Glen Garden Weddings

Fredericksburg, Virginia


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april rose photography

farm wedding

Photo by Katie Jacobs Photography


        Wedding Topics


If you are visiting the property this winter, you will notice that our white board fencing is in disarray.  After 22 years, all 211 sections of fencing are being replaced or scraped and repainted in time for spring weddings.  Not to worry!  We will be pretty again soon!


Have you wondered how to make your outdoor Virginia wedding more enjoyable for your guests when there's a chill in the air? We've discovered something guests love:  a fire pit!  Our propane fire pit is located on the covered deck.  Check out the rainy-day video on our facebook page showing guests seated around it and having a good time.  When it's not in use, we put a lid on it and cover it with a tablecloth.  Voila!  Now it's a cocktail table! 


A recent online article by The Knot gave "30 Essential Wedding Planning Tips and Tricks."  It stated that the easiest way to trim your budget is to cut your guest  list.  True that!  If you're spending $50 per person for foods and drinks, deleting 10 guests saves you $500.  At Glen Garden, we have other ways to help you save $$, too!  Because we provide drapes, swags, candle chandeliers, torches, table arrangements, aisle runner, cake stand, card cage, tables, chairs, linens, chair covers, sashes and more, you do not need to spend money on decor you'll never use again.  Also, you may hire a DJ, but if it's not in your budget, use our sound system (which works with ipods, computers, or CDs).


Hey, everyone!  If you're interested in learning more about Glen Garden, check out our Facebook page. 


In a recent issue of Richmond Bride, a featured bride came up with a creative alternative to the bouquet toss.  Instead of tossing her bouquet, the bride had someone read a letter she had written to the most influential woman in her life.  She then presented her bouquet to HER MOTHER.


Glen Garden weddings are unique in so many ways.  At the end of your wedding ceremony, after you've been pronounced "husband and wife," the two of you ring in the good news at the old farm bell.  As you exit, you're showered with bubbles by your guests.  If you think the latter is something only children will enjoy, you're wrong.  Put a bubble wand in grandpa's hand, and you may not get it back!


You might be familiar with a favorite expression of mine:  "Plan your work.  Work your plan."  I'm a big planner.  I believe in planning work and leisure.  Otherwise, one keeps encroaching on the other.  Dick and I schedule appointments at certain times on certain days.  There have been times when we've cancelled our plans to accommodate yours.  It's okay.  Except when you call at the last minute to cancel; or, worse yet, just don't show.  So during garden wedding season, we try to schedule appointments on Thursday afternoons/evenings, and on Saturday mornings when we have a late wedding.  It's a plan that works.


Yes, I'm talking about the things that go on your feet.  Whether you're a guest or a bride, flip-flops are a great wedding shoe option at a garden wedding.  They're so comfortable on a variety of surfaces.  Of course, they wouldn't be suitable everywhere.  But they fit here.  In satin or rubber, with or without bling, they're sassy.  And fun.  And perfectly acceptable.  (Tell mom I said so!)


Rain!  That four-letter word!  I actually love rain.  It gives me an excuse for not picking up sticks, raking leaves, or mulching!  But I don't love rain on your wedding day.  What happens when it rains at Glen Garden?  Your wedding ceremony is moved to the covered deck, and we embellish it to look ceremonial.  Though it will never be as beautiful as a ceremony under the pergola, we do our best.  After the ceremony, you and your photographer can take photos in the rain with our white umbrellas.  After one rainy-day wedding, the groom approached me and said, "Our guests said it was the best wedding ever!"  Now I know that the best garden wedding doesn't include rain.  But with such a great attitude, that groom will be married for a very long time!


We're delighted to show folks around Glen Garden.  If you're considering a wedding here, you certainly want to make an appointment to visit and see what we're all about.  Sometimes you want to come without an appointment.  We understand how you feel.  You're excited.  But when you come without an appointment, you risk interrupting someone else's appointment or (even worse) ceremony.  So please call or email before you come out.  And we'll do our best to give you our undivided attention when you're here.


Like most Southern gals, I know the importance of wearing pearls and of NOT wearing jeans EVERYWHERE.  But when faced with whether to spend money on a plant or get a manicure, the plant wins every time.  So why do I recommend that you have your hair and makeup professionally done on your wedding day?  Because IT'S YOUR WEDDING DAY!  On that day, there's no better place to put a few extra dollars than on YOU!  You will love the way you feel.  Your groom will love the way you look.  Sometimes it takes a professional to achieve that come-hither look that you might not wear any other day.


A recent bride surprised me when she said she'd heard that I didn't allow hair spray in the bride's dressing room.  What???  That would be like not allowing muck rakes in the barn.  (OK, not quite!)  Both are often a necessity.  In fact, if you forget your hairspray, I'll be happy to loan you mine!  I always put bouquets in the armoire that's in the bride's dressing room so they don't get hair spray on them.  So if you're in a panic that your flowers might not have been delivered, check there.   


We're all familiar with the first sweet taste of marriage -- the cake!  But what about the first test of marriage?  It can be anything but sweet.  Weddings can be stressful.  Unexpected things sometimes happen.  When they do, how will you handle them?  You've heard the expression:  "Don't put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today."  Sometimes that doesn't apply.  Avoid reacting to an unpleasant situation until after your wedding day. After a good night's sleep, you'll be better able to handle your first test of marriage.


