57 User photos
Cathy T. · Getting married on 11/10/2021
Fall Wedding at Highland
We held our daughter’s October wedding at Highland. It was the perfect venue for a fall wedding! The venue offers multiple options to hold the outdoor wedding ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. Each of options are beautiful and provide space for small to large events. Our guests loved the views. The event staff was exceptional in the care they took in responding to questions prior to the event, preparing the venue for the wedding and ensuring the day of the event went as planned. Highly recommend!Sent on 11/02/2020
Ahmad E. · Married on 06/05/2021
Outdoor weddings are palatable again!
My wife and I flew in from Houston, TX to venue-shop in person. While this may speaks to the level of privilege we must have had, bear in mind that this was 60 days before our slated wedding date and we were scrambling. It was surprisingly difficult to secure a stable venue that fit our needs. For the uninitiated, the Muslim wedding we had planned was small and simple - 50 people, a 20 minute ceremony, and a dinner. No alcohol. No music. No dancing. That being said, the mountainous summer hills of central Virginia did not seem willing to accommodate us.Sent on 06/21/2021
Until we met Jason at James Monroe's Highland. As a fellow UVA-grad, he understood the appeal of an outdoor wedding near the old stomping grounds. Monticello was simply too busy for us, but Jason was wide open! We booked not 1, but 2 outdoor spaces for our separate ceremony and dinner events. The Blue Ridge Terrace was picturesque, with a backdrop of sprawling mountains over a mottled wheat field. The hedged-in space felt cozy and secluded, with towering trees providing ample shade. We were blessed with an overcast day much to the delight of our photographer, who needed no arch to frame us beautifully against the white fence at the edge of the arena. I could go on about the Narnia-like walk from the car to each venue, spiraling through a well-signed labyrinth of flora and fauna, or the vast, sheltered Pavilion upon which we dined, but I think you get the idea.
The point is that Jason was welcoming, accommodating. He understood our circumstance and helped in the ways that he could. He connected us with key vendors, measured spaces at our behest, and trusted us to care for his beloved property the day and night of our event. I could not ask for a better groundskeeper and host. We plan to renew our vows here in the not-too-distant future!
The cost was inconsequential and the value of the experience invaluable. I am glad that they ask for a donation; I feel like I am contributing both to the next happy couple's wedding and to the preservation of central Virginia heritage. We saw some seriously gorgeous venues in the area, but we could not imagine getting married anywhere besides James Monroe's Highland.
Sophia S. · Married on 10/05/2019
Beautiful wedding venue with lovely staff
My husband and I got married at Highland in October. We had our ceremony in the Blue Ridge Yard and our reception in the Pavilion. The venue is beautiful and the views are amazing -- we got so many compliments from our guests. Most importantly, everyone that we talked to from Highland was so easy to work with! Over the course of planning our wedding, we had many, many questions and the folks we worked with were always so quick to respond and very patient in answering all of our questions.Sent on 12/06/2019
Elyssa · Married on 09/28/2019
GORGEOUS (And Affordable)
First- the photographer featured is Restoring Moore (Alex Moore) and she’s on Wedding Wire too!!)
JMH is the most stunning place for an outdoor wedding - stop reading this review and go visit it and I promise you will be blow away! It is wonderfully affordable, especially for Charlottesville, but keep in mind you will need a coordinator as one does not come with the venue. You will also need to rent additional restrooms if you have 200+ people, and make sure that you’re caterer can utilize the facilities as is (so make sure your caterer visits the venue first before you sign them!) Regardless, you can’t beat the views :)Sent on 10/23/2019
Susan B. · Married on 06/22/2019
Ceremony and Reception Venue
Beautiful venue with helpful staff! It was the perfect spot for us- we loved it!Sent on 07/13/2019
Jacqueline · Married on 05/04/2019
Stunning location, rain or shine!
