Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Laura & Chris' Wedding at JCRaulston Arboretum

Monday, September 1, 2008

Debbie and Bill Have Their Dream Wedding at the Gazebo at Rose Hill Plantation

Debbie and Bill planned their dream wedding at Rose Hill Plantation and Conference Center at the lakefront gazebo on Sunday August 31, 2008 of Labor Day weekend. Rose Hill is a secluded tranquil setting with the lake and fountain and swans. I got a call from their wedding director, Karen Harmych, about 2:00 PM on the wedding day that the event manager at Rose Hill had decided that due to the rainy forecast and their experience of having a wedding rained out the night before, that Debbie and Bill's wedding would take place in the reception hall instead of at the gazebo on the lake. She was not able to reach the bride and groom. So, expecting the wedding to be indoors, Marty (my roadie) and I drove the 55 miles to Nashville NC through pouring rain and around several accidents on the way, agreeing that it was a good call to move the wedding indoors. When we arrived, I learned that Debbie, the bride, had been quite upset at the change of venue and had persisted in her dream of her wedding being outside at the gazebo. So, the chairs were put back, the DJ (Pete of UniqEvents) moved his equipment up onto the back porch overlooking the ceremony, and I plugged my wireless theater mike into his system and did a sound check. It was sprinkling rain and all the chairs were wet. Mary, the event manager, had placed skid proof black mats over the slippery brick aisle--a good move! I set up the wine on my table and was ready to go. The wedding was delayed in starting about 20 minutes due to expected guests on the shuttle from Raleigh. The couple had a private "reveal moment" earlier on--a popular trend theses days-- so we did not have to do the "the groom can't see the bride" dance. Lady, Bill's dog--age 11 years, who was in the ceremony was ready to get started too and a bit confused, I think! The rain had stopped, the humidity had significantly dropped, the chairs had been wiped dry, and the temperature cooled down. So, we started with escorting in Debbie's spry 90 year old grandmother and the mother of the bride, Fran. (Bill's mother is deceased so we placed a white rose at the ceremony in her memory and honor.) Next came the bridesmaids and groomsmen in couples, then the maid of honor and the best man (Bill's father, Art). Normally the minister and groom would have entered right after the parents but we changed the order on purpose so that everyone would get to see the surprised look on Bill's face (he did not suspect a thing) when we started walking in to the tune of the Star Wars death march! He was tickled and thrilled and all the guests were having a good laugh as Bill, Lady (with a purple corsage and the pouch with the rings tied to her collar) and I came marching down the aisle! Then we all stood for the entrance of the beautiful bride and her father, Marvin! What a fabulous dress she was wearing and a train so long and heavy she enlisted the help of two young ladies to carry it down the aisle rather than dragging it down the soaking wet aisle.

The ceremony was actually full of funny stuff and the guests continued laughing on and off through the whole thing! First was the humorous poem "Love is Like Owning a Dog" delivered dramatically by Timmy, friend of the couple, and "He Never Leaves the Toilet Seat Up!" presented so well by Jacqui, Matron of Honor. Good job, you two! Then came the vows and ring exchange. Debbie and Bill had written their own very personal vows which they read from my book where they were printed upside down facing the couple. They included some very funny lines too which all of us enjoyed--like naps on the couch, roller coasters, poker games, taking out the trash and doing the laundry. While Bill was reading his vows I noticed a few drops of sweat running down his forehead so when he was finished I pulled out the hankie I always carry for tears, and mopped his forehead. The guests thought that was hilarious because Bill did have some moments of difficulty getting through his vows. Then came the drinking of wine from the cup of life to honor Debbie's Jewish heritage. The bride traditionally takes the first sip then the groom finishes it and so Bill said "bottoms up" and made a toasting gesture to everyone before he belted down the last of the wine--another good chuckle from the guests. I made the pronouncement, they shared their first married kiss followed by the closing blessing and the introduction of the newlywed couple to their happy guests! They danced up the aisle, no small feat for Debbie with that heavy wedding dress train! It was a great wedding ceremony and everyone really had a good time.

I especially enjoyed working with Karen, the wedding director, Pete, the DJ, and Larry Lynn who was assisting Kittie Deemer, photographer. I have done weddings with Karen, Pete and Larry before. Lynn Loomis of Lynn's Traditions did her usual spectacular job making the wedding cake--gorgeous--and the groom's cake which was modeled after Lady. What a fantastic talent Lynn has for cakes! She not only creates the cakes but she and her husband Bill transport them, place them and stage the table with the cake. Lynn and Bill also stay for the reception and she cuts the cake herself--after the bride and groom have done their cake-cutting ritual. Marty and I did not stick around for the reception, although we were invited to, but I would not be surprised to hear that the cake cutting had some funny moments too! Debbie and Bill are such a fun couple. I really enjoyed working with them to get the ceremony perfect for them.

Debbie, I am so glad you persisted with the outdoor ceremony. It could not have been better! The recent rain gave the photos a misty dreamlike quality that you will always remember. Congratulations to you both and best wishes forever! Call me for baby blessing ceremonies when you have kids! We will create some more humorous ceremonies for them, too! Lady, all the best to you! You are a great dog and so well behaved!


candy said...


Fran Greenstein said...

It was a lovely ceremony and I enjoyed your blog. However, during the ceremony I could not hear what was being said, since I was sitting over to the side and am borderline hard of hearing. Would you please send me a copy of the ceremony. Thank you so much. You can get my email address from Debbie.

Best regards,
Fran Greenstein

Debbie Hickey said...

Kayelily has done a superb job summarizing what turned out to be my dream wedding!!! Things started out a bit wet (pretty heavy rains as I was putting on make-up), but as she said, I am stubborn and insisted on having my ceremony outdoors at the gazebo! I thank everyone for thier patience and help in making my wedding day perfect. And Kayelily, thank you for all your hard work helping Bill and I to put together the down-to-earth, funny ceremony we created, which you performed so exquisitely!