Rehearsal was a fun time. Everyone in high spirits and very excited about the wedding. The bride is one of those people that walks in to a room and it feels like someone turned the lights on. Her positive attitude and energy makes everyone around her feel upbeat. The groom is the perfect foil for her energy, very grounded. This made them very easy to work with. Full of ideas, yet open to suggestion. It only took three run-throughs to get us organized. It was raining, but this didn’t stop us and of course, we had an alternative plan if rain were to continue on the wedding day.
From the website: Completed in 1903, the mansion boasts hand-molded plaster ceilings, vivid wall friezes, gleaming oak hardwood floors and hand-carved paneling, doors and stairways. The reception hall’s wildlife motifs and windows were modeled after Haddington Hall in Scotland. These features constitute a structural work of art that could rarely be replicated today. At Turner Hill, the Rices raised their children and entertained their family and friends in grand style in the early 1900’s. A young George Patton was a frequent guest of Turner Hill and once entertained party guests from the book ladder in the library.
I will post some pix when I get them. [updated]
This venue is fabulous. The gardens alone are breathtaking, but indoors the floor to ceiling oil paintings, the marble and alabaster fireplaces, the library full of old books and the sheer grandeur of the rooms are well worth taking the time to see.
Wedding day dawned. The weather turned a full 180 from pouring rain to scorching sun. Most of the wedding party were from Virginia Beach, so the pretty much grinned at our overheated selves, when they were cool as cucumbers. Luckily the wedding was at 5.30pm so it wasn’t the full heat of the day. The super efficient Turner Hill event organizer, Carol was in full force, making sure everyone knew what was going on. my only task was to check in with everyone and then to shepherd the Groom and his party out of the mansion into the grounds at the appropriate time.
Everyone was in place, and the bride arrived. I don’t know quite how it’s possible to have a sunny day become sunnier, but it did. This bride walked out and you could actually see everyone stand a little taller and feel a little happier. Whatever this young lady has should be bottled and given away free to depressed people! [I later found out she is a skilled musician, mathematician and a marathon runner, the '3M Girl' as one parent told me] The Groom was totally speechless and was not able to take his eyes off her as she walked towards him.
The ceremony was custom for them, and included a handfasting with 6 pastel coloured ribbons. Readings were given, and a musical piece played by a friend, another reading, a short interlude while we prepped the ribbons was covered by the string quartet playing Ave Maria. Handfasting was performed, rings exchanged and the Big Kiss was given. Success! A moving and visually stunning ceremony.
I have never had so many people come to me after a ceremony and tell me how wonderful it was. Usually I get 3 or 4, but in this case, everyone who passed me came over and asked about it. I love that. It means that this couple truly had a custom ceremony. More importantly, they had a successful custom ceremony. My theory is always, it’s not what they said or did, but how they made you feel.
A wonderful experience. I had a great time with this couple and their family.
Congratulations Elena and Jeff!