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Laura Hunt

Tradition and Elegance

Jumping the Broom at the Kohl Mansion
Text: Cynthia Hines Johnson
IQphoto Studio
Jumping the broom: Savadelis Videography

To capture the elegance and romance we wanted for our wedding, my husband, Jamont, and I spent a fair amount of time looking for the perfect place for our wedding. The Kohl Mansion offered the level of intimacy, beauty, and style we were seeking.

On the day of our wedding, the weather was absolutely perfect! However, we opted for an inside wedding given the unpredictability of Bay Area weather in November. With its high ceilings, crown molding, bay windows and hardwood floors the "green room" was the perfect place to hold the ceremony.

 The service was very intimate, highlighted by a moving hands ceremony and ending with the "Jumping the Broom"—an African American Tradition.

Origin of Jumping the Broom:

During the time of slavery in America, slaves could not marry legally. Therefore, they created their own rituals to honor their unions; one of the rituals was the jumping the broom. The broom is a symbol of sweeping away the old and welcoming the new--a new beginning. The leap that the couple takes over the broom represents the "leap of faith" they take when starting a new life together.
After the ceremony, the cocktail hour began. This was a great way to ensure our guests were entertained while the wedding party was photographed. Our wedding colors were blush, champagne and cabernet. We designed our wedding website with similar colors.
Although our wedding was very traditional, we used technology to facilitate its execution. The website provided by JCI Bridal Services allowed our guests the option to RSVP online; obtain wedding information, such as event details and directions; and to view our registry and visitor information.

We had guests from as far away as Switzerland, so the website was great for sharing information.

After pictures, we joined our guests at the cocktail hour. Butlers passed hors d'oeuvres such as coconut prawns, spring rolls, and many other delights. There was a wine bar as well as a martini bar. The martini bar featured an artistic martini luge Guests found this, and the options of Green Apple, Tiffany Blue, or Cosmopolitan Martinis, quite entertaining. They mingled on the patio and in the library until they were invited to be seated for dinner.

Where would they sit? Places like Greece, Italy, Paris, Africa and Maldives. The reception had a travel theme that was tied to our registry: a Honeymoon Registry. Where were we going on our honeymoon? No one knew, even I didn't know. But Jamont would reveal that the table names held a clue.

In addition to the travel theme, we created a custom logo that adorned cocktail napkins, menus, and the wall of the Great Hall. The high ceilings of the Great Hall along with the amber uplighting and pin-spotted centerpieces combined to create an elegant yet cozy atmosphere. The tables were dressed with ivory linen, gold-trimmed china, and gold keepsake boxes filled with Ghirardelli chocolates.

 Our guests dined on lobster bisque, California baby greens, and their choice of either filet mignon or Chilean sea bass.


Catering was provided by Continental Caterers, rentals by A-Abco Rents, and videography by Savadelis Videography

After a fabulous meal, heartfelt toasts, and a decadent cake, Jamont announced our honeymoon destinations—Paris and Mauritius! (Mauritius is an island off the coast of southern Africa).

During dinner guests had been asked to guess the location of our honeymoon and to write their guesses on the back of their place cards. Place cards became entries in a drawing, and the winner received a trip to Las Vegas! The trip, part of our travel theme, was a pleasant surprise for our guests.

By the end of the evening, Jamont and I had changed and were ready to depart for our honeymoon. The guests were outside along a candle-lit path, waving sparklers as we made our exit. It was a lovely day, and a beautiful night. Jamont and I couldn't have asked for a better ending to an already perfect day.

The Event Professionals -
Venue: Kohl Mansion
 Continental Catering
Rentals: A-ABCO Rents
Photography: IQphoto Studio
Videography: Savadelis Videograph

Wedding Design: JCI Bridal Service



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