Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Adam and Conley's Wedding at The Pavilion Photo by Katherine Miles Jones

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snowy Winter Wedding for Jennifer and Robert at the King's Daughters Inn!

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Robert and Jennifer chose the lovely, warm and cozy, King's Daughters Inn for their wedding and reception on December 18, 2010. It was an added bonus that they and their families could stay there overnight as well. This was my first wedding here although I had been to another wedding networking event here this past summer. This 17 room Bed and Breakfast is simply charming and elegant. A wonderful place for a small intimate wedding.  As Marty and I were en route to the wedding this afternoon, the snow flakes started falling as the weatherman had predicted. I think this is the first wedding I have ever done when it was snowing. After we arrived the snow had slowed down and the ground was on the warm side so it did not accumulate. It was so pretty though and gave a special flavor to this beautiful Christmas season wedding.
We went downstairs to check out the reception area and find the wedding cake by Benisha Newell of Cakes Unlimited.
They also had these small custom engraved glasses filled with candy.
Then we went up to the second level and ran into Sonia and Jonathan whom I had married two years ago at the Second Empire. I knew they would be there because Sonia is Robert's (the groom) sister. They are looking mighty fine and told me they were very happily married. Here is a link to their wedding on this blog.

I located the groomsmen and Denice Ray, our wedding director, on the main level and we were ready to start. However, not all the guests had arrived, probably because of the weather. So we delayed starting for 10 minutes  to give them more time to get there. A few did and were grateful they had not missed the start of the wedding.
 The bride and her maidens were ready and waiting on the upper level landing!
Okay! It is time to start. Denice gave the signal for me and the three groomsmen to process in. This is Ken, the best man, walking with me. The other two, John and Brendan, followed. Then Robert escorted his mother, Anne, in followed by his father, Rene. Denice then sent in the two bridesmaids, Logan and Denise and Maid of Honor, Julie. Julianne, our flower girl, did a great job sprinkling rose petals for the entrance of our bride.
Jennifer and her father, Donald, coming down the hall and then down the aisle as all the guests stood in her honor. She was so beautiful floating down the aisle on her father's arm.

Then we began the ceremony with words of welcome, a prayer and words to remember those who were no longer with us in body but were there in spirit. Robert and Jennifer placed stones in memory of his grandparents and her mother into a container which later would be filled with blessing stones that had been given to each guest as they arrived to infuse with their blessings for the couple during the ceremony.
Jennifer and Robert and their guests loved hearing the story of how they met and fell in love. There was lots of humor too. The story was followed by the vows that they had written and read to each other from my book where I had printed them facing the couple. Jennifer kept that hankie I gave her handy too!.
After the ring exchange and a closing blessing, I made the pronouncement of marriage and we applauded their kiss. I think they had been practicing! Our photographer, Robert Filcsik, and his second shooter got some great shots too.
And away they go, now married and so happy to be together.
A parting shot with the newlyweds and then Marty and I left before the weather turned treacherous. Jennifer and Robert, you are a great couple. You planned your wedding so carefully and it paid off. I wish you all the happiness in the world!

Monday, December 13, 2010

10 Ways to Help Your Wedding Officiant Help You

I ran across this article on another blog and I thought it had some good points so I am posting it here.
The author is Maureen Thomson, a wedding officiant since 2001, and the owner of Lyssabeth's Wedding Officiants.

10 Ways to Help Your Wedding Officiant Help You

It is your wedding officiant’s responsibility to make sure that you are given every opportunity to make your wedding ceremony creative, memorable and stress-free. As in any relationship, however, it’s the cooperation and synergy of all partners that turns good into great. Here are some things you as the couple can do to assist your wedding officiant in giving you the best service possible and to ensure a wonderful wedding day memory for you and your guests.

1. Return emails, phone calls and requested materials in a timely manner. If we need something from you to spice up your ceremony, we need you to tell us what it is before it’s too close to ceremony time. Don’t wait to make wording choices or pick out your ceremony components until two weeks before the wedding. That doesn’t give your officiant enough time to pull it all together and practice the service until it flows smoothly. Don’t be like the groom who was dictating ceremony wording changes to one of my officiants as the bride came down the aisle! (true story!)

