By Miranda Bricker with Dover Hall

1. Consider a Venue with On-Site Accommodations
If you have a fair number of out-of-town guests visiting for your wedding, chances are you’re looking for a location to house them. Room blocks in hotels are a popular option but consider looking for a reception venue with on-site accommodations. This can be a fun and intentional way to make your VIP guests, or immediate family members, feel even more special for traveling to share in your wedding day. You can even bring your rehearsal dinner and other wedding weekend activities in-house to make your local wedding venue a destination location!

Richmond Weddings Planning Tools

2. Plot Your “Plan B” First
A natural first step in the wedding planning process is to find the perfect venue for your ceremony and reception; a place that can paint a picturesque backdrop for your nuptials and celebration. While it’s so important for you to find a venue that fits seamlessly into your wedding vision, it’s even more important to coordinate your “Plan B” as soon as you secure your venue and date. If you take the time to consider how your inclement weather plans will come together on the front end, opposed to the week of your wedding, you can ensure a “Plan B” that you are absolutely happy with. Your venue and wedding planner will be fantastic resources in narrowing down the perfect “Plan B” scenario

Sarah and Dave Photography

3. Hire a Creative Culinary Team
Food is one of the most memorable components of your wedding. While crafting a culinary experience for your guests and loved ones, find a catering team that is willing to get creative with you! Maybe you have a favorite food that you want to see incorporated as a passed canapé but isn’t listed on their traditional menu offerings. Find a team that will work with you to bring this to life! A culinary vendor that is willing to think outside the box in terms of ingredients, dishes and presentation will be certain to create an even more elevated – not to mention memorable – wedding for your guests to enjoy.

Kristine Pringle Photographers

4. Incorporate Local Beverages into Your Cocktail Hour
Local ingredients continue to be a growing trend, but this can extend outside of the culinary realm! With a burgeoning craft beverage scene, Richmond is the perfect place to incorporate local beverages into your cocktail hour selections. Create a specialty cocktail featuring bourbon or moonshine from a Richmond-based distillery, or see if your venue will allow local brews from a favorite craft brewery to be installed on-tap. Some breweries will even craft a special beer just for your wedding, with customizable can labels to commemorate the occasion for years to come!

Paige Stevens Photography

5. Secure a Reputable Vendor Team
While you’re searching for a variety of different vendors to assist in the creation of your wedding vision, be sure to look for true professionals who share your temperament. These people will provide an invaluable resource in the execution of your dream day, and they’ll then be able to maintain the desired energy of the event. Think of your vendors as your creative partners, working together to bring your day together exactly as you’ve intended. Having a strong vendor team on your side will allow you to relax and remember to have fun throughout the planning process!

Miranda Bricker is the Director of Sales and Events at Dover Hall, a refined English Tudor-inspired wedding venue and bed & breakfast in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia. To learn more about Dover Hall’s luxury events, culinary services, or to schedule a tour of the estate house and grounds, visit Featured Image: Virginia Ashley Photography.