Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Jaime and Zac's Wedding at The Umstead!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tory and Zach Get Married at the Museum of Life and Science!

The Museum of Life and Science is a very popular wedding venue for couples who prefer a non-religious ceremony and I am happy to oblige. My belief is that the wedding ceremony should reflect the beliefs and personalities of the couple. The wedding is not about me, my beliefs or anyone else's. 
This wedding was on June 11, 2016. Of all things, I had two brides named Victoria that same day. That is quite rare. I was happy that this bride goes by her nickname of Tory so it helped me keep them straight!
Tory and Zach are both quite creative individuals. They met while in college in New Mexico. How fitting to have a wagon wheel for their ceremony backdrop. The cleverly designed burlap runners to define their aisle without people having to step on it and get it wrinkled and out of place. My small battery operated sound system is almost invisible but it enabled everyone to hear and enjoy the ceremony.
They had made fans of their programs and had photographs of their younger selves on display. 
This tree held signs of welcome and directions. 
Under the tent, the tables were set for the reception. Their DIY centerpieces were natural mosses and flowers. 
Clever way to generate kisses! 
Continuing on with the tree theme.......
The table with cakes on the tree trunk and the lovely wedding cake were made by the bride. 
They even made mobiles to hang from the ceiling of the tent!
Catering by Design were setting up when we arrived. 
Tory was outside inspecting the set up and I noticed the lights in her hair! They are the small LED lights and the battery pack is hidden in her hair in the back. So clever! I bet it really looked great when the sun set!
Back inside the Butterfly House lobby, everyone is ready and waiting to begin. Walker, our ring bearer, is more than ready!
I began the processional followed by Zach and his sister Jen who was his Best Woman!
After the bridesmaids and groomsmen entered followed by Walker, Tory and her father, Robert, came down the aisle.
Robert placed Tory's hand into Zach's hand and was seated. 
Everyone was welcomed. Many traveled a long way. Then we thanked Tory's parents for all their support throughout her life. Then we thanked Jen, Zach's sister, for all her support. She raised Zach after their parents died when Zach was a young teenager.
Their story was a lot of fun to tell. Zach was in a biology class and Tory was the teaching assistant for the class. They noticed each other right away but any contact was out of bounds. When that class was over, they ended up in three more classes both as students and they got closer and closer. Their relationship deepened and survived long stretches of being apart while pursuing their graduate degrees. Happily they both ended up at Duke!
Sharing their secret paragraphs with them for the first time! 
We incorporated the ancient Celtic tradition of binding a couple in marriage by handfasting. They made their own cord. As their hands were bound and forming the symbol of infinity, they read their vows to each other from my book. Then I released the cord and they placed the rings on their fingers which symbolically replaced the cord. Zach had actually made Tory's ring out of wood and metal. It was quite unique.
The official pronouncement of marriage!
The best part!!
They turned and faced their guests and I presented them as their photographer, Cassandra with FireRose Photography, captured the moment.
And away they go into married life!
The last I saw of them was inside the Butterfly House where Cassandra was getting some family photographs. Dave snapped this one of me with the couple. Tory and Zach, go forth in love, peace and happiness always!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Nicole and Brendan Tie the Knot at The Oaks at Salem!

I met with Nicole and Brendon in April of 2015 to plan their ceremony for June 10, 2016 at The Oaks at Salem. They had met back in 2012 when they were both living in the same apartment building. Brendan came home one day for lunch and decided to do an Insanity Workout in prep for a race coming up while the neighbors were at work--he thought. Turns out Nicole was enjoying a day of no more school and her ceiling fan started shaking with the loud thumps coming from the apartment above. She decided to go upstairs and confront the offender and they met. It was not long before they began dating and the rest is history! 
The first thing I do when I arrive one hour before ceremony start time is get my sound hooked up and do a sound check and that is exactly what I am doing here--check, check, check, 1, 2, 3, 4......
Our lovely DJ was Nina with All Events DJ. We have worked together many weddings and the sound is always flawless. She has learned to put my receiver right behind the "door" where I stand so that there is no chance I can get out of range!! Thanks, Nina! 
Back in the house, Dave scouted out the wedding cupcakes by Cupcake Bite. There is a small cake for cutting and feeding each other too.
It was a very bright sunny day and the shade under the reception tent felt good. 
The couple decided on a First Look then photos with family members. 
Our very talented photographer, Joe Payne, gives "lying down on the job" new meaning! 
The ceremony site is all ready for the guests. 
And now the guests have been seated and we started the processional. These two ladies were determined to get photos with their cell phones.
The guys and I made the long trek around the pond to the ceremony site. 
As we rounded the corner, I asked the two ladies with their cell phones to be seated, please!
The bridesmaids and bride came around on the other side of the pond. 
Nicole and her dad, Marty, slowly made their way to the aisle. 
Marty placed his daughter's hand in Brendan's hand and gave them his blessing.
After welcoming everyone, it was time to pay tribute to their parents. 
Then I enjoyed telling their story. It was full of humor and a great reflection of their personalities. They enjoyed hearing it with their guests!
What followed was what they each told me in confidence about their love for each other, revealed for the first time at the ceremony. Often evokes a few tears.
The pronouncement of marriage is legally required to be stated in the ceremony. 
They always look forward to the kiss as I step quickly out of the way!
Finally married!!
Brendan and Nicole, I loved your wedding, loved working with the two of you and wish you the best of everything in life. I know you are now enjoying wedding bliss!