Addison & Jan-HuibMay 2016
I will always remember the summer day in 2015 when I received a call from the Netherlands: “This is Addison, and I am getting married in Charlottesville.” He told me all about his hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia, and of being a 1993 UVA grad. I learned of his long-time love affair with the rich history surrounding UVA and Thomas Jefferson’s country.
After his years at UVA, Addison continued his education at Savanna College of Art & Design, then became a real estate agent in Savannah for the next 11 years. In 2004, Jan-Huib was vacationing prior to attending a conference in Savannah and (as many love stories begin) the two met in a bar.
After visiting each other between Georgia and the Netherlands, they made their home in the Netherlands. This was a home that Addison cherished, but his love for Virginia was something so special that he decorated one of the rooms and named it “The Jefferson Room.”
Addison and Jan-Huib became registered partners in the Netherlands, but they could now plan a true wedding celebration with family and friends in Virginia. Jan had come to understand Addison’s love for Charlottesville upon visiting with him and seeing him light up as they strolled places like the UVA Grounds and the Downtown Mall.
Addison’s vision was laid out completely for an amazing spring wedding weekend. We became instant friends, and he made me feel a part of this dream wedding right away. I would soon learn that this was his gift – making people feel special and comfortable in any situation. The first few weeks of long distance planning were non-stop high maintenance, and I was very excited to see his vision through.
We first met in person over the Christmas holiday, when Addison and Jan visited family as well as their wedding vendors to complete their planning. Jan-Huib was not as involved in the planning at first, not quite grasping the concepts and associated costs. However, he was more engaged as we got into more details and then offered much more to the ideas.
All of the wonderful décor items were shipped to me for storage…. it was like Christmas! The decorations and trimmings were so tastefully done in black, white and a hint of apple green, most created by Rock Paper Scissors. It was all in the details, and Addison was enjoying every minute of his forever dream.
Collards and Prada
Addison and Jan-Huib became the epitome of “Virginia is for Lovers.” They spent the days prior to the wedding simply enjoying all things that are Charlottesville. Addison shared that he had been to four BBQ places even before hosting the “I Do” BBQ for their rehearsal dinner. Jan said they went to the White Spot and he saw tears as Addison savored his first burger in quite some time.
At the rehearsal dinner in the beautiful mountains at Moss Vineyards, Addison nearly drooled over the collards from Red Hub Food Co. Jan said they make kale like that in the Netherlands….hmmm. Addison and I looked at each other and shook our heads to inform Jan that it just isn’t the same.
Not only is Addison very detailed, but he is all about fashion – and shoes! Just after the chat about the collards, I pointed out his beautiful dark blue wing tips (the kind of blue that glows purple in the sunlight). He looked at me with the cutest grin and said “Prada.” We all lost it!
The highlight of the evening was bluegrass music provided by the Hoof Wiggins Band. We were well cared for from the spring elements by Virginia Tent Rentals and on the mountain roads by Albemarle Limousine buses.
Going to the Chapel
It was a perfect Saturday in May at the UVA Chapel. Our grooms arrived in their dashing custom made khaki suits and greeted everyone to pose for a personalized photo with Blue Mountain Weddings Photography. Officiant and friend Julie Trump performed a touching ceremony, with vocal highlights from Addison’s niece Gabriella singing “Your Song.” Most selections were from their favorite artist Elton John, and Cville Ceremony Sound did the honors. Just after the chapel bells tolled, the newlyweds recessed to “Tiny Dancer.”
The guests made their way to Old Metropolitan Hall to enjoy a delicious plated meal and reception provided by HotCakes. We enjoyed the floral creations of Verde Natural Florals throughout the weekend.
During this time of true togetherness, family and friends had nothing but admiration and pure love to share with our grooms and everyone taking part. In Jan’s reception toast, he told stories of their journey and gave Addison all the credit in planning the celebration.
The once nonchalant groom had become so engulfed in the wedding weekend, he was giddy. He shared how they would return to the Netherlands and start planning another celebration there. The rest of the night was shared in dancing to the tunes of DJ Ran Henry with Blue Mountain Weddings.
The weekend stretched into the following week, with more family time and the anticipation of our guys returning to the Netherlands. But it was not to be.
Addison had survived childhood cancer at the age of nine years, but due to his treatment he has had heart problems since the age of twenty-one. In December, his condition had worsened – but he was able to make the wedding trip, only postponing a honeymoon.
In the week after the wedding, though his condition had been stable, Addison’s health suddenly took an unexpected turn. He was admitted to UVA Hospital. With his new husband and loving family surrounding him, Addison passed away just 12 days to the minute after they were pronounced married at 6:05 p.m. and the bells had tolled at the UVA Chapel.
His funeral was the most touching service I have ever attended. As happy as Addison was with his wedding, he would have been just as delighted with his memorial, as friends and family shared their stories and love.
I am grateful to have shared a brief time with Addison. He and Jan-Huib made all of us feel like their own family. This is what Addison was all about and why he was always surrounded by love. Our love and prayers will be with Jan-Huib and all of the families and friends touched by Addison and his devotion to others.