Thursday, October 3, 2019

Our Wedding Planning, Part One: Wedding Venue near Philadelphia, Pa., The Washington at Historic Yellow Springs

Wedding day is a day full of joy, happiness and excitement blended with a bit of stress. As a makeup artist, I have helped countless brides look their very beautiful best reducing a little of those prenuptial jitters. I love being part of planning the wedding makeup, nail color, jewelry and other fashion details with the bride. I also enjoy being involved in the all the excitement on wedding day applying makeup and even assisting the bride throughout her special day. 

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Now, I get to experience wedding planning on a whole new level as Mother of the Bride!!! My baby girl is getting married, in case you haven't heard.

The first thing that must be done is to choose a venue that sets the vibe for the wedding. Our vibe is a small garden wedding full of charm and elegance with creative food that doesn't break the bank. We have looked at a few beautiful venues. One being the Sage Farmhouse in Aston, Pa. which was quite lovely with the perfect garden vibe but it was a too small for our 120-150 guest count.


The Sage Farmhouse 
sage farmhouse

One of my clients mentioned that The Washington at Historic Yellow Spring could be perfect for us. I've worked at many venues in the Philadelphia area but, I've never been to The Washington. My daughter and her fiance attended one of their open houses earlier this year to check it out. They loved it and scheduled a tour for late September, their favorite month for their wedding. We had our tour over the weekend and I loved it too!!!
The Washington
The Washington is a beautiful historic venue with three outdoor options for the wedding ceremony, a perfect indoor ceremony space, a large reception room plus a bridal suite and groom's lounge.  And, yes, Washington slept here! 

The lovely venue manager, Caitlin, guided through the property providing us with historical tidbits along the way. The Washington and the village of Yellow Springs have an interesting spa and art history which is very fitting for me with my art and salon/spa background. Plus, I've discovered I have a family connection to The Washington!!!


The Washington at Historic Yellow Springs History
The town, Yellow Springs, was named for it's three springs which are rich in iron oxides, magnesium and sulfur. The iron oxides give the water a yellow hue. The Lenape Native Americans would bathe in and drink the mineral water believing the water was healing. William Penn founded Pennsylvania, made treaties with the Native Americans and sold some of the land. The village of Yellow Springs dates back to 1681.

Colonial settlers began coming to the area in 1722 when they learned of the healing mineral springs. Yellow Springs became a spa retreat where people would come seeking the healing benefits of the yellow spring water. 

The Washington building dates to approximately 1750. It was a colonial inn and tavern offering medical respite as well as a spa retreat from city life until George Washington set up temporary headquarters in Yellow Springs on September 17, 1777, a few days after the Battle of the Brandywine which was on September 11, 1777.

In December 1777, Washington relocated his troops to Valley Forge and commissioned the building of the first military hospital in North America in Yellow Springs. The Yellow Springs General Hospital was constructed in January 1778 to care for sick and wounded revolutionary war soldiers. The ruins of the hospital still stand and are one of the outdoor wedding ceremony sites. Just a reminder, because I don't remember dates, the Revolutionary War began April 19, 1775 and ended September 3, 1783.

My Family Connection to The Washington
Now all of this history is very exciting for me. I love digging into my family history and after I checked the dates, we have an ancestor who was surely at The Washington back in 1777.  His name was Zenas Macomber (my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather) and he served in the Revolutionary War. He enlisted in May, 1775. In January, 1777, he was stationed at headquarters as a bodyguard for George Washington for a period of 2 years.  He was in the Battle of the Brandywine. The dates show he had to have been at The Washington!!! I'm intrigued. 😊

The village reopened as a spa after the war and was owned and operated by Margaret Holman in 1838 until 1868 when the Civil War began. The Commonwealth of Pa purchased the land in 1868 and the village became the Chester Springs Soldiers' Orphan Schools which later closed in 1912. The Washington building was used as housing for the orphans.

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts purchased the village in 1916 from the state and was it used as an art school until 1952. The Washington building served as a dorm for the art students.

The land was then purchased by filmmaker Irvin Shortess "Shorty" Yeaworth Jr. and Jean, his wife and was used for a non profit corporation called Good News Productions. The nonprofit created television, radio and film productions including the science fiction movie The Blob (1958). In 1973, the Yeaworths put the land up for sale.

The Yellow Springs Association, which was made up of community members, along with Yellow Springs Foundation purchased the property and had it listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The two organizations merged to create Historic Yellow Springs, Inc. in 1974. 

The Washington building was a restaurant until 2005.

Many of the Yellow Springs' 16 historic buildings are open to the public and the village maintains it's arty culture hosting art shows, crafts shows and other events. 10 of the buildings are owned by the non profit group. Along with The Washington event center, there is the Chester Springs Art Studio, a Cultural Center, the Chester Springs Library and the Historic Yellow Springs Headquarters.

