Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2013 Color of the Year: Emerald

As the New Year approaches, Pantone Color Institute® announced earlier last week that Emerald is the 2013 Color of the Year. “Green is the most abundant hue in nature—the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum… Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation” stated Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. You can incorporate Emerald (green) in your wedding with dress & ties/bows, floral arrangements, table linens or any other décor item. I’ll be interesting to see how much Emerald or green will be integrated in our special events next year!

Photo Credit: Melissa Arlena Photography

Previous article written on WeddingWire.

Happy Holidays from the Staff at Stevenson Ridge.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

New Rescue Puppies

On your next trip to Stevenson Ridge, you will likely be greeted by our two new rescue puppies (and brothers), George Bailey & Billy!  We aren't sure of their breed mix, but definitely some Labrador Retriever.  George Bailey is a little shy, but Billy certainly makes up for it.  These inseparable pups are a fun addition to the Stevenson Ridge family!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fire on the Rappahannock

On Dec. 7-9th, the commemoration of the Battle of Fredericksburg will take place on it's 150th anniversary!  This weekend event titled Fire on the Rappahannock will include re-enactments, living history demonstrations and educational programs.  Additional programming will take place through December 15th.  To see a full calender of events, click here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jingle Bell Wine Trail

Looking for a fun way to spend the weekend?  Four local wineries will be participating in the Jingle Bell Wine Trail December 1-2.  From 11am-5pm, Lake Anna Winery, Cooper Vineyards, Grayhaven Winery and James River Cellars will have snacks, tastings and a souvenir glass.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at any of the wineries.  Click here to learn more about the Heart of Virginia Wine Trail.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Movie Lincoln filmed in Virginia

Today is a big day for Virginia... Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln opens nationwide.  Filmed entirely in the Petersburg and Richmond areas, the tourism industry is hoping this will bring some history enthusiasts to our state for years to come. Stevenson Ridge is especially excited about the films' debut because one of our own was hired as an extra.  Congrats Trevor Spear!!  Here he is, so try to spot him in the movie...
Trevor Spear 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happy America Recycles Day!

Happy AMERICA RECYCLES DAY!  Today is a happy day to be a member of Virginia Green.  In honor of America Recycles Day, they have announced an initiative to introduce recycling to many of Virginia's State Parks... one being our own Lake Anna State Park.  Congratulations to Virginia Green on their endeavor to Keep Virginia Beautiful!  Visit the Stevenson Ridge Virginia Green page here.  For more information on Keep Virginia Beautiful, click here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Melissa & Ryan Lilley's Wedding

Bride Q&A- Melissa Green-Lilley
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Reception at The Lodge

How did you meet your husband?
Ryan and I met when I was a junior in high school at my first job.  We both worked at Tropical Smoothie during high school.  I moved on to a different job and Ryan began college.  We met back up a year later and began dating.  Ryan went to school at JMU and I went to Virginia Tech.  We dated throughout college and got engaged after I graduated with my master’s degree.

How did you choose your wedding date?
I am a teacher, so the summer was always a great fit for us to have our wedding followed by a honeymoon.  The month of August just fit, and August 4th sounded perfect.

What was the one thing about Stevenson Ridge that made you know it was the one?
I loved the garden and rustic look and hadn’t quite found a place that met those needs along with a venue that could comfortably fit over 100 guests.  When we walked into the lodge and saw the extremely high ceilings with the wooden beams throughout we just knew it was the most beautiful venue to have our wedding reception. 

What was your overall wedding theme?
Our overall wedding theme was a mix of a rustic, garden, and vintage feel.

Which detail from your wedding was your favorite?
My favorite detail from our wedding was the groomsmen suits.  I absolutely LOVED how well the colors ended up looking together. All of the groomsmen looked extremely handsome!

Give us your favorite moment of that day.
My favorite memory of the day was when we first arrived at Stevenson Ridge.  The limo driver stopped at the end of the long driveway leading to the property to give us the chance to take a picture that I really wanted.  The guests began arriving for cocktail hour at that time and began to honk their horns in the excitement of seeing us.  Following that picture we went to the basement of the lodge to “chill out” for a minute and have some appetizers and drinks.  Caroline Catering did a wonderful job bringing us wonderful snacks and drinks while we were taking pictures.  This was the perfect time for us to relax and enjoy the moment with our wedding party (our best friends).

