Laura and Michael Archer were married at Adams International School on Oct. 27, 2012. Photo by Katelyn James Photography
Charity registries for weddings have long been popular for couples who don't need anything to set up a household or who have a special connection to a nonprofit organization, but in many cases the money put toward a reception site can also do a lot of good.
At Adams International Schoo l (784-0141) in Goochland County, renting the fixed-up barn and surrounding acres helps defray tuition costs for students. Max Peple-Abrams says her 8-year-old son, Azra, who needs more one-on-one attention, may not be able to go to the Montessori school if not for the barn rental.
"The weddings here make the tuition affordable for this family," Peple-Abrams says.
Tamara Adams, who founded the school after homeschooling her own 12 children, notes that weddings on the property have also become a way to engage students, who take part in gardening and gathering flowers during the school day.
Currently, the rental price is $3,250, and as of September, there were 30 weddings in the books. Additionally, each couple gives a gift to the barn — something a future couple can use, such as a chandelier or Mason jars.
Richmond has other philanthropically minded options, especially if you want to support history, science and architecture.
The Rice House (864-1548), a Midcentury Modern residence designed by Richard Neutra for Ambassador Walter Rice and his wife, Inger, was donated to the Science Museum of Virginia in 1996. After a 2011 renovation, the home on the James River was made available for wedding receptions. And because it belongs to the Science Museum, renting the house helps fund the museum's operations, including science literacy programs.
The Virginia War Memorial (786-2060), which overlooks the James River on the Manchester Bridge, is more than a marble structure visible from the road. Up to 1,500 people can attend a celebration on the memorial grounds, and the Ukrop Terrace is available for 100 cocktail guests. Best of all, the proceeds go toward the memorial's educational foundation, which funds patriotic programs held at the memorial and elsewhere.
The Kent-Valentine House ( 643-4137), the Garden Club of Virginia's headquarters, is available for rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions. All proceeds go toward maintaining the house, a Virginia Historic Landmark in the Monroe Ward neighborhood. Other historic properties around Richmond also rely on facility rentals to stay open to the public and maintain their conditions; just ask when you talk to staff members