Local wedding chapel has been revamped

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 12, 2006

For engaged couples working with a low wedding budget, there’s help available just up the road.

The Isle of Wight Wedding Chapel, located off of Route 460 in Windsor, provides low-cost weddings to couples who don’t have a lot of money, or want to save it all for the honeymoon. And best of all, the chapel is newly redesigned, both inside and out.

“I wanted to make it more like a little church of long ago,” said Janice Hardison, the marriage commissioner who owns and operates the chapel, and performs the weddings.

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The redecoration includes new windows, which let in beautiful natural light, and a second row of rafters in the ceiling to enhance the “long ago” feeling. On the outside, the cross steeple has been removed, and replaced with a red cross on the front of the building. The front also has a steeply sloped roof to give the appearance of a country church.

The chapel seats up to 60 guests, Hardison said. For smaller weddings, Hardison also offers a gazebo and sun room. All three locations are set upon a 100-acre farm. The tranquility of the rustic setting is what draws many of her customers, she said.

For the dream wedding, the entire cost is $499. That includes the location, two wedding mugs, two champagne glasses and a bottle of champagne. Also included is the use of a bridal bouquet and boutonniere, with many to choose from, and a personalized wedding cake. For less expensive ceremonies, such as in the gazebo or sun room, the cost can be as low as $199.

“We tailor their wedding to whatever they want,” said Hardison. Couples can choose from the traditional ceremony or one that Hardison wrote. They can also write their own, provided she reads it first.

Hardison even personalizes herself for people’s weddings. She said she once dressed in a Western outfit for a couple that wanted a Western-themed ceremony.

Couples have worn everything from bridal gowns and tuxedos to shirts and jeans, she said. Some have also worn their military uniforms. Hardison has an outfit to match that too.

“I just make it so easy for them,” she said. “I take care of everything.”

Charlie Thompson, who married his wife, Kriston, on July 8 at the wedding chapel, said they had a great experience there.

“I was nervous, but it was very nice,” he said. “She did everything for us and went over everything with us.

“Everything was very nice. I liked it.”

Hardison does about 4-6 weddings a month, she said. She’ll do them on any day except Sunday, and has done them on same-day notice before. However, she said, she needs at least 24 hours notice if the couple wants a cake.

“My husband and I enjoy this because it fulfills people’s dreams. I just make it so easy for them.”

To contact Hardison and schedule a wedding, call 242-6309. The chapel is located at 21402 Garrison Dr., Windsor, Va., 23487.