Sealed with a kiss!

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

Friday, June 25, 2010

Very Special Wedding for a Very Special Couple, Kelly and Shaun!

Kelly and Shaun are an amazing couple as you will learn from this blog post of their wedding on Sunday morning, June 20, 2010 at Anderson Point Park in Raleigh. The wedding was in the expansive top layer of the amphitheater there. The guests will sit in the chairs facing this way, the groom and wedding party and I will be at the top of these steps facing the guests and awaiting the entrance of our bride who wanted to walk across the freshly mown meadow to meet her beloved. The weather was scorching hot that day and most of the guests gathered before the ceremony under the shelter nearby.
Julius Carrasco, guitarist extraordinaire, provided our music. He is a real trooper and kept that jacket on. The sun kept following him around and so we would shift him over into the shade when needed! He provided his sound system and I brought my battery pack to power the system and my microphone receiver since there is no power source in the amphitheater. Julius and I did a wedding together here last year so we knew the ropes. Julius is a very talented musician. Check out his website and listen to his music. He is also very reasonable in what he charges and I think he should charge more!
After we called the guests to come to the site from the shelter, we got a call that there would be a 10 minute delay so Shaun invited the guests to move into the shade of the nearby trees. Here are some of our guests standing in the shade and getting water from the coolers. There were a lot of small children present and young people with impairments. (Kelly has been a Pre-K teacher for the past 2 years and for the past 8 years she has volunteered her services to support young people with developmental disabilities one-on-one.) They were expecting around 200 guests. I think some who were heat intolerant opted to stay under the shelter during the ceremony.
This is Russell Hill in the center in shorts, lucky guy! He is our wedding director and was communicating via walkie talkie with the bride and the golf cart driver who was taking her to the designated spot from which she would enter across the grass. That is Shaun, our groom, on the right. We are ready to get the word to start.
Okay, it's time! Here we go! You can see the shelter in the background. That is Melissa, our photographer's assistant. Tina Loebach, the photographer is with the bride.
Here come our three bridesmaids. Can you tell they are barefooted?
Everyone is standing and turning around to see the bride enter. Some very wise people brought umbrellas to shade them from the sun.
Here comes the bride...and the flower girl, Shealeigh, making their way across the meadow. Shealeigh dropped all the flower petals on the walk on the meadow and had run out before they got to the guests.
Shaun met Kelly at the steps so that they could come in together to be married.
The ceremony began with a welcome to everyone, a prayer, and we remembered loved ones such as Shaun's mother, Laureen, who were with us in spirit. Zeina, above, then presented the first reading of The Irrational Season by Madeleine L'Engle. I married Zeina's brother, Kareem, and his wife some time ago. Zeina is engaged to Kelly's brother, Josh! He's the groomsman on the end standing closest to her.
Then their friend, Debbye, presented the Blessing of the Hands. She did a fabulous job!
Then it was time for the wedding address which included the story of how Kelly and Shaun met and fell in love. They were both working in the same Old Navy story in 2001 and were definitely drawn to each other. Kelly is a free spirit and very outgoing whereas Shaun is more quiet and steady. Kelly energizes Shaun and he calms her! They both have a unique outlook on life and live life to the fullest. Go take a look at Kelly's website and all her adventures of volunteering in foreign countries and working with Habitat for Humanity. She is truly a humanitarian who demonstrates her passion for people. She also has a unique passion for tarantulas! Shaun is a brave soul to have her colony of "pet" tarantulas inhabiting the bedroom! Shaun holds down the fort and has worked his way up to general manager at Old Navy now.
It's time for the rings.
Shaun is saying the words he is reading from my book to Kelly as he places the ring on her finger.
I decided that it would be a good idea to mop the sweat off Shaun's face and said "Getting married is hard work!" Good laugh for everyone. Both Kelly and Shaun were truly "in the moment" during the ceremony and I could feel that powerful loving energy that passed between them.
The pronouncement of marriage...........and then...........
My favorite part of the ceremony........theirs too! 
And out they go followed by the wedding party for photos while the guests retreated to the shade of the shelter and some good eats!
Notice that gorgeous lily bouquet Kelly is holding. It is actually one stem. The bridesmaids carried one stem of lilies too. Kelly and Shaun did their own flowers and made beautiful programs. The day after the wedding I received this note from Kelly and Shaun: 

Dear Kayelily,

We are so thankful that we found you. The ceremony was beyond what we could have imagined -- so beautiful, natural, personal. Many people made a point to tell us how much they were touched by the ceremony. We were only able to create such a sweet ceremony with your guidance and support. Did you happen to get copies of our programs? If not, we can send you some of our extras.

We're sorry you weren't able to stay for our reception; we surprised everyone with a fun Michael Jackson number for one of our couple dances. We know you would have liked it! Someone got video of it so we'll send it to you once it's online.

We will be blogging and taking lots of pictures during our honeymoon so we will be sure to send you the link once we start posting. We are really looking forward to seeing your blog from our day as well!

We thank you not from the bottom of our hearts, but from our whole hearts. You helped us to make our day what it was and we are so blissfully happy! We will stay in touch, Kayelily. Take care and we wish you continued success in the beautiful work you do.

Shaun & Kelly

P.S. Here are two important things I (Kelly) want to clarify:

1. My bridesmaids were ready on time and I was ready 5 minutes early.
Our ride was not there at the designated time. I am so sorry things
started late -thank you for being flexible and remaining light-hearted
on such a hot day!

2. You may have noticed that I "swatted" you during the ceremony. You
had a large assasin bug crawling up your sash, headed for your hands.
They can have a nasty bite so I hope it did not upset you... I just
didn't want you to get hurt! How appropriate that a large bug would
join in on our ceremony! :)

Kelly, I thank you for swatting that bug off me! I remember you doing that and figured that was the situation and kept on going! You two were such a pleasure to work with and it was my honor to officiate for you. I know you will have an amazing marriage and many happy adventures as you make your wonderful contributions to the world.
After the ceremony, Marty and I packed up my microphone and battery pack and headed for the shelter! There we encountered Marina who owns Marina's Ambrosia catering company. Marina is Zeina and Kareem's mother. It is such a small world. Maybe Josh and Zeina will ask me to do their wedding, hint, hint!
And so Marty and I departed the park and went on to the next wedding. What a great memory, a great wedding and a great couple, such that even the heat could not dampen the jubilation.

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