Say “I Do” To Wedding Season

A busy wedding season is already underway and many area venues are gearing up for the summer season in West Virginia.

Adaland Mansion is located four miles north of downtown Philippi. It is a historic 1870 home, which was built by emancipated slaves that worked on the farm, that opened to the public in 1998. Since then, several weddings and events have been held at the estate, which is the previous home of Supreme Court Judge Ira Robinson in 1920. It was named Adaland after Robinson’s wife, Ada. 

The venue host events throughout the year, including a Mother’s Day Buffet, High Tea and the Adaland Quilt Show and Bed Turning, among other events, and provide a variety of services for their wedding venue rentals, which cost $2,750, according to Adaland Wedding Director Penny Booth.

“I enjoy the people coming for tours, being able to do their history and being able to make them laugh and smile and just have a good time while they’re here. And when they leave, they feel like they stepped back in time and got a picture of the 1800’s,” House Hostess Betty Carr said. 

For weddings, the provide linen tablecloths and silverware, set up tables inside, in the garden and at the pavilion and have an in-house caterer. The price includes access to the mansion from 12 to 7 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday on the renter’s wedding day. 

On April 24, they had an open house for future brides looking for their “perfect wedding venue.” Visitors toured the mansion and talked to vendors including wedding planners, DJs and a live painter along with Adaland employees. 

Bride to be Gina Scaffer had already scheduled her wedding at the mansion for June 4 but attended the open house to talk with vendors and look around with her family members. She is originally from Grafton, but lives in Philippi with her fiancé. She’s known she wanted to get married at Adaland Mansion since she was 11 years old.

“I had a cousin on my dad’s side that got married here and when I went to that wedding. It was the prettiest wedding I’d ever been to. I was like ‘that’s where I’m having my wedding.’ It looked like a fairy tale,” Scaffer said.

Charles and Haley Hayes of Thunder Entertainment have been deejays for five years, wedding and event planners Carmella and Brian Irwin from Infinity Studios started event planning in 2016 and Leah Seaman from Artabella Gallery does live event painting and studio portraits were available in the pavilion for brides to talk with. 

The Adaland Mansion offers a bride and groom suite for the bride and bridesmaids and groom and groomsmen to get ready in. The Bridal Suite is Scaffer’s favorite part.

There is also a “Bridal Lending Closet,” which Booth set up for brides and grooms to use if they have any last minute decorating needs. The closet used to be a suite for visitors to stay in, when they were visiting the mansion, but now it is used to house extra decorations that Booth has purchased or items that have been given to her by former bridal parties. Booth said she adds to it weekly.

There is one Air BNB in Philippi where wedding guests could stay, but most bridal party guests stay in Bridgeport, which is approximately 20 to 25 minutes away, Booth said.

“My favorite part of my job is being part of the couple’s most important day of their life, other than having children. I’m very honored just to be a part of that,” Booth said.

The Adaland Mansion opened for the season on May 1 and provided free entry and tours all day. 

“Seeing our brides just radiant, and seeing the guests going ‘Aw,’ and the setting of the wedding, and everything is my favorite part,” Carr said.

“Weddings are fantastic. I’m probably right up there with weddings. I think also, for me personally, just myself, is actually working in the house and being the caretaker of the house is a dear part of my job,” Adaland Mansion Executive Director Jolynn Powers said.

Highgate Carriage House

The Highgate Carriage House is located in Fairmont. It was the carriage house, or horse stable, to the Highgate Estate, now Ross Funeral Home, when it was built in 1904. Highgate Carriage House was actually the first heated stable in the United States, according to Tyler Kovar, an event coordinator at Highgate.

The carriage house offers access to the pond and fountain area, lawns and inside the carriage house. Inside the carriage house can hold receptions for under 140 people, but an outdoor tent can be added for an additional price to hold up to 300 people, according to Kovar. 

Prices depend on the season and time of rental, but they provide round, rectangle and buffet-style tables and chairs. Renters can choose to have access to the carriage house for Friday and Saturday or Friday through Sunday morning. Kovar said renting until Sunday can be really helpful because the clean up does not need to be done at the end of the wedding, it can be done the next day. 

Highgate provides brides and grooms with a resource list of all of the vendors and caterers that have worked at the carriage house. He said this is helpful for anyone not from the area who might not know which restaurants are available for catering. 

Kovar said he loves getting to work with the couples, whether they are excited or nervous. He likes being able to help them with anything they need. 

“It’s kind of my job to be like, ‘What can I do for you,’ you know, and to kind of keep everything calm and keep the grounds nice. So, when they get here, we’ve done our job. So they walk in and all they have to do is decorate and have a good time,” Kovar said.

Other Venues

Other wedding venues in the area include Crystalline Events, 4T Arena Events and Stone House Lavender. 

“I’m just so excited to have this special day with my fiance and have all the time with the bridesmaids. I just know it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Scaffer said. 

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