Karen Harmych, wedding planner--From This Moment, called me a couple of weeks ago to tell me about a new project she and her husband, Tom, have embarked upon--restoring a historic mansion built in 1910 into a bed and breakfast and elegant wedding venue. If anyone can do this, Karen can! I first met Karen at a wedding last May at The Landmark. See prior blogpost. She was the wedding planner for the bride and groom, Wendy and Dave, and I was the officiant. A few months later in August when I was working with another couple, Debbie and Bill, on their wedding at Rose Hill Plantation in Nashville NC, it became apparent that they could use Karen's services so I sent them her way and we got to work together again. See prior blogpost. My husband and I were invited to a cook-out at Karen and Tom's home in Clayton and got to see Wendy and Dave again and Dr. Phil, the DJ at their wedding. It was fun. Karen has years of experience as a wedding planner in Florida and she is always willing to help brides who need her, not for the money, but because she is compassionate. She has quite a collection of wedding accessories that she will rent out to brides, like glasses, vases, votives, and other things because it is silly to buy them for only one occasion. She is so thoughtful.
Anyway, on with the story now that you know how I know Karen, this run-down old mansion was put up for sale in Clayton. Karen heard about it and investigated and decided that it would be her dream come true to have an affordable elegant wedding venue. So the plans are underway. The property is on 5 to6 acres and in a convenient location. She worked out a "deal" with the owners whose family has always owned the old mansion. It is in pretty sad shape right now but the potential is incredible. Marty and I drove out to see it on Sunday afternoon, April 19th while they were having a photo shoot for the new website. My couple Debbie and Bill were there. Debbie donned her gorgeous wedding gown again and Celeste Parker of Celestial Expressions, was photographing the scenes. It was good to see them all again. Also, another bride to be, Susan, who was a bridesmaid in Debbie and Bill's wedding, and whose wedding I am officiating in September, was there so it was good to see her again too. See the photo here with Susan on the left and Karen on the right of me .
The mansion is not your typical colonial style with columns but has beautiful arches. I don't know what style it is; maybe some of you readers can comment and tell me. It is a solid structure with 7 bedrooms and 5 baths and a fireplace in all the rooms. The entryway has steps on each side from the second floor leading down to the central stairway into the foyer. See the beautiful ceiling in the foyer. Karen plans to put her gazebo in the rear of the property among beautifully landscaped gardens and cypress laurels to separate the property from the neighboring property. She definitely has a vision and has thought it all out. The enthusiasm was contagious and I can't wait to see the progression of this lovely spot! She has chosen the name The Laura Elizabeth from its history of the women who lived there. Karen has asked me to be the preferred officiant in a package she plans to offer brides and I am thrilled to be. She plans to have enough done in 90 days to have the first wedding there and I hope I will be there too! Stay tuned!