Photo Credit: Stephanie Messick Photography
Okay, guys, we have mixed ideas about wedding traditions. We love some of them, while we wish some others would die off REAL soon. But then there are the traditions that are just so sweet, we can’t even imagine them going away. And pretty sure those started in the South. So, we caught up with one of our favorite venues in Central VA, The Market at Grelen, to see if they qualify for having everything a Southern wedding needs - and it seems like they absolutely do. Why wouldn’t they, right? Read on to see exactly how things go at this gorgeous garden wedding destination.
If you’re a [seer]sucker for Southern charm, then we’d tell you not to wait to reach out to The Market at Grelen. The weddings that happen here are just so stunning, that any time we get new real wedding photos we’re blown away by how much better it gets every time.
Let’s talk tradition and just how well Grelen Weddings can honor them all.
The outdoor ceremony.
If you haven’t read what we’ve already written about The Market at Grelen, you need to catch up, because truthfully there isn’t a more beautiful, picturesque place to do outdoor ‘I Dos’ than this gem in Virginia. From vows exchanged in the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains, to secret garden-style seated dinners in the greenhouse or Orchard Overlook Tent, al fresco affairs are kind of (not even, definitely) their specialty. These delicate garden chairs for a sun-soaked ceremony - provided by the property - just seal the deal, too, right?
Now, okay, we don’t know if this bride did pre-wedding portraits (another thing that’s superrrr popular for Southern brides) in her perfect Hayley Paige gown, but her photographer certainly had ALL the pretty places to stage their just-married portraits. Each and every one more dynamic and drop dead delightful than the next - throughout the entire day. In fact, one of the photographer’s favorite snaps happened after driving around the property, drinking in all of the amazing natural photo opportunities with the couple and the venue Events Director. Emmie shared that it was “prime time for pond overlook portraits," so away they went!
Typically, in the South, it’s custom for a bride to share the last few hours or day with her family and friends, bridesmaids and VIPs, before she becomes a Mrs. And that can either happen the day before the wedding or the day OF the wedding (provided the event starts later in the evening). What’s great about The Market at Grelen is the accommodations, lodging, and dining/catering services available at Grelen’s two beautiful rental homes: Boxwood Villa (where this v. pretty group got ready) and Spotswood Lodge. If they’re reserved for family and/or close friends to enjoy during a couple’s special weekend - then they can certainly be utilized to house the bridal luncheon.
… with or without champagne sipped out of flamingo straws. Who are we kidding. WITH. ALWAYSSSSS WITH.
The bride’s bouquet.
Flowers are a big deal any+everywhere a bride gets married, but in the South, the bride’s flowers are even that much more crucial and thoughtfully-considered for their look, their smell, their color. Apart from ALL the breathtaking views at The Market at Grelen, there’s also such a palpable botanical vibe. Of course, all florists in the South know what their brides want to hold on their happiest of days, but Grelen actually offers even more plant material to weave into the couple’s wedding. Flawless floral artistry+the ability to pluck some flower power from an actual green-thumb-golden garden venue = total justice to the Southern bride’s bouquet.
Burying that bourbon.
And our favorite tradition, for sureeee, is burying the bourbon. The story goes that if you bury a full bottle of bourbon upside down at your ceremony site - precisely one month before your wedding - you’ll send any possible bad-weather-vibes out of the universe and enjoy beautifully-sunny skies on your special day. At The Market at Grelen, an exchange of vows outside is optimal, sooo of course the venue has plenty of places to hide away that hooch! All amazingly Instagrammable, too… And once the bourbon is unearthed, it’s time to party. Hell yes!
There are also cake ribbon pulls (cake charms ready for bridesmaids to pluck for luck), house party designations (because in the South, a bride can use even more helpers above and beyond her bridesmaids), and a pounding party for the soon-to-be-newlyweds (a ‘stock the pantry’ soiree, we’ll say), and obviously everything can fit right in at The Market at Grelen.
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