It was love at first sight.
She was beautiful. She sparkled. She had all the right curves in all the right places. When I got to know her on the inside, I fell even more in love. Her stories would entertain me for hours at a time. And I was happy to share her. As many people from around the world, I too fell in love with the Fox Theatre.
This story, however, is about a colleague—one who has been in love with the Fox Theatre for a lifetime. She’s been on dates at the Fox, she became engaged at the Fox, and she hosted her wedding reception at the Fox!
This is the story of Jennifer Schiveree Farmer, her husband Thomas and how their love unfolded at the Fox Theatre, and over the years has become a family tradition.
How They Met
Jennifer and Thomas, both avid music lovers, met at Smith’s Olde Bar. They were there that fateful night with separate groups of friends, and after talking over the course of a few numbers by the live band that evening—The Blue Dogs—Thomas asked Jennifer on a date.
Confirming that it is indeed a small world, when Thomas picked Jennifer up for their first date, he found himself across the street from his sister’s house. In fact, Jennifer had been the unnamed subject of a proposed blind date that Thomas’ sister had attempted to arrange months earlier.
As time went on, the Fox Theatre played a significant role in their dating life and included lots of Fox-hosted concerts. Jennifer had been the Director of Sales and Marketing for a few years at the time she and Thomas met, and she was excited to share the Fox with her new love interest.
Over the years, a few of the Fox Theatre concerts these lovebirds sang and swayed to included John Prine, Jason Isbell, Old Crow Medicine Show, Wilco, Ryan Adams and The Lumineers.
The Marquee Proposal
The tempo of their love escalated and Thomas proposed, but how he did it was brilliantly romantic and a complete surprise to Jennifer.
On a summer Friday morning at 9:00 a.m., Jennifer crossed Peachtree Street on her way to the office after having parked at The Georgian Terrace. Thomas had arranged for the marquee to say…
“Marry me, J. Waddaya say?”
Jennifer read the marquee, but didn’t personalize the message. That was partly because of one of her job responsibilities at the Fox—to approve all marquee signage. She imagined to herself that someone else had handled a special request that she didn’t know about. It didn’t occur to her that the message was intended for HER.
Now at the edge of Peachtree Street in front of the Fox, Jennifer found Thomas on bended knee under the marquee, in the Arcade, hand outstretched holding a diamond ring and offering again the question presented in bright lights on the above marquee.
Thomas had arranged for Jennifer’s best friend and a photographer to be there, but what he hadn’t planned on was what he heard next.
“Has my sister seen this ring?” was Jennifer’s first response.
Backstory of the Ring
Thomas ensured that his proposal to Jennifer would be a surprise by diverting attention away from his real plan, and instead toward the most popular proposal date on the calendar…Christmas!
Prior to the Christmas preceding their June engagement, Jennifer’s sister dropped a comment that Thomas had become terribly indecisive when ring-shopping. His young nephew dropped a comment that he had heard that Jennifer would be gifted something that started with the letter “D”—Jennifer visualized a diamond…who wouldn’t! In anticipation of Thomas popping the question, Jennifer arranged for both sets of parents to meet that Christmas Eve. Something was definitely going on!
Christmas morning bought joy and more than a little mystery. Thomas gifted Jennifer a Welsh Corgi named Dylan—something that indeed starts with the letter “D”, but there was no diamond ring tied to Dylan’s collar.
She Said “Yes!“
Jennifer’s second response to Thomas’ proposal of marriage, who was still on bended knee under the marquee, was a resounding, “Yes!”
“I love the way you feel when you walk into the Fox Theatre ballrooms! From the colossal columns climbing toward the 30′ ceiling in the Egyptian Ballroom to the original terrazzo tile floors with Mother of Pearl inlay in the Grand Salon to the private Terrace, you know without a doubt that you’re somewhere special. And it’s all real…it’s as magical today as it was when the building opened on Christmas Day in 1929,” said Jennifer.
