Virginia is for Elopement Lovers

Weddings at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley are as varied as the couples who say “I do” here. Some weddings have been nearly two years in the planning while others have taken place just over 48 hours after the decision to get married was made.

By Catherine Bogaty, MSV Special Events Manager

Some MSV weddings are lavish, large affairs with hundreds in attendance, others are private, intimate ceremonies with just the wedding couple and officiant.

When you hear the word “elope”, do visions of a drive-through wedding chapel in Vegas come to mind? That option exists, but couples are eloping in a wide variety of scenic locations and destinations for a variety of reasons.

While eloping isn’t new, the elopement trend is growing; in fact, a recent survey of millennials cited on The Knot reported that 91 percent of those surveyed would consider eloping for their wedding.

When you think of weddings at the MSV, would you envision an outdoor elopement ceremony in January? Check out these gorgeous pictures of just that! Photographer Genevieve Leiper captured the magic of this intimate moment beautifully.

I am sharing these pictures to illustrate the flexibility of the MSV for weddings and to encourage brides- and grooms-to-be to think outside the box for your wedding. Magic can happen in the off-season and at untraditional weddings. A couple in love, a beautiful venue, and a talented photographer can result in an unforgettable experience and winter garden photos that rival those of a June outdoor wedding.

The MSV’s seven acres of gardens offer so many options for small weddings. If you are saving for a house or honeymoon, there are budget options, too. Consider tying the knot outside of peak season (April to October) or on a Sunday or weekday.

Interested in learning more about eloping? Check out The Knot’s guide on how to plan an elopement HERE and look into the one-stop-shop at If eloping is on your mind, we'd love to hear from you! See more MSV wedding pictures HERE, or fill out an inquiry form.

Published Date: 
Friday, February 28, 2020