I thought everyone would love to see an image I took at the front of the property following our own Greenbrier wedding this winter. I mentioned in a previous post that we have had many opportunities to document weddings at this, one of our countries most historic properties and this photograph means so much to me since I photographed it on our wedding weekend.
Our dear friends, Erin and Craig, documented the wedding weekend for us and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was sixty (yes, sixty!!) degrees during the day, making travel very easy for our out of town guests. A Greenbrier wedding is stunning and a Greenbrier wedding in the winter made it even more special for us, due to the extensive holiday decor and displays with the utmost class, which made for an excellent backdrop for our own event.
After our wedding at St. Thomas Episcopal church in White Sulphur Springs, guests made their way into the hotel for a hot chocolate hour while we went on a horse and carriage ride through the Sporting Club houses. Guests could enjoy the post Greenbrier wedding festivities by enjoying tea or hot chocolate, while watching an ice skating display out of the Cameo room rear windows.
If I had to make a suggestion to families hosting their own Greenbrier wedding, it would be having guests look into the wonderful cottages that surround the hotel. They are serviced by The Greenbrier and are the oldest parts of the present structures. Twenty six presidents have been hosted at The Greenbrier and the cottages have hosted many nineteenth century leaders. John Tyler and Martin Van Buren have been guests at The Colonnade Estate House, where Maran’s family stayed for our Greenbrier wedding. We enjoyed many Greenbrier wedding meals at this house, including a breakfast hosted by the Kajfez family on the day guests departed. It also served as a convenient, yet private, location for Maran to dress on the wedding day. My immediate family resided at Top Notch Estate House for the weekend. President Nixon spent many a Labor Day and Memorial Day vacations with his family here and Mr. and Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower occupied the house in 1945. This house is perfect for a Greenbrier wedding, as it also served for the private home of George Stevens, the president of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad. It can entertain as many as two hundred guests. This served as a great location for the groomsmen to prepare for the events of the day.
In classic Greenbrier wedding tradition, we elected to spend extended time on the grounds and we certainly enjoyed a lunch with a few members of our wedding party. Leta, Kyle, Annie, Bill, Maran and I enjoyed a wonderful meal at Draper’s Cafe, named for legendary designer Dorothy Draper, known for her bright colors that are still very evident throughout the hotel to this day. No Greenbrier wedding guest can miss the view of Ms. Draper’s touch.
A unique Greenbrier wedding memory that we will keep with us to this day took place the night after our wedding. We ended up running into a guest that was celebrating her sixty third wedding anniversary. I mentioned to her that she had us beat as we had been only married for one day and she noted that she had seen our Greenbrier wedding taking place the day before. To make a long story short, Maran and I ended up having a drink with them in their room celebrating two marriages, one new and one lasting the test of time. To those guests, thank you for adding a special memory to our Greenbrier wedding weekend. It reminded me of my grandparents who will celebrate their seventieth wedding anniversary on October 3, 2013. My grandfather was able to attend our wedding and it was great to have all three Robert A. Garlands together for one photograph.
Rob Garland is the owner of Rob Garland Photographers, a company which specializes in photojournalism and fine art printing. Rob prides himself on a classic, intuitive, heartfelt documentation with the utmost in visual integrity. He has documented many destination weddings throughout the U.S. and abroad as well as Charlottesville weddings at many of our outstanding local venues. Rob loves imagery that fails to go in and out of style and personal touches that make each wedding unique.