Williams House Honored in Food and Wine Magazine and Yahoo
November 8th, 2011
Williams House Wedding
Food and Wine Magazine featured an article on the Top Ten B&B’s in America this summer and the Williams House was listed as the number two in on their list. Yahoo then picked up this article and put it on their website under travel and again listed the Williams House as one of the top ten Inns in America. Our internet traffic picked up considerably and we have had numerous people call to congratulate us, and others to book rooms at our Inn based on these rankings. It is always a pleasure for us to receive such an honor and we know we have to earn it with every guest and the way they experience the Williams House. A few weeks ago we were sitting on the front porch with a couple who were married at the Williams house one year ago, Ken and Joann. They were kind enough to share a bottle of very nice champagne as we relived their beautiful and memorable wedding. Like many couples they find that friends and family treasure the memories created by having their wedding at our B&B and enjoy the special interaction and experience of staying here. They said wedding guests not only remember where the wedding was held but also which room they stayed in. We really enjoy the personal relationships we develop with guests and it is perhaps the most rewarding part of our job. It’s always fun to see a returning guest knowing we will have the opportunity to catch up on their lives and share what’s been going on in the B&B and the area. We appreciate the honor bestowed on the Williams House by Food and Wine Magazine and Yahoo and look forward to providing an excellent experience to many new and returning guests in the near future.
Weddings at Amelia Island Williams House
November 8th, 2011
We’ve had several weddings and a vow renewal this fall at the Williams House ranging in size from two to eighty people. Most weddings are held on the front porch but in smaller groups we often use the rose garden, or beneath the 500 year old live oak in the back courtyard. Receptions are mostly in the back courtyard and are generally Deborah’s delicious food creations although a few of the larger weddings have used local restaurants or caterer’s. Byron performs many of the ceremonies since in Florida you need only be a notary to perform weddings. We enjoy the process for weddings from the first time meeting bride or bride and groom through the visits by family and friends and exploring how the Williams House can make a destination wedding fulfill the dreams of brides. Most weddings are coordinated by Deborah and the bride and groom generally need only plan for centerpieces, get a license, choose appropriate attire, and show up. We really enjoy taking the hassle out of the wedding process and letting the bride and groom enjoy their special day and their family and friends. A sampling of photos from recent weddings are attached.
Williams House Weddings this Fall – Part 2
November 8th, 2011
We have had so many weddings this fall that I decided to split it into two groups. The one pictured at left was a first, performed on the carriage in front of the Williams House . Normally carriages bring brides into the wedding, but in this case the carriage was the wedding venue. Another trend we are seeing is the use of cupcakes and cupcake stands in place of the traditional wedding cake, or used with just a cake topper above cupcakes. It does make cutting the cake a bit of a challenge, but eases the guests eating and taking home of leftovers from the cake. We have a couple of bakeries in town that are perfecting this approach.
Cinnamon our resident cat is usually present for our weddings unless barred from the event due to allergies or issues with cats. He particularly enjoyed a recent event with (you guessed it) his favorite “shrimp” on the menu. I’ve noticed over the time I’ve performed weddings that the groom is often the one who gets a bit emotional at time of vow reciting, so I have started preparing them ahead of time for this potential. Unlike the bride who has invested hours studying, preparing, debating, reviewing and detailing her wedding, most grooms come in just ready to share in the moment and participate. So..when finally on our porch, dressed in tux with family and friends staring at him, his beautiful bride advancing up the aisle it all begins to register and it may be more difficult than he imagined just to repeat a few vows. Hence we try to give him a heads up and a bit of support at this special moment. Small or large we enjoy making weddings a special time for bride and groom and their families. Hope you enjoy these pictures.
Cookies and Christmas in November on Amelia Island
November 8th, 2011
The annual Amelia Island Bed and Breakfast Association Cookie Tour is coming soon on November 19 from 12 to 5 pm. It’s an opportunity to see eight Amelia Island Inns decorated for Christmas (yes we know this is early and before Thanksgiving) and it will put you in the mood and give you ideas for Christmas decorating. In addition you get cookies…lots of cookies at each Inn including the recipe for how to make them in case one turns out to be your favorite. All the Inns are busy putting their Christmas decorations in place and the halls will be decked with Holly for all visitors to see and enjoy.
