When Emily and I sat down to brainstorm V9 editorials at the beginning of the year, one of the first ideas we came up with was a shoot inspired by The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. The Greenbrier has been on my travel bucket list for years, and as soon as we came up with our shoot concept, we knew it would be the perfect opportunity for us to experience this place in person! I admit, we had HIGH expectations for our stay, and between the iconic decor and the incredible Southern hospitality that was shown to us by every member of the staff, I think it is safe to say that even those high expectations were exceeded!
After a windy drive through the mountains (that was actually not as long as I had expected–it only took about four hours to get there from Chapel Hill), we pulled up to The Greenbrier. We were grateful to have a tour scheduled with the weddings team shortly after we arrived, because I don’t think we would have been able to resist starting to explore immediately! The hotel at The Greenbrier was first built in 1858, and after serving various functions over the next century, famed designer Dorothy Draper swooped in to redecorate the entire resort with her signature bold, colorful, pattern-filled style. Each room is totally different, but somehow, it all flowed together seamlessly. Emily and I couldn’t resist snapping photo after photo–a few of our favorites nooks and corners are below!
Of course, our tour wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to The Greenbrier’s newest addition: a wedding chapel right on the property! After four speedy months of construction, the Greenbrier Chapel came to life just in time for the resort owner’s daughter’s wedding. That’s not the only meaningful thing about the chapel’s new history–owner Jim Justice also personally chose the location for the chapel after a centuries old oak tree on the North Lawn inexplicably died. He decided the chapel would bring new life to this spot, and proceeded to incorporate wood from the tree into the crosses found inside.
Wedding or not, there are tons of activities to be found at The Greenbrier. From hiking trails, to historic bunker tours, to golf, to horseback riding, to the spa, to the casino, to a movie theater, to the fabulous indoor pool pictured below, no one could ever get bored there!
After a long day, nothing felt better than settling into our gorgeous, cozy rooms. We took advantage of The Greenbrier’s on-site pizzeria for a room service party with Jaclyn, Whitney, and Carley after our shoot, which was a sweet little taste of what a bridal party might feel like lounging and celebrating at The Greenbrier before a wedding!
While the decor and amenities were all incredibly memorable, what I know we’ll really never forget about our stay was the people. Every single member of the Greenbrier staff, from the weddings team to the bus driver, was kind, welcoming, and quick to share what they love about this magical place. Everyone seemed to take so much pride in the rich history of the resort, and given how long many people worked there (the gentleman who valeted our car had been there for 30 years!), I think they’re each a huge part of carrying on the tradition of what makes The Greenbrier such a gem. It’s easy to see why so many families have traditions of visiting The Greenbrier year after year, and I already can’t wait to go back with Dave someday!
Thank you so much to The Greenbrier for such an incredible stay!