An Amazing April at The Estate
Photo: Faith Photography Hello River Run Family, Friends, Clients, & Supporters! WHAT a wild spring it's been for construction around here. Our days begin with early rising to work before the children wake up, the contractors start coming in at 6am, the hours are slammed full of photoshoots, walkthroughs, client meetings, tours, calls, zoom meetings, TV interviews, planning events, and speaking with clients and vendors. The last folks usually pull out after sunset. Our workdays are very, very, long, but our hearts are very full. We feel such a big responsibility to bring this property back to life and enhance it to the glory it deserves! We are working very hard towards that goal.
A big part of taking care of our investment, is our partnership with our Preferred Vendors. Often, our touring couples ask if they can bring in outside vendors - and in fact some do, but consistently we see where our preferred partners are going above and BEYOND for our clients here! As we plan these events with our teammates, we see the care, love, concern, expertise, skill, and transparency that goes into making our clients' dreams come true.
We have preferred partners because we KNOW they are looking out for the best interest of our clients. They know their segment of the industry and have SO much to bring to the table. We consistently see the superior service from these partners and how they go above and beyond! Events with these partners have over our years in the wedding industry consistently been a step above the norm. That is how these individuals made it to the list to begin with! Our company has performed over 1200 weddings, and the only way to get on this list is "by invitation" so take their being on there as our official - "stamp of approval". There is something very valuable about a team of professionals that knows each others strengths well, and works together often. It's a fantastic "value-added situation" for our clients.
If you are one of our clients and haven't seen our private link with more vendor information, please reach out and we can send that your way! We’ve put together an online portal JUST for you to see the “glossy” magazines that contain our partners! Vendors: Photographer + Creative Director: @Terribaskin, Planning + Design: @bastonishedevents, Bridal Stylist: @bridal_vogue @everydayvogue, Florist: @cultivateeventco, Video: @yeattes_productions, Hair: @dommiecole, MUA: @nicolegoreartistry, Stationery: @bydamistudiosnyc, Lighting: @lightingprofessors, Truss + Bar Shelf: @paisleyandjade,
Tableware: @emersonjamesrental, Chair + Bar Rentals: @rentequipva, Linens: @nuagedesignsinc, Gown: @marchesabridal @demetriosbride, Suits: @allurebridals, Headpieces: @edenluxebridal, Clutches @the.mrs.clutch, Shoes: @lsomethingbleu_, Cake + Desserts: @fluffythoughtscakes, Models: @kennedy.grace16 @yinkaolagbegi, Drinks: @kaysmocktails, Venue: @estateatriverrun In April thus far, we have hosted six AMAZING photo shoots and styled shoots on property, with more to come! We love the hustle and bustle of vendors arriving in the morning to begin setting up and models getting prepared in our bridal suite upstairs. There is so much creativity and passion that shines through in these types of shoots! Creative Director: @makeupbyjacquie247
CEO/Assistant Director: @Makeupbyholly
Beauty: @Makeupbyhollybeautypartner @hairbychi_rva @bjohnbeauty @candicethemua @sheis_tierradesiree @makeupbyjacquie247 @wholelifebeauty
Bridal Wardrobe Concierge: @neechic
Floral Decor: @AmyMarieEvents
Models: @CameoModels_Internationale and @UCModels As always, construction projects are moving right along. We have wrapped up the finishing touches on our Tuscan Ballroom, and are so thrilled for our clients to experience the changes and updates on their big day! Photos: Renee Jean Photography We are almost complete with our brand new, state-of-the-art fire alarm system that has been installed throughout the house. All that remains is a final testing of the system happening very soon! This has been a big project for us and we are overjoyed to be ticking one more box off our “to do” list!
The cabinets in the second-floor kitchenette are getting a makeover as well as the walls. The light aqua paint on the cabinets is a much-needed update and we can't wait for bridesmaids to prepare their morning coffee in this newly updated space before getting ready for their big day!
