By Marianne Weaver | Photo Credit: Brooke Danielle Photography
A scenic drive for guests from metropolitan Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Richmond, leads to the serene Shenandoah Valley Golf Club nestled in the tranquil valley with breathtaking mountain views.
Billy and Samantha Handlin chose this venue for their wedding Oct. 15, 2016.
“We knew we wanted to be somewhere with mountain views, so I looked at a few venues out in that area,” said Samantha. “When I walked in the ballroom and saw the gorgeous views I was impressed immediately. Then I looked at the size of the venue and the huge dance floor and was sold!”
The 27-hole championship golf course is situated on 195 rolling acres of lush fairways and manicured greens. The Fairview Banquet Room, which accommodates as many at 300 guests for a seated meal, has three window-paneled walls that overlook the greens with captivating views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Janet Maucione, banquet sales and event manager, said couples can take their vows outdoors or inside.
“You don’t have to worry about weather: You have access to outside, but if it’s raining or too hot you can move indoors,” she said. “And then there is our 90-foot-by-30-foot Brazilian cherry dance floor. People really like that. It is much bigger than most, and it is beautiful.”
As guests mingle on the dance floor and take in the mountain views from the raised terrace, Maucione said wait staff circulate through the spaces with passed appetizers. And, she said, unlike some venues where the couples must contract separate food and drink vendors, Shenandoah Valley Golf Club pride themselves on providing both.
“We have our own chef, and a very a versatile menu – salmon, pork, chicken, filet mignon. And guests always love our crab cakes,” said Maucione. “But recently, things have really changed. I’ve been here 17 years, and brides are becoming more laid back and asking for pork BBQ. So we have our casual menu that is more budget oriented and includes the comfort foods couples are asking for.”
Handlin said she appreciated all of the behind-the-scenes work from the staff.
“Everything ran so smoothly from beginning to end,” she said. “The event coordinator was amazing to work with, answering all of my questions along the way. The day of, all of the staff were friendly and professional. And I cannot say enough good things about the food!”
Brooke Lull, photographer and owner of Brooke Danielle Photography, Inwood, W. Va., was also at an October 2016 wedding at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club.
“The beautiful large, and open reception space really makes this venue stand out. It also has a wrap-around porch off the back with gorgeous views of the mountains and valley,” she said. “There are some beautiful locations outside for pictures, with beautiful backdrops.”
Handlin added that brides should consider renting the historic Fairview House, which is just a few steps from the main clubhouse.
“All of the bridal party got ready there day of; there was plenty of space for the guys and girls to be separated,” she said. “I loved being able to run back and forth between the house and the ballroom as we got ready so I could help set up our decorations and see the transformation of the room throughout the day!
The three-level restoration house features three bedrooms, two and a half baths, six fireplaces, three parlors, two balconies and lower level “publik room” with small kitchen.
Of course, Handlin added, guests should take advantage of the property’s other main attraction: The golf course.
“The men played golf the day before the wedding,” she said. “They all raved over their beautiful golf course.”
Shenandoah Valley Golf Club is located at 134 Golf Club Circle, Front Royal, Va. For more information, visit shenandoahvalleygolfclub.com.
Marianne Weaver is a freelance editor and writer. She earned a BA in English from the University of Pittsburgh and an MJ from Temple University. She lives in Gainesville, Va., with her husband and two children. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.