By Amy Falkofske
Sponsored by Monroe Bay Winery
Monroe Bay Winery is a newer wedding venue located in Colonial Beach, Virginia. With its convenient location and Caribbean vibes, it’s a hidden gem that you may not have heard about yet.
“Colonial Beach is a really unique place to have a wedding,” said Kiki Apple, owner of Monroe Bay Winery. “You can have the beach and the water, but it’s still only an hour from DC. Our venue in particular is also located on the water with about 10 acres. We hope that will be a draw for people.”
Destination Weddings at Colonial Beach
According to Kiki, Colonial Beach is a “cute, quaint, Mayberry” type of town and a golf cart community. It’s the second longest beach in Virginia after Virginia Beach. It sits on the Potomac River and is seven miles wide.
Colonial Beach boasts plenty of bed and breakfasts for guests to stay when they visit. One of those is the Colonial Beach Plaza just a block off the water. Another place you can stay is the Riverview Inn, an Art Deco type of hotel that’s right at the town pier. The Riverview has a bridal package that gives you a free room if you book 10 rooms for your guests. The area also has a lot of second homes, meaning plenty of options for Airbnbs.
If seafood is your thing, you’ll find plenty of it in Colonial Beach. One of the many places you get good seafood is the Dockside Restaurant and Tiki Bar. According to Kiki, Dockside has a kind of Jimmy Buffet feel with outdoor picnic tables, sand, palm trees and live music. With sandy beaches on three sides of the outdoor pavilion, you feel like you are in the Bahamas, but without the flight. You can also stop by Colonial Beach Brewing while you’re in town to quench your thirst.
Colonial Beach is brimming with history. Alexander Graham Bell’s house is there. The area also has ties to three U.S. presidents, including George Washington, James Madison and James Monroe. In fact, Monroe Bay Winery is located on part of the birthplace of James Monroe, the fifth U.S. president.
Monroe Bay’s Unique Wedding Venue
Monroe Bay Winery sits on multiple beautiful acres of land right on the water, making it the perfect location for an outdoor wedding. The winery has a professionally landscaped lawn with a sprinkler system to keep it lush.
If you prefer an indoor wedding, the winery has a newly constructed, environmentally friendly building that is truly unique in its design. It’s constructed of straw bales and recycled wine bottles. The wine bottles give the walls a stained-glass look. On one wall, the wine bottles spell out the word love and catch the sun perfectly when it sets in the evening.
Monroe Bay’s location is like no other. You are less than a mile from town, yet you have lots of rural farmland space. Its only two neighbors are James Monroe’s birthplace and a Moose lodge, so you really feel like you’re in the country, even though hotels and restaurants are just a couple of minutes away. Kiki calls the location a trifecta, which includes the town of Colonial Beach, the waterfront the Monroe Bay sits on, and the beautiful countryside.
A Fun, Flexible Philosophy
Since Monroe Bay is a newer wedding venue, they offer more flexibility in your wedding planning. More established venues may have rigid rules about things like which caterer you can use or which decorations you can use, but Monroe Bay is able to be more accommodating to brides.
“I think our [venue] is kind of like a clean slate or a clean palette that has a lot of opportunity with it, and we want to make it a really fun, enjoyable experience for brides,” said Kiki.
So if you want your Uncle Bob to come cater your wedding, or you want a sophisticated high-end lighting system, you’re able to do that at Monroe Bay.
“We’re open to a lot of a lot of options that maybe someone else wouldn’t be willing to do,” she said.
If you are interested in touring Monroe Bay Winery, you can book your tour on the website. Monroe Bay is hosting the first annual Colonial Beach Bridal Show in September. You can pre-register to get more information. Follow Monroe Bay Winery on Facebook at their main page and also their wedding page. The winery is located at 4786 James Monroe Highway in Colonial Beach.