“I’d helped many, many brides with their weddings and wedding receptions at the Fox Theatre, so when it came time to plan my own, I knew exactly what I wanted and even though I worked for the Fox, everyone still made me feel extra special as a bride…they made me feel like a VIP. The magnificence of the building itself aside, I’d recommend the Fox for the ‘experience’ alone!”
Jennifer’s wedding events spanned the breadth of Atlanta. Her rehearsal dinner was at Piedmont Driving Club, her Bridesmaid Luncheon was at Ansley Golf Club and their host hotel was The Georgian Terrace, across the street from the Fox Theatre.
The Wedding Day
“My wedding day was extremely hot…in November! Regardless, I had borrowed my grandmother’s mink coat and was determined to wear it,” said Jennifer. “The coat was beautiful, but most important to me was this wonderful opportunity to honor my grandmother.”
Jennifer’s bouquet was a burst of vivid fall colors, a theme that would carry into the design of her wedding reception.
Jennifer and Thomas were married at Cathedral of Christ the King in Buckhead, where one of their sons now attends school. After the ceremony, they made their way four miles down Atlanta’s famed Peachtree Street to the Fox Theatre.
“I always knew I would have my wedding reception at the Fox Theatre. I was born and raised in Atlanta and have been going to the Fox all of my life,” said Jennifer.
Recalling one of her fondest memories of having a Fox Theatre wedding reception, Jennifer said, “Having so many of my friends and family celebrating our union at the Fox Theatre meant the world to me…it was a truly special day. It was part of my family’s first time inside the Fox. It was important to me to host them in a place that means so much to me.”
Jennifer continued, “My beloved mother and father—who are both gone now—were there with us at the Fox Theatre that day, which also makes my wedding day a special memory.”
Immediately preceding Jennifer and Thomas’ wedding reception banquet was a cocktail hour in the Fox Theatre’s Grand Salon and Terrace.
While Jennifer and Thomas were having photos taken in the Fox Theatre auditorium and enjoying a private moment on the balcony of the Egyptian Ballroom, guests were enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres of Seared Tuna Nicoise Crostini, Smoked Trout Apple Canapes, Beef Wellingtons, and Grapes Rolled in Blue Cheese and Pistachio.
When researching this story, I was delighted to learn that the great majority of the vendor partners who had a hand in creating Jennifer’s special day in 2005 are still today among our trusted vendor partners!
Her wedding was planned by Watermark Weddings; the band—Del Baroni—was secured through Lee J. Howard Entertainment; and her wedding cake—covered with chocolate frosting and decorated with fall colors and fresh fruit—was by Classic Cheesecakes & Cakes…Jennifer had a dream team!
On the Menu
Rich Wilner, today our General Manager, worked with Jennifer to design her perfect wedding day menu—a buffet of four amazing food stations! When asked what stood out as most enjoyed menu-wise that day, Jennifer said the “North Carolina Boston Butt Barbecue“, hands down!
Family and friends also enjoyed three other food stations, including one featuring Miss Josephine’s Mac & Cheese; another offering seared shrimp, a mosaic of roasted vegetables and several savory bruschetta; and another featuring our South Beach Press—pressed sandwiches of beef, cheddar, smoked gouda and caramelized onions!
Jennifer’s cake table was showcased in the center of the Egyptian Ballroom. The cake was the focus of the table, surrounded by highly polished silver champagne buckets filled with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Also, there was our Warm Berry Plunge in a fondue pot, and plated chocolate covered biscotti. Her reception was as much a feast as it was festive!
Jennifer is passionate that the Fox will always be a part of her life, not only in memories, but in ongoing experiences. To name a few favorites, she and her daughter attended the “Mommy & Me” Frozen sing-along event during the Fox’s 2015 Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival; her family has attended Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker; and she and Thomas still have “Date Night” at Fox Theatre music concerts.
Jennifer said, “No matter one’s age or stage of life, the Fox Theatre is there for you. I will always go back…there’s always an occasion to celebrate at the Fox Theatre. It’s a love affair that lasts a lifetime.”
(This story first appeared on the Affairs to Remember website on February 12, 2016.)