James Monroe's Highland is a beautiful space! They have numerous outdoor locations for the ceremony and cocktail hour. The pavilion was perfect for our reception, even though it rained a bit (thankfully later that night so the ceremony still took place outside), there are flaps you can rent that work perfectly. Addie (who has left) and Frankie (who took over a few months before the wedding) were a joy to work with. They were very responsive to questions about what was and wasn't allowed. Putting up our own bistro lights in the pavilion was very helpful and cost saving. The 'bridal suite' is ok, but I ended up deciding to get ready elsewhere. The indoor rain plan - a two story event barn - would have worked for us if we needed it to. We happened to have done our tour while it was raining, so seeing the rain plan before booking was great. The only complaint we really received from guests is that the bathrooms are far away, but Highland is looking to add some up near the pavilion in the future. the venue was a dream for my wedding. It doesn't hurt that a good chunk of the fee is tax deductible too. (Photo credit to Amanda Maglione)Sent on 06/10/2019
Caroline · Married on 11/17/2018
Fantastic place to get married!
Highland was a wonderful choice for us. First of all, the price was manageable for our large wedding. We knew we'd have up to 200 guests and they were a beautiful location with indoor and outdoor spaces for use that could accommodate our number. Addie was our main point of contact for booking and she was so nice, responsive and low-maintenance! Holly was our on-site contact and was incredibly helpful. They worked with us on some quirky aspects - like having skee-ball and foosball at our cocktail hour - and were flexible in giving us access to store various items overnight since they didn't have an event booked the night before our wedding. They were also helpful in making it accessible for my handicapped grandfather. Some of the recent/upcoming improvements (potable water on-site, a concrete slab for the catering vendors behind the pavilion) are just going to make it more and more attractive as a venue. And did I mention that it's STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS? We had our ceremony outside on Nov 17 and the leaves and light looked beautiful on a 54-degree day. We had the ceremony in the peacock yard, cocktail hour in the event barn, and the reception at the pavilion. There's basically no spot on the property that doesn't make for great photos.Sent on 11/30/2018
Chelsea · Married on 10/06/2018
This venue is one of the most beautiful wedding destinations in Charlottesville, and is easy to work with, while not breaking the bank! Emilia and the rest of the event staff at James Monroe's Highland are very responsive, helpful, and professional. I am a wedding planner and coordinator based out of Richmond, and it is crucial to have a supportive venue when making plans for clients. If you want a historic venue with gorgeous views at a great price, look no further!Sent on 01/12/2018
Catherine · Married on 09/29/2018
This is the most gorgeous, dreamiest venue with so much natural beauty! Our guests were obsessed with this hidden treasure of a venue. Addie and her team were so easy to work with.Sent on 10/09/2018
Rachel · Married on 06/30/2018
I am so grateful to Ash-Lawn and Addie (Ash-Lawn's coordinator) for the most amazing wedding. Every inch of the venue is beautiful. The winding driveways, gardens, historic buildings, and mountain backdrop made for the most stunning views and photos. The guided house tour during cocktail hour was a favorite for so many of our guests. Addie was flexible, calm, and did everything possible to make our wedding special. I wouldn't change one thing!Sent on 08/02/2018
Megan · Married on 04/21/2018
We had the most incredible time working with Addie and the entire team at Highland. We were able to access the site several times in the months leading up to the wedding, the staff answered any questions we had and the property could not be more beautiful! Our guests were so amazed by the views and the gorgeous Virginia landscapes. I would recommend this venue to anyone looking to have a beautiful outdoor Virginia setting for their wedding. There were so many beautiful backdrops for photos. We couldn't imagine a more perfect place to get married!Sent on 05/29/2018
Kelly · Married on 10/08/2017
We loved having our wedding at Highland! Our experience could not have been better.Sent on 01/24/2018
Harriet · Married on 05/31/2015
Ash Lawn-Highland is a dream venue at which to be married. The ash tree lined drive to the house makes for the most beautiful photos along with all of the gardens and mountain views. There are areas for any size ceremony and the reception pavilion is within walking distance. One of the best touches is that while the bridal party is taking photos, guests can chose to tour the Monroe house if they chose. The staff is very polite and easy to work with making Ash Lawn-Highland an ideal location to have a wedding.Sent on 06/10/2015
