Innkeeper(s): Debbie & Dan Spear, Jennifer LaRock
A Thousand Paper Cranes 18 Dec 2014, 5:30 am
According to Japanese legend, anyone who folds one thousand origami cranes can earn good luck. One version of the legend says that a live crane will appear and grant the person a wish. Another version of the legend says that the good luck will be everlasting.
For a bride who folds the cranes before her wedding day, she’ll be granted a long and happy marriage.
We recently had a bride at Stevenson Ridge who took up the challenge!
Not only did she fold a thousand paper cranes before her wedding day, she incorporated them into her wedding theme. According to the tradition, the cranes must be held together by string, so the bride used the strings of cranes to form a curtain between the chapel area of the Lodge and the banquet area. The result was simple yet eloquent—one of the most beautiful and unique designs we’ve seen. What a great way to look ahead with optimism toward the future while giving a nod to an old tradition.
Dan on "Road Trippin'" 18 Dec 2014, 5:30 amFor folks who haven't seen it yet, take a peek at Dan's TV appearance on "Road Trippin'"--a program on Fox Richmond. This first aired a while back, but a friend recently passed it along to me, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to pass it along to you, too!
The Christmas Cactus in Bloom 15 Dec 2014, 5:30 am
At least I thought so until this week.
Working at my computer, I happened to glance over the top edge of the screen to see a little red bud peeking back at me. The Christmas cactus that Chris bought for me last year, and which has sat on the front corner of my desk all this time since, has started to blossom.
It’s a good thing cactuses like it dry because the Christmas cactus is the plant I benignly neglect the most. I hardly ever remember to water it. If it wasn’t for our housekeepers, Sandra and Luz, the poor thing might not ever get watered. Being on the far side of my computer, it provides a splash of green for anyone sitting across from my desk—but it’s totally out of my sight. And as the old saying goes, “Out of sight....”
But after a year-long slumber and the most cactus-like conditions, it’s waking up again.
The cactus knows it’s Christmas time.
Virginia Wedding & Event Network Names Stevenson Ridge the Best Wedding Venue for 2014! 11 Dec 2014, 8:04 pmIt was an exciting night for us tonight at Stevenson Ridge. We were selected as the 2014 Venue of the Year for Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania/Stafford by the Virginia Wedding & Event Network!
Elizabeth and I had the privilege of accepting the award, but really, this honor was possible only because the two of us have such a dedicated staff that works alongside us every day. We are the best because so many people work so hard to help us be the best.
We are deeply grateful to all the people who voted for us: brides, people who've attended weddings at Stevenson Ridge, vendors, guests, family and friends, and a whole lot of other great supporters. Thank you for helping make this happen.
I want to call special attention to all the event professionals we have the honor of working with. Brides and grooms so often remember their special day at Stevenson Ridge, but really, that's only possible because so many people pitched in to make the day so special—the DJs, the cake bakers, the wedding planners, the caterers, the florists, the photographers, and so many others. We are SO fortunate to work with so many first-class, talented professionals. Their combined effort makes what we do so memorable.
Trimming the Trees 9 Dec 2014, 7:52 amWe finally have our Christmas trees up at Stevenson Ridge!
The tallest tree, rising some twelve feet, stands in the chapel section of the Lodge. We decorate it with white lights because they're beautiful yet neutral enough to go with any bride's color scheme (and this December, we have a couple of them).
In the Riddick House, the tree stands a little shorter—just ten feet or so. The lights are also white, but the ornaments are much more colorful to reflect the rich color palette of the Riddick House itself.
Chris and I don't have our tree up at home yet, and Dan and Debbie haven't put up theirs yet, either, but those trees will go up this week. We first had to deck all the halls at Stevenson Ridge—a weeklong decorating extravaganza!
We hope Santa leaves something fun and wonderful under your tree this year.
Watching the Highlights from My Own Big Day 8 Dec 2014, 5:30 am
Chris and I received an early Christmas present last week: our wedding video arrived!
