Editor’s Note: This post is sponsored as I received a complimentary stay at The Greenbrier and a spa package in exchange for sharing this blog post as well as a re-cap of my stay found here. All editorial and opinions are my own.Since moving to Charlottesville, Va., last summer, I quickly learned about The Greenbrier, a nearby gem of a resort nestled in the stunning Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. The historic hotel (dating back to 1778!) and surrounding estate is a jaw-droppingly gorgeous preppy paradise complete with interiors designed by the one-and-only, Dorothy Draper. The revered interior designer gave the resort a bold new look post-WWII, saturated in bright, cheerful colors and oversized patterns, evoking a luxurious elegance that guests continue to enjoy and admire today.I’m so excited that I’ll soon get to stay at this world-class resort with my husband on a press trip in early March. We have massages booked at their mineral spa and we’ll be staying in a room decorated by Ms. Draper (my absolute design idol!) – does it get any better? I honestly feel like I’ll be slipping away to a slice of Palm Beach (of the North) heaven! I’m also extremely excited to explore the many wedding venues that the hotel offers because as you can imagine, getting married in a Dorothy Draper paradise is just pure magic.
To hold us over until I can divulge every last detail of my experience with you, I’m thrilled to share a fun chat I had with Maren White, Director of Wedding Events at The Greenbrier. Maren told me all about the spectacular wedding packages offered at The Greenbrier and I honestly can’t think of a more beautiful setting for a true preppy bride. In fact, I’m wishing I had known about this jewel eight years ago when I was planning my wedding! Enjoy!
Just like Dorothy Draper left her stamp on The Greenbrier, creating an unrivaled legacy of preppy panache, many family legacies of love have been created over the years, as well. Couples become engaged and married at the resort and they then watch their children follow suit which obviously creates an amazing legacy for families and the perfect locale for family reunions, anniversaries and celebrations.
Maren tells us that The Greenbrier “typically host[s] about 30 weddings a year with Spring and Fall being our most popular times of year. With that being said, The Greenbrier is a gorgeous year-round property that can host absolutely lovely winter and summer weddings, too! We celebrate 60 days of holiday cheer and The Greenbrier is buzzing with excitement and decorations during [the Christmas season]! Not only is it a wonderful time to spend with your family and friends, but a great time to celebrate the happy couple! Some benefits are that the room rates trend to be slightly lower, and less décor is needed since dress The Greenbrier is dressed to the 9’s during the holiday season!”
A new addition to wedding options at the resort is The Greenbrier Chapel on the North Lawn, constructed in 2015. The magnificent $6.1 million chapel was built in five months. After a centuries-old oak tree passed away, it was decided that new life would be brought forth from this sad loss. Inside the chapel, there are two wooden crosses that have been carved from the historic tree. The expansive structure occupies an impressive 12,000 square feet, with seating for 500 guests. Complete with stained glass windows designed by Carlton Varney (ethereal cloud formations in the upper wings, a beautiful West Virginia landscape scene above the pew) and white clapboard exterior and copper roof – the chapel is a continuation of the world-class elegance The Greenbrier is famous for.
Maren tells us, “The wedding packages for the 2015-2016 wedding season were created to include all food and beverage that a bride could dream of for her wedding events; however we love to customize weddings to each bride, and that includes specialty menu items and signature cocktails! The wedding packages tend to act as a guideline to what we recommend each bride having at her wedding, and a price minimum per person. The names of our packages are based on locations that have a meaning for us at The Greenbrier. The Tara is because we have the chandeliers that hung at Tara in the Gone with the Wind film in our lovely hotel. The Windsor and Monaco are based on locations that royalty has visited us from.”
I love the diversity of wedding venue options at The Greenbrier. Maren says, “We have gorgeous ballrooms with chandeliers, as well as rustic lodge venues. We like to pride ourselves that we draw every style bride and we can accommodate every kind of brides wishes. While every venue is special and unique in its own way, I would say that The Cameo Ballroom (shown above) is our most iconic and well-known wedding venue.”
I was curious about wedding details such as florals and pastries so I asked Maren about what The Greenbrier has available. While event design is not included in the wedding packages, the resort has worked with Gillespie’s since 1920 for event design needs. And The Greenbrier has their very own pastry chef (from France!!) who makes lovely and delicious wedding cakes that are custom designed by the bride and the pastry team. You can see the portfolio of gorgeous wedding cakes here.
Last but not least, I wanted to ask Maren about any favorite moments from her wedding-centered job: “I think that every wedding planner finds themselves in this line of work because they love making people happy. I cherish that brides invite me into their lives during one of the most special times in their life. I feel a great responsibility and honor to take my bride’s dreams of their wedding and turn them into a reality. The best part of this process is seeing my brides happy at the end of the evening and hopefully not only have they begun a wonderful and exciting chapter in their life as a newly married couple, but we have also started a lifelong friendship and relationship with our property and team!”
So beautiful! I can’t wait to visit The Greenbrier and see everything in person soon! Make sure you’re following me on Instagram to see lots of behind-the-scenes sneak peeks while I’m there next month. And thanks again to Maren for chatting!
For more information, please contact The Greenbrier Weddings Team by e-mail at Weddings@Greenbrier.com or by calling 304-536-7897.
Images provided by The Greenbrier.