2. Be open with us about family issues that may impact your wedding ceremony. If your divorced parents can’t stand the sight of each other, we can help mitigate that if we’re aware of it.

3. Make your payments on time. The less time we have to track you down trying to get our fee, the more time we can spend creating a wonderful service for you. If you’re strapped, let us know. We’ll do our best to work with your ability to pay. (I collect the fee up front so you don't have to remember to pay me later at the wedding.)

4. Be selective about the friends and family members you ask to participate in your ceremony. You may love your great aunt Mildred to death, but if she’s uncomfortable speaking before a crowd and murmurs her reading in a too-soft, shaky voice, the effect will be lost.

5. Select your location with the comfort of your guests in mind. Yes, it’s your day, but grandparents on oxygen shouldn’t be expected to come to your Colorado mountain-top wedding (you know, the one with the quarter mile hike to the overlook with the breathtaking view) And you may have your heart set on an outdoor setting for your service, but if the temperature dips and the wind and rain pick up--or when the heat index is over 100 degrees, is it worth putting your guests through the discomfort of sitting huddling and shivering/ sweating through your nuptials?

6. If you have a medium-sized to large wedding (I’d say anything over 75 guests) or if there are any background noises (traffic, a rushing stream) then be sure to arrange for a microphone. There is nothing worse for guests that having to strain to catch every word--or not hear the minister at all. Not to worry, I have 3 sound systems so I come prepared.

7. Be sure you have of the ceremony essentials with you on the wedding day (e.g. rings, roses for rose ceremony, wine for wine ceremony, a lighter for the Unity Candle). Sure, we can scramble for these items and help out last minute in a pinch, but it’s much less stress for everyone if everything is present and accounted for.

8. Be ready on time. If your ceremony starts 30 minutes late, your guests will be grumpy from the get-go. It makes for a much smoother ceremony experience if everyone starts out in a good mood!

9. Give your ceremony musicians a copy of the ceremony beforehand (or request that your officiant forward a copy). While we do coordinate with your musicians right before the ceremony starts, it helps the music to start and stop more fluidly if they’ve had a chance to review the words that cue them to play.

10. If you are getting married at a private residence or any other location that is not a known wedding venue, be sure we know in advance of any potential glitches in getting there. Put balloons on the front walk if the number is not well-marked and if you know that Google maps gives incorrect directions to your home, then by all means let us know beforehand.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What do you think about this blog's new look?

Yes, well, all wedding vendors know that it is that time of the year that weddings slow way down and we take a breather!  I don't have one every weekend to share with you on this blog but in the meantime I am busy meeting with couples about officiating their weddings in 2011 and 2012. There are two weddings coming up this month, one on December 18th and another one New Year's Eve so look forward to seeing these weddings soon. Consequently, I have some time to make changes and improvements to the blog and write about other things besides a particular wedding. I took the opportunity about a week ago to refresh the look of my blog with a new template, color scheme and a new photo header. How do you like it? Please leave a comment for me. One person said to me after looking at the new photo: "But all their heads are cut off!" She thought it was just appearing that way on her computer screen but I told her it was an intentional artsy type photo that I particularly like, especially the colors. And, the people are not identifiable. Oh yes, that is really one of my brides right before her wedding with her maidens, the matron of honor being her mother--the one holding the hankie! What do you think of this photo?

Here's another one I like too but I don't have the name of the adorable flower girl and I have heard it is not wise to use photos in which the people are recognizable without a release signed by them. (I do get permission from my couples to use photos of their wedding on my blog,though.) So I thought it best not to feature this photo as the header on the blog:
A long horizontal photo is required for the header. Could have used this one but it is quite "busy."
Or this one:
I now have just culled through all the 2010 and 2009 blog photos and cropped the following photos into horizontal ones. Subject, color, "recognizableness" of the people in the photo all must be taken into consideration.
 A row of baskets of flowers waiting to be hung on the chairs on the aisle.
 A gorgeous bride's bouquet of lilies.
 Bouquets waiting to be carried down the aisle.
 A wedding at The Umstead. Such a magnificent setting!
Same wedding. Doesn't it look like that one lily is going to take a bite out of my neck or is tapping me on the shoulder?Actually it is not that close to me but just looks that way.
 Not very colorful or sharp focus.
 These sweet flowers were in small pots wrapped in burlap to give to the guests as favors.
 I love this photo. Wish the cars were not in the background. The shadows are sooooo long!
 
