Venue Tour: Historic Polegreen Church in Richmond Va

May 10, 2016

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This is no ordinary church.  This is one of my favorite wedding venues in Richmond Virginia if it’s done right. 

This church has been making it’s way up the wedding circuit very quickly after Jason Mraz and his wife said their I Do’s at The Polegreen in October 2015.  With its history of religious freedom and African American literacy, this is also a popular location for Same-Sex and African American weddings.

Weddings and Micro-Weddings:

In regards to weddings, this venue is so unique.  Your guests are surrounded by gorgeous foliage and can look right up to the sky.  The venue is historic for any of the history buffs, yet it has such a modern look with the white open structures.  There is a large field on the property that is used for a tented reception should you opt to stay on site.  If you prefer to have this as your ceremony site and shuttle guests to a venue for the reception that is an option as well.  The design options here are endless. This is the perfect backdrop for an editorial, fashion-forward, couple who would love to customize their wedding. I have been dying to design a wedding here.  Please let me know if you are interested.  There are several brick and mortar wedding venues in the Richmond, Virginia area that would work well as an accompaniment to this ceremony site.  

The conference room can be used as a bridal suite.  It is small so it would be best to get ready with hair and make up off-site and change into your attire here.  There is a separate area for the caterers to use as their prep station. This will save you from renting in a second catering tent.  There are also bathrooms on site. Depending on your guest count it may be wise to rent in a luxury bathroom trailer, instead of expecting all of your guests to use the venue’s facilities. For the reception, most couples rent a tent and set it up in the space opposite the church.  

This venue is such a great space for a large wedding, but it is also amazing for a micro-wedding. With the unique architecture and smaller size, this is a perfect Richmond, Virginia venue for Micro-Weddings, Elopements, and Minimonies. 

The History of the Venue:

With its history dating back to the Great Awakening of the 1700s, this church has a story to tell.  Before the Polegreen Church was built, the only religion that was recognized was that of the Anglican Church.  In the 1700s there was a religious movement known as the Great Awakening.  George Whitefield, the itinerating British Methodist evangelist, and Sam Morris, a brick mason, were the visionaries behind this movement.  Whitfield traveled, preaching his sermon.  His sermons were later published and read throughout Virginia.  Sam Morris would gather several members of the community in his home on Sunday afternoons. They read the Bible and several of Whitefield’s sermons.  Eventually, they built a reading house on Sam Morris’s land. The reading house was named after a land grant recipient George Polegreen. Those who practiced here requested that a Presbyterian pastor, Samuel Davies, lead the services at the reading house.  He was the first non-Anglican pastor licensed to preach in Virginia.

In addition to making gains with the religious freedom movement, Davies also worked to educate black slaves.  Davies believed that the attainment of religion required extensive knowledge that could only be obtained by both readings and hearing the word of God. Davies and those around him educated others that blacks had equal capabilities as whites to learn to read.  If they were given enough resources and enough time, the black slaves could learn and be as literate as their white counterparts.

The original Polegreen Church was destroyed in a fire during the Civil War.  The open-air structure was built in it’s place in 2001.  Due to the historic nature of the land, this church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.  The open-air concept is to reiterate the church’s foundation of religious freedom.

The church is open 24/7 and has a free audio tour.  If you are interested in checking out the venue you may want to take the audio tour as well. For more information check out their site.


As always, I would love to chat.

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