Dear Engaged Couple— I just returned to my house (in Charlottesville, VA) after officiating at an elopement at First Colony in Albemarle County, VA. I just had to write to you about this vineyard which besides the
grapevines, also boasts a tasting room and a gorgeous veranda. What a lovely venue! This is the best kept wedding venue secret in the Charlottesville area, as far I am concerned. That’s right. I have been officiating at weddings for almost 20 years now, ten years in this area. I have done my share of elopements—small affairs that do not need a rehearsal. However, this was my first visit to First Colony! And it was the first visit for the couple’s wedding photographer, too. The four of us (bride, groom, photographer and I) were wide—eyed and expressing admiration for the beauty of the place.
Couples who elope aren’t generally interested in a lot of wedding decorations, or dressed tables, a band, or three piece orchestra. They just want something that is a step above a justice of the peace at a courthouse. They want a preacher (me) who will offer a brief, meaningful service, a photographer and a backdrop that speaks of God’s good creation. That’s what they WANT, however, a lot of venues won’t even talk with a couple, unless they are willing to drop a couple thousand dollars. Yes, some venues charge that even if the couple wanting to elope double pinky promises to leave in under a half hour, to only trod on walkways, and to not use the facilities.
Up to now, I have offered to marry people in my own home—in front of the fireplace, or on the back deck. Sometimes the couple and I drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Now I can offer them another possibility—First Colony. For $50 this hospitable place will offer the couple a changing room, a well-lit, well-decorated space indoors, and outdoor lawns and a veranda (if the weather is nice).
Today the weather is cool and wet. The bride did not wear her wedding dress to the winery. She changed in the room-of-many-mirrors at First Colony (see picture). She and her now husband, exchanged vows in the tasting room—in front of the pot-belly stove.
If you plan to elope, and you don’t have a firm idea yet, where that elopement will be, check out First Colony’s website: http://www.firstcolonywinery.com. Then maybe plan to visit the place. It’s on Harris Creek Road, about 20 miles from Charlottesville and a short 6 miles from Scottsville– off Route 20.
Happy wedding planning!
Your Wedding Preacher for Hire