Sealed with a kiss!

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

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Professional Wedding Guild (PWG) Luncheon at the Sheraton Chapel Hill

This luncheon last Wednesday 2/24 was my first professional wedding outing since my surgery in January. The last PWG luncheon was in November and they don't have one in December. The January one was the day after my surgery. So, it was good to be back at one of these networking events. We met at the lovely Sheraton Chapel Hill. It has been remodeled and redecorated since I was there and it is beautiful and spacious. They can accommodate a large wedding reception of 400+ people! The photo above is of a section of the ballroom. The lovely table decor was by Andy Karras of A Special Event. The table linens were so pretty. That is harpist Marilyn Wienand standing behind the wedding cake by Buy the Pound which was delicious and was served by the baker, Sandra Timmons. I was so happy to get a slice of the middle layer which was chocolate pound cake--yum, one of my favorites!

I saw lots of wedding professionals as usual and it was great to see them again after a long break. We were entertained before lunch was served by Patrice Kaluza  of Sea Sound Studio Entertainment. Patrice is a wonderful vocalist but unfortunately she developed laryngitis the day before and was unable to sing for us.  Maybe next time?
Across the table from me are Julie McKay and Ashleigh Collins from The Carolina Inn. Ashleigh is new to the Inn and Julie was introducing her around. Standing behind them is Rev. Robin Renteria, close friend and colleague. Rev. Barbara Lodge and Rev. Phran Gaucher were there too.  See the pretty table linens Andy provided? The flowers were provided by Flowers by Gary.

Jim Shaw of Jim Shaw Photography and Brian McGuire of McSound Productions (DJ) were busy networking!
Our program this month was a panel of 4 brides and one mother of the bride for us to ask questions. It was quite interesting. One of the brides was Amanda Jones whose wedding I am officiating. They are from left to right: Chanel Francis, Amanda Jones, Cecilia Mackey, Jane Peppler, and Danet Bratton. Cecilia's wedding was last October and so she was able to answer questions from that perspective and what she might do differently. Jane is our mother of the bride whose daughter's wedding is in June. Jane comes to PWG luncheons because she is a musician who sometimes plays at weddings so she had an "inside" perspective. To the far left is our moderator and publisher of Perfect Wedding Guide, Gail Galloway, who had received questions from us ahead of time that she presented to the brides and mother. It was a great program and I am sure we all learned some valuable tips from these brides.

After the program Gail was discussing things with Dajuan Jones from In His Image Photography who took photos at the luncheon for PWG. They will be posted on the PWG website soon.

Well, it was a great experience today. To make it even more terrific, I won one of the door prizes--a nice bottle of Chardonnay from Bartending Unlimited. (Thank you, Contada!) Good to be back in the groove. Weddings for me start on March 7th, next weekend at Nicole and Steven's wedding at Caffe Luna. Watch for a post on their wedding!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Marty! My Wedding Roadie!

I think it is about time that I created a special post on this blog to publicly thank and pay tribute to my faithful roadie, Marty! I have been blessed with this good friend who loves to go to weddings with me. My husband, Dave, got tired of trekking to weddings and receptions with me after a year or two and now only comes with me if Marty is not available. I cannot remember when she started accompanying me to weddings but if my photo file is any indication, it was probably about 2004. Marty calls herself my "rhoadie" but I call her my "angel." She helps me lug my sound equipment to and from weddings, set it up and do a sound check. She takes photos with my digital camera so I have pictures of my couples for this blog and my website. If I have forgotten something, she will dash back to the car to get it, including umbrellas and plastic to cover the equipment if rain is threatening. She thoughtfully brings along a cooler of water and snacks if we have a long day of many weddings back to back.  I know I can always count on her to be there for me. And, she is just plain good company. If there is a respite between weddings, you can find us poking around in consignment or thrift shops or getting a frosty at Wendy's. At my request, she has recently gotten herself ordained; so now, I have a back-up minister with me, just in case anything unexpected befalls me. (It has never happened--knock on wood!)  Marty tends to be shy and is never pushy. Most wedding photographers know now that she will be with me and will be snapping photos along with them and I appreciate their tolerance. I do make sure that my blog followers understand that Marty's photos and the few I take are not the professional photographer's photos. But some photographers do sometimes send me photos to use on my blog for which I give them credit and a link.

So, I thought I would share some photos of Marty with you. She is hard to catch because she is usually the one using the camera! I had to get sneaky! This photo was taken this past December 2009 at Christmas with my dogs Heidi on the left and Cybelle on the right.

This is Marty dressed up as Cat in the Hat from Dr. Seuss for a surprise recitation she presented me at my surprise 60th birthday party in 2003. Marty and I are the same age. We met in 1998 when she moved to Raleigh after having lived in NYC for 30 years!

This is Marty at my birthday dinner in 2008 at 18 Seaboard. We get accused of being twins on many occasions. The funny thing is, Marty does have an identical twin sister who lives in Florida.

Marty and Heidi in 2006 before we rescued Cybelle.

Marty in 2007. Don't remember where we were!

Marty with Heidi and Cybelle in my back yard in 2009.

So, here's to my wonderful roadie and family angel, Marty! She not only goes with me to most weddings, she is as close as a sister and we consider her a member of our family. We love you, we bless you, and we appreciate you, Marty.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Reverend Kayelily Middleton on Facebook.........

A friend of mine and wedding photographer, Jennifer-Leigh Aanerud, generously came to my home today and set up a professional page for me on Facebook where I can have fans! I invited all 280 friends from my personal Facebook page to become my fans and anyone else who wants to be is invited too. I plan to post lots of wedding photos there this year as well as on this blog for each wedding I do. There are places on the site for discussion and reviews too. I have links to this blog, my website and a wedding video too.

Jennifer and her husband, Chris, are expecting a baby next month and we plan to have a baby blessing ceremony a few months later. This will be featured on my Baby Blessing Blog. Thanks a bunch, Jennifer! I am looking forward to seeing great photos of the new baby on your Facebook page.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Win a Ticket to the Wedding Gala at The Umstead on Thursday March 4th!

Mari Palmer of Bel Canto Designs just let me know that they will be taking part in the Wedding Gala at The Umstead  on March 4th. They will be giving away some tickets ($20 each) on their blog in the next week.

Starting Saturday February 20th, brides can go to Bel Canto Designs blog to sign up for a chance to win. Go for it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well , dear followers, I guess you are wondering why I have not blogged in over two weeks! One reason is that I have not done any weddings since Michael and Latercha's on January 16th. But, the main reason is because I elected to have left knee replacement surgery on January 26th . I have been needing this for a long time (killer pain going up and down stairs and inclines) and finally gave in to my orthopedist and said "let's just do it and get it over with!" So, I intentionally blocked out 6 weeks of no weddings during this slow wedding season to allow for my recuperation and getting fully functional again. I am happy to report that the surgery was very successful and now, almost 3 weeks later, I am walking with a cane and have nearly full range of motion of my knee. I must admit though, the process was much more painful than I had expected. My hat is off to every person who has gone through this! Next week I begin out patient physical therapy and I am looking forward to walking easier and easier, and especially going up and down stairs without pain!

My first scheduled post-surgery wedding is March 7th so I plan to be able to dance down the aisle if necessary! So, I will be back to blogging regularly after that.  In the meantime, I have been busy at home meeting with wedding couples planning their weddings later this year and some for 2011 with several booked already. It is not too early to plan 2011 weddings!

I wish you all a great Valentine's Day celebration tomorrow with your sweetheart!