Weddings Frequently Asked Questions...
1. Is Oatlands just a wedding venue?
- No. Oatlands Historic House & Garden is a National Trust for Historic Preservation co-stewardship site. The house, built in 1804, sits within the original 3,400-acre estate. Thirty years after the American Civil War, the Carter family sold Oatlands. William Corcoran Eustis, and his wife Edith Livingston Morton Eustis, bought the home in 1903. Their children donated the house and 261 acres to the National Trust in 1965. The property now consists of 415 acres.
- Oatlands has operated as a wedding venue for over 30 years and also hosts showers, birthday parties, private teas, and more!
2. Is Oatlands open to the public?
- Yes. Oatlands is open to the public April- December every day Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., and Sundays 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
- For this reason, weddings do not typically begin until after 5 o’clock to ensure a wonderful visit for our guests, and a perfect day for our bridal parties.
3. Do I need to make an appointment with a Special Events Coordinator to view the property?
- No. If you wish to view the property without a member of the special events team, please stop at the Carriage House Visitor Center and pick up a white admissions sticker for the property- please keep in mind that this sticker does not include entrance to the historic mansion.
- Please note that the property is closed to visitation January through March. During this time, an appointment is required.
4. What is the typical wedding at Oatlands like?
- Typically, couples choose to have their ceremony in the lower garden, cocktails in the upper gardens, and a reception in either the carriage house, under the Oatlands pavilion, or tented on the front lawn of the mansion. Oatlands is also available for those searching for ceremony only, or reception only sites.
5. What ceremony sites are available at Oatlands?
- The most popular ceremony sites are the Boxwood Parterre, and the Sundial Parterre within Oatlands’ formal gardens. More intimate ceremonies (with a smaller guest count) do have more options throughout the garden. From our manicured gardens to the fields, we have plenty of options to suit your unique style.
6. How many people can your ceremony sites accommodate?
- The Boxwood Parterre seats about 250 guests.
- The Sundial Parterre seats about 250 guests.
- Mansion Front Lawn seats about 100 guests.
7. What reception sites are available?
- For smaller wedding parties (75 people or less), the Carriage House is perfect.
- Tented on the front lawn can accommodate, via different tent packages, up to 250 guests.
- The Oatlands Pavilion is suitable for weddings with up to 250 guests.
8. Is the historic mansion available for events?
- Yes, however, because the home operates as a historic house museum, restrictions do apply.
- The Drawing Room supports no more than 30 people.
- Menus must be approved by Oatlands staff in order to protect our historic home. For example, red wine, powedered sugar, and excessively greasy foods are prohibited.
9. What does the site rental fee include?
- Use of the agreed upon areas of the property as stated in your contract.
- Ceremony rehearsal.
- Rooms for both bride, and groom to prepare.
- Access to the gardens and grounds for photography.
- 2.5-hour set up.
- 1-hour breakdown.
- 5-hour event timeline includes your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.
- Available inventory of tables and chairs for both ceremony and reception.
- An Oatlands point-of-contact (a member of our Special Events team) to rely on throughout your planning process.
- An Oatlands day-of coordinator to ensure that your event runs smoothly, and to coordinate the arrival and set-up of vendors day-of.
10. What is the typical 5-hour rental?
- Either 5:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. Events at Oatlands end by 11:00 p.m. in order to adhere to Loudoun County’s sound ordinance. Time extensions may be added for an additional fee.
11. Does getting ready on-site or cleaning up after my wedding count toward my 5-hour rental?
- No. Generally, bridal parties may arrive up to 2.5 hours before the ceremony begins to prepare, and vendors require roughly an hour to breakdown- This time does not count toward your 5-hour rental.
12. Is a safety deposit required?
- Yes. Oatlands requires a $500 check made out to Oatlands, Inc. This check is held until the day following the scheduled event, and given that no damage is sustained, the check is returned to you or destroyed.
13. Is event insurance required?
- Yes. Oatlands requires a certificate of insurance with personal liability coverage of $1,000,000 per occurence, $300,000 for "damages to premises rented," and said policy shall claim Oatlands as an additional insured party.
14. Will there be more than one ceremony/reception on the same day/at the same time?
- No. Oatlands does not double-book. The only exception is the possibility of a morning ceremony on the same day as an evening ceremony/reception, and these events do not overlap.
15. Does Oatlands have a preferred vendor list?
- Yes. Oatlands has an exclusive list of caterers, and an exclusive tenting vendor. This list is found under the 'Exclusive Vendor' tab.
16. Is the site handicap accessible?
- Oatlands Historic House & Garden is predominantly an outdoor venue with gravel (of various grades) and dirt paths. There are also stone steps and sloping earth within the garden. The historic mansion is not wheelchair accessible.
- For guests for whom mobility is an issue, we do have handicap parking in our main parking lot, or, for events held on the front lawn, parking available nearby. We also encourage guests to drop their loved ones as close to the ceremony/reception site as possible prior to parking.
- You may request a property map in advance to share with drivers so they know where to park. This is especially useful as most guests have never been to the property before.
17. Is there a ‘ready room’ or dressing room available to the bridal party?
- Yes. We have two spaces available- one is the meeting room of our Administration Building, the other is the “Council Room” in the basement of the historic mansion. Both have access to a restroom, and kitchen, if needed.
18. Can I reserve a date?
- Dates can only be held with a signed letter of agreement and a nonrefundable deposit of 50% of the total site fee.
19. What happens if it rains on my wedding day?
- Oatlands, and your chosen caterer will keep an eye on the weather radar and if inclement weather is unavoidable, the decision is yours. Some couples choose to get married in the rain, OR we use the reception site- this can be the tent on the front lawn, or the carriage house for the ceremony. Typically, the rehearsal is held the day before the big day, so if we know the weather may be poor, we can plan and practice ahead of time.