Traveling to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia to photograph a wedding at The Greenbrier was near the very top of my summer highlights list – not only was I excited to have the opportunity to shoot in one of the resort’s iconic ballrooms, but I couldn’t wait to explore the massive and inspiring property during my downtime.
Days after I first read an article in Matchbook Magazine about The Greenbrier and the work of its famed designer, Dorothy Draper, I coincidentally received an inquiry to shoot there. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, and while taking the wedding would ultimately cut a bit into our time in France, I knew it would be well worth it!
Set in the beautiful Allegheny Mountains, this historic resort has seen its fair share of celebrities pass through its doors – 26 US presidents, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Princess Grace, Bing Crosby, and countless others have stayed on this 200 year-old 6,500 acre National Historic Landmark, with over 700 rooms.
Dorothy Draper, an interior designer known for her dramatic use of bright color & patterns, was commissioned to redecorate the resort after World World War II. Cheerful floral patterns, black & white checkered floors, striped walls, and intricate chandeliers are just some of Draper’s trademark touches that you’ll notice throughout the resort today. While Michael and I tend to classify our style as largely minimalist, seeing this Draper-infused aesthetic in person was nothing short of awe-inspiring, and a tiny part of me did want to come home and incorporate a bit more floral on floral patterns in my life.
I hope to return to The Greenbrier with Michael someday to explore parts of the property I didn’t have the chance to see, but also to spend some time hiking and appreciating the natural beauty of the surrounding West Virginia mountains.