Wedding Day Hearth & Home ~ The Gardens Natural Stone Fireplace

Embrace tradition and symbolism on your wedding day by the fireplace hearth.

Wedding days are full of traditions and symbols of deep meaning. The hearth can represent love, fertility, and life. In addition, it can symbolize home. So when it comes to a wedding day, nothing is better than gathering with family and friends at the fireplace hearth.

One of the signature elements at The Gardens of Castle Rock is the hand-crafted natural stone fireplace situated on the reception patio. Designed by venue owner Glenn Switzer and constructed through a collective effort of friends, the fireplace is a significant statement piece.

As a previous nursery & landscape design business, The Gardens’ space had plenty of natural beauty, but as it evolved into a wedding venue, the space needed a centering focus.

As a landscape designer, Glenn creates spaces that focus on the four elements: earth, air, water, and fire. When considering what the first big addition to The Gardens should be, Glenn decided on a fireplace or more specifically a hearth stone. The hearth is the symbol of a home and when you think about it, marriage is the creation of a home. Two people coming together to create a new family, a new home. That is why the fireplace became the perfect statement piece of The Gardens. It’s amazing how many family photos are taken in front of the fireplace. If you ever second guess the importance of a fireplace and draw of a hearth. Think of the number of photos you and your family have taken in front of a fireplace.

With all the fuzzy design stuff being said, let’s get down to the real-world installation mechanics of the fireplace.

First, it’s called the natural stone fireplace because it is. No faux stone or thin veneers here. With over 30 tons of stones used in building the fireplace, it’s the real deal. With that much weight, you can bet full footings were required at four feet deep and over eighteen feet wide. Making it wider than the fireplace itself!

There were at least five different types of stone used on the fireplace – Chilton limestone, Fond du Lac, Lannon, Blue stone, and one of Glenn’s favorite’s Aqua Grantique. With its white quartz and green veining amongst the dark charcoal slate blue, the Aqua Grantique forms both the base of the fireplace and the feature band above the mantel. Many of these stones were left over from previous stone projects. In fact, if you’ve ever taken a trip behind the Workshop, you know there are piles of stone regiments. Let’s just say Glenn is a keeper and has a hard time discarding items. It can drive some people crazy, including his wife!

Walk around the back of the fireplace and you’ll see the sun ray design constructed out of a granite stone that was harvested at The Gardens and hand split by Glenn.

There are also several special stones tucked into the stonework of the fireplace and other Gardens’ stone structures from Glenn’s travels throughout the country, as well as his dad’s stone collection.

Spend some time studying the fireplace and you will pick up on some of the formal classic lines of the fireplace design. What really sets off the design are the two arches incorporated in the fireplace. The first being a light eyebrow shape on the chimney structure and the second is a gorgeous arch formed by voussoir stones that outline the firebox. Look above that arch and you’ll discover a horseshoe that was found while excavating for the fireplace. We like to think it brings good luck to all who visit The Gardens.

In true fashion, Glenn’s formal designs always have a piece of spontaneity. On the fireplace, the large stone that marks the spark arrestor is a widely irregular slab of Chilton limestone weighing over 200 pounds. Let’s just say it was a process getting it set so high.

While all that information is wonderful, how does it translate to a wedding reception? As a centering focus, the fireplace is an instant magnet for gathering. That’s why throughout the day, you will find guests gathering around and near the fireplace. The sturdy six-foot mantel welcomes and encourages couples to make it their own with décor items. We absolutely love it when a couple creates a décor piece for their wedding day that then becomes part of their everyday. Whether it’s a decorative plaque, carved letters, or a photograph. The mantel and the fireplace itself, allows for each couple to make it their hearth, our should we say home for the day.

Let’s not overlook the practical purpose of the fireplace too. Warmth on a cool fall evening or the perfect spot to roast marshmallows to S’mores perfection.

For more information on how The Gardens came to be, check out The Gardens’ Story…..What Makes It So Special.

If the fireplace could shake your hand, it would be a firm, friendly one. Being made of real stone, this means you get a real handshake. One that says, “All are welcome, but I’m especially happy to see you.”

On your guest’s list of things to do, coming in at the top, is the opportune photo op and The Fireplace never disappoints.

We love when each space becomes uniquely YOU ~ Utilizing pictures, monograms, light up signs, candles, and flower arrangements are just some ideas.

First dance in front of The Fireplace? Yes, please! The snap, crackle of the fire humming along to your song, guests gathering in for a closer look, the towering trees beyond encapsulating the whole scene… it’s definitely going to be a day to remember.

The lush foliage of The Garden’s surrounding The Fireplace can stand alone in it’s own beauty without you having to add anything; but, it’s also simple enough that you can add your own pops of color.

Guest’s hardly noticed the chill of this late October wedding amongst the warm, yellow leaves of fall and the heat rolling out of the hearth.

The Gardens Suite and Cottage (dressing suites) are nice and close to The Fireplace to keep your bridal party and family occupied during the morning events of the day… and it also ensures they don’t run off too far if they’re needed for hair and make-up or one more photo.

Blush pink sedums welcome in our September couples and their guests to The Gardens of Castle Rock.

While you may not hope for rain on your wedding day, drizzly days help create vivid, moody images in front of The Fireplace.

Guest comfort is important when it comes to an outdoor wedding reception. Our standing heaters help guests stay extra warm around The Fireplace in the fall.

The Garden’s Pizza Oven loves to partner up with The Fireplace to establish a unique evening atmosphere of crackling firewood, an entrancing nighttime glow, and the irresistible smell of melting mozzarella in the air.

Do you spy a gorgeous sunburst on the back of The Fireplace? Abbey and Dan’s photographer decided to capture this gorgeous stonework amid family pictures on their big day.

The same sun that peeked through the trees for their engagement session is peeking through the trees that tower over The Fireplace on E&J’s wedding day. We love the anticipation that fills the air each wedding morning!

The twinkle lights behind The Fireplace light up the night and provide the perfect spot for late night yard games.

Have you considered providing cocktail hour entertainment for your guests? The area in front of The Fireplace provides the perfect stage for quartets, vocalists, or acoustic musicians.

Some guests may not want to dance and that’s okay! The Fireplace is close enough to The Garden’s Reception Tent that they can still join in on “Sweet Caroline” when it comes on.

The Fireplace is at the heart of your reception space – between The Reception Tent, Garden Pavilion, and Main Assembly Building.

There are many beautiful spaces at The Gardens of Castle Rock but, when nighttime rolls around, The Fireplace is a show-stopper for your outdoor wedding reception.

Simple decorative wedding signs and initials on the mantle are sometimes all you need to make The Gardens of Castle Rock look like the whole space is yours! (And to let your guests know they’re in the right place…)

Over the foliage and through the trees to The Garden’s Fireplace I go… How would you like your wedding reception space to be a place that guests can explore?

We provide the firewood, the twinkle lights, and the space but you and your guests make each evening at The Gardens magical.

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