Yes, We Got Married At A Homeless Shelter!
My niece, Danielle Grobmyer was married a few weeks ago in Charlottesville, Virginia and I had the honor of not only attending but being able to display some of our beautiful rugs that were used for the ceremony. It was a very unique wedding and I wanted to share this story with all of you that Danielle wrote.
Believe it or not you are looking at a homeless shelter! Picture these pews filled with people of all kinds, shapes, sizes and backgrounds. People who need temporary shelter for a night, people who have never had a place to call home, people who are looking for community to call their own. These people come to The Haven knowing that they have a warm, safe place to stay and it’s due to the generosity of donors, the City of Charlottesville and one philanthropist who was so impressed with Charlottesville’s hospitality during a visit, he made a sizable contribution.
The Haven has taken on special meaning from Brian and I as well. Last weekend we used this “shelter” as a sanctuary to proclaim our commitment to each other in front of 135 people who came to witness our marriage as husband and wife.
We chose The Haven specifically because it was a homeless shelter but through our marriage preparation we also learned that the minister who would be preforming the marriage ceremony used to preach in this very location before it was converted to its existing purpose.
As the story goes, the former church was built in 1836 but was in much need of repair (to the tune of $5mil) so the church put it up for sale. It just so happens that the City of Charlottesville received a timely donation, which allowed them to purchase the church and convert it to a homeless shelter.
But why all the rugs you ask?
My aunt has been in the business of selling rugs since before I was born and I knew I wanted to incorporate them in the wedding celebration somehow. Fran Jasper Oriental Rugs is a boutique rug company based out of Louisville, Kentucky. While it is small in size, it has one of the largest inventories of rugs representing a vast type of carpets including, Oushaks (my personal favorite), Caucasian, Persian, Turkish, and Moroccan just to name a few.
Once inside The Haven, I knew this would be the perfect place to showcase the beautiful rugs. It was like a blank canvas just waiting for these pieces of art. The morning of the wedding, Fran was kind enough to arrange the rugs in perfect alignment (with the aid of a strong former Marine). When guests entered, they stepped foot on Caucasian runners spanning the length of the aisle. On the alter were flat kelim rugs made up of bright oranges and reds, representative of our wedding color palate.
All in all the day represented the past, present and future for both Brian and I and we can’t thank Fran enough for providing these works of art we call rugs.
-Danielle Grobmyer Thomas