 
Beautiful wedding at Haywood Hall this past October. I have lightened the top one.
Another bride's beautiful bouquet.
Pouring the sand. Action shot. Like the pink and green.
 
Here is a photo that I have cropped two different ways. Like the colors. This is the way one florist decorated the railing at the entrance to All Saints Chapel. So pretty. I must admit, it would look very pretty as a header. But does it say "wedding?"

Do you prefer one of these photos more than the header now on my blog? If so, why? Let me know by leaving a comment or email me directly with your feedback although I don't promise to make any change. I am curious to know what you think.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wedding Photos of Lia and Steve's Wedding at Barclay Villa!

You simply must go look at these fantastic photos by Craig Carpenter of Luster Studios!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sweet Wedding for Tatyana and Michael in Friends' Lovely Home in Durham!

Tatyana contacted me in September to see if I could officiate her wedding to Michael. I was so glad I was available the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 27, 2010. We made all the arrangements by email, snail mail and phone. I sent them a proposed ceremony based on what she said they wanted and they edited it to their liking. They especially wanted to include Michael's 5 year old son, Alexander, who had really bonded with Tatyana (and her toy "fluffball" poodle, Gabby). So, I put the family unity sand ceremony in and it was perfect.
When Marty and I arrived for the wedding, the guests were all ready. Here are the sand ceremony containers. Tatyana's white sand with red sparkles also had a pair of ladybugs on top symbolizing good luck.
Tatyana is from the Ukraine and has lived in the States a few years. She and Michael met through friends about a year ago and fell in love. Their friends, Jerry and Diana, offered to host their wedding in their lovely home. Jerry is an artist and above is a photo of the portrait he painted of Michael and Tatyana as a wedding gift. He is very talented. He was also serving as wedding photographer for the day!
 I was told that Diana and Jerry also made this beautiful wedding cake!
The guests were all assembled in the sunken living room. Tatyana greeted me when I arrived, gave me the marriage license then dashed upstairs to change into her wedding dress. That handsome little boy on the chair on the left is Alexander being a perfect gentleman before being called to escort in the bride.
Here come Alexander and Tatyana. He had rehearsed his answer to my question and did a great job! Then he went to sit with his Aunt Vanessa and cousin, Kaylee, who was our ring bearer.
And, the ceremony began. Tatyana and Michael wanted to thank their parents. Michael's parents, Annette and Kenneth, live in Raleigh and were with us in person. Tatyana's mother, Valentina, was with us via virtual technology from the Ukraine. In our prayer we remembered her father, Valerrii, who has passed on, .
Tatyana ran over to the Skype and "hugged" her mother! So sweet!

 
Michael had written a wonderful poem to Tatyana as a "pre-proposal" and we included it in the ceremony. Here he is reading it to Tatyana whose eyes filled up with tears.
Then she gave him a hug!
After they said their vows to each other and exchanged rings, it was time for the sand ceremony. Alexander loved being a part of this and pouring his own sand into the container.
 The KISS!
A blessing after the pronouncement...........
Presentation of the newlyweds to their guests!
Tatyana is beaming, Michael too, and she is waving to her mother.
  Time for some photos for this newly joined family! Not only do Michael and Tatyana love each other, Alexander and Tatyana are absolutely enchanted with each other and it shows!
 
The weather was so nice and the colors so pretty, we stepped out into the front yard for some photos. Michael and Tatyana, may all your dreams come true. I wish you the best of everything!

As I was preparing this post, this touching thank you note came in from Tatyana and Michael:

Dear Kayelily,

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the beautiful and very touching ceremony!
You truly made it special!!!
 

Would you like us to e-mail you some pictures from the ceremony when they get edited?
 

Thank you again and the best of everything to you and your family!!!

Happy Healthy Holiday Season to you and yours!
 

With a Lot of Gratitude,
Michael and Tatyana