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Lauren Walker, Event Planner, The Greenbrier

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I know a lot of people use these sites to find places to have events, so I thought this might be valuable information. Matthew and I had our wedding at the Greenbrier in 2010 with Lauren Walker as our event planner. And while this was before the takeover, even then the service and experience was top notch. Lauren Walker is the director of sales there and event planning. She did a marvelous job with our wedding.

We priced out a lot of places in DC, and it was comparable if not cheaper than most of the big, nice hotels and event spaces in DC. The benefit was you didn't have to book a separate caterer, event planner, rent tables, linens or arrange flowers. The food was absolutely excellent, they had a variety of packages with different pricing, we had a sit down four course meal potato and leek soup, salad with virginia ham and citrus, main course with chicken or steak or I think halibut option and then we subbed in wedding cake for dessert. They worked with us to have Virginia wine from Jefferson vineyards which is what our Father in Law specifically wanted. I wanted a Smith Island cake for my wedding cake, they had never made one before so I sent one to them and they recreated it, but because they knew I was really particular about the icing they worked with a company my Mom has worked with through her job with the microenterprise counsel to get frosting for the cake shipped to them so it would be right. I also wanted the pink plates with their signature rhododendron used instead of the typical dinner plates and that was done with no upcharge.

We arranged to have meet ups in different parts of the hotel where we weren't charged room rental, and room rental for the rooms we rented was nothing, less than planning a big group meal at a restaurant in DC. The planning was so fun and easy. They had an alternate indoor and outdoor space for the wedding in case of in-climate weather. The discounted room rate for guests was great. Gillespie flowers in the Greenbrier was completely cool with the fact that we wanted minimal flowers since the space was so fabulous, the pieces they made for the price were perhaps one of the best floral deals I have ever seen.

We arrived with boxes or place markers, favors, vases for centerpieces which were wisked from the car and put on the tables according to the charts without any further worry from us. When my inlaws arrived with my dress it was taken to be delicately steamed and then it was brought to my room the morning of the event. Our guests had special daily bulletins with their events added to it. We choose the house band who do a great job with classic rock and oldies and a mix of some contemporary songs, and easily learned our Ray LaMontagne wedding dance song for us. It was the nicest and most relaxing wedding planning of any I know. Seeing my friends and all they have done I just am so happy we choose to have our event here. The staff is so incredibly warm, southern and nice. You can get there by train or plane which came in handy for our guests. And it was just an amazing event. Lauren helped make the whole thing so easy, she kept everyone on schedule, and even calmed down the flower girl and sent her down the aisle. She made sure things were well labeled and it was like we got an event planner who was there the whole time for every moment, for free. So even though it looks like a major, pricey venue, I would price it out before you crossed it off the list. You may be quite surprised and there really is no better service. Our guests were just thrilled with the whole event.

Katelin Moomau

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