This was by far the most beautiful venue we looked at and booked right away. They can be a little difficult to get in touch with as email is not a main form of communication so you have to call and they have particular hours. We had a great walkthrough with the main lady from Strong Mansion. However, I had a new representative to run my event the night of the wedding. This person did not seem equipped to organize and manage an event. Our flowers for parents, grandparents, etc were messed up. Two people we ordered flowers for never got them. She had very poor communication with me the night of the wedding. Our ceremony was set to start at 5 and yet at 4:50 she had not yet done any of what she said she would do at the rehearsal such as help let guests know to be seated, get bridal party and parents organizes for entrance. She was in a meeting and when we asked for help she said she wasn't able to just then.
I don't think this is the norm, just our luck of having a new person. Venue is beautiful and I look forward to our pics. They have some odd rules, but understandably come with the age and historical status of the property. One of the only vendors who's price included a tent to use during the reception which was great, and the tent had a floor.
Gorgeous venue for wedding and reception!
We looked at several sites for my daughter's outdoor wedding. I am so thankful we chose Strong! Strong Mansion is extremely well cared for and managed. Meticulous. I visited 4 times prior to the wedding, and everything inside and out always looked gorgeous, clean, and well manicured. A beautiful spacious Mansion, with formal gardens outside, enveloped by the natural and serene woodland beauty of Sugarloaf.
The mansion is spacious and beautiful, plenty of space/privacy for the bridal party to get ready. Relaxing. Great photo locations inside and out.
Chris, our coordinator was wonderful. She offered great advice and guidance, and brought up things that I would not have thought of. She returned all of my phone calls in a timely manner.
The rest of the staff was very professional as well. Our Day of Coordinator, Trish, was great. She went through everything well at rehearsal, and the ceremony went smoothly thanks to her strong leadership. If I had any questions or needed anything, she would appear from nowhere!
It is obvious to me that the Staff at Strong cares about each and every Bride. Throughout the whole process, they went above and beyond their own responsibility. During set up, If they saw something that didn't look quite right, they would take care of it, even though it was not their responsibility.
The Staff was respectful and caring. They made us, and all of our guest feel welcome.
All of the property is maintained beautifully. I cannot say that about many of the venues that we originally looked at. As your guests begin approach the venue, from the beginning of Strong's property, it is like you are truly approaching a destination.
I have heard from many that this was one of the most beautiful weddings they have ever attended.
And I didn't feel like just a customer; I felt that our important event was their important...
Loved the venue - it was absolutely perfect. We received a lot of positive feedback from our guests regarding how beautiful the mansion and the grounds were. Pictures around the grounds turned out beautifully.
In the begining I found it a little frustrating that the event staff and grounds keepers do not like to communicate via email, it makes it hard to keep a record expecially when there are multiple vendors you are dealing with. We also seemed to go through many hands and didn't meet our day of coordinator until the night before the wedding. Our florist was also a bridesmaid and my now sister-in law and we were told that if our wedding was on a Sunday we could bring the floral supplies anytime after 10am we just wouldn't have access to inside the building. The staff was so rude to our florist when she brought the supplies only 2 hours before our start time and charged us for the extra time out of our deposit. They also yelled at our elderly grandpa for walking on the grass around the pond. They seemed more concerned about the grounds than providing a good event space.
Having said all that, our day was magical and the weather and setting was absolutly beautiful. We wanted a place that we could bring our own vendors and create a romantic setting so in this respect Strong Mansion was perfect. The ceremony options, tent (reccomend the liner) and photo op spots are breathtaking. We still feel we made the right choice and had an amazing day. They unfortunatly just didn't make it any easier for us as I feel a service industry company...