We still have rooms at the Williams House and a special package with discounted room rates for two nights that includes two tickets for the tour. Come join the fun, see decorated Inns and be inspired for the Christmas season before anyone else in your family or neighborhood. Attached are some scenes from last year’s decoratiuons at the Williams House.
Williams House 11/11/11 Wedding
November 12th, 2011
Some numbers are important, others unusual and occasionally they come together to form unique combinations. Such was this special day for Natalie and Michael when they were wed at the Williams House on Amelia Island on the special date of 11/11/11. Joined by 30 family and friends they were married on the Williams House front porch with Byron officiating on a cool but beautiful Friday afternoon. A reception followed in the back courtyard with lot’s of nice goodies prepared by Deborah, the Williams House chef and wedding coordinator. Georgeous seasonal flowers added fall color to the proceedings and a champagne toast to bride and groom was followed by traditional cake cutting. As usual Cinnamon was all around the Williams House entertaining children and seeking out crab cakes or other tasty morsels. Our best wishes to the bride and groom as they begin their new life together!
Christmas Comes Early on Amelia Island
November 21st, 2011
Saturday was a big day on Amelia Island as all eight B&B’s decorated for Christmas, baked their favorite cookies and opened their doors to over 500 visitors for the Amelia Island Bed and Breakfast Cookie Tour. The tour is held the Saturday before Thanksgiving each year, and this time visitors enjoyed a warm and mostly sunny day. Trolleys, taxi’s and horsedrawn carriages carried visitors between Inns and fresh cookies and refreshments were ready at each stop. At Williams House we began decorating Nov. 1 and finished a day or two before the tour. We had six rooms plus the common area open for touring and everything was decorated to the max. Our cookie was a peanut butter, oatmeal variety with both regular and dark chocolate M&M’s. Thanks to our slight over-cooking, I am still enjoying a few. Carriage horses Boomer and Jazz moved between Hoyt, Williams House and Fairbanks and the trolley moved visitors from Hoyt to Elizabeth Pointe. Taxi’s took them the final leg to Amelia Ocean Front. We had an excellent turn-out that was 70% higher than last year.
Apparently lot’s of folks wanted to get into the Christmas spirit or they are really serious cookie fans! A portion of the revenue will be given to Barnabus Center, our charity for 2011, and the added crowd versus last year will help us give them a larger donation. We want to thank Barabus for their volunteers who helped each B&B with stageing their rooms and guiding visitors. Our thanks from the Williams House and all the other B&B’s for public support of this tour and our charity and we look forward to even bigger results next year! We hope you enjoy some pictures from the event and the Williams House.
Thanksgiving Tea and Carriage Rides
November 25th, 2011
This Thanksgiving holiday we provided an afternoon tea and carriage rides for guests of the Williams House as well as an evening dinner at a local restaurant. Deborah prepared tasty finger foods served with hot tea, iced tea, punch and several nice dessert options. Either before or after tea, guests could ride with Amelia Island Carriages for a tour of several historic homes and learn about the rich history of Amelia Island.
We try to change our packages each year and this is the first time we have had carriage rides on Thanksgiving. Served from 2-4 pm the Tea was the perfect bridge between our full and delicious breakfast and the 6 pm timing for the main Thanksgiving meal. As the official taste tester at the Williams House, Byron sampled all the offerings and deemed them satisfyingly tasty! Meanwhile, Cinnamon enjoyed a long afternoon nap on the porch and multiple visits from guests willing to provide love and petting. Seems he has little evidence to judge holidays as being different from his usual day at the Inn.
Black Friday PJ Shopping Party in Historic Fernandina Beach
November 25th, 2011
Black Friday is famous for its shopping opportunities and great bargains. It’s no different in historic Fernandina Beach except……. you have to wear pajamas to get store discounts from local merchants. There is also a contest for best dressed patron weraing pajamas as well as admiring stares from fellow shoppers and on-lookers. We had one couple staying at the Williams House that got into the program and donned their best pj’s and headed for downtown. Other guests felt they brought the wrong set of pj’s for such an excursion and just headed out to see the event in action. It was fun for all and based on packages shopping was also in full gear. We took a stroll and captured some of the more interesting and artsy efforts, many of whom will no doubt be in the running for “best dressed”. It is a fun event and a great way to recover from the overeating on Thanksgiving with a healthy walk.