I’ve been working as a Blacksburg VA wedding photographer for six (going on seven) seasons now, and I’ve lived in this area for much longer. I actually met my husband in music class at Virginia Tech, and after a couple years’ escape to New York, we moved right back to Blacksburg to settle in and begin our family. It’s a beautiful place and a fantastic wedding location, and since many of my inquiries come from Blacksburg couples (or couples returning to Blacksburg for their wedding), I figured I’d dedicate a page specifically to throwing a beautiful, easy Blacksburg wedding.
Top Five Tips for Getting Married in Blacksburg
1. Check the football schedule.
Nothing — even true love — gets in the way of Hokie football. If your wedding date falls on a home game day, you’re likely to experience a lot of extra traffic, extra noise, extra crowds, and extra frustration. Many venues will be unavailable and hotels get completely booked. It’s just not a good idea. If you’re planning a fall wedding, wait to pick your date until after the football schedule as been released, and then steer clear of the home games.
Parking in Blacksburg is always problematic. There are not enough spaces, the meters don’t run long enough, and it is actually pretty strictly enforced. Carpooling is a great idea, or use a car service like the awesome and fun Hooptie Ride. There is also very reliable bus service through Blacksburg Transit.
3. Check the weather. Again.
If you’re from the NRV this won’t need much explanation, but if you’re new to the area then you might not understand how our weather works. Don’t worry, though: no one else does either. The weather can vary wildly from day to day, and it tends to rain a lot in the spring and summer. Outdoor weddings in Blacksburg really need a rain plan. Also, Blacksburg itself is inexplicably windy. If you’re planning on wearing a veil, make sure it can be easily removed if it’s a gusty day. For an outdoor reception, better plan on nailing down anything light, including tablecloths. And ladies, pack a pair of shoes that can get muddy if necessary, like some canvas sneakers, in case we need to protect your dress shoes during the portrait session.
4. Go farm to table.
We’ve got a lot of great, fresh local food to take advantage of. Make a trip to the Farmer’s Market on a Saturday or Wednesday while you’re in the planning process and you’ll see what I mean. You can get local flowers (Stonecrop is great), local pizza (Dogtown in Floyd is amazing and even has a brick oven truck), local wine (Chateau Morisette, Attimo, and Beliveau Estate, among others), local chocolate (I love the fire and ice truffles from the Chocolate Spike) and much more.
5. Entertain your guests!
Downtown Blacksburg has some delicious restaurants (The Social House, Gillie’s, The Cellar, Cafe de Bangkok, and more), great shopping (especially if you want Hokie gear), and plenty to do. Check the schedule at the historic Lyric Theatre, the Moss Arts Center, and the new IMAX theatre for entertainment options. Play putt-putt, darts, pool, or go hiking. Kids enjoy the Blacksburg Children’s Museum, Hand in Hand playground, and nearby Claytor Lake State Park (it has a beach). And for breakfast, drive up North Main a bit and indulge in some fresh Carol Lee donuts. You’re also not far from Christiansburg’s fantastic aquatic center, the New River Valley Mall and nearby shopping, and local favorites like the Mockingbird Cafe & Bakery and The Summit. And if you’re up for going to Roanoke, you can ice skate, catch the symphony, check out the Taubman art museum, the science museum, and do lots of downtown shopping.
Blacksburg Wedding Venues
Whether you’re interested in a breezy (okay, wildly windy) outdoor affair or a more classic indoor event, Blacksburg and the New River Valley have you covered. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot at a number of distinct venues. Here is a summary of some of the Blacksburg area’s most popular wedding venues, along with links to recent posts about them.
Beliveau Estate is famous for its long lanes of lavender, its rustic yet elegant reception barn, and its wine. It’s a short drive out to the country side and beautiful, quiet location for your ceremony and reception.
The Hahn Gardens
The Hahn Horticulture Gardens are on the Virginia Tech campus and are one of Tech’s best kept secrets. They’re gorgeous and much quieter than the other parts of the university. There is an indoor pavilion available, as well well as at least two common ceremony sites.
The Duck Pond
The Virginia Tech Duck Pond is a popular destination for students and families, but it also has a beautiful, secluded amphitheater you might that never seen.
Smithfield Plantation is a 19th century plantation on the Virginia Tech campus, a little ways away from the main educational buildings and student gathering sites. They’ve recently added a covered pavilion for receptions, making it a great place to host your whole day.
Attimo Winery is located between Christiansburg and Radford, about half an hour from Blacksburg proper. It’s a new winery with a really nice indoor facility and a lovely covered ceremony site.
The Inn at Hans Meadow
Tucked away in a surprisingly secluded spot in Christiansburg, the Inn at Hans Meadow is one of my personal favorites. It’s small and lovely and has a lot garden space outside. Perfect for a smaller gathering, especially.
OK, I don’t think Buckeye Banjos is really in the wedding venue business for real, but the one event I shot here was so epic that I’m adding it to the list. If you like April and Clay’s wedding, it might be worth giving Buckeye a call and seeing if they’d host yours.
Sinkland Farms is located in Riner, about a half hour from Blacksburg, and it’s got a fantastic renovated barn and beautiful mountain views.
Just past Blacksburg on 460 is Giles County and the lovely Glen Alton. If you don’t mind being a little far out, it’s a beautiful, quiet place for a wedding ceremony with tons of portrait locations right there.
About a half hour from Blacksburg and just off I-81, Claytor Lake State Park is a popular wedding site and all-around fun place to spend the day. They’ve got a waterfront gazebo for ceremonies and a nice reception room overlooking the marina.
Rockwood Manor is just a quick jaunt down I-81 in Dublin, VA. It’s a historic home on a beautiful farm featuring mountain views, lovely indoor and outdoor settings, and a lot of country charm.
Other venues I’d love to connect you with:
Doe Creek Farm – Mountaintop orchard with a beautifully renovated barn for receptions.
Nesselrod on the New – A lovely little B&B with pretty gardens and the best gazebo in the area (those arches!).
Chateau Morissette – Highly regarded local winery outside of Floyd, Va.
Primland – A luxury resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains (oh my goodness, I would love to shoot here!)
The Inn at Riverbend – Another great B&B with amazing views of the New River and Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Palisades Restaurant – Excellent food, interesting location, and I’ve always thought this would be a hip place for a small reception.
The Inn at Virginia Tech – Large, roomy, and great place for a classic dinner and reception.
Blacksburg Country Club – Classic venue for wedding receptions, especially for golf fans.
The German Club Manor – Another classic reception site. Dark wood, big ballrooms, and pretty lawns outside.