Although the projects sometimes seem never-ending, it's a good feeling to be wrapping up with several larger ones, as we move into WEDDING SEASON and our state is FINALLY opening up some. MANY of you have asked us to begin hosting tours to the public, so we’ve listened! Join us on Thursday, May 27th at 5:30PM for a ticketed, guided group tour of The Estate at River Run. This is an opportunity that has never before been offered! Experience the beauty and elegance of River Run and it's grounds while listening to the history and stories around the home that we’ve learned from the many, many tradespeople who have worked on this property over the years.
Due to social distancing guidelines, this experience will be limited to 15 guests. Get more information and tickets with the link to our EventBrite page below! Tickets & More Info Looking ahead to May, we are so fortunate to be hosting the 2021 Tiffanys Bridal Show, Fashion On the Run! This private, runway fashion show will occur on May 2nd, 1:00-3:00PM. Tickets will include a bubbly beverage, socially-distanced show seating with your party, a door prize ticket, tempting “light bites” provided by Everyday Gourmet Catering, a Vendor meet & great, and access to the Estate and grounds along with a cash bar for the duration of the event. We will also be hosting a vendor show in our newly renovated Tuscan Ballroom [as well as outdoors if the weather is good!] following the runway show, This is a fabulous way to get to know some of our amazing preferred vendors and see some incredible gowns! Did we mention that there will be incredible DOOR PRIZES including a WEDDING GOWN from Jasmine Bridal provided by Tiffanys!?! How generous right!? Click here to purchase tickets! Our kiddos LOVED going to Tiffany’s to get fitted in their outfits for strutting the runway in the upcoming show! Thank you to everyone for the support you have offered us over the last year! It has not been easy to run a wedding venue during COVID, AND maintain our sanity, but you all have helped us through! Please continue to show your support by liking, following, and sharing our social media pages!
We can't wait to see what May has in store! We are planning a private jazz concert – let us know if we should send more details your way once we have those finalized. Please share this newsletter with anyone you think might enjoy it. 2421 River Rd W, Maidens, VA 23102, USA
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February Romance at River Run
2020 was our first full year of operating as a venue. To say it was full of action and surprises (some good, others not so much) would be a huge understatement. We had tours, site visits, met amazing new clients and "friendors", conducted renovations, built the infrastructure of our new venture, and survived a global pandemic. Anyone else ready for a glass of wine and a nap?
In all seriousness, we are so grateful to have this extended River Run family sticking with us through it all!
One of the good surprises came as the year drew to a close. Our Director of Business Development, Bill Gilliam, got a call in September from a TV production company in search of a site to shoot scenes for a limited run series to be aired by a major streaming provider. A location scout came out to look around and said he would describe River Run to his bosses with one word, “Presidential!!” Photo by: Hayes & Fisk Photography That visit was followed by a (very long) month of silence, and then a flurry of calls and follow up visits, including one by the show’s 4-time Academy Award winning director. He liked River Run, but it still wasn’t a “done deal”. We spent the better part of the next month going back and forth in a negotiation to make sure the production company got what they wanted while protecting the beauty of River Run for our 2021 event clients. It was exhausting and nerve wracking, but we eventually came to an agreement that was good for all. A shoot date was set for January, and Bill was either on the phone daily with the production location staff, or at River Run two or three days per week showing them around. They plotted each scene with incredible attention to detail. All of the location folks were incredibly nice, and ALL fell in love with River Run. They couldn’t stop talking about how beautiful it is. (We know that, but it’s always good to hear, especially from people in the TV world!) There was no way we could have normal family life in the middle of a major TV production, so, just two days after returning from a family trip to Disney, we moved our family (including Abby) out of River Run for the week (partially due to COVID precautions, and partially for the director’s sanity!