Be whisked away to this magical manor for a whimsical wedding, classy cocktail party or a gorgeous garden fete located about an hour from Washington D.C. Oatlands Historic House and Gardens is the type of place you would catch Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet flirting among its beautifully manicured lawns and 4-acre terraced garden.
Meet the talented creative event and styling company, Sarah Park Events, who created this romantic reception in what is said to be the second oldest greenhouse in the country! Sarah chose this venue for her styled photoshoot because of its rich and beautiful backdrop to throw a proper party. Love By Serena is the talented photographer, who was there to capture the stunning setting.
“I wanted a venue that had a lot of history where the buildings could speak for themselves.” - Sarah Park Events & Design
Style for your Setting
The propagation greenhouse is one of 25 rare and unique places on the property to host a sophisticated southern social event. The greenhouse with its paned windows, brick walls and planted pots made a perfect background for Sarah’s shoot.
“The greenhouse building had so many great details, we didn't have to bring much to dress it up. The plants and flowers that were inside the greenhouse brought so much life to our styled shoot.” - Sarah Park Events and Design
The Four "S's"
Sarah covered the four “S’s” of a wedding in this shoot, “Something old, something new something borrowed and something blue.” Okay, the something blue may be a stretch, but if you look really close in the photos, you’ll see a blue pot. She mixed the new seamlessly with the old, like the galvanized chairs with the metal fan that is displayed in the table arrangements. The something borrowed is the fireplace mantle and the wood dining table from the property, among other items. Sarah utilized the natural beauty and vintage charm of the greenhouse to its fullest.
“The space itself is very small so we wanted to design a very intimate wedding that fit the space perfectly. We used the existing fireplace mantle and farm table that was in the space and tried to incorporate as much of the original decor that was available to us. The dessert table was styled with the existing flower pots and table that were used in the greenhouse which added a nice touch to the design. Nothing looked out of of place and everything just worked well together.” - Sarah Park Events & Design
A History Lesson
Built around 1804, the original owner of the historic homestead was George Carter, the great grandson to Robert King Carter, who was said by historical accounts to be the wealthiest wheat planter in colonial Virginia.
When Mr. Carter passed away, his wife and two sons managed the property during the Civil War years where it became a girls’ school, and later a summer boarding house.
Over the course of the next 150 years, the land was bought, sold, then finally donated to the National Trust where it stands today. It’s here the grand estate shares its beauty with the community, offering festivals, tea parties and even weekly yoga sessions on the grounds.
Sarah may have focused her shoot on the greenhouse, but the possibilities are endless for Oatlands. Host a tea party themed bridal shower in its Queen of Hearts like gardens or a lavish cocktail party in the 19th century-furnished mansion.
Whatever type of bash you plan for the grand estate, know that your rental fee helps preserve the property and gives you a tax break - 80 percent of the rental fee is a tax deductible contribution. Want to do your own photoshoot? You can pay by the hour for a photography pass.
Venue: Oatlands Historic House & Gardens | Photography: Love by Serena | Floral Design: Gossamer / Event Design: Sarah Park Events / Attire: Shop Gossamer & Via Gypset Vintage / Desserts: Dudley’s Desserts / Stationery Design: Miss Wyolene / Hair & Makeup: Liz Wegrzyn / Models: Danielle De Souza and Flavia / Plates & Cups: Anthropologie / Chairs: World Market
MEET THE CORRESPONDENT
Sarah Park Events is a creative event & styling company based in Los Angeles, CA. SPE has done events in Maryland, Washington D.C, Virginia, Pennsylvania and California.Before diving into the wedding industry, I received a BFA in Architecture, Landscape & Interiors from Otis College of Art & Design. - Website