I couldn't be happier with our selection of Strong Mansion for our ceremony and reception. Our main criteria was finding an affordable and private venue, but Strong just blew us away. Every part of the venue area was picturesque - from the pond and big green doors, to beautiful structured gardens down the hill. Even the drive to Strong is beautiful - it completely sets the tone for the event. Inside the mansion there is an entire floor for the bride and bridesmaids to get ready, and a separate one for the groom/groomsmen. Chris at Strong was our main point of contact and helped us with some of the coordination on the day-of. She was always very responsive and helpful (although there are a lot of rules to protect the grounds - but rightly so!). It was very hot during the outdoor ceremony, but our guests were all so impressed by how beautiful the venue was. All in all it was the perfect location for us and made the event feel extra special!
Strong Mansion is an absolutely stunning reception location; as it turns out, just as stunning in the rain. I was looking forward to a beautiful Maryland fall day on October 1st this year, but got 50 degree temperatures and pouring rain. Prior to the ceremony, we grabbed an umbrella and went outside with our photographer, and ended up with many gorgeous pictures. The ceremony and reception were both held under the tented patio, with additional heaters that we rented (not from Strong), and with 110 guests we had more than enough room. Our guests had a fantastic time (we did too!)
Chris from Strong Mansion handles everything up until the wedding day. She is a great resource for vendors and is very helpful. The only thing I struggled a bit with was her schedule - she is only in the office Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the day, with no evening hours.
Patsy (the day-of-wedding coordinator) was a life-saver on my wedding day. First of all, her priority is the bride. I didn't have a care in the world the whole day, except to talk to my guests and have a good time. She made sure to address any problems before I had a chance to stress out about them. For example, when the reception was about to start, one of the heaters was acting up, so she called the rental company and then went out in the rain to fix it. One of the simplest, but most valuable things she did was to prepare a room for my husband and I to have a few minutes of time alone after the ceremony, and brought us appetizers and drinks. The whole day went by so fast, but I'll always remember those few minutes I got alone with my new husband :) Overall, I was very pleased with my experience with Strong Mansion.
There may be other places that have great "spots" for wedding photos, but having visited many of them, Strong Mansion stands out as a place that is simply surrounded by beauty. They are very strict with their rules which can be oppressive--no sparklers, no throwing flower petals, etc. However, maybe that's why it is so beautiful there.
Absolutely stunning location!
We absolutely love Strong Mansion and its beautiful surroundings. Kris and Patsy were great to work with. Both Kris and Patsy were very responsive to questions, and helpful with providing advice on caterers and other vendors.
I didn't have a wedding planner and was nervous about how everything would work- much to my relief, that was not an issue- Patsy led the rehearsal as my officiant was not available, was the day of coordinator and put out day of items and got everyone organized and where they needed to be. Patsy also made sure my groom and I had a few minutes of peace after the ceremony and had time to enjoy a few appetizers and drink before seeing everyone again.
Everyone had nothing but positive comments on how beautiful the venue was and this was after a week of hurricane rains!
I will never forget our beautiful wedding at Strong Mansion! I wish we could repeat the day over and over again!
I had my wedding at Strong Mansion this June...and loved it. It was the perfect backdrop for how I had envisioned my dream wedding to be. Patsy, the onsite wedding coordinator, was wonderful on the day of the wedding and the rehearsal. She was the calming presence I needed and put me at ease...with those last min jitters. She helped make everything run smoothly...it was a great day! She made sure that my husband and I had a quiet moment after the ceremony. She brought us appetizers and drinks in a private setting. We then meet up with our bridal party and joined the guests.
I have hiked Sugarloaf Mt. for years and always dreamt of having a wedding there. When we met with Kris to look at the venue I feel in love with it. Hearing the history of the mansion was really great, now it is a historical site so you have to treat it as such, they have everything listed in the contract of things to keep in mind. We used Canapes catering, which has done a lot of wedding at this site so we really did not have to worry about a thing. Everything was taken care ! It is truly a picture perfect place to get married at.
The Strong Mansion is absolutely beautiful. It was just what I was looking for.