☺). And, yes, it was stressful, but we survived. Bill stayed at River Run while we were gone to oversee the whole thing. He described, “River Run turned into a beehive daily. The place was buzzing inside and out with all kinds of people who were focused on their jobs. It was really something to see all of those people working together to make it happen. And they were all incredibly nice and professional too!” Our preferred tent and rental supplier, Rent-E-Quip, was among them, and set up an awesome tent that took up most of our front drive circle. The tent was 40 by 160 feet, complete with doors, divider panels, walls, lighting, and generators!!! Day 3 was the actual shoot day, and River Run was alive with activity from 6 am to midnight. Bill said the radio crackled all day, and as scenes were shot the TV production terms we are all familiar with rang throughout the house and over the radio “All quiet please...roll sound...and ACTION!” A long period of quiet was followed by “And CUT! We got it. Let’s get set for the next scene please…” When the shooting was done around 10 pm, the crew went into high gear and had all of the cameras and production equipment broken down and out of the house in an hour. It was Friday night, and everyone was clearly motivated to get out of there. Bill said it was a crazy sight to see! Saturday was the final breakdown day, and just like that, we were back to normal with everything back in place, and all traces of a TV production removed from the house. Everything from start to finish went smoothly, and we are already looking forward to their return to shoot more scenes in March. Keep an eye on our social media from more details and pictures. The whole experience reminds me of a wedding: a year of planning, 8-10 hours of set-up, hosting the celebration, and then boom, it’s over. Although the TV show is our most riveting piece of news, River Run is still bustling along with property renovations and business as “usual”. Our Tuscan Ballroom will be ready to host elegant dinners and rousing dance parties by early spring. One of our high school part-timers, Nathaniel, has spent the last month exchanging every one of River Run’s 700 light bulbs for LEDs. A mid-floor bedroom has been transformed into the elegant Green Garden Parlor. In closing, we just want to make you all aware of some fun opportunities we are offering for the month of February: Luxury Boudoir at The Estate, Personalized Proposal packages, and a Valentine's Weekend Minimony Special!
Happy Holidays from the River Run Team
Happy Holidays! What a year it has been! 2020 has been full of construction challenges, commercial conversion roadblocks, operational challenges related to COVID, and of course our industry’s ability to work and function has been affected so much by the virus.
We have been so thankful to have worked with such amazing clients this year despite the extensive list of obstacles the event industry is currently doing its best to navigate. Reflecting back, we are so proud of how much we have grown as a new business this year. We’ve learned so much, even after 2.5 decades in the industry! The team at River Run is looking forward to a bright future in 2021 and beyond! Photography Credit: Jennie Wood Photography Santa helped us host two Safe Sundays of Photo sessions! We were very fortunate to spread some holiday cheer to families in our area. Children were able to meet Santa, spend some quality time talking with him while our professional photographer took some amazing holiday memories, and some children even had a private tea party with Santa! Magic was truly in the air this Christmas for the private experience while avoiding the lines and waiting in big crowds. The parents begged us to make sure the Easter Bunny visits us this spring and Santa comes back next year! We will do our best. Photography Credit: Jennie Wood Photography We have been busy like always making improvements to the property. We’ve started the project of adding an additional shaded ceremony location and will send pictures once that is completed before spring. We have been restoring the antique hardwood floors throughout the house. We’ve completed the work of refinishing the floors throughout quite a few rooms of the property. We’ve been implementing new safety features throughout the house and will update you more on that in our next newsletter! In the name of safety, our Tuscan Ballroom ceiling has been demo’d and there is now in a construction dumpster outside. We are taking the opportunity to run SO many lighting enhancements for our couples in that space to brighten it up. We’ve done so with a lot of collaboration with our event lighting vendor and look forward to seeing the finished product when that is complete. Another major improvement this month was the sign at the front entrance of the property! Check out the photos to see what the original looked like, our new sign, and finally our freshly completed sign! We’ve been working so hard on improvements and been doing our absolute best to make this the most enchanting venue for all of our guests here for decades to come. We are still open for bookings for holiday dinners in the dining room as well as photoshoots for Christmas cards and family sessions. Please connect with us if we can help you all have an even more magical holiday season! Photography Credit: Jennie Wood Photography
There are some exciting multi-day rentals happening here at the Estate in January – we can’t wait to let you know who that is as soon as the cat is out of the bag! Please give us a follow on social media to stay up to date with all that is happening here! We wish you and your loved one’s a safe holiday season. We all have so much to be grateful for.
