If you’re planning a Charlottesville wedding, chances are you’ve seen your fair share of vineyards, farms, and historic mansions in your search for the perfect venue. While you’ll find beauty, charm, and event amenities in spades throughout most of Charlottesville’s top venues, at times C’ville’s wedding venue options can feel a bit formulaic. Where are the modern, chic wedding venues? The creative, urban, out-of-the-box venues that speak to the artsy vibes of downtown Charlottesville? And I’m not talking about converting an industrial space into a DIY wedding location—I’m talking about a full-service, professionally run wedding venue, perhaps with in-house catering, furniture, and event coordination?
Well, as you may have guessed, I have your answer right here. Enter Common House, a membership-based social club and truly unique wedding venue in downtown Charlottesville that checks all of the above boxes. With an experienced event staff, stellar in-house food and drink service, and a multi-story residence that will impress even your most design-forward friends (oh and I did mention the killer rooftop patio?), Common House is gaining recognition as a cool, different, one-stop-shop for weddings and rehearsal dinners for C’ville urbanites. I had the pleasure of sitting down with one of Common House’s founders, Derek Sieg, who answered my questions about this modern social club.
A public restaurant, a coworking space, an event mill—these are all things that Common House is not. But what exactly is Common House?
Common House is, first and foremost, a social club—which is something like an extension of your house that is staffed with friendly waiters and bartenders and shared with a vibrant community of fellow members and guests. You feel right at home, but there’s always a craft cocktail or delicious meal just an easy order away. A full slate of programming offers members a rich mix of talks, workshops, live music, and more. For the professional life, Common House is a stimulating environment for cowork and for meetings…and, of course, for a delicious post-work drink on the roof terrace. When it comes to events, we specialize in crafting truly unique and memorable experiences—and [they are] very much personal, so you could never call us a mill. Whatever the opposite of a mill is, that’s us!
What was your mission in creating Common House? And why in this town of Charlottesville, and in this particular location, did you feel a place like Common House was needed?
Our mission at Common House was to build community around good food and engaging experiences, and there’s no better place to do it than in our hometown. I think we started just knowing that Common House was something that we, as founders, wanted—a place to belong that shares our contemporary tastes in food, drink, and style. We just crossed our fingers that if we wanted it that would mean other people probably wanted it, too!
The interior design choices made throughout every single inch of Common House are just incredible. Tell me about your aesthetic vision for the space, and how the design process worked.
Common House is intended to feel like our members’ home away from home, so we always started with the idea that it should, above all else, feel comfortable and welcoming. But we also wanted the design to feel energizing and exciting and to feel like thought and intention was put into every nook and cranny. So it’s your home, on uppers.
How do you see Common House fitting in within the ever-expanding Charlottesville wedding venue landscape? What kind of couple would be drawn to hosting their wedding celebration at Common House?
We think any couple who cares a lot about food and style should take a look at Common House. There are a lot of venues to choose from in Charlottesville, but there aren’t any that look like Common House. An event here will definitely stand out from the crowd and look great in the photos you share after the fact.
Apart from its unique decor, what makes Common House stand out from other wedding venues in the area?
The service is phenomenal. Our staff care so much about taking care of our members and clients and making their every experience at Common House personal and memorable. And you can’t beat the food. Our executive chef, Matt Greene, is as good as it gets and turns out amazing food, whether it’s a dinner for two or for eighty.
Common House is located in a historic building in the historic Downtown area. What are the pros and cons of being a historic property? How about being located right off the Downtown Mall? (I’m thinking about parking, for one!)
This building definitely has a heart and a soul, and so does Downtown Charlottesville. We love being right in the thick of it and think it adds so much to the atmosphere, both inside and right outside our walls. And we have parking, so that’s a bonus!
If you could plan the perfect Common House wedding, what would it look, feel, and sound like? This is your personal dream-vision—so go nuts, and get specific!
One great thing about CH is the decor is already taken care of! All you will need are a few flower arrangements and you’re all set. We think the perfect wedding at Common House could go a little something like this: rooftop ceremony (have we mentioned we’ve tented it before?), complete with a three-piece string band and champagne toast, then guests can mosey down to the second level where the entire floor is sprinkled with custom, delicious food stations and cocktails flowing from our two marble bars, and, lastly, you can’t forget the first dance…or the last dance…on our first floor, Vinegar Hall. So good you might need to come back for a hearty farewell brunch the next day!
Sounds pretty compelling to me…check out Common House on Zola, and then do yourself a favor and go check it out in person—it might just be the unique Charlottesville wedding venue you’ve been hoping for.