New Wedding Spots Find Charm in Old Venues

Across Coastal Virginia, buildings of a bygone era are being reinvented as gorgeous new wedding venues. These lovely locales provide the perfect blend of old and new for couples looking for a little historic charm on their special day.

The Tar Roof
When you think of Virginia Beach weddings, you likely envision the typical beach ceremony—perhaps an oceanside hotel reception complete with nautical decor and a seafood spread. The great thing about Virginia Beach is that it is so much more diverse than that. Getting married in this city doesn’t automatically mean having a coastal wedding. The Tar Roof in Pungo provides the perfect Virginia Beach venue for the couple looking for a more rustic setting to tie the knot.

The Tar Roof is a 160-year-old farmhouse in Pungo that has been converted into a local art gallery. Photographers Anthony Pakingan and Eddie and Kristine Compo stumbled upon the venue and saw the opportunity to create a space for local art, photography and special events.

“We have a unique space perfect for a rustic, country wedding,” Anthony says. “Being photographers and having shot well over 100 weddings, we also have a distinctive take on being a wedding venue. Several spaces around the property are specially designed for shoots. The whole place is more or less an outdoor studio.”


Weddings at The Tar Roof include an outdoor tent that can accommodate up to 300 guests, a luxury restroom trailer, valet parking and a day-of coordinator. Brides also have access to a bridal suite upstairs. Couples who book The Tar Roof also have the option to book the photographer owners to shoot the wedding.

“We’re veterans in this industry. We understand how the day works, and we’re excited to be able to offer our expertise to couples,” Anthony says.

The Historic Post Office
Across the HRBT, a downtown Hampton building has been converted into a breathtaking venue. The Historic Post Office was the only working post office in Hampton when it was completed in 1914. After operating as a post office for 30 years, it was converted several times. The building has served as a restaurant, cafe and a film studio, but as of December it became available as a premier event venue.

The Historic Post Office has all the historic charm of an early 20th century downtown building with all the amenities of a modern event venue. The building has 2,000 square feet of room, allowing for a 250-person seated reception or a 400-person, cocktail-style reception. With the large space and neutral pallet, the layout and decor options are wide open.

“The building is a blank slate for brides. It can be transformed into whatever their vision is for their day,” says Kelsey Leeper, venue manager.

The Historic Post Office has a full warming kitchen for caterers, as well as a full bridal suite and a gentleman’s lounge. They only host one event per day, so couples who book the venue for a wedding have the whole day to set up and tear down, making for a low-stress experience.

Located in the heart of Downtown Hampton, the post office is just a short walk away from several local restaurants and hotels, making it a great option for couples with a lot of out-of-town guests.

Westbury Hall
Hopping over to Williamsburg, another antique space has been renovated to accommodate a modern wedding. Westbury Hall, on the grounds of Williamsburg Winery, is a three-story barn that has been converted into an event venue.

The first floor of the Tudor-style barn is a wine cellar and a climate controlled dining room that provides a rustic and refined dining experience. The main floor is the function space, which accommodates 130 guests. Upstairs is a meeting space and a bridal suite complete with a dressing room, couches and a food and beverage station.

Westbury Hall connects to Wessex Hall at Williamsburg Winery, which can accommodate 180 people for a seated reception and 280 for a cocktail style reception.

“Couples have the opportunity to make the most of both of these spaces. Weddings here are such a unique and spectacular experience,” says Michael Kimball, assistant vice president of marketing for Williamsburg Winery.

Westbury Hall is the perfect venue for couples wanting to do the rustic theme without having to sacrifice when it comes to amenities. Being on the grounds of Williamsburg Winery gives them access to the winery, the 28-room boutique hotel Wedmore Place and the two restaurants on site. 

Chelsea Sherman

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