I couldn't have asked for a better ceremony and reception. Patsy, the day of coordinator is GREAT. She was very helpful the whole time. Kris, the event coordinator was also easy to work with; but she was very particular about what you can and can't do with the grounds. (you can read most of it in the contract)
Just keep in mind that they don't provide tables and chairs, so that jacks up your catering cost.
visit venue often to see how other weddings are set up
Patsy was amazing in helping to make our wedding perfect. I've gotten many compliments on the location and it was beautiful! The mansion is perfect for getting ready and there is plenty of space. The grounds are well taken care of and are beautiful. Would highly recommend!
Strong Mansion is an absolutely gorgeous location and makes for a perfect wedding in a unique location. When you drive up to the space it is a beautiful drive through trees and orchards, and you feel like you are going on a special retreat in some secret garden. The views and the trees in the actual location are just stunning and I would not trade it for anything.
In the planning process Kris from Strong was very helpful and accomodating. I live in Chicago and was only going to be in town on certain days to look at venues. It happened to be the days that Strong was supposed to be closed for visits. Understanding my situation, Kris came in specially for me on a day she was supposed to be off to show me the location. Kris was also very helpful and offered ideas, answered questions and just generally tried to help out with the wedding planning process throughout the entire time. The one area for improvement would have been that she doesn't really "do" email so at times it was difficult to connect through phone because I had to find a time to call during business hours and sometimes leave a message. She would always call back though.
Another thing to keep in mind when booking strong is that they do not have an inventory of tables and chairs. A lot of the other wedding venues that are similar to strong do have this inventory. So at first glance, it seems like Strong is cheaper then the other places, however, the cost goes up since you have to rent tables and chairs. For 150 people, it cost at least $1000 to rent tables and chairs and I made the mistake of comparing apples to oranges when I was considering price.
On the actual wedding day, I couldn't have been more pleased with the location. It was so beautiful. So many guests commented on how beautiful the location was. Even during the ceremony when I would look out at my guests around the lily pond with the mountain in the background, I found myself taken back at how beautiful and perfect it was.
Leading up to the wedding I had been very concerned about the weather because I got married on 8/21 and was worried about the heat/humidity. My ceremony started at 6:00PM and honestly it worked out well. The weather that day was in the upper 80s. It is not as humid up there as it is in the city and did not actually feel that hot. It was only a little hot during pictures, but by the time the ceremony and the reception came around, the weather had cooled down a lot and it was completely comfortable.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Strong. You feel like you are on a special wedding retreat, it is so pretty, you get the entire space just for you and your guests... Everything turned out beautifully.
This is a beautiful place for a wedding. But, I have to say - my daughter got married there in June, 2010 and a friend's daughter just got married last Saturday. The only problem we had was with the wedding coordinator - Patsy. She is a wedding NAZI! She will follow you around with "looks" and has nothing but negative to say when all is over, i.e., "you went 15 minutes over - I will have to tell Chris - you will be charged" =- and "we have a problem, there are tire tracks on the grass" (probably made by the catering truck) - and just very rude attitude. Think twice before booking because if you do not stick to the very MINUTE of the schedule - Patsy will hound you. They need to hire someone much more friendly. It can ruin the atmosphere of the most important day of your life!!!!!
Words cannot describe what the Mansion and the Stronghold Inc. staff gave us on our wedding day. Chris was a lifesaver and so much fun to work with over the last year. She was so understanding when some of our vendors would be setting up late or arriving late. She helped us during the rehearsal when our pastor did not show up, and she helped us on the day of with the walk downs. She was fabulous. The venue itself is stunning! The grounds are so well kept and the mansion kept immaculate. The site provided us with a relaxed feeling all day and provided enough shade (it was in the high 80's on our wedding day) for pre-wedding photos. It is too bad that we can only get married once, but I will be back to visit this site, it is so close to my heart now, and I will have nothing but fond memories of Strong Mansion. Thank you Chris for helping to make our day unforgettable!