Some people are multi-talented.  Take my friend Teresa, for instance.  She plays piano, clarinet, bagpipes, and probably more instruments that I don't know about.  She and her friend Julie have formed Shenandoah Winds, a delightful duo of flute and clarinet who perform a variety of popular and classical music.  Perfect for a garden ceremony.  And very reasonably priced (  


After one ceremony, the newlyweds invited Baile to join them for a photo.  No problem.  Baile loves attention.  And who is Baile?  Why, he's our beloved orange, slightly obese, polydactyl cat.  He doesn't mean to steal the spotlight, but he did walk the aisle and lie on the bride's train during one garden ceremony.  You can't imagine the relief I felt when the bride smiled with delight!  Whew. It's not like I can control him.  I try without success to keep him behind closed doors during garden weddings, but he's an escape artist.  If you're having a wedding here, you'll most likely see him wandering the grounds.  He may even show up in some of your photos, invited or not. 


At one wedding, I found myself repeatedly telling (I ask children if they are hungry; I don't ask them to behave) a group of children to stop running willy-nilly throughout the garden tables, trampling plants and annoying guests. The father of one child approached me, informed me that running is what children do, and if his  child wanted to run, he could.  I informed him that children are welcome here as long as they are supervised at all times, and if his child wanted to run, he was welcome to do so out in the pasture under his father's supervision.  If you bring your child to a wedding here, please consider it an opportunity to parent that child.  Talk to him beforehand about the event and include consideration for the property and other guests.  Ask if he would like to bring an activity to amuse himself (such as a hand-held game -- no crayons or markers, please).  Let him run and play earlier in the day before he arrives here.  And when all else fails, be prepared to supervise him while he runs around the pasture.  If you're not up to the task, hire a sitter.


During a July 4 wedding, the bride had us decorate the chairs with our navy, ivory, and burgundy sashes.  She invited guests to wear their patriotism.  Most dressed in red, white and blue.  Some wore festive hats; others wore festive pins.  The bride added red, white and blue table decorations.  Everywhere you looked were reminders of our country's birthday.  The bride's dress was even white with a burgundy sash. It was really beautiful, and the guests seemed to enjoy getting into the spirit of the day.  (Now if I could just find a bride who shares my fondness for Hallowe'en!)


It's absolutely amazing to see the transformation in the male members of the bridal party during a ceremony.  At rehearsal they joke with their buddies to the point that it's sometimes hard to get their attention.  But once the ceremony begins, all dressed in vests or suits or tuxes, they walk ceremoniously from the covered deck to their positions under the pergola.  And then instead of just letting them stand there and look pretty, we put them to work.  As each bridesmaid approaches the steps leading down to the ceremony deck, a groomsman steps forward to assist.  The groom does the same for his bride.  Those guys take their roles seriously.  Looks like clothes really do make the groomsman!


This message is for guests!  If you're not sure who is invited to the wedding, check the names on the wedding invitation envelope.  Only those people are invited guests.  If your child's name is not on the invitation, assume he is not invited to the wedding.  If you do not receive an invitation, but your pastor invites you during the Sunday worship service (it's happened!), you are also probably not invited.  When in doubt, ask! 


Though I never rode in a stretch limousine until I was in my 50s, I understand why it's considered the preferred mode of transportation for a lot of events.  Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate them here at Glen Garden.  They cannot make the turnaround in front of the cottage.  In the past, they've pulled into our neighbor's driveway across the street (which isn't considerate), and then bottom out on Hartwood Road while attempting to back down our driveway.  If you're a limo company, send a town car.  If you're a bride who's always dreamed of being picked up in a stretch limousine, we will be sad to miss your wedding, but we will understand.


If you're planning a wedding for 50 or fewer people (that's 48 guests including the bridal party and children old enough to walk), we welcome you to Glen Garden.  We cannot comfortably accommodate more people.  If you think a relative whom you haven't seen in over a decade (and who lives clear across the country) won't accept your invitation to be a guest at your Virginia wedding, think again.  Lovers of history, the beach, the mountains, and D.C. will gladly make the trip to not only celebrate with you at your wedding, but also to enjoy everything else the state has to offer.  Our state slogan says it all:  Virginia IS for Lovers! 


Many brides approach the big day feeling stressed to the point of wanting it all to be over.  In a recent wedding magazine, one bride said, "We decided not to have any attendants and just walk down the aisle side-by-side; it became just about the two of us making this journey together."  Isn't that what it's really all about?


On a TV program showcasing platinum ($1+ million) weddings, a newly married bride and groom were asked to describe their favorite wedding moment.  What do you think their answers were?  Walking into the reception and seeing $500,000 in flowers and lighting?  Cutting into their 7-tier cake?  Feasting on lobster and caviar with 300 of their closest friends?  NO!  Both the bride and groom agreed:  Their favorite moment was seeing the look on the other's face as the bride was walking down the aisle.  THE BEST PART OF THEIR WEDDING COST NOTHING AT ALL!


Sometimes brides choose to have a cupcake or candy table in lieu of a cake.  One bride festively displayed lace-like paper-covered cupcakes on tiered cake stands.  Candies were self-serve with little baggies which had custom stickers on them.  Very cute and creative.  But my favorite part of the whole table was the monogrammed table runner!  What a great keepsake from a special day!  (BTW, she even had matching aprons for her friends who were helping with the food!)


The round, silver cake stand we've purchased for your wedding cake is 14" in diameter.  If you're planning to use it, be sure your baker knows so that your cake doesn't arrive on a board larger than 14 inches.


So it's your second marriage.  (Or third!)  Shouldn't your friends and family be happy for you?  Don't you deserve a celebration?  Doesn't your marriage deserve recognition?  This may not be your first marriage, but it's your last!  Isn't that what really matters?  

 306 Hartwood Road, Fredericksburg, Va. 22406   540-847-1972