Joseph and Cortney met with me in February to discuss their wedding plans and see what I thought about their ideas for their ceremony on April 25th. They really wanted to do things differently. First of all, their wedding was on the patio at the Washington-Duke Inn in Durham, an elegant and fun wedding venue. They wanted to do their wedding "in the round." Ironically, I did a wedding at that same site in the round a few years ago so I was positive it would be work very nicely there. They were thrilled. They loved the ceremony I read to them and the creative freedom I give couples in writing their own ceremony using my ceremony material as guidelines and were eager to get started. A few weeks later they called me and told me that they were very happily "with child!" I suggested we put a blessing for the child that was to be born to them in the wedding ceremony if that appealed to them and they loved it!
At the rehearsal on Friday, I was thrilled to work with Diane Tighe from the Inn again! It has been awhile. Diane and I work together so well because we have done many weddings together in the past 10 years. She had already had the chairs placed in an octagonal shape with 4 aisles. Joseph and Cortney planned to enter at the same time from opposite sides, come around the outside of the circle of guests, meet in the middle and enter the circle together. They also wanted to dance out at the conclusion of the ceremony with their first dance around the outside of the circle once then entering it again and then dancing with their parents and then inviting the guests to join them. So, we got the choreography down pat and went through the ceremony logistics and looked forward with anticipation for the ceremony the next day. Cortney's sister, Heather, and Joseph's friend, Alan, were their matron of honor and best man, respectively. They had two readers who stepped into the circle for their readings. The "sound man" from the Inn, Thomas Burke, was with us and I was able to plug my receiver into his system. The couple had a playlist of the songs they had selected to be played for the prelude and ceremony. See photo of Thomas and Diane above.
Saturday dawned--a beautiful sunny day for a wedding. Their photographer, Ana Kirin of Studio 1, was there to capture the day in pictures. The ceremony went exactly as planned and the guests were marveling at the originality and uniqueness. Joseph and Cortney circled in and the ceremony began. Cortney was a radiant bride and Joseph was beaming. They were both so in the moment and really enjoying themselves. We honored their parents and then blessed their unborn child--so sweet and touching. They read the vows they had written to each other from my book and exchanged rings. Then we had the wine ceremony which begins "The years of our lives are as a cup of wine poured for us to drink..." The pronouncement of marriage followed and then the closing prayer. I announced them to their guests and the music started and they danced, and danced all around the outside of the circle as the guests looked on with amazement! It was so much fun! They were so happy to be married and be with their friends and families. I met one guest who came all the way from Hawaii to be with them. We are going to do a baby blessing ceremony for their baby when it arrives and I am so looking forward to it. I wonder if they will dance again!
Joseph and Cortney, you are amazing! Congratulations on your marriage and your new family!