Strong Mansion is probably one of the most beautiful venues in the DC metro area because of their exquisite formal gardens. And ironically it is significantly cheaper than comparable venues, though this may be due to their distance from the city (about an hour). They provided the PERFECT setting for our wedding ceremony and reception. As soon as we saw it in person, there was no comparison with the rest of the possible venues. Chris (event coordinator) and Patsy (day-of coordinator) were very sweet and helpful with the arrangements. Since this isn't a hotel, caterering and DJ setup can be more difficult, but it depends on how you want things arranged also. Chris mitigated some of the difficulties by giving our caterers and DJ site visits. We had to book a Sunday wedding because all the Saturdays were taken up in May and June 2010 over a year in advance, so book this place soon if you want it!
We had our reception at the Strong Mansion. The grounds are AMAZING, and received rave reviews from all of our guest. Planning before hand Kris, was willing to help us with simply things like were to put the DJ, and how set up the tables. The day of, Patsy was very helpful, and friendly.
Strong Mansion and the surrounding grounds are gorgeous. If you have your wedding here, you won't be disappointed. We had the ceremony on the steps which back up to a reflecting pool. There are lots of flowers and green plants, so you don't need to bring any ceremony decorations. We had dinner and dancing under the tent, and took a lot of our pictures down the hill in their garden. It's really an incredible spot for photos.
The rental fee is only for 7 hours and you have to add additional hours for set up and clean up. The rental fee does include a lighted tent, which was a huge bonus. That makes it quite comparable in cost to the county rental properties in VA and MD, but it's such a nicer place! And it's much cheaper than other beautfiul places in the area - I did a lot of comparing.
Patsy, the day of help (she's not really your DOC, but helps with keeping things on schedule, lining people up, etc.) was great. She did an awesome job talking us through our rehearsal, which we had to do under the tent because it was pouring rain the day before the wedding.
It's best to call them to get a response - email communication was sporadic. And book early - we booked 13 months in advance and there was only 1 Saturday slot in September left!
We found Strong Mansion after looking at about ten different venues and fell in love with the site. We also chose the site for its value - the venue included a large tent, many options for the ceremony setting, and ample room inside the mansion for the bridal party to get ready. The guests couldn't stop talking about how unique and memorable the setting was. Patsy, the day-off coordinator at the mansion, was extremely helpful during both the rehearsal and the day of the wedding. We wouldn't have done it without her! She worked well with all our vendors.
The thing to keep in mind is that the cost does add up when you extend the length of time on the day of the event. They are unwilling to budge on overtime costs.
The location is amazing! It is by far the best around. However you have to do everything yourself unless you hire a wedding planner. Also, the rules are very rigid. My caterer had to clean many of the rooms that we did not even use. The people running the mansion were not overly helpful. And I found out after the wedding that the women at the mansion the day of the wedding, was very rude to some guests. Overall the location was perfect and everyone had a great time. But, I felt like we had to go the extra mile to please the people running the mansion. If I had to do it over again I would not change the location, but I would have hired a wedding planner sooner.
This site was everything we wanted - unique and beautiful, with an outdoor ceremony option, a ballroom for dancing and a tented area for dinner. They were very flexible about scheduling (we added an hour for dancing) and the site coordinator, Patsy, was so helpful! She ran our rehearsal, put out programs, lined everyone up for the ceremony and cued the musicians, took charge of the sparklers, etc .
You couldn't ask for a more beautiful place for a wedding. We had a wonderful afternoon wedding in October and it was perfect. Everything was wonderful. We didn't even have to spend money on ceremony flowers and decorations because the place is so pretty it doesn't need any extra decor. Patsy was great, she even put lights around all of the trees as night fell. This was the only venue we even looked at because it was exactly what we wanted. They were very helpful and accommodating and allowed us to bring friends and family to see the site many times. We highly recommend to all.
We held our mid-afternoon reception here in early November and could not have had a more beautiful setting for our wedding in 2004. (People still talk about it today!) The staff were responsive to our requests and quite flexible on times, etc. The only issue we had was with the use of confetti which was strictly, not allowed and one of our guests used quite a bit of it anyway...causing us to loose the deposit on the site.
Everything else was so great...extremely picturesque. Perfect fall wedding reception!