I Do, Take You
To Be My Destination Wedding Location
by Jamie Narehood
Picture this … as your guests enter the front gate, they find themselves with bated breath, captivated by the simplicity, the rustic charm, the subtle elegance of this 1700s courtyard setting that you too fell in love with just months before. They cross the threshold onto the gravel walkway that you smartly accented with a soft touch of fresh flower tops and petals (by floral designer Lois Pollaci at firstname.lastname@example.org), a faint smell of fabulousness in the air, activated subtly with each pass of random footsteps.
Perhaps your ushers direct the guests to the welcome station located in a shaded section of the courtyard, just outside the guest parlor and artillery officer’s room, where they might find light hors d’ouevres prepared by www.purple-olive.com, like chilled tomatillo and crab gazpacho shots or prosciutto-wrapped shrimp or bacon-wrapped scallops or smoked salmon mousse in cucumber cups topped with caviar or Mussels Rockefeller or fig, goat cheese, pancetta, and pistachio bruschetta. And of course a cool and refreshing, perfect-for-all-weather, big pitcher of good ole southern sweet tea.
On their chairs, your guests might find a lovely, beautifully-designed event card (by YourMomentMakerInStAugustine@gmail.com), featuring your engagement photo, your favorite quote, and a schedule of the day’s events. Gourmet popcorn wedding favors by PopNoff.com might just earn you the title of “Raised-the-bar, Trend-setting Wedding Queen”! You’ll find 59 flavors at 59 Cuna Street, where husband and wife team Jim and Teresa Mau create (from scratch) affordable indulgence in the form of gourmet popcorn treats! Fifty-nine fun flavors for flirty favors for your pre-wedding moment or at your reception, like champagne and strawberries and amaretto sour or peppermint patty (we were mint for each other), butter rum (two hearts that beat as rum?), ginger peanut satay (satay you luv me baby!) or berry delicious (we’re oh so berry in love)! See where I’m going with this? Loads of tasty fun!
During their (your guests) initial moment, you are in the Sara Petty Anderson (SPA) House on the southwest corner of this exclusive property, your personal makeup artist doing some final touches before your ascent. Thank goodness there is so much space in the SPA House. It’s been a hot mess today, with that wonderful click-click/click-click of everyone’s high-heels on wood floor, girls giggling, some panicking, as they scoot through the House in search of brushes and hair pins and sprays and perfumes—all scents and sounds that will bond you forever with those precious few who shared this most special moment with you, your last moment as a single gal.
You walk down the aisle to something traditional like Pachibel’s Candon D (full orchestra version) or just maybe you walk the wild side and saunter down that aisle toward your man with something sultry like Ray LaMontagne’s You Are The BestThing. The white, 8-foot, flower-covered corinthinan you rented from www.TaylorRentalsStAug.com is such a randomly romantic prop that it takes YOUR breath away as you see your groom standing there, looking so fine and so lost in his own moment!
With that first kiss and your husband-and-wife pronouncement, you run together down that gravel path toward the horse-drawn carriage at the property’s entrance (on brick-paved Aviles Street) that is standing by, ready to whisp you and your new husband away for your first private husband-and-wife moments before you return to make that grand entrance to your reception.
The venue around which I have dreamed up this whole scenario is the historic Ximenez-Fatio House, located on the very old, all-brick Aviles Street. Fatio House has been host to artists and writers and travelers galore. It has been managed by strong, good women since the 1800s and is owned currently by the Colonial Dames of America. What better energy with which to surround yourself on your wedding day! Be sure to visit XimenezFatioHouse.org, click the Rentals tab, and flip through the weddings and events albums at the bottom of the page. The daydreams will begin, as likely will the planning.
Of course, you’ll have your reception just across the street here, on the bricked courtyard, at Casa de Solana Bed & Breakfast (built in 1763), and because your wedding guests have rented the entire Inn, you’ll have full use of the parlor and dining room also!
Want to know more? Call Jamie at 904.824.3555 and start planning your most special day now!