March 2007


Norris House Inn

Last Friday, D. and I spent the night at the Norris House Inn in Leesburg, VA. After a long and trying week, I called the Norris House Inn around 5:30pm on Friday. Not only did they have a room available, but they were also running a winter special, 15% off double occupancy rates. Since we were coming in late after the innkeeper’s office closed, they left our keys in an envelope in a basket on by the front door. There was no trouble getting settled in whatsoever, and the house was warm and inviting.

We stayed in the Garden Room. It’s a cozy room decorated in pink, purple, and peach hues. It’s kind of like sleeping in a birthday cake (which, in my opinion, is not a bad thing).

Garden Room Chair

More pictures of the room are available here.

The innkeepers, Carol and Roger Healey, are a delight. I chatted with them at breakfast and discussed the possibility of holding our wedding at the Norris House Inn. They are putting the finishing touches on a new conservatory to hold breakfasts and teas, and they are currently installing a brand new whirlpool tub in the Norris Master Suite. Also, they are working with the Eiffel Tower Cafe across the street to create a ceremony and reception package for under $5000.
It is obvious that they have put a lot of heart into the upkeep, renovations, and details of this inn. A new version of their website is currently under construction; the current site does not do the inn justice.

Yes, I’m smitten with the inn. D. and I really want to spend the night in the Country Room soon. (It’s not decorated as rustically as it is in the picture on the website anymore.) We like the room because it’s tucked in the eaves at the top of the house.
The only reason why we wouldn’t book the inn for our wedding is because they can only accomodate 35 guests inside. We would like to have an outdoor wedding and invite 50 guests, but if it rained, we would be in a pickle. So, Norris House Inn is definitely in the running and on the leader board.

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A few weeks ago, D. and I were discussing whether or not we would write our own vows. Traditional vows are, honestly, boring. I don’t want our friends and family members yawning and spacing out during the most important part of our ceremony. We brainstormed a bit and the few phrasings we came up with sounded cheesy and did not feel genuine. So, we started getting goofy, and one of us ended up saying, “Do you penis take vagina to be your blah-blah-blah?” (This triggered a fit of giggles because our humor is terribly immature.) But it got me thinking… what if we broke down the traditional vows into the key parts of speech, polled our guests for examples of those parts of speech, and then crafted our vows out of their submissions? Wedding Mad Libs! It’s a creative way of including our friends and family and injecting some humor into a ceremony. Of course, we wouldn’t let our friends and family in on why we want the words. We could print up parts of speech request cards and include them in each invitation with the RSVP card.

We still have over a year until our wedding, so there’s a possibility that we will change our ceremony concept before then. It all depends on the location and the flexibility of our officiant.

At Cabell’s Mill, there was a table full of wedding flyers and business cards. One of the event coordinators / location managers picked up all of this information at a recent bridal show. Along with the business cards for officiants, I found this:

Matthew Lesko

What is he doing officiating weddings? So bizarre. When you think “wedding officiant”, does your mind instantly jump to Matthew Lesko? Mine does not. Yes, I have toyed around with the ideas of having comedic swordsmen, or possiby a monster officiate the wedding, but never Matthew Lesko.

Cabell's Mill

Today, D. and I visited Cabell’s Mill in Centerville, Virginia. It’s a historical property at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park. It has ample parking, lots of space, and a nice stone patio overlooking a stream. Unfortunately, it has too much space for us. It has a bit of a lodge/Old Farmer’s Ball contra dance hall feel. Nothing inside of me screamed “OMG This is the location!!1!1!” It would be perfect for a medium-sized fall or winter wedding though.

More pictures and a floorplan of Cabell’s Mill are available here.

Rust Manor House (front)

Back in January, D. and I checked out the Audubon Naturalist Society’s Rust Manor House property in Leesburg, VA. The rental fee was out of our budgeted range for a ceremony/reception location, but the event organizer for Rust Manor House was willing to work with us.
D. and I trekked out there, and although the property was beautiful (and would be gorgeous in the summer when the gardens are in bloom), I wasn’t blown away. I didn’t feel the tingle of “this is *the* location.” Rust Manor House had been recently renovated, but it still looked unfinished.. small detail work seemed unfinished. I can’t quite describe it. When I went back to RMH with D.’s mother two weeks ago for a bridal show, she had the same comment. It seems unfinished and not in a good way.

RMH is still in the running, but far from the finish line. There are a couple things in the contract that I’m not happy with and may be deal breakers. I’m afraid that if we go with RMH, we will end up spending more money in every budgeted category across the board.

The property is still very pretty and would be great for a medium to large outdoor wedding.

More pictures of our visit to Rust Manor House are posted here.

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