The Estate at River Run Team
The work has not stopped Big things have been happening and wedding life is blooming here! While most of the state has been shut down, construction and beautifying the property has been our number one priority! The Estate at River Run Team has been working in overdrive to prepare for the upcoming season and all of the hard work is starting to show!
In the Tuscan Ballroom, removable bistro lights have been added from Lighting and Sound Co. These lights offer clients the choice to add ambiance and light up the party on the dance floor. Connect with them directly for rental pricing on the "house lighting" package Ryan is putting together for our clients! The Cameo Ballroom, exterior doors, front windows, guest bathroom, master bedroom windows, and master bathroom windows have been receiving fresh coats of paint. Daniel sure has been busy and is working hard to get the property ready down to every last drop of paint. Ed and his team have been working hard in the heat to maintain the beautiful grounds on the property. Recently they just completed installing new stone on the Bluestone Terrace. This updated space is sure to wow guests as they overlook the James River. A gravel parking lot has been installed as you drive in on the left just before the front of the drive circle. This large lot allows space for 75 vehicles. Also, 3 paved handicap spots have been added next to the Tuscan Ballroom on the Eastern Side of the property. We can't wait to see all of the guests coming in and filling up the spots! An exterior fire escape staircase is currently being engineered, massive amounts of special ordered door hardware should be installed over the next month, a voice fire alarm system will be installed soon, a new ADA bathroom has been framed in on the first floor of the house, and so many other wild things are happening here. The pool house no longer looks like an episode of "Golden Girls" - we've updated all of the cushions and décor in there to have a cabana vibe and we are ready to host your socially distant gatherings and family pool parties this Summer. We've finally cleared out a lot of the antiques that we needed to remove to allow space for events. We've sold many pieces to Massey friends and family, dealers around Richmond, and brokers as far away as North Carolina. We still do have about 80 pieces on site that are on the docket to go. Most are collectibles, but if this kind of thing interests you please feel free to reach out to Kim and she can send you a spreadsheet of what is available for sale. Micro Weddings Here at The Estate, while we have been busy working, COVID has brought difficult times to couples throughout the Country. We have had so many inquiries from couples whose venues are still closed due to COVID, riots, or other unfortunate circumstances; and we have been able to provide a beautiful backdrop for their ceremony.
While many events have been cancelled or postponed all around the world, we have been doing our best to remind our clients that love is not cancelled. Many couples have continued to say "I do" here at The Estate through very intimate ceremonies. This has have brought us many smiles and good memories through such uncertain times. As a team, we have been busy behind the scenes working on floor plans, vendor lists, vendor magazine, team headshots, a refreshed website, etc. We have SO many great things happening over the next month as we prepare for future events at the property. It’s been a massive undertaking. We’ve gone through some very challenging as well as rewarding experiences over this past year, but we’ve come out as better people and we are still just as focused as ever on serving all of our incredible clients. If you don’t follow us on social media - please do so. And share our pages with your friends! We are so very honored to announce that we have been nominated as a top wedding vendor with Virginia Living Magazine! That is HUGE considering how new we are! We would love your vote. You should click “Central Virginia” and scroll down to “Venues” and we are listed in the following categories: “Waterfront,” “Large Parties,” “Bachelorette Parties,” “Bridal Showers,” & “Rehearsal Dinners.” Kim Moody Design would appreciate your vote as well in the Event Planner & Florist Categories! Cheers, Kim + Team Vote Here!
Springing Forward With Some Exciting Plans in the Works!
After a long, cold winter, the month of March is underway and we're celebrating Spring with a lot of big things happening around The Estate! We've partnered with The Lighting and Sound Company to host one of our first events of the year, Illuminate the Estate!
Park your car when you arrive and enjoy the crisp spring air at your own pace as you walk the serene, riverfront grounds of The Estate at River Run and take in the beauty of the lights. This event is running for a limited time only so be sure to purchase your tickets using the "Learn More" button below! Join us for an evening self-guided stroll through the grounds of The Estate at River Run- beautifully illuminated by The Lighting and Sound Company! RSVP for one of these dates: March 19 & 20- 6:00pm- 10:00pm
March 21- 6:00pm- 9:00pm
April 2 & 3- 6:00pm- 9:00pm
45 Minute Time Slots
Learn More On top of our Illuminate Event, construction and renovations have been zooming right along these past few weeks!
