Guest blog by Victoria Sananikone. Edited by VisitCBVA.
You know the beloved, iconic slogan, “Virginia is For Lovers”, established 50 years ago, and still true today. In Part III of our series on Weddings, we talk about Venues in or around Colonial Beach. In case you missed our first two posts, you can catch up here: Weddings Part I: Getting Married in Virginia and Weddings Part II: Destination Weddings.
Whether you are from the area or have chosen Colonial Beach, Virginia (CBVA), as the site of of your Destination Wedding, you will find lots of places to hold the wedding of your dreams. Here are some ideas.
Colonial Beach is home to Virginia’s second largest public sand beach, located on a peninsula that is bounded by the mighty Potomac River to the east and Monroe Bay to the west. If you’ve always dreamed of a tropical wedding, consider marrying on our shores! Both bodies of water make stunning backdrops. Consider a sunrise wedding under riverside palm trees or a spectacular sunset wedding on the bay. A section of the beach can be reserved for your nuptials and there is a $25 permit fee. No permit is required for the pier and reservations are not available.
Virginia is for Boat Lovers and with nearly a dozen marinas in town, couples can #BoatToTheBeach for their nuptials. Note, however, that while Monroe Bay is located in Virginia, the Potomac River is owned by Charles County, Maryland. Tying the knot on the Potomac requires a marriage license from Charles County Courthouse in LaPlata, MD, according to Bryce Hall, a court-appointed marriage commissioner and wedding officiant licensed in Virginia and Maryland. Couples who want to ensure they are married in Virginia can have a “secret” courthouse style, Civil Marriage Ceremony performed by Bryce, founder of Get Hitched Virginia, who also performs elopements and planned weddings in front of the Hitching Wall at her cottage, on the beach, at private locations and in surrounding areas.
Those who prefer a traditional religious ceremony will find churches of various denominations throughout CBVA and the surrounding county. Check with the church of your choosing to find out their policies regarding weddings.
Waterfront Venues–Beachside and Bayside
Perhaps you love the idea of a waterfront wedding, but without the sand between your toes. These places have the views!
Riverboat on the Potomac
Exchange your vows in front of a gorgeous view of the glittering water of the Potomac River. Riverboat on the Potomac has three facilities to accommodate everyone on your guest list: The Banquet Room, The Tiki Bar, and The Potomac Room.
Renting these rooms includes dining essentials such as tables, chairs, plates, cutlery, servers and bartenders, set-up and clean-up. The venue also provides in-house catering with a wide variety of delicious appetizers and three different buffet options. The Riverboat is located on the beach, in the heart of the downtown boardwalk area, close to lodging, restaurants, entertainment. and shopping.
High Tides on the Potomac and The Black Pearl Tiki Bar
Also located in the heart of downtown, on the beachfront boardwalk, is High Tides on the Potomac and The Black Pearl Tiki Bar. Choose from an indoor wedding inside the pirate-themed restaurant or an outdoor wedding at the sand-covered tiki bar complete with a stage for entertainment.
Ferry Landing Pier
Ferry Landing Pier stretches from the beach into the Potomac River. Brides can walk down the “aisle” or guests can assemble under the covered gazebo. Though the venue doesn’t serve food, it does offer kayaking, paddle boarding, and bike rentals for post-wedding fun.
Dockside Restaurant & Tiki Bar
Dockside Restaurant & Tiki Bar encompasses most of the Point at the southern tip of the peninsula. Couples can plan an indoor, outdoor or something in-between wedding! The sandy beach outside also has a stage and is attached to an open air deck. Or wed indoors in the nautical-themed dining room.
Bayside Marina’s Charlie’s Quarterdeck Lounge
Charlie’s Quarterdeck Lounge is available for any special occasion and can fit a wedding party of up to 40 people. Overlooking Monroe Bay, the venue provides an opportunity for brides and grooms to exchange vows during one of the stunning sunsets for which Colonial Beach is famous! Though the space does not provide food or beverage, The Lighthouse Restaurant (see below), located on the same property, can accommodate.
The Lighthouse Restaurant
Gorgeous sunset and water views of Monroe Bay from the outdoor deck and enclosed patio are only one reason to choose The Lighthouse for your wedding. The other is the spectacular Thai, American and Sushi, including fresh seafood.
Lush, green vineyards are breathtakingly picturesque and many wineries now take advantage of that beauty by offering wedding services. Here are two nearby.
Monroe Bay Winery Strawbale Barn
The Strawbale Barn at Monroe Bay Winery is an architectural and environmental wonder and a lovely spot for an intimate, rustic wedding. The barn is made of bales of straw reinforced with hydraulic lime and can seat up to 200 guests. Recycled wine bottles accent the walls and allow natural light to stream in. Couples can also choose an outdoor wedding on the quiet and secluded winery property, with manicured lawns, picnic areas and waterfront views of Monroe Bay. A wedding gazebo and other improvements are expected to be completed in time for the Summer 2020 season.
Ingleside Plantation Winery
Nearby Ingleside Plantation Winery, a award-winning member of the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail, was voted Best Bridal Venue in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula in 2018 by the readers of the Northern Neck News, #2 for Weddings by the readers of Virginia Wine Lover Magazine in 2015, and named a runner-up for Favorite Wedding Winery by the readers of the Virginia Wine Gazette in 2012. Wedding amenities include:
Pavilion with indoor/outdoor seating for approximately 150 guests
European-style courtyard with fountain
Bridal Salon with waiting area
Romantic Barrel Room for rehearsal dinner or small weddings
Banquet tables and chairs
Cake and gift tables
Settings for the most remarkable wedding photography
The intimate setting allows for no outside interruptions like traffic or noise during your special day. The winery also has two guest cottages, The Pointe and Summerton, to accommodate overnight needs.
Bed & Breakfasts
The rich, historic beauty of Colonial Beach’s Victorian B&B mansions make them quaint choices for a wedding.
Colonial Beach Plaza Bed & Breakfast
Colonial Beach Plaza can comfortably seat twenty guests in its high ceiling lounge/dining area for indoor weddings. There is also an over-sized pool side patio and cabana. Complete with a fully equipped commercial kitchen, Colonial Beach Plaza specializes in a variety of American dishes as well as Korean fare such as Bulgogi, Kimchi, and Dumplings.
Dennison Street Inn
Have your very own fairy tale wedding at the regal Dennison Street Inn’s outdoor gazebo and garden. The luxury venue can handle every aspect of the wedding, from aisle runners to catering. Ample space to erect a reception tent, table settings of vintage China and stemware, and even an elegant Bridal Suite for the wedding night.
Denson’s Grocery & R&B Oyster Bar is an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant known for fresh seafood and creative oyster dishes. Up to 20 guests can be accommodated family-style in its Courtyard. Denson’s Catering Service provides off-site catering.
Colonial Beach Brewing has an inside Parlour and an outdoor beer garden with a stage that can accommodate small parties and entertainment.
The updated and renovated Colonial Beach Community Center, maintained by Colonial Beach Community Foundation, makes its Main Hall, Stage and Grounds available to rent.
Our next blog post in the series, Weddings Part IV: Theme Weddings, helps you choose your wedding style–colors, formality, patterns and maybe even costumes!