths, napkins, chair covers and sashes. And if you can't make it out to Front Royal, Lori is happy to send you swatches.
After seeing Lori's operation, I headed back up Route 522 to pay a visit to Shenandoah Valley Golf Club and Bowling Green Golf Club. One of the things I love most about these clubs is their spectacular mountain views. Shenandoah Valley's banquet room, accommodating up to 300 guests, boasts an entire wall of windows - just imagine the view in the fall in all its glory. In addition to the reception space, the club has a wonderful patio in front of a charming guest house that's perfect for outdoor receptions.
My day ended with a stop at Bowling Green. This club is known for its outdoor ceremony site. One look and you'll see why. Even in the heat of late summer, this pergola and floral landscape provides a refreshing oasis. And after your outdoor ceremony, a spacious banquet room awaits for your reception.
Both of these golf clubs work closely with the nearby Holiday Inn Express and the hotel can provide your guests with shuttle service to either venue.
So if you're looking at a destination wedding but don't want the hassle of getting on a plane, consider the Shenandoah Valley. The scenery is gorgeous and the people warm and friendly. Tell 'em Cindie sent you!