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Poplar Springs Inn & Spa: A Popular Place for Parties

By Contributing Writer Helena Tavares Kennedy

With over 40 staff on hand, Poplar Springs Inn and Spa is ready for your wedding or other special event. Located in the countryside southeast of Warrenton, Poplar Springs offers a historical stone manor house built in 1928 that now houses a gourmet restaurant, a building containing a luxury spa, and a 21-room inn, not to mention the 172 landscaped acres.

 Ellen Christie, Director of Sales and Marketing, joined in 2014 when the new owners, Richard Thompson and Mike Eisele, purchased Poplar Springs. She is ready to help brides and grooms with tours of the property and assist in planning weddings at the beautiful venue. Christie said the best part of working at Poplar Springs is “helping our guests create lasting memories.”

 Poplar Springs prides itself in customizing your wedding experience, but Christie admits “We’ve never had any really crazy requests, though we did have an all vegan wedding once, which of course was a culinary challenge, but we pulled it off and it was excellent!” The key staff member to pull off that challenge was Executive Chef Robin Woodrow “Woody” Isaac.

 Isaac said he enjoys working at Poplar Springs because “my job challenges me every day to learn and become a better chef.” As for any advice he has for brides and grooms when choosing their menu for their wedding, Isaac said, “Simply pick what you like and not what you think other people will like. After all, it is your special day to cherish and remember.”

 Some of the more popular requests from clients are for Executive Pastry Chef Maggie Yabs Suge to create their dream wedding cakes. “What I love most about Poplar Springs is creating a masterpiece for couples that they will remember all of their lives," Suge said. "I love to see their happiness.”

 What makes Poplar Springs Inn stand out from other wedding venues in Northern Virginia is the intimacy it offers. Clients have the ability to book out the entire property for the weekend on an exclusive basis, ensuring the most intimate venue for closest friends and family. “It has over 170 acres to explore and therefore so many choices for a ceremony location,” said Christie. “The Historic Manor House can be used for the reception and it has two wood-burning fireplaces, fire pits, a tented patio – all included!” Brides and grooms can also choose to host their ceremony outdoors, at the Inn or other areas depending on the size of the wedding.

 While Poplar Springs offers a variety of wedding packages, Christie said that almost 90% of their weddings are customized in some way. That allows clients to have the ultimate flexibility in planning their wedding and making it their very own.

 The fact that it is right here in Fauquier County, yet you feel like you are a world away in a lush, peaceful, expansive venue, is sure to attract brides and grooms who are looking for something nearby yet memorable.

 Recent bride Johanna Goossens gave Poplar Springs high ratings and offered many reasons why she was so happy with her wedding experience there: “It was important to us as a couple that the venue had charm on its own, rather than being a box with four walls. And Poplar Springs hits on all cylinders. The property is beautiful and perfectly secluded from the hustle and bustle of NOVA just a few miles away. A hideaway close to home.”

 As for how flexible and accommodating the venue was for her wedding, she said, “We loved that with our small wedding, we were able to find a venue that could house the ceremony, reception and overnight rooms. And since it was a December wedding, we wanted indoor spaces for both the ceremony and reception. The Inn is charming. Rooms are spacious and elegant. The lobby is a great, relaxed area where we could meet our guests as they arrived to check in and also enjoy some breakfast together in the morning.”

With regards to the food, Goossens said, “The food was excellent, servers polite and helpful. The chefs went out of their way to create a wonderful menu for us, creative station-style dinner. I had several people saying it was great food, or the best they have ever had at a wedding.”

Helena Tavares Kennedy (helena@bridesandweddings.com) is a freelance writer and communications director who has lived in Northern Virginia for over 15 years.