A New Farm Wedding Venue in Charlottesville

Looking for a site that’s total rustic glam? We’ve found it just a few hours south

By: Kathleen Bridges

Mount Ida's scenery makes a lovely backdrop for wedding portraits. Photograph by Aaron Watson Photography

It’s pretty rare to find a venue that combines adjectives like rustic, grand, glamorous, romantic, and historic, but ever since seeing photographer Aaron Watson’s photos from a recent shoot at Mount Ida Farm, an 18th-century manor located near Charlottesville that’s recently opened up for weddings, we think we’ve found it. Whether imagining saying “I do” in the Farm’s refurbished barn (think exposed beams and candlelight), under a 300-year-old holly tree, or in the lakeside gazebo, it’s definitely a new player in the Virginia wedding scene and a site for a mini-destination wedding for Washington brides.

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Dozens of candles lining stone steps? So romantic. Photograph by Aaron Watson Photography

“We like to say, ‘If a bride wants it, we can do it,’ ” says Milicent Lynch, Mount Ida Farm’s event coordinator. “Fireworks, hot air balloons—you name it!” And she means it. Aside from the usuals—ceremony and reception space, dining tables and chairs—the farm offers a slew of luxurious add-ons, available à la carte or as part of a package (ranging from $10,000 to $30,000). Clydesdale-drawn carriages, Rolls Royces, a 20-minute fireworks display, and candle-lined walkways are all on offer. Up to ten guests can stay overnight at the manor house itself.

The Farm’s Reception Hall—the recently renovated cattle barn—can accommodate parties of up to 200 guests. For couples preferring an al fresco ceremony, the Farm allows tents anywhere on its 400 acres—but Lynch says that most choose the gazebo overlooking one of the property’s private lakes (below). “Usually once brides see it, they’re done—that’s all they want for a ceremony spot!” she says.


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The prime ceremony spot at Mount Ida. Photograph by Aaron Watson

Mount Ida Farm is now reserving ceremonies and receptions for 2012. For more information, visit the Farm’s Web site, or call Milicent Lynch at 434-286-4631.

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