I'm a storyteller who believes life is made up of the little moments and that the best photographs look for the in-between
Experience has given me this little secret when it comes to picking a micro wedding venue. The best venues are often not venues! At least, that’s not their primary role. That’s because dedicated event venues tend to be designed to accommodate large groups of people and can feel overwhelming for a smaller group. They also can be quite a bit more expensive than some of the options I’m going to list below. Now there are always going to be exceptions to the rule. A few of the recommendations on this list are dedicated event spaces and will work beautifully for micro weddings.
But, in general, instead of seeking a venue, consider looking at places like inns, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and small wineries or breweries that also happen to have event spaces for your small celebration. These types of spaces tend to feel more, well, intimate, and have the added bonus of either having on-site food and/or accommodations so everyone can spend a long weekend together!
All of the venues listed in this round-up are located within 30 miles of Charlottesville, VA. I’ve assessed most of these in person, and for those I included personal impressions and photos. For the others, you can get general information by following my links to their website.
For the purposes of this article, I looked for spaces that would work well for up to 50 guests. As you’ll see, many can accommodate quite a bit more, but would not be overwhelming for a smaller group.
Vibe: Vineyard, conservatory
Guest Count: Up to 88
Glass House is one of the more unique area vineyards in that the main reception space is a giant glass conservatory (hence the name). It’s probably my top pick for a winter wedding venue because you get the greenery (and greenhouse effect of warmth) even when it is barren outside! The conservatory and tasting room can accommodate up to 88 guests.
There is also a funky bed and breakfast on site with five bedrooms that can be rented out for family or wedding party.
Ceremonies typically happen in front of the lake.
Vibe: Vineyard, bed & breakfast
One of my favorite features of Meriwether Springs is that the space is large enough to comfortably accommodate 100 guests or so, but compact enough to feel intimate. Everything is based out of the large main building and outdoor patio, which backs the vineyard so you don’t have to travel at all!
The main building houses a bed and breakfast with beds for up to 14, several beautiful indoor event spaces, and a brewery in the bottom. In the event of rain (and depending on guest count), everything can be moved indoors.
The patio is decorated with bistro lights and makes for a gorgeous backdrop for either your ceremony or reception.
Vibe: Vineyard, organic, treehouse
Guest Count: Up to 120 (indoors)
I absolutely loved this venue. I think if my husband and I ever did a vow renewal this would be at the top of my list.
While there aren’t mountain views, the entire aesthetic is what I would call high-end organic. The main indoor reception space (what they call the Loft) has a luxury treehouse feel. All of the details are super intentional and the design is incredible. My favorite spots are the loft reception area for dinner and the back deck, which felt like an oasis.
Vibe: Repurposed church
Guest count: Up to 100 (indoors)
Potter’s Craft is a newer cidery centered around a building made of thick, lovely stone walls that housed an Episcoplian congregation almost a hundred years ago. There are a half-dozen different “spaces” available on this property for weddings but typically the ceremony would happen in the old sanctuary and the reception on the terrace/lawn or in the old entrance hall.
Charlottesville is well known for its vineyard and brewery weddings, but the aesthetic of Potter’s makes this space unique. It would be a great choice for people who love craft brews and want to feel like they are getting married at a little chapel in Europe.
Guest count: Up to 150
Moss Vineyards is one of the smaller vineyards in the area, but it boasts absolutely stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains (and I hear good wine — I was pregnant the last time I visited!)
There are three possible reception spaces. The tasting room can seat up to 50, the outdoor pavilion can seat up to 75 (or you can use it for dancing as the last couple I photographed there did), and the event space (with large west-facing windows) can seat up to 150. Moss is a good pick for couples who want a more intimate vineyard wedding with lovey mountain views.
Vibe: Historic home
Guest Count: 2-70
Mountain views: No, but *very* close to Shenandoah National Park.
OK, I really loved this venue. And it’s not just because I’m a sucker for historic properties. The owner is incredibly sweet and she’s actually a photographer herself (employing more of a light and airy style than me). As a result, there are little thoughtful details throughout the venue that make it easily photogenic, like neutral paint colors on the walls and hooks for hanging and photographing wedding outfits.
The venue fee includes table rentals, chairs, linens and plates. They even have a small closet with decorations to use free of charge!
This venue is only 5 minutes from one of the entrances to Shenandoah National Park so it is entirely possible to go up on Skyline Drive and take some beautiful mountain photos AND have a more traditional reception.
Vibe: Funky, modern, intimate
Guest Count: Up to 100
Located just a stone’s throw from UVA hospital, the Oakhurst Inn is the perfect venue for those who like bold, modern design and a high-end speakeasy vibe. Oakhurst is first and foremost a lodging destination in a popular college town, so they do not host events near graduation days or major football weekends, but if you’re interested in a midweek or summer event for a small group, this would be such a cute choice.
They can host up to 100, but require a tent rental for anything over 60. Like the Wool Factory (below), they require a food and beverage minimum to book the space.
Vibe: Farmhouse, vineyard
Guest Count: Up to 18 in the bed and breakfast, 120 for the barn reception
The Orchard House is the kind of venue that is perfect for people with a small guest count who want all of their guests to stay on site. There are two different houses on the property with a total of nine bedrooms — The Orchard House and The Farmhouse. Both are beautifully remodeled historic homes.
