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Brook & Jon - A Graylyn Wedding
Brooke and Jon were featured as a Real Wedding for the regional publication of The Knot Weddings magazine. They spoke about their love story, wedding, style and who helped put it all together. Please read their response below.
Why did you pick the site? Are you both from the area? Is your family from the area? Was it a destination wedding?
We decided it would be easiest to plan a Winston-Salem wedding since it was where we started our lives together, although Jon’s from Connecticut and I grew up in Greensboro. We didn’t belong to a church, and I wanted to wed outside, so we found the best venue we could that would allow us to do just that: Graylyn Estate. It was once a private home for Bowman Gray and his family in the 30’s, but now it’s a hotel/conference center owned by Wake Forest University. And since we’re both Wake Forest graduates, we knew our wedding would make for some fun Demon Deacon reunions.
The Ceremony decor & setup of space
Describe the ceremony space – Was it outside by a lake as the sun was setting? Was it under a chuppah? Was it in a church? What time of day was the ceremony? How did you decorate the space and the aisle?
We chose to get married in front of a stone gazebo in the White Garden at Graylyn as the sun was setting. The white garden is so beautiful on its own that we didn’t want to add a lot to it, so we simply lined the aisle with flower petals and added two small flower arrangements (of ranunculus, peonies, snapdraggons, garden roses, etc.) to mark the space in front of the gazebo.
Anything else we should know about the ceremony?
I have to send a big thank you to Paula Glover, the events coordinator at Graylyn, and Jo Stanley, the day-of coordinator we hired, for taking over for us on the big day. We couldn’t have pulled off such an amazing event without the help of these professionals. Having someone else keep track of the time and say, “Okay, it’s time for the first dance,” or, “I’ll find you when it’s time to cut the cake” really allowed us to enjoy our wedding.
The reception centerpieces, DÉCOR, & setup of space:
What did the centerpieces look like? Why did you choose these? What flowers were in them? What contained them? Were there any lighting effects used in the space? Any decorations besides the table centerpieces? What color were your table linens and what did the place settings look like?
Like I mentioned before, we splurged on a fantastic venue with great décor, so we kept everything else simple. Graylyn is decorated as a 1930s estate, with rich curtains, beautiful antique art, fountains indoors and out, and in some places, the original furniture.
We were lucky enough to be able to use the whole downstairs of the manor house, so our guests spread out into different rooms throughout the evening. Because the weather couldn’t have been better, they set up tables inside and out. Food stations were arranged in separate parts of the living room area. The band played in the poolroom (named the Atlantis Room), which is decorated with an amazing art deco mural with an under-the-sea theme (the pool was covered and a dance floor erected). The Atlantis Room also retains its original 1920s tile and the round windows are portholes from a 1920s cruise vessel. (There are a million more amazing things about this house, but I can’t remember them!)
Signature drinks? Special music?
Full open bar, including Graylyn’s signature champagne cocktail, served with strawberry garnish on the glass (our photographer got a beautiful photo of this). Butlers passed bruschetta so guests could munch on something before they brought out the food.
Please list different appetizers, meal courses, desserts, drinks. How did you decide on this menu?
Like most southern wedding receptions, we decided on serving heavy hors d’eouvres rather than a sit-down meal. Half the guests came down from Connecticut, and we wanted to share with them some typically southern foods. The shrimp and grits (with Tasso ham) were the hit of the evening. We also served bruschetta, marinated veggies, sliders, crab cakes, tempura chicken, and beef tenderloin.
How did you travel to and from the wedding? Was the getaway in an antique car? Did guests throw rose petals as you made your grand exit from the reception site?
Guests lined up with ribbon wands that we handmade for the sendoff. I was worried that the men wouldn’t be too excited about waving ribbon wands, but those guys really had a lot of fun with them.
Graylyn owns a 1920’s English taxi that we used for the getaway car. We spent the night at Graylyn that night, so they just drove us around the property for a few minutes.