Megan · Married on 06/28/2014
Ash Lawn-Highland is absolutely beautiful and Brittany Harton was a wonderful site coordinator. She was extremely responsive which only made our experience that more wonderful and special to us. Vendors had great accessibility to our reception site on the property and the grounds were absolutely beautiful. It was an unforgettable day overall, and we couldn't be happier to have gotten married at Ash Lawn!!Sent on 07/15/2014
User4249948 · 2+ years ago
Ash Lawn-Highland was very accommodating to our needs and were flexible regarding the start time of our event. The location is a great value as it is competitively priced and the whole property is available to you for the day. We used one lawn for the ceremony, another for games, and the wonderful pavilion for our reception, which could also serve as a great rain location. It was very reassuring having that safety net as we did have summer storm clouds on our wedding day.Sent on 07/15/2014
User4260827 · 2+ years ago
The staff at Ash Lawn-Highland match their venue - pleasant, easy, accommodating. If ALH is your venue choice because of its mix of beauty and vibe, you will not be disappointed by the attentive and professional staff. Book early :)Sent on 07/19/2014
Sarah · Married on 07/06/2013
We absolutely love James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland. My husband and I visit president's homes as a hobby and literally fell in love with Ash Lawn the first time we visited. A few years later, after my future husband proposed at Monticello.... we booked Ash Lawn as our wedding venue that week! Baylor is simply the best!! He did everything we needed and was in contact with us throughout the process! If you are a history buff looking for the perfect place.... pick Ash Lawn-Highland. No president's home compares!!!!!! Happiest days of our life was at this beautiful location! All of our guests said it was the most amazing wedding they have ever been to.... one guest said, "every nook and cranny is simply gorgeous"Sent on 07/11/2013
Nikki · Married on 09/10/2011
LOVED LOVED LOVED Ash Lawn. Baylor was extremely responsive and helpful leading up to my wedding. Everything went perfectly and my guests were awed by the grounds. I couldn't recommend it more!Sent on 10/04/2011
Keri · Married on 08/14/2010
Baylor Reinhart was our contact person at Ash Lawn - Highland and he was wonderful. He was VERY responsive and did everything he could to make sure our day was what we wanted (including accepting Fed Ex deliveries in the days before the wedding as we were planning our wedding from out-of-town). He also inspired some serious confidence when he told me that he had helped organize 132 weddings that were held at the outdoor venue without rain during the ceremony. It is breathtakingly beautiful venue and there is only one rule: no sparklers. Although this venue is expensive there are three important points about the cost 1) the majority of the fee charged is a tax-deductible donation; 2) because the venue is so beautiful, you only need minimal flowers and other decore - i.e. it is different than decorating a hotel ball room; 3) you can have the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception in different areas of the venue (the estate is large), so you don't have to incur the additional cost of a donation to a church, or renting an additional room for child care (we had child care in the air-conditioned conference room that has a great patio and yard for the kids to play), and you can avoid hosting the cocktail hour in the hallway outside the hotel ball room.Sent on 08/31/2010
Although the venue is truly amazing, it is a bit more rustic than most - meaning that you need to build a good team of vendors that are familiar with the venue so you don't get bogged down with the logistics. For example, I would definitely consider 20 South as your caterer as they have their own catering kitchen (a much needed asset at Ash Lawn - Highlands that many other caterers must rent and they pass on the cost to you) and they know the size and number of plastic curtains that you may consider renting in case of rain during the reception. 20 South also handles all the rental orders for linens, china, etc., for you at cost (Ash Lawn has tables you can use, but the chairs are a little beat up so you may consider renting them).
The last (and probably most important) aspect of this venue is the freedom they give you to make a memorable event. Our wedding was on a Saturday and we were the only wedding of the weekend. We showed up on Thursday morning and clean-up did not occur until Sunday, Baylor was not only OK with our extended use of the property, but encouraged it by saying "The place is yours, use all of it and do what you will - but no sparklers!"
We would recommend this gorgeous, historic venue without hesitation!
