Tradition and Elegance
Jumping the Broom at the Kohl Mansion
Text: Cynthia Hines Johnson
Photography: IQphoto Studio
Jumping the broom:
||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"â€”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
|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
We had guests from as far away as Switzerland, so the website was great for
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
Our guests dined on lobster bisque, California baby
greens, and their choice of either filet mignon or Chilean sea bass.
After a fabulous meal, heartfelt toasts, and a decadent cake, Jamont
announced our honeymoon destinationsâ€”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
The Event Professionals -
Venue: Kohl Mansion
Rentals: A-ABCO Rents
Photography: IQphoto Studio
JCI Bridal Service