JDE Brides: Alison

Alison and Jarrell's November 2013 wedding was SUCH a great time.  The bridal party was incredible, the party was such a blast, and the venue was beautiful.  Alison and Jarrell were introduced to me by my very best friend {one of the bridesmaids} and they were just so different from any other couple I've ever worked with!  Alison was so easy-going and just ready to be married, she wasn't too worried about many of the details of the big day.  And Jarrell was easily the most involved groom I've ever met.  Working with them was so much fun and, by the end of it, I felt like we were friends.

Who are you and who is your husband: Alison & Jarrell

How did the two of you meet? We initially met through mutual friends. He was dating someone, I was doing my own thing. It wasn't until we had a digital art class together at ODU that we started acknowledging each others presence. He would message me on facebook, always want to see my project and how it was coming along...basically all up in my business all the time! He came off a little cocky to me because he was writing columns for a local webzine at the time and would send them to me and tell me to read them. I was not interested by any means. It took him time after time of complimenting my outfits, trying to meet with me after class and about a million other methods to finally get me to watch a movie with him.

How did he pop the question? It was our 2 year anniversary...I was 5-6 months pregnant at the time? Yes. Pretty pregnant. He booked a room at the Hilton at the oceanfront for a little "getaway" weekend. Saturday night we went to Pacifica for dinner and came back to the hotel. He began acting really strange when we got close to the room, and asked me to walk in first. When he opened the door for me there were rose petals all over the room, lilies on the bed and balloons filled the ceiling. When I turned around to be like "What on earth?" he was down on one knee.

What 5 words would you use to describe your wedding? 5 words? Oh. Ugh. Um. FUN. PARTY. FAMILY. FRIENDS. FOOD. I'll just say 5 "F" words. Haha
What were your favorite/least favorite parts of wedding planning? All of it. I often wanted to throw in the towel because I'm the queen of procrastination. Holly was great at staying on top of me. I warned her in the beginning she'd have to get on me about everything or else I'd let it fall to the wayside. I like to attend weddings. Not be the center of attention. That was super rough for me.

Where did you go for your honeymoon? We stayed at the Divi Carina resort in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Most beautiful island ever. I now want to live there. Such a remote, uncommercialized area. Beaches are filled with white sand and clear water. People are BEYOND friendly. We barely stayed on the resort at all. My husband and I are HUGE foodies, so we wanted to try everything in the area. We were there an entire week and I did NOT want to leave.

Who were your vendors? Our venue was Jasmine Plantation in Providence Forge/New Kent, VA. I had such a delightful experience with the owners that I have recommended the venue to all of my newly engaged friends. They were so helpful and accommodating. We used Mobile Pig-Nic as our caterer, delicious home-made southern soul food. Pulled pork, greens, 5 cheese Mac-n-Cheese.....chicken. You name it. It was delicious! Since the venue was SO gorgeous, we didn't need many flowers--we contacted Williamsburg Floral and they were super helpful on such a tight budget and short period of time. Some of our linens and accessories came from Distinctive Event Rentals and the rest I made myself. Our photographer is a close friend, Roberto Westbrook. He does amazing stock image photography! Check him out :). Our DJ was another close friend, Kyle "CanRock" Siebels and our cupcakes were made by Jennifer Hibbs of Battered and Baked Cupcakes. We were thankful to have SO many friends in the wedding business.

If you could do one thing differently, what would it be? Not have done any hoity-toity "crafty" things. I would rather have paid a little extra to just rent the centerpieces or have someone else make them. I also would have been more proactive with some of the vendors. I probably also would have done our original plan of having our wedding in September and not November. It was a tad bit chilly.

Any advice for future brides? Don't do a normal hotel venue. Everyone does that. You'd be surprised at how many farms, plantations, wineries have GREAT packages and it's something you can personalize. Make sure you shop around. Also, let your fiance take the wheel on some things. I'm a huge control-freak procrastinator extraordinaire, so mine was super helpful on making sure I had things done. All in all, enjoy every minute of it. I was lucky to have parents who basically let me do what I wanted and a husband that was willing to go along with my crazy ideas.

Vendor Review - Jasmine Plantation

Back in November, Just Dandy Events coordinated a wedding at Jasmine Plantation in Providence Forge.  If you read my previous post about that wedding, you know how incredibly impressed I was with this historic venue.  I asked the folks in charge to answer a few questions regarding their property so that I could feature them on my blog to help all of you learn a bit more about this great spot.  Enjoy!