Our awesome construction teams are hard at work power washing, painting, staining, and more! There seems to never be a shortage of work for the crews on-site!
Our Tuscan Ballroom is SO CLOSE to being finished!!! We're working through some of the final steps before clean up and decorating can begin! Crews are working nearly every day of the week to get coats of paint up, wrap the wooden ceiling beams, and finish the lighting and electrical work.
We can't wait to show off our new and improved Tuscan Ballroom in just a few short weeks! In February, the film crew for the limited run television series filming at The Estate came out for a second time to prepare themselves for their next day of filming.
We had all sorts of teams running around wrapping anything that could be damaged, moving furniture, and scouting the best locations to utilize for shots- no easy choice to make with all the picture perfect views at River Run!
They'll be back to film their second round of shots in just a few short weeks. We can't wait to share more with you about the show! And now onto our Soapbox….Finally, we have some updates on the Virginia events industry, because fighting for the right to work has been consuming an ENORMOUS amount of time. It's been AN ENTIRE YEAR since we first began cancelling and rescheduling weddings for our clients due to COVID.
We are SO ready to get back to work as are many of the other wedding and event vendors in Virginia! We've been working hard towards a safe re-opening of events with our vendor friends from across the Commonwealth, and have even been featured in a few news stories recently pleading our case and hoping to raise awareness in the State Capitol about how we’ve been unable to host events due to restrictions on gatherings. NBC12 came out to River Run a couple of weeks ago to discuss our industry remaining closed (gathering maximum of only 10 individuals inside) under the new executive orders. While restaurants, entertainment venues, concert halls, and even overnight summer camps are experiencing significantly loosened restrictions, "social gatherings" such as weddings are being forced to remain closed with no financial relief in sight for any of the small business owners in the events community.
Read the Article We also had the opportunity to speak with a reporter from ABC8 News in late February. A group of event professionals shared how business owners in our industry have been left out of funding and relief programs. The Shuttered Venues Grant, passed by Congress, and signed by the President in December, offers relief only to those venues who host ticketed events, and has recently been opened up to also include performers. This federally funded package unfortunately only covers 8% of our industry, so we are hoping our elected representatives will continue to hear from their constituents about how the need to reconsider identifying our sector of the industry as the same
Read the Article This past week, we were lucky enough to host vendors from around the State for a journalism-style film at River Run. Vendors came from Northern Virginia, Charlottesville, Hampton Roads, and Richmond Region, to share their stories in an effort to raise awareness of what is happening in the event industry. We loved coming together with old friends and new, to bring attention to the situation we are in.
If you feel so inclined please sign the petition that an industry friend of ours started. It was started about a month ago to garner support for our safe reopening of Events in Virginia. It is now at nearly 14,000 signatures!! Feel free to share on your social media if you’d like. :) Sign the Petition! We will keep fighting the good fight to support our industry, and hopefully get all of us back to hosting events very soon. If you have any friends that you could share the lighting event with we would love for you to do that to help keep that gang working until indoor events are possible again.
We know this was a long update - we’ve been BUSY! Thanks for sticking with us and we hope to see you out here for Illuminate the Estate opening this weekend and then running again the Friday & Saturday of Easter weekend! Please tell your friends! 2421 River Rd W, Maidens, VA 23102, USA
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Thanksgiving at the Estate
Happy Thanksgiving! Hi All!
This is such a special time with the holidays on the horizon! We would like to tell you about an option to dine with your family over the holidays here for your consideration.