Advice for any brides-to-be.
My advice for any brides-to-be is to soak up every moment of the day.  The day goes by so fast and it is so wonderful to see all of the small details you planned all put together.  Soak in the smallest moments as well. The time you have with your groom when you are taking pictures just the two of you, or the intimate time you have with your bridal party is extremely special and wonderful.  Stay calm and just enjoy every moment!

Caterer: Caroline Street Catering I Florist: Jane Guerin Flowers I Photographer: Reed Photography I Coordinator: Elizabeth Timms, Stevenson Ridge I DJ: Richard Green Entertainment I Cake: The Icing

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hello, it’s nice to meet you!

Have you ever attended a wedding where you are sitting with a bunch of people you have never met? You don’t know much about them except maybe their name and where they are from so there is that awkward tension around the table. That uncomfortable tension is about to become a thing of the past. A new startup company in Washington, DC has created a social media website called Social Tables. This new website allows your wedding guests to learn about their fellow table members before actually attending your wedding.

This is how it works:

First, you name your event such as “Katie & Michael’s Wedding”. Then you fill out the details about your event such as how many tables, how many at each table, start and end times, venue and address.  You can add guests from Gmail, Excel, Facebook, and any other email site. There are separate instructions on how to upload your wedding guests from Wedding Wire or The Knot’s websites. The website also has a tool for engaging your guests by letting you create your own custom questions. Social Tables is a great way for your guests to get involved before and after your special day.

Seating is one of the most important aspects of planning a wedding.  Placement of your guests is crucial for their enjoyment.  Will his cousins get along with your co-workers?  What if you have a bunch of singles at a table... who will break the ice first?  With Social Tables,  you drag-and-drop your guest list into their seats. The website auto saves as you complete your seating chart. You then have the option to show or hide the guest’s name. Next, you invite your guests to the event and an email will be sent to everyone. The email will let them know who is attending, RSVPs and who is sitting at their table.   

After the email blast, it is up to your guests to socialize with one another. Adding that option of the custom question could help break the ice between them. Check out this new website as they have a video to help explain the setup process as well as how to use the drag-and-drop interface.  Stop the awkward silences and have your guests enjoying the party!  Advantage # 2… Money-Saver!!  No more having to write “and Guest” on those invitations; your guests will have a blast with their new friends!

Written by: Elizabeth Timms
Assistant Events Coordinator

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Battle of Fredericksburg Anniversary

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg, the National Park Service will recreate the events that occurred in 1862.  Special events will include children’s programs, fireworks, music, walking tours, bus tours and a visit by Virginia’s History Mobile.  Eight historians from the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park will assist in interpreting the 1862 fighting.  Events begin Friday, December 7.  Find a full schedule of events at  The program will commence December 15. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Katie & Kevin Cooksey's Wedding Blog

Congrats to Katie & Kevin! Their wedding was published in Perfect Wedding Guide.

Click here to read more about it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Virginia & Ray Spain’s Wedding

June 2, 2012 –At the Lodge, Virginia prepared for her wedding day. The first Saturday of June was gorgeous with the sun beaming and the temperatures in the mid-70. The southern chic theme flowed throughout the entire afternoon. Guests arrived and waited for the ceremony to begin under the shade of the trees. The pergola was decorated with blue hydrangeas and yellow strands of ribbon, giving it a whimsical feel. Clear mason jars filled with blue hydrangeas hung on the aisle chairs to complete the look for the outdoor wedding.

After the ceremony, guests entered the Lodge and found their name cards slipped into the slats of a large, white shutter. As guests found their seats, they had “guestbook pages” waiting for them to use their creativity. With mini buckets of multi-colored pens at each table, guests were encouraged to fill out the pages with information such as where they traveled from, advice for the bride and groom and even draw a picture of the newlyweds.  An entertaining activity and something that Virginia and Ray certainly enjoyed reading through the days following their wedding. 

The reception was decorated as if it came out of Southern Living Magazine. Guest tables were draped in white pintuck linens and blue and yellow floral runners that the bride made herself.  Adorned with white garden lanterns, blue hydrangeas in mason jars and table numbers displayed on mini chalk boards, the reception look was ideal for a charming afternoon wedding.   Virginia and Ray sat at a private (sweetheart) table sharing intimate conversations with one another during lunch.