Sharon · Married on 11/05/2017
Ash Lawn was the perfect wedding venue for us! Our wedding was on a Sunday in the Event barn in November. The staff was easy to work with, highly responsive, and helped us talk through any questions we had along the way. Our guests were wowed with the beautiful views and historic setting. Since the property is historic, though, there are some quirks and specific rules to follow. That wasn't a problem for us, though, and we found Ash Lawn to be well worth the value! Would highly recommend!Sent on 01/28/2018
Dana · Married on 04/23/2016
We absolutely loved our Ash Lawn-Highland wedding (officially now, James Monroe's Highland). The setting was absolutely stunning and a great way to show off Charlottesville as well as a bit of history to out of town guests. Guests are able to tour the house during cocktail hour. There are multiple options for your ceremony and cocktail hour. One of my top priorities is making sure there was a "back-up" location for the ceremony if it rained, which Ash Lawn offered.Sent on 05/08/2016
For their 2016 package, they made quite a few updates including ability to chose color of ceremony/reception chairs (a big upgrade from the previous chairs), a dance floor for the pavilion, and option to use tent sidings if needed (which, we ended up using). The price did go up for 2016, but in pricing out rentals and considering hassle it made sense for us. An added bonus was a week before our wedding they painted the pavilion beams. It now looks incredibly bright and updated:)
Brittany, the site coordinator, is amazing. She incredibly sweet, flexible and responsive. She always responded to her emails in a timely manner. She was wonderful about answering questions and providing suggestions based on previous weddings/events. She's also great about setting up walk-thru's with vendors or just time for the Bride/Groom to check out the venue (again and again!). I highly recommend a day-of-coordinator as Brittany serves as just the site coordinator. It gave us peace of mind that everything would flow smoothly, and if anything did come up, it was being handled by someone other than the Bride/Groom and/or the families.
For the future Bride: It can be very windy up on the mountain. This may be something you take into consideration for your table decorations and your escort/place cards. By far the only negative was the bathrooms. Despite signs and the lawn lights, some guests still had trouble. I'd recommend extra lighting for the path and having your DJ make an announcement.
Katherine · Married on 06/13/2015
Ash Lawn was the perfect venue for our wedding. Brittany, the event coordinator, was extremely helpful and encouraging as we were planning our wedding, and worked with us when we changed our ceremony and reception locations - several times! The property is beautiful and is a really great deal compared to similar venues in the area. Since Ash Lawn is such a popular wedding spot, our vendors were very familiar with it, which made planning very easy. My only (small) complaint is that some of the amenities that technically come with the site - particularly the folding chairs - are old and outdated-looking, so we ended up renting more than we expected to initially. I would still unequivocally recommend Ash Lawn - and book early, because it seemed to fill up quickly!Sent on 07/12/2015
James Monroe's Highland's reply:We are delighted to hear that you had such a wonderful experience at Ash Lawn-Highland, Katherine! Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback on how we can improve our wedding operations. We agree that our current chairs are outdated, and so to improve this feature for future weddings at Ash Lawn-Highland, we are offering better quality, wooden chairs in our 2016 weddings package.
Amanda · Married on 09/28/2014
They were always quick to respond to our emails and questions, we thought the value for having just the ceremony there was very good. The only negative thing we have to say is that there was one employee who promised us things they shouldn't have. However, this person was dealt with and Ash Lawn-Highland was willing to work with us to make sure we still got what we desired & were promised. Our wedding was running late (due to our musician), and a staff member (I think her name was Kate) helped keep me calm, offered water, a chair, ...anything to help make me feel comfortable while I waited. The staff at Ash Lawn-Highland was very professional and we would recommend the venue to others. John's Garden looked perfect for our wedding! Our guests kept complimenting us on how beautiful the location wasSent on 10/05/2014
Danielle C. · Married on 06/12/2021
Beautiful historic venue
We had our June 2021 wedding at James Monroe's Highland and absolutely loved it! Our contact, Jason, was so kind, knowledgeable, and accommodating. There are also so many different spots for pictures! The getting ready spaces and bathrooms are outdated, but the staff were very upfront about that during the tour, so we knew what to expect. Otherwise, we couldn't have asked for more! So beautiful and affordable compared to many other venues in Charlottesville.Sent on 06/24/2021
Amanda · Married on 10/19/2019
Beautiful location in the mountains made for a magical night
Beautiful location with lots of options for ceremony, cocktail and reception. Highly customizable based on needs. The views made for excellent photos in the mountains. Away from the city allowed for a peaceful experience.Sent on 12/06/2019