Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Laura & Chris' Wedding at JCRaulston Arboretum

Monday, May 10, 2010

Megan and Jason's Fabulous Wedding!

Megan contacted me last fall about officiating her wedding to Jason in May. She was not sure about the exact date at the time because she had not decided on the place for the ceremony. Megan is the Catering Manager at the Renaissance Hotel which involves scheduling and carrying out all weddings at this wonderful relatively new wedding venue in Raleigh. So, being in the wedding business herself, she knows what it takes to put on a fabulous wedding and pulled together all her favorite vendors.  Jason and Megan decided to have their ceremony at Fairmont United Methodist Church and of course their reception at the Renaissance Raleigh Hotel at North Hills. Fairmont is a lovely older church with a very traditional sanctuary on Clark Avenue near Cameron Village. I have done several weddings there in the past. This is one of the few churches in the area that will rent out their sanctuary space and allow guest clergy to officiate. The wedding was on May 8, 2010 at 5:00 PM.
When Marty (my assistant AKA my "roadie") and I arrived for the wedding, Jason and his groomsmen were in the parlor playing cards. Mike, Jason's brother was winning. The first thing they wanted me to do was pin on their boutonnieres as they had tried and could not figure out how to do it. I am most happy to do this. It is amazing what a bunch of guys can do to their flowers when they try to pin them on! I then put on the microphone supplied by the church and did a sound check. We were ready to go early. 
These are our musicians warming up before the wedding. The pretty blond violinist is Megan's long time friend, Elizabeth Young-Levine, who came all the way from New York to play in the wedding. She called on some local musician friends, Angela Story Watson, and Jacob Daniel Wenger. Yes, Angela did put on shoes for the wedding!
The musicians started playing prelude music at 4:30 and the guests started pouring in. The groomsmen went out front to usher them in. Then at about 5 minutes before start time, the limo with the bride, her attendants and both mothers arrived.
Jessica Santel, our wonderful and capable wedding director and good friend of the bride and director of sales and marketing at the University Club in Durham, went out to check on them and relay some messages. Marty captured this cute shot and I could not resist posting it! (Jessica, if you want me to take it down let me know.)
What a smashing dress, Megan! That train was going on forever!
Amber, the assistant to Cara, our photographer from F8 Photo Studios, was on hand to document this disembarking of the limo.
Here is our beautiful bride surrounded by her lovely attendants and both mothers.
This is Jason's mom, Laura.
Here's a frontal shot of Jessica!
When we are ready to begin, Jessica cued the musicians and first in were Jason's grandmother, Rosemary, and his Uncle Dave. 
Next in was Laura, mother of the groom, escorted in by Jason's stepfather, Stan, who joined me and the guys in the parlor after escorting Laura in. Jason's best man was his brother, Mike, and both his father, Dave, and his stepfather, Stan, were groomsmen. Nice!
The attendants are making last minute touches to Megan's dress as her mother watches just before they walk down the aisle. Megan's younger sister, Laura, was one of the bridesmaids.
Now it's time for Jackie, Megan's mom, to escort her in. Sadly Megan's father died a few years ago. We had a memorial candle at the altar and words in the ceremony to honor him and his influence in Megan's life. Quite a few eyes teared up at that point, including Megan's and her sister's. 
And, down the aisle they go! Jason was beaming as he saw Megan for the first time that day and all dolled up and in that gorgeous wedding gown. She was truly stunning. And, she had on really high heels so she could be taller next to Jason who is soooo tall! I was lucky to have a step to stand on so I could almost be at eye level with Jason.
Mela, a good friend of Megan's, read "The Art of Marriage" by Arlan W. Peterson during the ceremony. 
My little camera did not have a powerful enough flash to get any close-ups of the ceremony. Megan and Jason wrote secret personal statements to each other that they heard for the first time on their wedding day and they included some touches of humor. Jason made some reference to loving the funny faces Megan could make and she referred to being thankful for his way of quietly disposing of spiders! They did so well. Megan completely memorized her vows to Jason and never once looked over at my book where they were printed facing her. That's Cara in the aisle getting some good shots of the ceremony. Up in the loft, the videographer, Raeford Brown, second cousin of Megan, was recording the ceremony. He is a professional photographer from Jacksonville NC.
The pronouncement, kiss, closing blessing and presentation of the newlyweds were made and out they went, a married couple finally!
After the guests departed for the Renaissance for the reception, the wedding party reconvened in the sanctuary for some photos. I think Megan is about to say something funny. She has that mischievous look in her eyes. Jason is just plain intoxicated with happiness, don't you think? Marty and I then drove over to the reception to get some photos of the cake and say hi to the DJ.
Wow! What a sight! A beautiful reception for Megan and Jason. The colors are so brilliant and of course all coordinated with the black and the pink. 
 The English Garden did the flowers for the ceremony and the centerpieces. There were small votives hanging in the branches of the centerpieces and the hotel staff was busy getting them all lit. 
Here is the fabulous cake by Cinda's Creative Cakes! It is a pretty pink color adorned with orchids.Jason told me that Cinda also baked a very special cake for their rehearsal dinner. Wish I had a picture of it.
And here is Ross Merle of Just Music DJ who was so glad to see me, he grabbed me and gave me a big hug for the camera! We work together often and you have seen him many times before on this blog. He is one of my favorite DJs and Megan's very favorite!
Marty and I did not stay at the reception. Megan emailed me this photo taken by cell phone on the stairway at the Renaissance. It was waiting for me when I got home from the wedding. She wrote: "Thank you for being a part of our special day! See you when we get home from Mexico!"  Megan and Jason are such a great couple. They really really love each other deeply and are such a good match.  I know I will be seeing Megan around a lot at weddings at the Renaissance and other wedding networking functions. I hope Jason can tag along with her from time to time too. Megan and Jason, I wish you all the best in your marriage that is sure to be a wonderful one!

POSTSCRIPT:  Megan now owns a wedding and corporate event planning company: A Southern Soiree. Something she has always dreamed of and so she is now on her own with lots of great experience. Megan, I know you will be a big success! 

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