The reception came to an end as Virginia and Ray ask everyone to line up out front of the Lodge as they went to pack their stuff. The guests received wishing wands with yellow ribbons and little bells. Once everyone was ready, Virginia and Ray stepped out of the Lodge as husband and wife. The wishing wands were waving and jingling as they got into their car to drive to Florida for their honeymoon.  A beautiful day for a beautiful couple.  Congratulations Virginia & Ray!

Written By: Elizabeth Timms
Assistant Events Coordinator
Photos for this blog were taken by Stevenson Ridge

Caterer: Caroline Street Catering I Florist: Westwood's Florist I Photographer: Dirt Road Photography I Coordinator: Jennifer LaRock, Stevenson Ridge I Ceremony Music: Eric Gilgenast I Cupcakes: Fat Girl Cakes Officiant: C. Mark McNabb

Monday, June 18, 2012

30th Annual Fredericksburg Photography Show

Looking for something different to do this weekend? It's going to be a hot one, so maybe staying indoors is your best bet.  How about visiting historical Fredericksburg for the 30th Annual Fredericksburg Photography Show.  This FREE show will be taking place from June 21st through the 24th at the Dorothy Hart Community Center at 408 Canal Street, Fredericksburg, Virginia 22401.  Thursday & Friday 4pm-7pm; Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday 12pm-4pm.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Going Green at the Ridge

If you have visited Stevenson Ridge to see the historic preservation work by Dan Spear, you may have noticed the combination of antique woodwork with energy-saving appliances in each of the cabins.  In addition to restoring the cottages with original components such as framing, windows and door locks, we are environmentally conscious about the day to day practices at the B&B.  As a member of Virginia Green we strive to provide green lodging, weddings and meeting facilities for our guests.  We have been diligent in our efforts of recycling, reusing (scrap paper, purchasing used furniture or making furniture from reclaimed wood, replacing towels only upon request), and reducing (dispersing information digitally versus printed materials, energy-efficient lighting). Recently we have made some additional changes around the farm to be more environmentally friendly.  We have just finished installing bulk amenity dispensers in each of the bathrooms, eliminating the waste of small bottles.  You will also notice the refrigerators (cottages and office) are now stocked with a reusable glass bottles for water instead of individual plastic bottles.  In our newest addition to the property, The Post Office, we installed our first tankless water heater, which heats water on demand instead of constantly heating.  We are excited about implementing our new green initiatives!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fun and Unique Guestbook Ideas

Traditionally, guests attend a wedding and sign a guestbook so the bride and groom can look back on all the fun memories they shared with everyone. If you are tired of the same traditional guestbook here are some fun and unique ideas to switch it up.

Mad Libs
This style guestbook is quick and easy with a touch of uniqueness. This is sure to make for a good laugh for years after your wedding.

Photo Booth Picture Album
This fun guestbook allow guests to print two copies of each photo booth session and then place them in a photo album. Most of these albums have enough space so guests can write a little note to the bride and groom.

Inspirations from Love Poems
Many couples are now using love poems, novels, their favorite book and even a cookbook as their guestbook. This unique concept allows guests to share their words of wisdom in a book that the couple will cherish forever.

Wishing Tree
This type of guestbook is more personal and it makes for a great décor piece in your home. Guests can write advice or well wishes down on a piece of paper and then hang it on branches or place in a keep-sake box.  As newlyweds, you will enjoy reading through all of the comments and continue to re-visit the advice for days to come.

Photo credit: Stevenson Ridge
Fingerprint Book
This guestbook option is gaining popularity fast and is a fun way to display the people who participated in your special day. Guests ink their pointer finger, place it on a branch of the tree and sign their name next to their unique print. The bride and groom can take home a little piece of their friends and family members with them forever.

Photo credit: Carley Rehberg Photography 
However you decide to remember those who celebrated this day with you, don’t forget to recognize what they given to be there and THANK THEM!

Written By: Elizabeth Timms
Assistant Events Coordinator

Photos and Inspiration by:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ali & Tyler Shearer’s Wedding

March 18, 2012—It was a cloudy Sunday morning but that did not keep the smiles off of the wedding party’s faces as they arrived at the Lodge. Ali and her bridesmaids got ready in the bridal suite as Tyler and his groomsmen waited patiently at the Riddick house. The ceremony at the Lodge was decorated with lots of green, pink and white flowers. The first few aisles had little piles of flower petals.

