When Katie called me to set up an appointment to meet with me, she told me that she had been at her friend Jen's wedding that I officiated in 2006 and decided then and there that she wanted me to officiate her wedding. She apparently was quite impressed! I remember Jen and Brandon's wedding well. It was at Lake Johnson on the dock. It had been raining on and off all day and the wind had completely collapsed the canopy they had erected to shade their guests from the sun. But at the last moment the rain stopped and we "cleared the deck" and quickly set up for the ceremony to take place on the dock instead of crowding into the small reception room. Marty and I carefully placed my sound system and speakers to the side under the roof overhang--and it was a good thing too, because when we were almost finished with the ceremony, the raindrops began to fall--and like magic pretty lavender umbrellas appeared and were held over us. The photo taken with the couple and me under the pretty lavender umbrellas is one of my very favorites. I'll post it here so you can see.
When I met with Katie and Ryan in September, they had already booked the Sheraton for their reception and could have had their ceremony there but Katie was not convinced that was what she wanted. Later on, they discovered All Saints Chapel, also in downtown Raleigh, and booked it for their ceremony. Weddings at the chapel are always so great! It is full of character and a cozy space yet seats almost 200. They hired Meg Daniels as their photographer and she was there when Marty and I arrived for the wedding. She is a wonderful photographer and had a crew of 3 or 4 with her. She even brings her own ladder so she can get unusual angles of the wedding party. It was fascinating to watch her set up the shots. Our very capable DJ was Derrick, Katie's cousin, who lives in Michigan and came down for the occasion. He plugged my receiver into the chapel sound system and got the wireless microphone working for our three readers. So, we were all set to go at 5:00.
The couple had set up a special chair for Katie's grandmother who recently passed on. It had her cushion and a stuffed character--an M&M, I believe. A little note in a frame said that she would have been sitting there this day!
Ryan had 6 groomsmen (one was his brother and one was Katie's brother) and his best man, David. I was crowded in there with them in the little room to the left of the altar while the guests were being seated, It gave me a chance to add some extra pins (I always carry pins with me to weddings just for this purpose) to secure their beautiful rose boutonnieres which tended to flop forward because the roses were so large! Then Ryan and Kate's brother, Jared, left to go escort in their mothers. The other guys and I then took our places for the wedding. The mothers were escorted in with Ryan's father following. Then Ryan and Jared took their places and the lovely bridesmaids (4) and the matron on honor, Felicia, processed in dressed in eggplant and cornflower blue dresses. Katie's father could not be there so she came in alone from the chapel doorway and Ryan stepped down and met her halfway down the aisle and they stepped up onto the altar together. Her wedding gown was gorgeous! The music faded and the ceremony began. Katie and Ryan put together a wonderful ceremony with a gracious welcome and thank you for the guests and a special tribute to their parents. They selected three special readings for their wedding and the readers were two of Ryan's aunts and one of Katie's. After their chosen words on love and marriage, they exchanged vows and rings. We had a closing blessing then the pronouncement and kiss! Then I introduced them to their guests . They gave each other the high 5 and swept down the aisle amidst much applauding and cheering for the happy couple. The wedding party recessed out, then the parents and I invited the guests to proceed to the Sheraton for the reception.
(As I was stepping down from the altar after the ceremony, Brandon and Alecia, another couple I had married in 2007 at 111 Place in Cary came up to speak with me. They looked great--and happy! It was so good to see them again! Here is a photo of them on their wedding day.)
The wedding party re-convened for photos by Meg. It was a grand wedding and time to party! Congratulations, Katie and Ryan!