What a week!

Jul. 6th 2013

Fourth of July

I have to say, I feel as if I have really neglected our blog of late. But with all that is going on, by the time I sit down, I tend to fall asleep. Things have really picked up pace and we seem to be racing from one thing to the next. The Mansion is starting to look more like a home than an empty shell with all the furniture that has come. The kitchen has finally been put away and I can finally cook a meal! The front of the Mansion doesn’t look like a war zone anymore with the new sod, grading and beautiful sidewalk that is now in place. I have to tell you that all the work it took to pull that bricks out is really worth seeing in the sidewalk we have now.

But with all the progress, we still have some things to complete and to get. Curtains still seem to be an issue with us. We have finally found a seamstress who can start the process for us and we just need to get the fabric ordered and in. There are still a few things we have yet to find, like flatware. I have a style in mind, but haven’t found just the right fit. Towels, rugs and many small items are on the list of finding and securing. And it’s not just finding the right things any more either. It’s find the time to get out to get it.

This week is a prime example of how busy things are getting. Don’t get me wrong! We don’t hate one minute of it. But it just seems like there isn’t enough time in the day to get the lists done.

Last Sunday, we had a Vendor Fair with allot of the area Wedding Professionals. We opened the plantation from noon to 4pm and invited these professionals to come and see the plantation and to meet us. It was a great success! We had about 20 vendors from florist to caterers to bakers to wedding planners come. Some brought examples of their work and other brought great resumes and references. We have to say that we would not have any issues in using any of them. What professionals they are! I will be doing more feature posts over the next few days to introduce you to some of these great professionals!

After Sunday, we were in the race to July 4th. We opened the plantation to the public on July 4th as part of the Independence Day Celebration. It was the first time Belle Grove Plantation has been opened to the public to view. We did some advertising through our Social Media connections as well as a mention in the last Free Lance Star article last week. We were also promoted by several of our Wedding Professionals that had just visited last Sunday through their email lists and Social Media connections.

We opened the doors at 2pm and were supposed to finish at 6:30pm with the last tour. We took advance registration by email and scheduled two tours per hour. One at the top of the hour and one at the bottom of the hour. Each tour ran one hour and was to be 10 people per tour with no more than 15 totals if we had to add any.

I took the first tour at 2pm with 10 people. By the time we were ready to move upstairs, our front Grand Hallway was filled with people waiting to see the house. My second tour ended up with 25 people! We had tours every half hour and didn’t finish until 7:00pm! From the sign in sheet and word of month from our two volunteers, we had 90 to 100 people that came through Belle Grove in 4 hours! It was so awesome to have so many excited about the plantation!

Afterwards, Brett and I received several emails, comments on Facebook and the blog that people really enjoyed the tours. Several people are now talking to us about events and about staying with us. We have had brides schedule viewings and several “Ladies Social” that are now being worked out.

During the tours, we had people come up to us and tell us how much they loved the plantation and how much passion they felt from us as we told the history of this beautiful Mansion. It just excited us to see that all the work and all the tears and all the delays meant something great was coming… and is still to come.

So yesterday, the day after the Open House tour, I sat down to write this post. I got three sentences in and had to leave to show the property to a visitor, then go to a lunch meeting in Fredericksburg, then stopped by a Coffee Shop to see an exhibition of photography from one of our Wedding Professionals. Today, Brett started planting some of the rest of the landscaping from 8am to 1pm and I have showed the plantation to two couples who will be getting married next year.

So while we are running like crazy, it is all good! And when we lay down to go to sleep at night, there is a satisfaction that never came from all the hard work I did for someone else. It is defiantly a “good tired”.

So please forgive me for not posting as often and for not reading blogs that I follow as much as I have in the past. But most of all, thank you so much for all the support you all have given us! It has meant the world to us and is appreciated more than you will ever know!

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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Darnell History | 27 Comments »

Help Needed!!

Jun. 20th 2013


Okay everyone! I’m coming to you for some help!

As you know we had wanted to open our doors in March of this year, but hit a delay with the Special Exemption Permit.

Then we pushed our opening date to May 1st, only to once again but delayed.

Then we pushed our opening date to July 1st.

As of two days ago, we were informed that our seamstress wasn’t going to be able to start for 8 WEEKS!

Of course that wasn’t good, so our design team worked hard to find a new seamstress, which they did.

But the only problem is she can’t start for 4 WEEKS!

So we are now facing yet another set back on our opening date. (deep breath…)

So we are coming to you for help.

We are looking for a seamtress or many seamtresses who knows how to make detailed curtains. Of course we didn’t select the easiest of window dressings. So you will need to have some experience to make these.

If you know anyone that is close to us in King George, Fredericksburg or Richmond, please ask them to email us at virginiaplantation@gmail.com.

They MUST be able to start now and

MUST be able to complete four rooms of windows before July 12th.

Thank you all for all your support!

It has meant so much to Brett and I!

We just want to get these doors open so you too can come and share in the beauty and elegance that is

Belle Grove Plantation!!

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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Darnell History | 12 Comments »