The Estate at River Run will be offering a "2.5 Hour Rental" (including a 30 minute set up period) of our luxurious formal dining room in order to host your memorable holiday meals the remainder of this year. This exceptional package can be purchased for only $395. 14 glass chargers, 14 dinner napkins, restroom use, and tabletop holiday décor is all included. (If your group is slightly larger please inquire with us about how to accommodate you!) One of our fabulous preferred caterers, Cater 2 Events, has some exciting news as well! Not only do they offer great event catering for our events, but they also have Thanksgiving pick-up or delivery services available for you to enjoy. We encourage you to check out their website for some amazing family holiday meals and inquire with Lona to customize a menu that brings a smile to your family, even if you don't dine here with us! We hope to see you raising a glass in our formal dining room this holiday season with a custom menu from Cater 2 Events for up to 14 guests. Please inquire on The Estate at River Run website with your preferred rental date. We just celebrated our first birthday! The entire last year of our journey here has been so busy with new improvements to the property. Maintaining the historic charm of the property is no small feat! We have relocated the fountain to the front drive circle in order to give guests a grand and luxurious entry view. This added architectural element has made the entrance even more impressive to our guests! Relocating the fountain has allowed us to open up the Bluestone Terrace in order to increase the event space on the back of the mansion for tents or open air dining. New bluestone has been laid which allows for a perfect ceremony or dinner spot overlooking the river! A new ADA bathroom has been installed on the main floor of the house off of the foyer area. This modern bathroom allows plenty of room for handicap accessibility, but it is certainly not short on style. The statement wallpaper, light fixture, and customized vanity fit right in with the allure of The Estate. The main kitchen has received a fresh update and additional counter space that allows caterers to work straight from the main floor if they chose! Walking into The Estate was already a dream, but now it is even better with the massive transformation of the grand front doors! Getting the proper stain color was quite a feat, but completely worth it in order to match the aesthetic of the rest of the house. Florals: Kim Moody Design Photography: Sugar and Spice Photography We have been blessed to host several weddings this year and are looking forward to a schedule full of events this upcoming year! It has brought us so much joy to be part of ceremony days and to allow them to make lifetime lasting memories here! "Mini Monies" have been the trend in 2020, let's hope 2021 brings more of a "normal" setting for all of us! Photography: Nicole Adele Photography Florals: Kim Moody Design Check out our social media later tonight for some magical holiday experiences. Santa is coming to River Run! Photography: Jennie Wood Photography Design: Kim Moody Design We wish you all a safe and healthy holiday season from our family to yours! Please share our newsletter/social media platforms with friends you might have getting engaged or event planners/businesses wanting to host events here! The Estate at River Run Team
The Estate at River Run- Richmond Weddings Show 2020
HAPPY ENGAGEMENT!! We missed seeing you so much last weekend at the Richmond Weddings Expo. All of our boxes of décor, business cards, clipboards, signs, pictures, and all are all still packed up -- from waiting to be loaded to see you at the show! In the midst of this unprecedented time, we are so grateful to be part of a wedding community who has banded together to help current couples move their dates successfully, and we've all had quite the week around here. During this chaos we know it's unsafe for you to be touring populated venues, but The Estate at River Run is completely private! If you are considering an estate property for your event we'd love for you to inquire on our website so that we can tell you more!! We offer so many beautiful views, incredible architectural features, and so much hospitality - we are the perfect place to celebrate the most incredible day of your life! Our team is looking forward to answering your questions and trying to help you find the perfect property! Hope to meet you soon, Kim & The Estate at River Run team
Weekly Rundown Springtime Happenings Bill Gilliam Spring has barely started, and we are already incredibly busy here at the Estate at River Run. We have hosted some small wedding celebrations and numerous fashion shoots, welcomed the public to an amazing outdoor lights show, and seen the completion of a major renovation in our Tuscan Ballroom. In addition, we had a TV crew shooting scenes for a show that will air on Hulu in 2022.
We continue to be encouraged by the number of inquiries we are getting from potential corporate and private event clients...and spring is just getting started!
If you have not already visited the Estate at River Run, I hope you will contact me and schedule a time to come see this magnificent venue for yourself. Hint: if you schedule your visit for the late afternoon, we can enjoy a cocktail as we take in the sunset over the James River. It's a beautiful view from the terrace! Schedule a Visit Today! Contact Us 2421 River Rd W, Maidens, VA 23102, USA
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