The Orchard House also has a small saltwater pool and a small vineyard for those who want vineyard vibes. A gazebo fronting the vineyard makes for a great ceremony space.
For those planning slightly bigger gatherings, an updated barn can accommodate receptions of up to 120.
Vibe: Historic Manor
Guest Count: Up to 125
Prospect Hill specializes in events for up to 125 people. They even have several different packages that are perfect for two-person elopements or what they call “Two Plus a Few.”
Like the Boar’s Head Resort and the Orchard House, Prospect Hill is great for people who want all of their guests to stay on site. There are five rooms in the main manor house and eight cottages — four of which are dog friendly!
They also have an on-site fine dining restaurant that can cater your event.
Ceremonies can happen in the gazebo, in front of one of the historic barns, in the tree garden, on the lawn, beside the pasture (in view of alpacas and horses!), or inside in the parlor or Historic Rose Room.
For those wanting slightly larger celebrations, a tent can be set up on the garden lawn.
Vibe: Country chic, Christian
Guest Count: Up to 150
Greencock Manor prides itself on two things: being a strongly Christian-based venue and being one of the most affordable venues in the area. It’s also one of the busiest and they can be pretty booked up.
They can accommodate events up to 150, but also have packages specifically for smaller events ranging from two-person elopements to up to 25 guests. The manor house has four bedrooms for up to eight guests. There is also an on-site cottage for up to two guests that is pet friendly.
Ceremonies typically happen at one of two spaces on the lawn and receptions can either occur on the covered porch or in a tent.
Greencock also has a small closet filled with borrowable decorations, plus it offers extensive lawn games, a dance floor, tables and chairs.
Vibe: Modern, urban, industrial
Guest Count: Up to 360
The Wool Factory is a newer venue with four intimate reception spaces that cater to gatherings of 16-40.
It’s one of the only venues in Charlottesville that has an upscale urban industrial vibe. Think big windows, exposed brick, exposed beams.
The Wool Factory includes an on-site fine dining restaurant, so every event space rental does include a food and beverage minimum.
Vibe: Historic, urban, ballroom
Guest Count: Up to 80
The Old Metropolitan Hall is located off the downtown outdoor pedestrian mall in Charlottesville. While it certainly has historic, urban vibes, it’s more polished than industrial. Think original antique tin tiles on the ceiling, whitewashed walls and glass chandeliers.
Ceremonies can either happen in the Hall itself, or, more commonly, people rent the next door venue – the Sanctuary at the Haven — which is a refurbished church space.
Recently, Old Metropolitan Hall has started offering micro wedding events through their in-house catering company, Harvest Moon Catering. These food packages are for up to 10 people and include a flat rate food per group fee.
Vibe: Urban, industrial
The Space Downtown is owned by two chefs who also operate nearby restaurants, Bijou and Bang (both of which are excellent).
It has urban, industrial vibes (exposed brick walls, large windows) and would be a great venue for couples who want their reception to be focused around excellent food.
Vibe: Upscale luxury
Guest count: 2-325
The Clifton is an incredibly versatile venue. While it is probably best known for hosting large, upscale weddings, there are also several spaces that work beautifully for more intimate gatherings. (I shot a two-person elopement here in February.)
Outdoor ceremonies with up to 50 guests can be hosted in the Secret Garden — an intimate space between the garden cottages that features weeping willows. Most people who get married in the Secret Garden then have their reception on the croquet lawn (which can seat up to 100 for dinner) but the Secret Garden can also accommodate small receptions as can the poolside space.
There is a gazebo that seats 8-12.
Alternatively, for very intimate gatherings, if you want to go inside, the library can seat 18 and the wine cellar 20.
Vibe: Upscale resort
Guest count: 2-400
When I left the Boar’s Head after my site visit, the words “intimate luxury” were what came to mind. You are going to get that full-service resort vibe at this venue. The grounds are gorgeous and there is lots to do, so this would be perfect for a getaway with your closest group of friends, assuming everyone stayed on site.
Like the Clifton, the Boar’s Head is best known for hosting huge luxury weddings. But they actually have an elopement package for two that includes ceremony location and coordination, dinner, champagne, cake, flowers, couple’s massage, and a one-night stay including in-room continental breakfast. It could be a great option for out-of-town couples who want to elope in luxury and not hike up a mountain :).
For those who are hoping to have a micro wedding instead, a courtyard beside the small lake can host ceremonies of up to 100. Additionally, what they call the Hearth-Arbor-Patio spaces (an indoor-outdoor reception space) can accommodate receptions of up to 100.
Vibe: Historic Boutique Hotel
Guest Count: 8-135
I was not able to visit the Dinsmore side of the space in person, but the hotel is attached to Farm Bell Kitchen, which is best known for their farm-to-table brunch.
There is a walled outdoor terrace that could accommodate small ceremonies and then receptions can be held in the restaurant dining area, tea room or on the terrace.
Vibe: Classic country club
Guest Count: 2-225
The Greencroft Club allows non-members to rent their spaces for wedding-related events. While most of the weddings they do are big affairs there are also several spaces that can accommodate smaller groups like the living room (with seating for up to 55), the terrace (seating for up to 35) and the Eades room (seating for up to 25).
It’s very much got that classic country club vibe and is a great choice for people wanting a black tie or elegant affair.