Tell us about your business!
We are a historic plantation and premier wedding venue located between Richmond and Williamsburg.  Residing on 40 acres, our plantation is a serene and beautiful wedding destination where you can celebrate with your friends and family for the weekend.  We are a family-run business and pride ourselves on providing a unique and memorable experience for our guests.

How long have you been operating?
We (Don & Eileen Smith) purchased Jasmine in 2005 when we moved here from Bucks County, Pennsylvania while our two sons were attending the College of William & Mary.  At that time, Jasmine was primarily a B&B, but the previous owners had booked one wedding before they left that we inherited when we moved here!  After experiencing how much fun the wedding business was, we made extensive improvements to the grounds and turned Jasmine into the beautiful wedding venue that it is today.  Nine years later, we still love our work and are just as involved in the business as ever.

Describe the most memorable event you've hosted. 
We have certainly experienced some very memorable events over the years, but two years ago we did host a wedding that we will always remember.  One of our brides and her mother toured and booked Jasmine as their venue, but a few months prior to the wedding day, the bride's mother passed away.  One of the reasons they liked Jasmine so much was because of all the dragonflies here, which were favorites of both the bride and her mom.  The morning after the wedding, the bride's father relayed to us that his wife had left signs of her presence at the wedding and that they all had seen one lone dragonfly perched on top of the sundial at the ceremony site where it had waited and watched the entire ceremony.  Unbeknownst to them, our son Ashton was taking pictures of the ceremony that day and had noticed this dragonfly and captured a beautiful picture of it.  When he gave the picture to the bride, she was so touched and grateful at the though of her mother's spirit watching over her on her wedding day.  It's moments like those that make us feel blessed to own and run such a rewarding business.

If you could give a client any advice about picking a wedding venue, what would it be?
Find out what's included in your potential venue before you book!  It can be tempting to book a venue with a lower price, and it's only when you start reading the fine print that you realize there's an additional cost to rent chairs, tables, a reception tent, overnight rooms, bring in outside vendors, etc.  Those things can add up quickly and turn your cost-effective venue into a budget-breaking mess!  We pride ourselves on being an inclusive venue that provides all of the above, does all of your set-up, take-down and clean-up, and also allows any outside vendors of your choosing.  Wherever you decide to have your wedding, make sure they can really give you everything you want for your special day.

For more information about our weddings, please contact us at historicjasmine@gmail.com or (804) 966-9836.  Or visit our website at www.jasmineplantation.com.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Alison & Jarrell

I met Alison & Jarrell through a mutual friend…namely my best friend.  The first time we met up to talk about their wedding, I immediately adored them.  They are such a fun couple.  They're incredible parents to their adorable little boy, Lennon {how freaking precious is that name?!}.  And I could tell as soon as I met them just how much they really love each other.  I was so excited to be included in their wedding planning and couldn't wait to see it all play out.

They were married November 23rd at the historic Jasmine Plantation in Providence Forge.  Let me just pause and say this: If you're looking for an outdoor venue that ticks all the boxes on your list of must-haves....CHECK THIS PLACE OUT.  Not only is it absolutely beautiful and different....but the grounds are so wonderfully maintained.  You can tell that it is a historic property, but it doesn't show its age.  It has been LOVED by its owners.  No sagging roof, no peeling paint.  This venue just seeps class and beauty.  And the owners are THE nicest and most helpful people I’ve ever met.  Seriously.  The Smiths go above and beyond to make sure that everyone feels right at home and welcomed.  It's incredible.

Ok, back to the wedding.  A few of my favorite highlights:  1. The mix of the roaring 20’s feel with some rustic elements.  2. This couple was after my heart when they explained their twist on the usual unity portion of the ceremony. They had a really pretty wooden box that contained two shot glasses and {drum roll please} a bottle of moonshine.  Yup, that’s right…during their ceremony, they took shots of moonshine together.  I seriously have THE coolest couples ever.  3. In the middle of their first dance, their one year old walked right out and joined them on the dance floor.  As if seeing a couple’s love for each other isn’t moving enough, seeing their overwhelming love for their little boy was just incredible.  There literally wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day, courtesy of Roberto Westbrook Photography. Check him out!

Another perk of this wedding? I was also lucky enough once again to work with Mobile Pig-Nic.  Their food is ridiculously delicious, but they’re so much more than just caterers.  Their staff is made up of the friendliest, most helpful people I think I’ve ever met.  I can’t help but recommend them to everyone I encounter.

Congratulations once again to Alison & Jarrell, along with Lennon and the rest of their families.  The wedding was incredibly beautiful and I wish you all the very best!