Once everyone took their seat; the bridal party got ready to walk down the aisle. While Ali waited for her turn, she and her father shared a very beautiful moment together. Ali’s dress embodied her theme--old-fashion and classic. It was covered in lace with small embellishments throughout the dress.

The ceremony began and there was not a dry eye in sight. They shared some laughs as the Officiant shared stories of love and God. After exchanging vows, Ali and Tyler took their first communion together.  Then they were pronounced husband and wife; everyone could see the excitement in both Ali’s and Tyler’s faces.

The reception was decorated with more earthy green, pink and white flowers. The tables had small mason jars with votive candles to complement the intimate and warm feeling of the wedding. The cocktail hour was simple but sweet as they served beverages and peanut brittle.  After announcing the bridal party, it was time to eat. Keeping it simple but delicious, the menu consisted of tea sandwiches, veggie rolls, pasta salad, crudités and fruit spread.

After eating, the newlywed couple shared their first dance as well as dances with their parents. Afterwards, Ali and Tyler cut their strawberry shortcake cake. Single girls gathered as Ali threw her bouquet. Then Tyler had fun with a non-traditional alternative to the garter toss, where the single men popped balloons to find the one with the handkerchief.

Once the festivities were done, it was time to send Ali and Tyler off to their new life as a married couple. As favors, the couple gave guests Ranunculus Tecelote bulbs and baby Virginia Pine cones. The couple stayed at the Riddick House for a mini honeymoon before heading out for a three month hiatus in the mountains of California. Congrats Ali & Tyler!
Written by: Elizabeth Timms
Assistant Events Coordinator

Photos for this blog were taken by Stevenson Ridge

Caterer: Caroline Street Catering I Florist: Petals & Stems I Photographer: Beth Harris Photography I Videographer: C Young Works I Coordinator: Amanda Fogelman I Music: Zach and Beth Farrow (instruments) and David Hislop (sound) I Cake: Edna Guajardo I Officiant: Elbert Paul

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Creating the right mood at your Wedding Reception

Picking the right DJ can be hard as each individual Master of Ceremonies is unique and different in their own way. It is important to have their personality match yours and the overall wedding! Don’t rush this process and choose who you believe would make your wedding magical.

DJ Brad Trigger has some key advice when looking for the perfect DJ.

1. Look for the experience. An experienced DJ has lived through various scenarios and is prepared for the unexpected.
2. DO NOT be afraid to ask for and check references. A good DJ will have several available and would be happy to share them.
3. Does the DJ LOVE weddings and take personally, the quality of service they provide? A good DJ wants to please the customer and does everything within their power to ensure the bride’s and groom’s event is the best it can be.
4. Has the DJ played at the venue before? Ask those at the venue if they know the DJ you’re thinking about hiring.
5. Shy away from ego maniacs. There are some DJs who let their ego drive their actions, without any consideration for their clients.
6. A good-experience and professional DJ will meet with the bride and groom beforehand, to get to know them and take notes about their vision of the perfect reception. The DJ should listen, take notes and help form an itinerary.

Along with finding the perfect DJ, it is also important when choosing the first dance. DJ Eric Herod believes when choosing the first dance, it should either be in line with your story or be a song that evokes memories. Every song you chose for this important event within the reception must have emotion and connection involved.

According to DJ Eric Herod here are the top songs he plays at weddings.

Most requested dance song: Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling"

First Dance Song: Brad Paisley "Then"

Father/Daughter Dance: Heartland "I Loved Her First"

Mother/Son Dance: Rascal Flatts "My Wish"

Bouquet Toss: Beyonce "Single Ladies"

Garter Toss: Queen "Another One Bites the Dust"

Cake Cutting: Archies "Sugar, Sugar"

Introductions: Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling"

So grab your iPod, Google, or YouTube to help you find songs that will create the perfect atmosphere during your wedding. Use the advice of venues and other references for hiring the right DJ. And remember, this is your special day so make sure your DJ has your best interests in mind and knows how to party!

Written by: Elizabeth Timms
Assistant Events Coordinator

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gigi & Will Hill’s Wedding

February 25, 2012—It was a beautiful day as the rain from the previous night had vanished. The sun beamed down on Stevenson Ridge as Gigi and Will prepared for their wedding day. Gigi and Will had their First Look before the ceremony and took many gorgeous photographs around the property.

