Charles and Christy came to see me last July and decided to hire me to officiate their wedding on April 24, 2010 at The Umstead Hotel and Spa. They both loved the idea that they could put together their own ceremony with my guidance and the extensive collection of wedding ceremony material I provide my couples. They were diligent in getting right on it and had their ceremony finished months in advance. On the Friday before the wedding we had our rehearsal and put out good vibes that it would not rain on Saturday at 6:00! When Marty and I arrived at 5:15, the plan was to go with the wedding in the garden although the hotel has a room all set up as Plan B. Mary Page Block and her fellow musicians of Arioso Strings were setting up and the staff was busy setting up chairs for the guests and getting the large canvas umbrella coverings for the musicians to protect them and their instruments. George and I got my microphone up and running with the house system and we were set to go. The Doppler radar did not show any big cells coming our way and so it was a go. Then as we were lining up and the guests were all seated, the soft sprinkles began. So we accelerated the processional, I walked first while Ami Wheeler, The Umstead person in charge of weddings, went to get the bride.
Charles escorted in both mothers--His mother, Maria, is on his right and Christy's mother, June is on his left.
Here comes our beautiful bride.
Charles walked toward her and they met in the middle of the aisle and walked down to me together!
And so, I began delivering the wonderful ceremony. I spoke much faster than usual and skipped over some sentences for the sake of time but I was not willing to leave out the special parts of the ceremony personal to Christy and Charles. The soft sprinkles waxed and waned all throughout the ceremony. The guests were so good to sit there through it all.
Christy and Charles, like me, love dogs and have three at home and had chosen the poem "Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog" by Taylor Mali for their wedding dedicated to their furry children! Got it in!
Notice the fabulous floral arrangements flanking us and the fountain in the lake with the brilliant azaleas in the background and the knock-out roses that were beginning to bloom right behind us. Such a beautiful garden spot for a wedding.
Here is a view from the balcony off the lobby level. You can see one couple who arrived late and had an umbrella and stood behind the guests. You can see the canvas umbrellas over the musicians and our photographer getting some great shots.
I might have been reading the dog poem when Marty snapped this photo because Christy and Charles got so tickled! We also included in the ceremony the story of how the bride and groom met, what attracted them to each other and what they were looking forward to in marriage--with some humor sprinkled in. The guests loved it and Christy and Charles loved that!
Charles is putting on the ring as he speaks his vows to Christy.
Making the pronouncement of marriage...........
Charles goes in for the kiss!
He was looking up at all the guests out on their guest room balconies applauding them as they walked down the aisle.
Back inside where it is dry and toasty. Laughing about how it all went and that we made it! I had told Christy at the rehearsal that I had never been rained out at The Umstead. And, I can still say that!
Christy and Charles, you are a wonderful couple and I know you will have a long and happy marriage!
First and foremost, The Umstead Hotel and Spa, the ultimate in elegance and service for a wedding in North Carolina. Thanks, Ami for all your coordination and skill in making dream weddings come true for your couples.
Brian Mullins, one of my favorite photographers, was on hand to capture this wedding in unforgettable images. I am looking forward to seeing them on his blog. Brian rocks!
Ginger Mullins, Brian's lovely wife, who makes the brides and attendants look gorgeous by styling their hair and applying their makeup with such skill.
Arioso Strings, probably the most popular group of strings in the Triangle for weddings. Their founder and coordinator, Mary Page Block, goes the extra mile to give the couples exactly what they want. Love working with her and her fellow musicians.
A Watered Garden, the florist who does the spectacular floral arrangements at The Umstead. Always stunning and exquisite.
Sweet Memories Bakery--by far the premier wedding cake baker in the area. This is a beautiful cake. See the groom's cake below. Can you tell he is a Cowboy's fan??