[image courtesy Justin Hankins]
Last Saturday we had the pleasure of providing entertainment for Whitney and John’s wedding at Rosemont Manor in Berryville, Virginia. The beautiful mansion dates back to 1811 but it is only in the last year that it has been open as a bed and breakfast and event venue. The grounds are lushly wooded and have gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Originally planned for the rolling lawn, Whitney and John’s wedding ceremony took place on the open portico, as it had been raining off and on all day and some shelter was necessary. Ethan Hawver played viola while the guests found their seats and was joined by Eddie Pasa on acoustic guitar.
The portico made for an all-too-brief walk down the aisle, so Whitney and her dad opted to enter from around the corner and walk up the portico stairs to meet John and the bridal party (well done!). The ceremony was quite lovely, and included a rendition of The Beatles‘ “In My Life” with Man of Honor Sean Patrick Henry on vocals.
[image courtesy Joe Henchman]
The cocktail hour took place in and around the Manor house, with croquet (on the now-dry lawn), Coca-Cola (in classic glass bottles from Mexico and paper straws, no less), and a lively mix of 30’s and 40’s swing music, as per Whitney’s request. The guests then made their way to the Carriage House for the reception.
The bridal party entered to U2‘s “Beautiful Day,” and the introduction of John and Whitney was timed perfectly with the song’s first big “It’s a beautiful day” chorus. [nice work, D-Mac]
John and Whitney’s first dance as husband and wife was a foxtrot to the classic “Night and Day” by Frank Sinatra. John was specific about which rendition, too, opting for the uptempo version from the A Swingin’ Affair! album. John was beaming the whole time, looking very smart in his grey three-piece and Whitney was absolutely radiant in her bridal gown (can’t wait to see those official pictures!).
After the applause died down, Whitney’s father welcomed everyone, and John’s father offered a blessing over the food. Dinner was a delicious buffet of basil mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and roast and chicken from a carving station. Whitney and John’s musical tastes are eclectic and sophisticated (no doubt due in part to John’s musicianship); during dinner we heard White Stripes “We’re Going to be Friends”, Ray LaMontagne “You Are the Best Thing,” Polisar “All I Want Is You” (from the Juno soundtrack), Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood “Some Velvet Morning,” Daryle’s appropriate selection of Big Star “Thirteen,” and the guest-requested Doors “Riders on the Storm” (which the father of the bride asked to be turned up). All the while conversation was lively as people were very clearly enjoying the evening.
After dinner, John’s brother (and Best Man) Matthew gave a short and sweet toast to the couple. The Man of Honor, Sean, spoke of how glad he was to have Whitney as a friend growing up, and what a special man she had found in John. Whitney and John then took the microphone to once again thank everyone and to acknowledge their talented friends who were helping out with the wedding. These included Stephanie Giovanetti, who was coordinating the day, photographer Justin Hankins, and videographer Mitchell Jarrett. Also acknowledged was ceremony musician Eddie Pasos who plays with John in Juniper Lane.
John and Whitney danced with their parents to “How Sweet it Is” by James Taylor, before John picked up a guitar to sing his bride a surprise song, accompanied by groomsman Patrick on classical guitar. He chose “The Book of Love” by The Magnetic Fields, a beautiful and very appropriate choice. Whitney smiled radiantly throughout and the rest of the crowd loved it too. After John’s serenade, it was time to cut the cake, courtesy Carolyn Taylor. Eddie took one more pass at the mic, dropping a little impromptu Coldplay for John and Whitney.
The dancefloor opened up strong with the Jackson 5 (remix by DJ Z-Trip), and an Aerosmith request was immediately satisfied with “Walk this Way.” The danceable indie of Lykke Li played for a while to Whitney’s delight before abruptly rick-rolling into Rick Astley‘s “Never Gonna Give You Up” (several guests requested a proper rick-rolling at some point and we obliged). A photo booth was open nearby and props eventually made it to the dance floor.
Led Zeppelin‘s “Misty Mountain Hop” went over big (Whitney’s mom let us know how big a Led Zep fan she is), with tambourines shaking, followed up with “OMG” by Usher. We filled a request for The Outfield with a breakbeat remix of “Your Love” (even more than the rick-roll, no one was expecting that one).
We cooled things down for a bit with Heart‘s “Magic Man” and brought the energy back up with some classic Britney Spears “Boys”, Jackson 5 “ABC,” and Kool and the Gang “Jungle Boogie,” and the dancefloor officially wrapped up with one last request for Daft Punk before John and Whitney had to rush outside for their sparkler send-off. As folks lingered outside, Daryle played a few more songs to really wind things down (Beatconductor‘s on-point re-edit of Lionel Richie‘s “All Night Long” and Talking Heads‘ “This Must Be the Place”) and send guests off into the warm night air and to the unofficial after-party at one of the Rosemont cottages.
After we packed up the mobile gear, we lingered to chat with Tom, one of Rosemont’s wonderfully hospitable caretakers, who hoped to see us there again soon (we hope so too!). It was a beautiful event and everyone had a great time!