When do I begin planning the wedding?
Once we receive the signed contract and the deposit, we will schedule a telephone conference to discuss some of the details of the ceremony and reception. At that time, we will discuss the table configuration for the reception, linen and napkin colors. Once we have this information, we will provide you with a diagram of the tent that shows the layout of your guest tables, dance floor, stage, service tables, etc. to scale. This can be a helpful tool to assist you in forming a seating arrangement.
What role will Chestnut Hill play on your wedding day?
The staff at Chestnut Hill is available to assist you in facilitating the wedding ceremony. We offer a rehearsal prior to the ceremony and our staff is available to assist in coordinating the bridal processional and recessional. We also facilitate the music for the ceremony utilizing the sound system that is provided in our inclusive packages. After the ceremony, the flow of events for the reception is typically dictated by either a DJ, designated wedding attendee or a wedding planner. A Chestnut Hill staff member will be available for tent related assistance throughout the evening.
Do you have space for indoor and outdoor ceremonies?
Most of our wedding ceremonies are held outdoors at the wedding site in front of the 15’ spray fountain and romantic Greek columns on the lush green lawns. Ceremonies can also be held under the 60’ x 50’ structural reception tent as it is designed to meet the 90 mph inclement weather code. The clear sides are easy to simply zip down to make the ceremony and reception safe and dry. We have also installed a hardwood surface that is completely covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting. We also offer indoor ceremonies in the parlor, library and foyer for smaller parties in the winter months.
Do you offer discounts?
Unlike most bed & breakfast venues, we recognize that there can be more or less value for the day of the week and the time of the year. We offer discounted prices for weekdays and Sunday weddings as well as less sought after months of the year. We also offer a discount on the accommodations if all six of the guest rooms are booked for a minimum of two consecutive nights.
Are my rates guaranteed?
Chestnut Hill’s rates are always subject to change, however, once a contract is signed, your package price and the price of the optional accommodations is locked-in at the current price. The only extra expenses you may incur would be for optional amenities that you may add, additions to your guest count, or contingency options due to inclement weather (i.e., heaters, fans, etc.).
Are we required to set up and tear down tables & chairs for our ceremony and reception? Who is responsible for the clean-up?
Chestnut Hill’s inclusive wedding package provides for set up and tear down of all event furnishings, coordination of all amenities, and clean up so that you can focus on enjoying your wedding. The only clean up that we are not responsible for is the wedding debris. Typically, the reception cleanup and trash removal is disposed of by your catering company (i.e., disposable plateware, cans & bottles, napkins, etc.). It is important to clarify this with your caterer and confirm that it is written in your catering contract. In the event that the wedding debris is not removed, there will be a $150 service fee. If you bring personal items with you, you are asked to remove them directly after the wedding. Chestnut Hill cannot be responsible for any items left on the property beyond your rental period. Accordingly, we do not recommend that you drop off personal belongings or event items (including bar beverages) prior to your contracted arrival time, however; you can do so with prior approval with the understanding that Chestnut Hill cannot be responsible for items left unattended on the property.
How long is our rental of Chestnut Hill and are there times set for weddings?
Our single day wedding packages are based on nine (9) hour blocks of time generally from 2:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. Additional hours may be purchased in advance for $200 per hour based upon availability. Events must end no later than 11:30 p.m. All persons involved with the wedding are required to depart the house and grounds prior to 11:30 p.m. to avoid overtime charges. Early arrivals and late departures by the wedding party, guests, and/or vendors will result in a charge against your security deposit at the rate of $50 per 15 minute increments.
Do you provide time for a wedding rehearsal before the wedding?
An optional wedding ceremony rehearsal is available between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. If this option is selected, it is recommended that the actual wedding ceremony not start prior to 5:00 p.m.
Do you have rooms available for the bridal party to dress?
We offer our Bridal Suite that includes a makeup station, bar & lounge area and restroom for the bridal party to prepare for the ceremony. The groom and his groomsman have use of our Groom’s Den that includes a 62” plasma television, pub area and two guest rooms.
How long can we use the dressing rooms on our wedding day?
You have access to both Emily Macon's Bridal Suite (includes make-up station and bar & lounge area) and the Groom’s Den (includes two guest rooms) prior to the wedding ceremony. The Bridal Suite and Groom’s Den must be vacated immediately following the wedding ceremony. It will be your responsibility to assign an individual to ensure all contents are removed and transported to the Library on the first floor of Chestnut Hill. If you choose to purchase overnight accommodations in the Emily Macon Bridal Suite and both lower level rooms (Ask Anna and Kate’s Coincidence), removal of such contents shall not be required.
Can I have candles under the reception tent?
Votive candles and other candles enclosed in hurricane glass are okay to have under the tent.
Are tables, chairs and linens included in the package?
Chestnut Hill’s packages include the essentials for your ceremony and reception. White ceremony chairs, Chiavari reception chairs, guest tables & service tables, floor-length polyester table linens and napkins.
Is there ample parking and easy access for my guests?
Valet parking or shuttle service is included in all of our wedding packages. Your guests will feel like a V.I.P. when they are greeted at the top of the drive by a professional valet parking attendant. In lieu of the valet service, shuttle service is an optional alternative when many of the guests are staying at local hotels and inns.
