I’ve been planning this weekend for months, but I’ve been dreaming of it for pretty much my whole life. Wearing an old scarf of my mom’s on my head like a veil when I was a little girl; flipping through bridal magazines in the grocery store check-out line as a teenager; pinning every awesome wedding photo I could find onto Pinterest for the last 2 years – all of it culminates in THIS, the most important weekend of my life.
The drive out to Historic Rosemont Manor on Friday afternoon is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Car horns are replaced by birdsong, and the smell of fresh cut grass lingers in the air. In no time at all, I am in Berryville. I feel like I have stepped back in time, as I drive by quaint shops and “ma and pa” restaurants. I arrive at the front gates, which seem to have just been opened in joyful anticipation of my arrival. From the moment I pass through, Rosemont begins to weave its magical spell. The winding drive takes me through fragrant fruit trees, blossoming, glorious hedges, and a lush front lawn perfectly manicured and shimmering in the afternoon sun.
I’m here! I expected to be nervous, but instead I arrive at the Manor House feeling relaxed and…well…happy – after all, every detail has been taken care of. The Rosemont staff greets me warmly and I find myself feeling like I’m home at last. My closest friends and family are already sitting on the Grand Portico, glass of wine in hand, ready for the fun to begin. My fiancé and I exchange a mischievous grin – full of joy and anticipation – we are so excited that this weekend has finally come!
We all are together, and the rehearsal begins with no mistakes. It’s “short and sweet”, and everyone is at ease and having a great time. There’s no rush to depart for the rehearsal dinner at another location, because Rosemont’s amazing caterer has already provided all aspects of the rehearsal dinner right here on-site, and the savory smell of barbeque is in the air. After a wonderful meal on the Portico, I have a great conversation with my grandmother, whom I haven’t seen in ages. The guests soon retire to their individual rooms, some to soak in their oversize tubs, others to snuggle up in their beds and read a few pages of the latest bestseller. My fiancé and I sit on the Grand Portico, listening to the soothing chirp of crickets, and counting the stars in the clear Virginia sky. Wow! We count the silhouettes of 14 deer standing still as statues in the moonlit night. We stare in wonder. Things couldn’t be more perfect! We speak in hushed tones about how all the wedding plans have come together, and now we can just enjoy, and celebrate beginning this new chapter of our lives.
I awake the next morning (my wedding day, oh my gosh!!) feeling refreshed from the best night’s sleep I have had in weeks. The glorious chatter of birds fills the air and the sky is a brilliant blue, with not a hint of rain in sight (I’ve heard rumors that Rosemont only allows rain after midnight!). I join my family and friends for a delicious breakfast in the sunny Rosemont Room. The hairdresser and beautician are scheduled to arrive at 11am, so I have time for a stroll around the grounds before I head to the on-site studio with my girls to get all “dolled-up”. The groom and his men are golfing this morning. I know they will be back in time since the course is only five minutes from Berryville. Some of the other guests have gone shopping in town, and have decided to have lunch at Berryville’s Battletown Inn. My girls and I have the place to ourselves and it feels like we’re all back at the sorority house enjoying a lazy Saturday after finals.
We may be in relaxation mode, but the Rosemont staff is already busy preparing for the big event. I’m not at all worried that the Carriage House won’t be set up in time, because I know that a professional and seasoned staff is handling everything. Within hours the reception area is transformed into a fairy tale setting fit for a Prince and Princess–with twinkling lights, paper lanterns, candles, fresh flowers, and beautiful linens. It’s everything I imagined – only better.
Has the cake arrived yet? Where’s the DJ? Who is taking care of the name cards and setting out the wedding favors? So many logistics to consider… but I’m not giving them a second thought because all those details were worked out with the Rosemont staff well ahead of time (they thought of everything and made sure a plan was in place) . Even the horse and carriage to transport me “down the aisle” is standing by. But Shhhh… the groom doesn’t know! Won’t he be surprised when I arrive to greet him in a carriage drawn by two immaculately groomed horses and a driver resplendent in top hat and tails! What a great recommendation that was by Rosemont. And how did they manage to keep it a secret from all of the arriving guests? Just another example of perfect coordination and attention to detail, I guess.
Here we go…I can’t believe the time has finally come! The guests have arrived and are seated on the East Lawn, just off of the Grand Portico with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A light breeze sweeps through the heirloom trees as the carriage brings us across the lawn to the site of the ceremony – the setting is idyllic. My dad proudly steadies me as I descend from the carriage, and my flower girl adjusts my train as I prepare to walk the timeless stone steps toward the beautifully decorated pergola. My groom has never looked as handsome as he looks today. Everyone is smiling and I feel… radiant. Like a princess.
The ceremony is captured in my mind as a perfect and poignant memory I will never forget, and the reception is the most fun I’ve ever had! The catering provided by Rosemont is top notch. The Rosemont caterer was kind enough to host a tasting for me and my fiancé several months ago, so I never doubt for a moment that all will be as expected. The catering staff is experienced and professional, and the food is perfect. And what would I do without the Rosemont staff? They do such a great job of making everyone feel welcome! The atmosphere is festive and relaxed and my guests are enjoying the elegant and picturesque setting. Eventually, we make a grand exit with all of our guests giving us a joyful “sparkler send-off” as we make our way to the Byrd’s Nest honeymoon cottage (although we won’t spend much time there until later – we still have an after-party to visit down at one of the Rosemont cottages). Even then, we don’t have to worry about long goodbyes because we know that we’ll see many of our best friends and family tomorrow at breakfast.
The next morning over Rosemont delicious frittatas, everyone raves about the wedding (“where did you find this place?”). Even my parents are still smiling! I sigh contentedly, knowing I have made a lifetime of memories in just one weekend……
See a video testimony from a Rosemont bride: Historic Rosemont Manor Wedding: Whitney’s Story
Make Rosemont a part of your history. To find out more about making your dream wedding a reality at Rosemont, give us a call at 703-879-5683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credits (from top): Julie Napear, Erin Covey Creative, HayMcKenna Photo