Shelly Pate

Elegant Virginia Wedding Venue Just Outside of DC: Great Marsh Estate

couple kisses in front of mansion at Virginia wedding venue

What initially draws couples to this venue is its elegance, what keeps them is its many opportunities. Great Marsh Estate is a wedding venue in Virginia located just an hour outside of Washington, DC. As for elegance, it boasts a Georgian-styled Manor House sitting on over 121 acres of grassy lawns, meadows, and wooded paths. The estate offers both indoor and outdoor opportunities that cater to your wedding day events and style. See how this couple personalized their own classy wedding at this Virginia wedding venue!

Elegance + Personality = a Great Marsh Estate Wedding

couple kisses during garden wedding ceremony

This couple proves that your wedding can be a formal event but can still include all of your personality and unique touches. Zizhan and Justin met as freshmen in college and were together for five years before they decided to make things permanent. The bride described their hopes for the wedding day as “a simple, classy, and elegant wedding with photos that capture our love for each other and our joy while together!” They wanted elegance with a spin and they got it!

This Virginia wedding venue provided the perfect palette for this couple to color in with their own style, heritage, and story on their wedding day. Here’s how they did it!

Virginia Wedding Venue Details & Decor

white flowers, greenery and candles on wedding reception table
  • Colors were gold, white, green foliage, and champagne. As Zizhan explained, “We chose them because they’re elegant, classic, and timeless!”
  • Blush-colored robes for bridesmaids printed with “Maid of Honor” and “Bridesmaid” on the back.
bride stands beside bridesmaids with matching monogrammed silk robes
  • Two signature cocktails were named after their fur babies: a golden retriever puppy named Lambeau and a white kitty named Marie. Zizhan noted, “They’re the love of our lives, besides each other.”
signature cocktails named after pets
  • The groom’s uncle was the “flower man” who walked out during the ceremony before the wedding party!
  • The processional was classical music and the couple exited together to “Hooked on a Feeling.”
Couple embraces in front of floral arch at Virginia wedding venue
couple dances together on dance floor at wedding reception

Family Heritage

Zizhan added touches from her Chinese culture throughout the wedding day activities and design.

couple embraces standing in field at sunset at Virginia wedding venue
  • DIY signage and table setting centerpieces each with the Chinese symbol for happiness, fortune, love, peace, wonder, etc. 
  • All flowers besides the ceremony floral arch rental were DIY silk florals.
groom embraces bride while standing under white floral arch
diy silk flower bouquets held by bride and bridesmaids
  • Zizhan switched into a traditional red Chinese wedding dress during the ceremony and she and Justin performed a Chinese tea ceremony together where they served tea to their respective parents.
bride stands holding bouquet under white floral wedding arch
  • We did a sunset session (aka overcast session) in the overgrown grass of the meadow for a totally different vibe!
couple walks holding hands through grassy meadow

Virginia Wedding Venue That Checks Off Your Wishlist

couple walks through green hedges at mansion estate

In choosing an estate for their wedding, Zizhan and Justin wanted one categorized by elegance and tons of space while located within reach of Washington, DC (where they did their engagement photos!). The Great Marsh Estate checked off their wedding venue wishlist! As Zizhan shared, “We love the open space of the ceremony area,” contrasted with “the coziness of the reception area.” The bride continued, “The brightness of both places is great, and the mansion is gorgeous and elegant.” There are so many options for spots to utilize throughout your wedding day at the Virginia wedding venue.

Great Marsh Wedding Event Locations

bride stands with bridesmaids holding bouquets at Virginia wedding venue
  • The Manor House: according to Great Marsh, it was “constructed in the 1980’s as a historical re-creation of a traditional Georgian Manor House.” Weddings can utilize both the North Courtyard (used for cocktail hour) or the South Courtyard (used for ceremony). Couples gain access to the entire first floor, with the downstairs groom’s lounge and the 2nd-floor master suite for getting ready. The ceremony location was also perfect for post-ceremony family photos.
couple stands with parents in front of floral arch at Virginia wedding venue
  • The Stables Reception Hall: as described by Great Marsh, “The juxtaposition of the elegant Manor House and more rustic Stables make for an interesting, varied venue experience.” It can hold up to 200 guests (this wedding hosted 75) and also serves as the rain plan location. The connected Outdoor Patio also functions as a second cocktail hour option.
white flowers, candles and greenery as table decor at barn wedding reception
  • The Grounds: the landscape is absolutely beautiful and should be taken advantage of rain or shine! It offers lots of variety including a wide open field, grassy rolling hills, tree-lined path, pond with a bridge, and a gorgeous bent over tree in a meadow with more overgrown wild grass. I don’t think the meadow is used enough!
couple walks down through grassy field at Virginia wedding venue

Great Marsh Wedding Package

couple exchanges vows in green field at Virginia wedding venue

All-inclusive package options at Great Marsh Estate include: 

Food: exclusive in-house catering by Serendipity Catering, options for cocktail hour, reception, dessert, and hors d’oeuvres, and bar staff (can also use outside catering for dessert/cake).

Decor: altar/arch & other decorations (florals not included).

Rentals: chairs, china, dance floor, flatware, furniture, glassware, lighting, linens, tables.

  • 6.5 hour rental (not including setup/cleanup).
  • Optional in-house coordination.
  • Accommodates up to 200 guests, tent options for larger outdoor gathering (this wedding hosted 75).
  • Starting site fee during peak season is $8,450, off peak is $7,100 (as of 2023).

A Virginia Wedding Venue That Fits Your Plans

couple embraces under wedding veil

From the couple’s initial description of their dream wedding, I knew that this venue was the right match. They wanted to remember all the firsts, the moments with friends and family, and the private escapes with just the two of them. Ultimately, they wanted to remember “the simplicity of our love and our strong partnership, and that having each other is enough.” Great Marsh Estate was the perfect setting for the start to their story!

Let’s chat through how the Great Marsh Estate might be the all-inclusive venue for YOUR relaxing wedding day!

couple walks down through grassy field at Virginia wedding venue

The Team

Venue | Great Marsh Estate
Planning | Farm & Fields
Cake | Bread Corner
Floral Arch Rental | 876 Events & Rentals
Caterer | Serendipity Catering
Musicians | String of Pearls
Photographer | Shelly Pate Photography
Videographer | Paperboys
DJ | Bryan George Music
HMU | Shine, Tina!

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