Can we have music and dancing?
A Baltimore Cherry dance floor and special effects lighting are included in our wedding packages for dancing under the stars until 11:30 p.m.
Can I choose my own caterer?
You may choose from our list of preferred caterers or any other catering company that is licensed and insured.
Is alcohol allowed? Can we have a bar?
Alcohol is permitted at your wedding until 30 minutes prior to the closing time at 11:30 p.m. However, unless you are purchasing your alcohol from a licensed caterer that has a current Virginia ABC License, you will need to obtain a Special Event Banquet License from the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Department. The following is a link to the VA ABC Special Event Banquet License application on their site: http://www.abc.virginia.gov/licensing/banquet.htm. It generally only takes a few weeks to process your online application, however; we recommend applying at least 60 days in advance to avoid any last minute issues. A Serpentine bar table and back bar table are provided and will be draped with black floor-length polyester linens and are included in all of our inclusive packages.
Are there restrictions regarding your Pet Friendly Policy?
Chestnut Hill allows pets to participate in weddings, however; for their safety, they must be in the care of an appointed handler at all times. Your pet must be kept on a leash and you are responsible for removing waste from the grounds, cleaning up all accidents and making sure the pet behaves in an orderly manner. Damage to the grounds or property by your pet may result in a charge against your security deposit. We can recommend a pet sitter and taxi service to assist you with your pet on your wedding day.
Do children account as guests?
All children must be accompanied by and under the direct supervision of parents or other guardians at all times while attending an event at Chestnut Hill. Although Chestnut Hill cannot be responsible for the care, safety, or behavior of children during your event, you can hire babysitters for onsite services. You may consider special seating or programs for children attending your ceremony and reception. Children count as a guest only if they occupy a chair. Only infants under two years old who are held by parent do not count as a guest.
Do you have a smoking policy?
As a historic home, Chestnut Hill is a non-smoking facility. No smoking is allowed on the porches or inside any part of the house. Outdoor smoking areas will be designated to accommodate smokers. Damages to linens and furnishings resulting from cigarette or cigar burns will be deducted from your security deposit equal to the full cost of the damaged item.
What is your deposit and payment policy?
A 25% nonrefundable deposit is required to reserve a date at Chestnut Hill. The balance is due no later than 30 days prior to your wedding event.
What do I need to know if I want to have our Rehearsal Dinner at Chestnut Hill?
Should you choose to host your Rehearsal Dinner at Chestnut Hill on the evening prior to your wedding, there are several items to consider when planning your event.
- In order to host a Rehearsal Dinner at Chestnut Hill, you must have purchased a “Weekend Wedding Package” and not a “Single Day Wedding Package.”
- The event must be managed by the bride and groom, or, by an outside caterer. Please refer to the following link for our Catering Guidelines: http://www.sayiwillatchestnuthill.com/cateringguidelines
- Groups of 20 or more guests should plan to have an outdoor event on the grounds. The reception tent, along with the tables and chairs may be used for this purpose, however, this is an unstaffed event. Therefore, the hosting party will be responsible for moving and replacing all of the tables and chairs to their original location. There will also be a fee for re-cleaning the tent for the next day’s event. It should be noted that brides & grooms frown on use of the tent due to the fact that they don’t want to “steal the thunder” of their wedding day.
- Linens, napkins and all other service ware will need to be provided by the hosting party.
- If alcohol is being served to guests that are not lodging at Chestnut Hill, an additional Virginia ABC Special Event License must be obtained for the date of the rehearsal dinner. This license can be obtained at: http://www.abc.virginia.gov/licensing/banquet.htm
- The inn has a limited parking area that cannot accommodate large numbers of vehicles. If parking for more than 10 cars is needed, it is required that the bride & groom hire valet or shuttle service to alleviate congestion by providing offsite parking for the attendees. Please call us to arrange for this service.
Due to the additional fees, labor and services required, most brides and grooms do not find having the additional event on the premises cost effective. There are several local restaurants that specialize in this type of gathering and some have private rooms to host your event. Please call or e-mail us for more information or if you’d like us to e-mail our preferred restaurant list.
What is Wedding / Special Event Liability insurance?
Wedding / Special Event Liability Insurance is a specialty insurance policy designed to indemnify the named insured and/or Bride and Groom from certain types of claims arising from accidents taking place during the wedding, reception, and rehearsal. Subject to the specific coverage terms, conditions and exclusions, it offers protection for the wedding couple for damage to the facility caused by a guest or vendor, bodily injury to guests they are found liable for, and alcohol-related accidents they are found liable for. A Special Event Liability Event Policy must be purchased at least 24 hours before your wedding. It can be purchased up to 2 years in advance of the wedding date.
Does Chestnut Hill Require Wedding Insurance?
Yes, Chestnut Hill requires Wedding Insurance with coverage limits of not less than $1 million combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage.
Where Can I Purchase Wedding Insurance?
Before purchasing a separate liability insurance policy, you should check to see if your current homeowners insurance covers a wedding and what the requirements are. There are companies that specialize in wedding insurance such as Wedsafe, Wedsure, and www.theeventhelper.com. Insurance can also be obtained through traditional insurance companies such as Traveler’s, Nationwide, and Markel Insurance as well as others.