Later as time drew closer to the start of the wedding ceremony guest started to arrive. Instead of a traditional guestbook, Gigi and Will had a wishing tree where guests could write their wishes for the newlyweds and place it on the branches. Not far from the wishing tree were framed letters from President Obama and former President Bush wishing them both a happy life.

This wedding was very family oriented. The couple made sure to incorporate past generations wedding photos and charms on Gigi’s bouquet of family members who have passed. The ceremony was very touching as they continued to incorporate their family members as they exchanged personal vows to Will’s daughter.

The color scheme for Gigi’s wedding were sangria, watermelon and teal to give the vibe of elegant but fun. The centerpieces for this wedding were simple but perfect as they added tulips, dendrobium orchids and callas in a square vase with some river rocks and water. Each table was named after a tree thus giving each table its own individual personality. The couple sat at a sweetheart table designated for him and her. Along with delicious food and good music, Gigi and Will had a Lemonade table with cotton candy.

The party continued on throughout the night with toasts, cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss and some great dance moves. They ended the night with a fun purple and pink candy bar and sparklers lit the way as the bride and groom walked out as husband and wife. The newlyweds left in limousine as they started their new lives as a family. Congrats, Will & Gigi!

Written by: Elizabeth Timms
Assistant Events Coordinator

Photos for this blog were taken by Stevenson Ridge

Caterer: Caroline Street Catering I Florist: Anytime Flowers I Photographer: Hartwood Photography I Videographer: Casey Lynch I Coordinator: Jennifer LaRock, Stevenson Ridge I DJ: DJ Epidemic I Cake: Sweet Reasons I Hair: Chris Hlusko I Makeup: Go Go Gorgeous I Officiant: Don Taylor

Film Festival comes to Fredericksburg

Friends of the Rappahannock is bringing the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival to Fredericksburg.  March 10 the annual SYRCL (South Yuba River Citizen’s League) festival will feature films about conservation, nature, environmental justice, wildlife, indigenous cultures and more.  Doors will open at 8:30pm and shows start at 9:30 at the Village 12 Theater behind the Spotsylvania Towne Centre.  As a Virginia Green establishment, we recognize the importance of minimizing our carbon footprint and look forward to this event.  For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

PIN Your Wedding Ideas is a fun and inspiring way to collect many ideas for many different reasons. Getting addicted to this website is very easy. As you browse through the different pages of photos, you find yourself getting lost in the Pinterest world. This website is not only a fun way to see all the different images that are out there but it has become a sensation for the wedding world. This new and fun website is a great tool to get inspired for your wedding day. Not only does it allow you to design your own pinboard but it allows others to comment on the images you have selected.
The idea of Pinterest began in December 2009 by a group of successful entrepreneurs and investors. This invitation-only site officially launched in March 2010. Pinterest’s mission and goals are based on the idea of connecting everyone in the world to “things” they find interesting. This new website allows users to organize and share all the things they find interesting on the web.
These pinboards can also be used for collecting ideas for decorating your home, finding your fashion style or saving favorite recipes. Users also have the option to browse pinboards created by other people. This is a great way to discover new things and get inspired by people who share common interests.
How the website works is users pin an image to Pinterest. A pin can be added from a website using the “Pin It” button or you can upload an image from your computer. When adding a new pin using the “Pin It” button, it links the image back to the site it came from giving the image its proper photo credit. Pinterest stays current with technology and social media and has recently added the “Pin It” button to the iPhone and Google Chrome.
This new website is gaining popularity with many people around the world and it also gives those fun collage exercises we used to do in school a new modern twist. For you, this new website is a great way to get ideas for your colors and themes. Pinterest is linked to any social media site, giving others the chance to comment and view your images.
In August 2011, Time magazine listed Pinterest in its “50 Best Websites of 2011” article. Additionally, TechCrunch named Pinterest the Best New Start up of 2011 due to its referral traffic to retailers. As of January 2012, this unique website had reported 11.7 million users, making this new website one of the fastest growing in popularity. So play around with Pinterest and see what exciting ideas and leads you can find!
Amelia Wine pinboard

Tina O'Rourke pinboard
Written by: Elizabeth Timms
Assistant Events Coordinator