Old Richmond Charm in a Newly Renovated Package
Descending the Jefferson’s iconic Grand Staircase on the arm of her handsome groom, to join friends and family awaiting below: it has been the shared dream for generations of Virginia brides. For more than 120 years, The Jefferson has played host to some of the Richmond region’s most elegant and beautiful weddings, for some of the region’s most discerning families.
Today, that tradition continues as scores of couples each year descend the staircase to the cheers of their waiting loved ones. After cocktails in the rotunda, the couple leads a procession of their guests to one of the hotel’s three ornate ballrooms, where their guests will continue to enjoy all the southern style and hospitality for which The Jefferson is famous.
The largest of these, the Grand Ballroom, offers a memorable setting with magnificent soaring ceilings, and ostentatious carpets and drapes. Sparkling chandeliers and sconces are all original – dating back to circa 1909 – but they have been filled with LED lights that can be set to any hue to match either mood or color pallet complete the backdrop. The capacity for a seated function with a dance floor in the Grand Ballroom is about 350 people, with a capacity for a stand-up reception of up to 400 people.
The Empire Room features an ornate ceiling, and opposing walls of windows and of majestic French doors leading to the Mezzanine, which can be thrown open to overlook the rotunda. It can hold up to 210 people for a seated dinner.
The Flemish Room, which is attached to the Empire Room, is well-suited for intimate ceremonies, receptions and dinners, and can also be reserved along with the Empire Room, for larger parties. The Empire and Flemish rooms have also been outfitted with LED lights and new carpets and draperies.
The chefs will design and create an extensive banquet menu or an individualized menu to meet the specific desires and requirements of any couple. Catering managers coordinate weddings to the point that may couples find they don’t need outside coordinators, although the staff is happy to work with outside coordination as well.
Every detail, from the flowers to the catering to the bridesmaid’s gifts can be taken care of in house. And just as the big event appears to be winding down, guests can retire to the hotel bar at the Lemaire, to carry on the party without concern about transportation.
“You can basically do your whole wedding weekend here under one roof,” said Jennifer Crisp, public relations manager. “We can bake the cake, do the lighting, do the floral, all of it.”
A small dining area called The Library, off the hotel’s restaurant, the Lemaire, is the perfect location for an intimate and elegant bridal luncheon, while the larger, brighter Valentine Room serves as a perfect setting for rehearsal dinners and banquets.
From the initial announcement of a couple’s engagement, right through the honeymoon, The Jefferson can meet every need and cover every possibility. And thanks to the recently-completed four-year renovation project, the hotel continues to meet all its clients’ needs in the most updated and sophisticated environs possible.
The common areas have been refreshed with new furnishings and color palates. The rotunda ceiling has been painstakingly hand-painted and restored, and the rotunda and palm court lobbies, as well as the Lemaire Restaurant, have been decorated with new furnishings, carpeting, and lighting.
In addition to the changes to common areas, the rooms themselves have been updated with all the amenities you would expect. Overall, the hotel has lost about 80 rooms, in favor of expanded floor plans with entry halls, dressing areas, and new marbled bathrooms that include dressing areas, bathtubs, showers, and mirrors featuring TV screens in them.
For more information about weddings at The Jefferson, visit www.jeffersonhotel.com/celebrate.
* This featured article is in the summer/fall 2017 issue of Virginia Bride Magazine.
The famed grand entrance, Rotunda and grand staircase
The Empire Ballroom
Lemaire bar and lounge
Palm Court and Lobby