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Elope in the Vintage Surroundings of the Ellwanger Estate

This is the time of year when the seasons change from the first green suggestions of spring to the warmer weather and blooming gardens of summer. But here, at the Ellwanger, it is Elopement Season, with brides in delicate white lace gliding down the carved oak staircase, to meet their cherished partners in front of gathered friends and family and promise their undying love for each other.

Sometimes the vows are exchanged in front of the period fireplace of the Great Room; sometimes the couple decides to take their ceremony to the fresh air and garden scents of the generous porch, overlooking the beautiful Ellwanger Garden.

Not all the brides are young, not all the gowns are formal, but all the couples have something in common: a love of romance, an appreciation of vintage surroundings and a deep faith and hope in the future together.

Here comes the bride

Here comes the bride

Spring flowers

Spring flowers

The Veranda

The Veranda

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

Sketchy Marriage Proposal Rocked

The perfect marriage proposal with the element of surprise!

Huffington Post featured an article titled: This Disc Jokey’s Sketchy Marriage Proposal Rocked

As a disc jockey, Scotty Brooks is used to playing up the element of surprise.

He perfected it in a marriage proposal for his girlfriend Dianne that can best be described as sketchy.

Brooks, a DJ for 100.5 The Drive in Rochester, had an ingenious idea to propose to Dianne via a caricature artist.

“I was trying to think of something different to do [for a proposal], said Brooks, who has dated Dianne for about three years. “She has a love of pictures and things to hang up on the wall so I asked myself ‘What can I do so she has a physical memory of that day?”

Brooks came up with his caricature idea and then got sneaky.

He found the perfect spot to propose — the gardens of the historic Ellwanger Estate in Rochester — and found a caricature artist who was willing to play along. The caricature artist was Dave Bippy Boyer from Rochester, NY.

But, how could he explain to Dianne that a caricature artist would randomly be waiting for them at the gardens when they arrived for a Sunday stroll?

He couldn’t.

So he told her his radio station was offering free caricatures that day for all Clear Channel Media employees and their families as a promotion. He also told his co-workers his plan so they could play along if she asked them about the caricatures.

Dianne fell for it.

The couple arrived for their “scheduled” sit down with the caricature artist and posed for fifteen minutes as he sketched them — adding a big ring and a “Will you marry me?” bubble.

They were the longest fifteen minutes of Brooks’ life and then, were followed by the longest ten seconds as the artist presented the sketch to them and Dianne looked at it not quite comprehending.

“Are you serious?” she finally asked.

When Brooks answered by getting down on one knee, she knew the answer.

And he already knew hers.

See more photos of the proposal here on Brooks’ blog. The entire process was photographed by the artist’s wife for “promotional purposes.”

Are you Serious? Elopements at the Ellwanger Estate

 

 

Rochester’s First Christmas Tree

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In 1840 Rochesterians witnessed a new custom to celebrate Christmas, when a group of recent German immigrants decorated their small church with an evergreen tree according to their old- world tradition. The church was the Zion Lutheran Church at Grove and Stillson Streets, one of the parent churches of Incarnate Word Lutheran Church.

All Rochesterians – there were 18,000 to 20,000 inhabitants at the time – were invited to come and see the tree on December 25th, and many came. The church was packed inside and people were standing in line outside. The tree was a 10 to 12-foot-high spruce that was cut in the woods outside the city. It was ‘brilliantly illuminated and adorned with a great variety of toys, sweetmeats etc.’ (Rochester Union Advertiser, December 29, 1840). Children surrounded the tree, and after the candles were lit pastor Mullhauser led a prayer and all sang hymns in German. Young George Ellwanger held a speech in English, telling about Christmas celebrations in the old country and explaining the symbolism of the tree: ‘In the mill town whose people were mostly of the Yankee stock, George Ellwanger found that Christmas was a day of rather austere religious observance. He remembered the holiday in the fatherland, the green trees alight with candles, the songs, the bells, the legends, the feasting and, above all, the laughter of the children’ (Arch Merrill: The Mill Town’s First Christmas Tree. UPSTATE. Sunday, December 22, 1968).

George Ellwanger was from Würtenberg and had just a few months earlier, with an Irishman named Patrick Barry, started a nursery business that was to become a flourishing one. Mr. Ellwanger finished his speech by saying that people ‘may have seen something worthy of imitation, although we do not pretend to be qualified to teach you anything.’ Nevertheless the tree became a tradition at the church, and it soon also spread to private homes of others than just of the German immigrants.

And keeping with this holiday tradition, we have decked the halls early with a 12 foot Fraser Fir,  for holiday celebrations and family photos at the Ellwanger Estate B&B.  Happy Holidays!