I’m thankful to have the privilege to travel up and down the East Coast for weddings, but I’m also proud to say that I photograph a lot of weddings right here in the Hampton Roads area. I moved here five years ago but I did not truly get to know my surroundings until I became a wedding and family photographer. Driving all over our little area for engagement sessions, family sessions, and weddings has made me fall in love with the 757.
It’s difficult to choose my few favorite wedding venues for a blog post, and I know there are so many places I get to shoot this year that I am sure this list will grow over time! That said, here are the ten best wedding venues in Hampton Roads that I have visited so far - with one honorable mention!
10) The Inn at Warner Hall – Gloucester
The light! The location! The estate! I could go on and on. There are SO many different places for amazing pictures here. The venue itself is a beautiful house set at the end of a long private road, but there are fields with golden light right at sunset and a dock in addition to the actual inn. Besides, it’s a wonderful way to have some of your friends and family stay right where you are getting married, and wake up in a beautiful location for your big day.
9) Williamsburg Winery
This venue is so well loved because both the outside and inside are gorgeous (see highlight image at the top of the blog). Outdoor weddings are set on a field which radiates with the perfect light, and inside is a beautiful reception hall with wood décor that perfectly complements the surrounding areas. If you love the feel of a modern and classy winery, this is the venue for your wedding!
8) The Woman’s Club of Portsmouth
This may be one of the most popular wedding venues in Hampton Roads, and for good reason! This is another great location for hosting the wedding all in one place, and the staff are pros at turning the room around from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception in no time at all. A nearby bridge is a favorite spot for portraits, and the huge windows surrounding the venue allow for beautiful light right up until sunset. With chandeliers and a balcony for special shots, I could photograph weddings any day here!
Click here to see a Womans Club of Portsmouth wedding.
7) Kiln Creek Golf Club - Newport News
Call me a sucker for pretty, romantic bridges (see above at the Womans Club!), but Kiln Creek has it all. There is a built-in bridal suite with their attached hotel, plenty of space for portraits (and an accommodating staff who will transport the bridal party around on golf carts), and a newly-renovated reception hall that has two different options for your guest count. In the winter or the summer, the venue is beautiful on the inside and out.
Click here to see a Kiln Creek Golf Club Wedding.
6) Saude Creek Vineyards - New Kent
I was first introduced to this gorgeous winery by a couple who declared that their wine is the best in Hampton Roads! As you can see, this venue is stunning and perfect for anyone who really knows and loves their wine. The backdrop is a valley filled with all the greenery you could want, and of course there are beautiful vineyards for portraits. It is perfect if you are having a smaller guest count but still want the feel of a full-blown wedding and the most gorgeous views imaginable.
Click here to see a wedding at Saude Creek Vineyards.
5) Two Rivers Country Club - Williamsburg
If there is one thing few couples consider when choosing a venue, it’s how the sunset will look. This often provides the prettiest light all day long, and Two Rivers highlights the sunset with views over the water and a final gleam of sunlight coming through the windows during the reception. I loved that at Will and Megan’s wedding, they took full advantage of all the outdoor space with lawn games and chairs that guests could use on a warm summer day. There are so many options to make the most of this gorgeous country club!
Click here to see a wedding at Two Rivers Country Club.
4) Norfolk Botanical Gardens
A huge perk of the botanical gardens is how many different (and equally beautiful) options there are for brides of every budget. There are several different receptions areas, and the venue is run so smoothly that they can host multiple weddings in one day without guests or couples crossing paths with one another. The garden has a variety of blooms all year long, and the staff knows exactly which areas are the prettiest, so they will help in the hunt for the best portrait locations. Though the beauty of the gardens is in the outdoor areas, there are backup rain plans as well, which will make any bride breathe a sigh of relief.
Click here to see a Norfolk Botanical Gardens wedding.
3) Smithfield Winery
The Smithfield Winery is a wedding venue I could gush about for hours on end. Set in the heart of downtown Smithfield, it is surrounded by historical buildings and only a short walk away from the waterfront. However, you don’t even have to leave the venue to find beautiful portrait locations…just check this picture out because it’s one of my favorites from the year, and yet it happened INSIDE the venue! The new wood floors, the perfectly decorated interior, the incredibly sweet owners who will make your day go perfectly…the list of reasons to love this venue is endless. I’m so excited that Smithfield has such an amazing wedding venue, especially with Historic St. Luke’s nearby for a ceremony option!
Click here to see a Smithfield Winery wedding.
2) The Historic Post Office - Hampton
By now, if you are a bride, you have definitely heard of the Historic Post Office. It is a pretty new wedding venue, and it also happens to be booked solid about a year in advance because of the demand - and no wonder! The bridal suite and area for groomsmen to get ready are some of the best I’ve ever seen. The architecture outside includes gorgeous columns, a sweet little downtown Hampton street, and some green areas nearby that will fit any style. The staff is absolutely second to none, and there is SO much space in the reception hall for a gorgeous setup and all the dancing you could want. Seriously - check this one out!
Click here to see a Historic Post Office wedding.
1) Chrysler Hall - Norfolk
When it comes to amazing architecture, Chrysler Hall wins the day, because I could take ALL the portraits indoors and not miss out one little bit! An adjoining garden is the perfect space for the first look, and a bridge over the water provides the best sunset views. You can’t help but catch your breath the minute you walk into the main hallway when it’s decked out for a wedding - it is truly made for all the elegance and glamor you could imagine. There are epic staircases, a built-in archway, and the perfect cocktail hour for friends who would love roaming the halls of an amazing museum. This truly is one of my favorite venues ever!
Click here to see a wedding shoot at Chrysler Hall.
Honorable Mention - Hollyfield Manor
The only reason this venue didn’t make it to the top 10 is that it’s not technically in Hampton Roads…but it’s not too far away, either! Hollyfield Manor does weddings, and they do it better than almost anyone else. There is a gorgeous mansion where you and your bridesmaids can get ready in TWO separate, adjoining rooms and a pool room down the hallway for the guys. The outdoor ceremony area can be in front of the mansion or overlooking the water, where you can have pictures taken on the dock. The inside reception hall is not only a wonderful rain plan but looks incredible when it’s decorated. Beyond that, I love love love the staff and cannot say enough good things about them. For brides in Richmond OR in Hampton Roads, check out Hollyfield Manor - I promise you won’t regret it!
Click here to see a wedding at Hollyfield Manor.