This was a story published in Richmond Weddings! You can see the original article and can read it in its entirety below.
You saw Historic Jasmine Plantation on Taryn & Steven’s wedding post, now get to know the owners, Don & Eileen!
Tell us a little about your venue!
In October 2005, Don and Eileen Smith purchased Historic Jasmine Plantation B&B, an authentic 1680 plantation steeped in VA history and original antiques. Don transformed Historic Jasmine into one of the first destination wedding venues in the area.
How did you get started in this business?
Don owned and operated Don Smith Construction for 45 years in Bucks County, PA. His company was renowned for historic renovations. After Don and Eileen’s twin sons, Ashton and Brandon, were accepted to College of W&M in 2005, Don’s lifetime vision of owning a southern plantation and B&B became a reality.
Why do you like working with weddings?
Weddings became a natural creative extension of Don’s 45 year career in historic renovations. Being a master gardener allows him to create spectacular grounds. Eileen and Don’s personal service oriented personalities are enhanced in self gratification of sharing loving couples celebrations.
What is the most difficult situation you have faced with a bride and how did you resolve it?
Each of our 50+ weddings per season becomes a special bond between the bride and groom, the Smith Family and the Jasmine staff. One of our brides lost her mom one month before her wedding. The Smith family embraced the bride and her family personally and collaborated with vendors to create a sensitive balance of celebrating their wedding celebration while visually celebrating the bride’s mother’s life at the ceremony and reception.
From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?
We have two pieces of primary advice beyond choosing a venue that expresses the couple’s joint vision of celebration:
1. Maintain focus on your love for each other and enjoy the planning process.
2. Choose a venue and vendors based on a compatible feeling of trust, integrity, sincere caring, and genuine bond between the couple and vendors.
How far in advance should couples book your services?
When possible, couples should plan to book our services 12 to 18 months prior to their desired wedding date.
What do you like to do when you are away from work?
Don and Eileen’s private lives are an extension of Historic Jasmine Plantation. Their joint interests are studying colonial history, including metal detecting for artifacts, some of which are displayed at Historic Jasmine. Don researches history and flowers of English/Colonial gardens to create spectacular grounds/gardens under nature’s canopy.
What would we be surprised to learn about you?
Don went from playing soccer at University of North Carolina to coaching his twin sons, Ashton and Brandon, for 10 years on premier teams in PA. When Ashton and Brandon received soccer scholarships to College of William & Mary in 2005, Don dedicated his time to making Historic Jasmine Plantation a beautiful wedding destination.
Thank you, Don & Eileen, for answering our questions! For more information on Historic Jasmine Plantation, visit www.jasmineplantation.com.