Can you believe this is less than an hour from bustling Washington, D.C.?

Shortly after launching Triple B, one thing became abundantly clear…A whole lotta you guys reside in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and/or Northern Virginia (DMV) areas. I’m not quite sure why or how this happened since I’m based in the Big Apple but that is indeed the case. Thus when I learned that Louduon County was an under the radar yet pretty darn fab location for destination weddings, I was extra excited! Filled with wineries, vineyards and plush lanscapes, this quiet southern oasis is ideal for a modern wedding with classic touches and is just a short drive from D.C.

I frequent the DMV area and I was in complete awe of the tranquility and variety of wedding venues so close to the heart of D.C. Most of my loved ones who live in the “area” were, too. And the ones who weren’t assumed that Loudoun County was strictly for “rich folks”. While the latter is partially true — the county is also known as horse country and traditionally equestrian hobbies are pricey — but there are some affordable options hidden in the mix. And I think most people would be surprised to learn that the cookie cutter wedding they’re planning in a familiar East Coast town can easily be duplicated on the same on even a lower budget with more individuality to boot in Loudoun County.

Confession: I actually visited Loudoun for Triple B a little while ago was hesitant to post about the trip because of the area’s many “plantations” and in some cases glamorization of slavery. But in hindsight, there are more than enough establishments in and around Loudoun to make up for that nonsense. Plus I, a young Black woman who certainly doesn’t come from money felt quite comfortable during my visit and I think you would, too. Below are a few standout places from my stay:

For good ‘ole comfort food and fun people watching of the locals, check out Magnolias at the Mill. This area is filled with awesome bed & breakfast inns but the a few that seem most ready to accommodate memorable weddings are Briar Patch B&B Inn, Red Fox Inn and Goodstone Inn & Estate. But the venue I’m most excited about is Salamander Resort & Spa. Founded by Sheila Johnson (yes, the ex-wife of BET founder Bob Johnson), the resort and spa is now scheduled to open in August 2013. This date keeps getting pushed back, sadly. I had the pleasure of taking a hard hat tour of the facilities and even though it was still under the construction, I have no doubt this will be an amazing place to host a wedding to remember once it is complete. Plus, the opportunity to support a Black woman embarking on such a groundbreaking business venture is music to my (and I’m sure your) ears. Go Sheila! To hold us over until next August for a quick bite or cup of joe, there’s the charming Salamander Market. Lastly, two of the areas must-visit vineyards for weddings are Bluemont Vineyards and Hillsborough Vineyards.

Even if Loudoun County still doesn’t seem like your “thing”, I sincerely hope it has opened your eyes to an accessible destination wedding option beyond the Caribbean. For even more information about the hidden U.S. gem, check out this site and as always, be sure to mention Triple B sent ya!

[Image courtesy of Visit Loudon.]