That's your history lesson for today!!! πŸšŒπŸ“πŸŽ

Let's get back to the present and our tour. 


Our Tour of The Washington

The landscape of the Washington is full of flowers, plants, art pieces and American history. There are many places, including the lovely porch, to relax and take in the views. The inside of the building is full of rustic elegance, cozy fireplaces, charm and history. I have lots of photos to show you.
The Washington brick patio


The Porch
One architectural feature my daughter and I absolutely love on the Washington building is the porch. Really, I love a porch on any building. This porch runs along the front of the building and has wooden decking that makes a great sound when you walk on it! It's fabulous! 
The Washington front porch

The Washington front porch

The Washington front porch

The Washington porch

The Washington porch garden

The Breezeway
There is also a great breezeway complete with garden lights. The breezeway connects The Washington building to another building.

The Washington breezeway


There are 4 sites on the property to hold the wedding ceremony: 

The Fountain Garden, The Beech Tree, The Ruins and The Upstairs Ceremony Room.


The Fountain Garden
The fountain garden is a beautiful spot at the side of the building and right off of the breezeway. It can be used for the ceremony and cocktails.

the washington fountain garden

the washington fountain garden bench

the washington fountain garden

the washington fountain garden

the washington cocktails sign
There is also a beautiful backyard terraced garden that connects to the fountain garden where guests can wander about with cocktails.
the washington terraced garden

the washington terraced garden

the washington terraced garden

the washington terraced garden steps


the washington back of building

The Beech Tree
The Beech Tree is a serene spot up on the hill. It is near the hospital ruins and the herb garden.
the washington beech tree

the washington ceremony chair with flowers


The Ruins
The ceremony can be held within the stone walls of the hospital ruins. It's also an interesting place for picture taking. There is an medicinal herb garden there installed by the Philadelphia Unit of the Herb Society of America.

the washington hospital ruins

the washington general hospital ruins

the washington herb garden and hospital ruins


The yellow springs general hospital information sign


The Upstairs Room

This spacious room is a great backup plan for rainy weather or for a winter wedding.

the washington indoor ceremony room

The Bridal Suite
The gorgeous bridal suite is right off of this ceremony room. This is a room I am always interested in since I do onsite wedding makeup. I have to say, this is one of the best rooms I've seen. It's spacious, pretty, full of natural light and has a counter with sinks. There's plenty of room for everybody to get ready!
the washington bridal suite

the washington bridal suite fireplace

the washington bridal suite window seat

the washington bridal suite counter with sinks

The Groom's Lounge
Not many wedding venues have a space dedicated to the groom. My future son-in-law is very excited about this cozy room! This room is on the first floor just off of the dessert table room.
the washington grooms lounge

the washingto grooms lounge fireplace


The Brick Room
The Brick Room is the perfect tavern room for the bar and cocktail hour. The floor is brick giving the room a warm rustic feel. There is plenty to look at as you sip your cocktail. The walls offer interesting history reading and the display cases are full of interesting artifacts. 

The Washington Brick Room

The Washington Brick Room bar area

The Washington Brick Room bar

The Washington Brick Room bar area artifacts


The Main Room
The Main Room for the reception an elegant space with lots of windows, a hardwood floor and a fireplace with a mantle ready to decorate. There's a perfect nook for the cake under the staircase.

The Washington at historic yellow springs main reception room

The Washington Main Room reception room

The Washington Main Room reception room fireplace

The Washington Main Room reception room dance floor area

The Washington Main Room reception room cake nook
There is a Dessert Room where you see the banister of the staircase in the picture above.  I don't know how I missed getting a photo of it. It's a nice area for a sweets table.

You can see from the beautiful pictures why we all love this venue. It's the perfect charming, elegant, gardeny space for our wedding. πŸ‘°πŸ€΅ 

The venue rental price for a five hour event is very reasonable. The rental fee includes exclusive use of the grounds, the use of the first floor of the Washington, three hours of set up time, two hours of break down time, tables and chairs. More time for set up can be added on, for a reasonable rate, if needed. The Washington has 8 trusted caterers to choose from.  I'm excited to check them out!

Click here for more information on The Washington at Historic Yellow Springs

Our September 2021 wedding is beginning to take shape!

✔ Wedding Venue

There's lots more planning to do.  

Next up: the photographer. 

We had a great photographer who took very pretty engagement photos but she's very expensive for wedding photos after taking a closer look at her prices. We are all trying to stay on budget! My daughter is checking into another photographer who has a similar style.

I'll let you know how that goes in my next wedding planning post. 

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 πŸ’„Contact me for on location wedding makeup, special occasion or everyday makeup and salon skin care services in the Philadelphia, Pa. area. 


       Have a Beautiful Day! 
xo
Licensed Cosmetologist, Makeup Artist, Beautycounter Consultant

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