Thank goodness no one has made me pick a favorite venue yet because that would be like choosing a favorite child or dog in my case! This week I’m bringing you a venue that is simply stunning from beginning to end. It is one of my top 3 favorites but I’m not saying anymore then that ;)! This week we are chatting with The Mill at Fine Creek. I was lucky enough to second shoot three weddings at the Mill with Mike Topham and I think I’ll be helping him out again in April for one more! My favorite thing about this venue is the gorgeous yummy light! I believe it is sent straight from Heaven because I have no idea how it can be so beautiful otherwise. Going through the photos today makes me want to be back out at the Mill shooting another wedding!!
1. Tell me about your wedding venue! (Name, location, # of guests you can accomodate, basic details, contact info, onsite coordinator, etc)
Venue is The Mill at Fine Creek, located on Rt. 711 just 8 miles west of 288. We can accommodate up to 225 guests for a cocktail/buffet reception, 180 guests for a seated buffet reception and 150 guests for a plated dinner. Or facility offers a bride’s changing room, guest cottage for the groomsmen to change, children’s room, wrap around deck on the back of the facility, large dance floor, and is handicap accessible. The owner of the facility (Lisa Benusa) is also the chef and takes special care in creating each menu specifically for each couple, with all items being prepared from scratch. Both Lisa and the on-site coordinator (Colleen Kimbrough) are aware of the couple’s individual concerns and take every measure to ensure that their day is perfect and flawless.
The facility can accommodate both ceremony and reception. Ceremonies can be held outdoors, but are able to be moved indoors if the weather does not permit. We do not charge for things such as tables, chairs, linens, silverware, glassware, cake cutting, etc. On your day the entire 10-acre site is exclusively yours. We never double book events and because of this, we do not do “time slots” for our weddings. On Saturdays and Sundays the site is exclusively yours from 11am to 11pm. On Fridays, you just can’t start your event until after 6pm to accommodate the rehearsals for the next two days. But, you are still able to be here as early as you’d like getting ready, having pictures done, etc. on that day. The ceremony can be held outside weather permitting and guests are welcome to enjoy the grounds, but the reception itself will be indoors and along the back deck.
Don’t forget to check them out on Facebook too!
2. Describe your ceremony and reception spaces!
Ceremonies can be held on the lawn in front of the 1735 mill ruins, or inside the ruins themselves. We can also hold ceremonies on the flagstones in front of the facility. Ceremonies can be moved indoors into the main room if needed, this can be a last minute decision. The indoor facility has a large main room with adjoining dance floor and seating along the dance floor as well. There are many other rooms including a bar, foyer area, music room with a piano where stationary appetizers are served and a sitting area with adjoining restrooms and access to the deck.
3. What makes your venue unique?
Our venue is unique in part due to the setting and history of Fine Creek Mills. The site is exclusive the day of the wedding and the photo opportunities on the grounds are amazing. Our location allows for people to feel close enough to the Richmond and surrounding areas but enjoy the quiet scenery of a more rural setting. While the Millers cottage and mill ruins are old and historic…the facility itself was built in 2004 specifically for weddings and special events, so you get the historic, old home feels with all the amenities of a new facility.
4. How can you help couples with planning their big day?
Lisa and I both pride ourselves in being able to help couples plan their day, exactly the way they would like it. We work very hard to accommodate their needs and be here to help them with every step along the way. When a bride calls or emails they know it will be Lisa, Mark or myself here to answer their questions. I am here as the onsite coordinator to help brides plan their big day and make sure that it all comes together and runs smoothly for the rehearsal and day of the wedding.
5. Is there anything else you’d like brides and grooms to know about your venue?
We have won Reception Site, Best of The Knot for 2010, 2011, and 2012 and were also voted a top reception site for Wedding Wire this Year!
From a photographers perspective I’ve already told you how yummy the light is at the Mill and hopefully you can see that in the images below! There are tons of great places to shoot and I know I’ve only covered a fraction of them at previous weddings. Inside the ruins of the mill is a great spot for pre-ceremony portraits because it is tucked away from guests and the getting ready locations. I’d love to do a first look there someday! The ceremony location is perfect up against the backdrop of the mill with the sun coming through the trees. Mike showed me that the flagstones in the courtyard is perfect for large bridal party portraits because is perfect open shade with light bouncing from the flagstones onto the subjects. Position it right and there is gorgeous filtered back-lighting through the trees! Once the sun starts to set head over the creek for beautiful photos with the water winding by. Did I mention there are tons of amazing locations for photos?!?! Check out a smorgasbord of images from the 3 weddings I photographed there last year.
The grooms getting ready cottage and the main reception space.
The brides dress hanging in the reception space and a view of the getting ready room!
Inside the ruins of the mill.
Seriously I can’t tell you enough how much I love the light here! I want to scoop it up and carry it around in my pocket always!
Melissa Arlena Photography is an award winning wedding, newborn, maternity, anniversary, engagement, lifestyle and family photographer in Fredericksburg, Virginia and surrounding areas. Ready to book your session? Contact me now for more information!