Produced by Wesley Rose and set to the song “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit and Jess Glynn, the video captures all the highlights of our big day from last April.
The bride in me was delighted at how well Wesley captured the spirit of the day; the business owner in me was delighted at how well the video showed off Stevenson Ridge.
Chris and I got married out in the woods near our historic earthworks, and we had our reception in the Riddick House. Also featured in the video is the upstairs of the Riddick House, where I got ready, and the Adrian Cabin, where Chris and his groomsmen got ready.
For anyone considering a wedding video, it’s certainly a wonderful way to remember the big day. And while I get to work with a whole host of wonderful vendors who do all sorts of great work for our brides at Stevenson Ridge, I’ll always have an especially good word to say about the videography of Wesley Rose. Check out more of his great work here.
Decking the Halls—er, the Lodge 6 Dec 2014, 8:19 am
Miss Debbie's Elves Hard at Work 3 Dec 2014, 5:11 amSanta isn't the only one with elves. Debbie and her crew of holiday helpers have been busy decking the halls this week at Stevenson Ridge.
With a shorter-than-usual Christmas season this year because Thanksgiving was so late, Miss Debbie's elves have been extra busy--and wow, are we pooped!
Our talented designer, Scott Kidd, has joined us from South Carolina for a few days. He has been a one-man blizzard of decor. The rest of us have been stringing lights, posing figurines, and ho-ho-hoing as directed.
Behind the scenes, it takes a tremendous amount of hard work to create the charming holiday atmosphere that people have come to love at Stevenson Ridge. We have closets full of Christmas in many of our our houses, and we even have most of a storage barn devoted to decoration storage. The intensity of the work, though, is always balanced by all the good cheer that seems to come from all the boxes as we unpack them.
We have quite a few holiday parties scheduled for the next few weeks, so we're looking forward to sharing our good cheer with a lot of visitors and guests. The elves have been working hard to make this another Stevenson Ridge Christmas to remember!
Giving Thanks 1 Dec 2014, 8:12 am
Thanksgiving gave us the opportunity here at the Ridge to reflect on those things we’ve been most thankful for this year. Foremost among them are YOU, our many friends, guests, and brides and grooms who have continued to make Stevenson Ridge a wonderful adventure.
I thought I’d share a few of the thoughts our SR “family” shared with me:
Debbie (Co-Owner): “All of the great families we have met from all over the world. I like making people feel welcome!”
Elizabeth (Head Wedding Coordinator): “For all of our awesome couples and making their dream weddings come true. Being able to help them achieve their vision.”
Brad (Executive Chef): “My family, my job position, my work family, and my recovery.”
Erin (Wedding Coordinator): "I'm thankful to work with a great group of vendors and the full staff at Stevenson Ridge to create a night for all to remember."
Gail (Office Assistant): “I am thankful for my family, church family, and Stevenson Ridge family.”
Chris (Historian in Residence): “I got married here at Stevenson Ridge last spring, and it could not have been more perfect. I am thankful that I married into such a neat family and such a lovely business. I’m thankful for my kids, and I’m thankful for my beautiful bride, ‘Jenny at the Ridge.’”
And as for me? I am thankful that I love my job so much that it never feels like work. I love the people I work with. Stevenson Ridge is a pretty happy place to be!
Registration Now Open for the Second Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge 4 Nov 2014, 3:00 am
Last year's First Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge was a huge success, so we're getting read to do it again!
Registration is now open for the Second Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, which will be held July 24-26, 2015 .
Emerging Civil War is offering a $75 early-bird rate for people who register by April 30th. Regular registration will be $95.
But anyone who attended last year qualifies for a special registration rate of $55/person if they register by December 1.
The fee includes a Friday night round table discussion; lectures, lunch and book signings on Saturday with tours of the Chancellorsville Battlefield on Sunday. The 2015 theme is “Civil War Legacies,” and topics will include the 1865 surrenders, Lincoln assassination, battlefield preservation and the legacy of the Civil War. Details on speakers will be announced soon.
For more information or to register, e-mail: email@example.com.