Meet the Pros,Wedding Weekend,Words of Wisdom

Hotel Wedding Receptions with a Resort Feel

Hotel Wedding Receptions

Discover a resort atmosphere and all-inclusive hotel wedding receptions at Holiday Inn & Suites Front Royal Blue Ridge Shadows. Make it a wedding weekend at this full service hotel with scenic golf course and Blue Ridge Mountain views.

Hotel Wedding Receptions

Full service hotels make great wedding venues. Since the food is handled in-house, there’s no need for a separate caterer. And room fees often include extras which save money on rentals. Hotels have brand standards, ensuring food and service consistency. Because a ballroom is a “blank canvas,” it won’t interfere with your color scheme and decor. And if you have lots of out of town guests, hotels make ideal “one stop” wedding spots. 

Outdoor Ceremony at Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Have an outdoor ceremony at the golf club then a reception in the ballroom.

The one drawback hotels sometimes have is lack of outdoor space. The ballroom might be beautiful, but there may not be anywhere outside to hold a ceremony. Holiday Inn & Suites has this covered, working with its next door neighbor Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Course. Couples marry on the tee box with the mountains in the background, then head over to the hotel for a ballroom reception. And if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, the hotel has a Plan B for a lovely indoor ceremony.

It’s Like a “Mini” Resort

Think of Holiday Inn & Suites as your “mini” resort. Guests can take in a round of golf at the adjacent club as well as enjoy the hotel’s fitness center, outdoor sundeck, heated indoor pool, and whirlpool spa. Rooms and suites have views of the mountains or the golf course. And guests will enjoy breakfast, lunch, happy hour, or dinner at Houlihan’s, the hotel’s restaurant.

Skyline Drive
View from Skyline Drive. Courtesy of

The Holiday Inn & Suites is conveniently located between Front Royal and Winchester, providing guests with a myriad of activities. History buffs can trek Civil War battlefields while nature lovers will enjoy hiking and canoeing at Shenandoah River State Park. Families can explore Luray and Skyline caverns. View Skyline Drive’s beauty and then stop for a cold one at Backroom Brewery. Helpful hint: Include information on area attractions in your guest “welcome bags” along with some locally produced items.

Weddings at Blue Ridge Shadows

Start your wedding weekend with a casual rehearsal dinner in the clubhouse of Blue Ridge Shadows. Take in the scenery from the wraparound terrace overlooking the waterfall on the 18th green. Then join your out of town guests for a nightcap at Houlihan’s.

Hotel Wedding Receptions
The Presidential Ballroom at Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites

On the big day, say your vows outdoors at Blue Ridge Shadows. The ceremony space holds up to 125 guests and rents for $1200. Afterwards, while you and your bridal party take stunning photos, your guests will enjoy cocktails in the hotel’s pre-function space adjacent to the Presidential Ballroom. Once your guests are seated, make a grand entrance into that ballroom and enjoy a plated dinner or buffet and dance the night away. Finish your wedding weekend in style the day after with a guest departure breakfast at the restaurant.

Hotel wedding receptions at Holiday Inn & Suites are popular with both local residents as well as couples from Northern Virginia, so book your date at least six months out.  Holiday Inn & Suites Front Royal Blue Ridge Shadows is LGBTQ friendly and encourages couples to make it their wedding weekend location.

All-Inclusive Hotel Wedding Receptions

The Presidential Ballroom accommodates up to 250 guests for a seated reception, including room for a head table and dance floor. The $3200 room rental fee includes tables, chairs, floor length linens and chair covers, dance floor, as well as cake cutting service and champagne toast for the couple. Meal prices fall within the $51-$75 per person price range. The mid $60’s range gets you a nice dinner and a top bar. 

Popular wedding menu options include London Broil, stuffed chicken, pork tenderloin, and the honey glazed ham carving station. There are also vegetarian lasagna and linguine dishes, and the hotel’s chef can accommodate special dietary needs.

Meet Wedding Specialist, Zack Amaya

Hotel Wedding Receptions
Zack Amaya

It’s said in the hospitality industry that you need to work in the back of the house in order to sell in the front. Starting as a server at just 16, Convention Service Manager Zack Amaya literally grew up at Holiday Inn & Suites.  His understanding of the property and banquet experience make him well suited to be the hotel’s wedding specialist.

Zack handles all the logistics of your wedding weekend. He facilitates your rehearsal dinner and ceremony with Brian Jones, General Manager of Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Course, and coordinates any ceremony rental needs. Zack works with you on all details related to the hotel, diagrams your ballroom layout, goes through menu options, schedules your tasting, and puts together your reception timeline.

Hotel Wedding Receptions
Ask about special upgrades to complete your ballroom look.

As the hotel’s wedding specialist, Zack is on hand to supervise room set up and help with placement of your personal decor. He gets with your DJ and reviews the reception timeline and important announcements. Zack even pitches in at the end of the evening, helping pack up your decor. Being there for the couple is his main focus. Says Zack, “I stay in communication throughout the process and help plan ahead.”

The banquet staff and Zack truly enjoy weddings – especially the music. After all, cheerful wait staff is an intangible, but important, quality at receptions. What’s his favorite thing about a wedding? “Along with the decor and setup, it’s seeing the couple’s vision come to life and seeing them excited and happy,” says Zack. His goal: “Seeing that everyone is enjoying their time and making sure the couple is having fun.”

Advice from the Wedding Pro

Zack believes couples should enjoy their wedding planning time and he’s a big fan of Pinterest. To help keep you on the Pinterest path, Zack offers this advice: “Figure out your wedding season first. This will help you narrow down your color scheme. “

With venues, look at both outside as well as inside weddings and options for your season. Having a theme in mind also helps, says Zack. “It opens the door to your planning.” For example, he suggests pairing hot chocolate with kahlua at your bar as part of a Winter wedding theme. And by using Pinterest this way, Zack says, it will also help communicate your vision to your other vendors.

Ready to plan your Blue Ridge wedding weekend at this full-service hotel and “mini” resort? Call Zack at (540) 551-9526 or email And find more great hotel weddings on Blue Ridge Bride.

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