Sealed with a kiss!

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

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fabulous Wedding for Catherine and Forrest Including the Rain!

I met with Catherine and Forrest on May 30th about officiating their wedding at the historic Ayr Mount Estate in Hillsborough on July 17, 2010. (These photos are the back and front of the exquisitely restored manor house. The rolling 265 acres of countryside I imagine remind Catherine of the English countryside which is where she is from.) Catherine and Forrest both live and work in Washington DC. Catherine had been at a wedding in North Carolina recently that was officiated by my good friend and colleague, Rev. Barbara Lodge, and had been most impressed with the ceremony. Barbara, however, was unavailable for Catherine's wedding date and referred her to me. I was so happy that I was available that day. We signed a contract and started working on their ceremony  to make it just as special as the one she had heard Barbara deliver.
My husband Dave, serving this weekend as my "roadie" and cameraman as Marty is on vacation in Hawaii, and I arrived at the lovely grounds of Ayr Mount in Hillsborough about 2:40 for the 3:00 wedding. It was pouring rain. Thankfully they had arranged for a tent on the grounds for the ceremony and this was the gorgeous expansive view from the tent. The rain made the colors even more rich and vibrant.
We are waiting for the bride. She was running late due to the rain and lack of umbrellas but we knew they were on their way. What would we do without cell phones! Her father, Philip, and her brother, Damian, and sister, Alex, were with her.
We got the guests all seated and were ready to start. The string duo from Arioso Strings was playing beautiful music. 
One small guest who is all dressed up in his summer seer-sucker suit who loved to run out into the rain and get someone to chase him back in! He was having a lot of fun.
This is Ann, mother of the bride, her son, Damian, on the left and his wife and baby in the middle. Catherine was born and grew up in England and these family members made the trek "across the pond" to be at this wonderful wedding.
This is Heather, Forrest's mother, with her son and Forrest's brother, Zachary. They live in Hillsborough.
The bride has arrived! It is pouring rain. The grass is really wet and soggy.
I love this photo! On the left is Catherine's father, Philip, on the right is Damian who, after this photo was snapped, rushed on ahead to join his mother, wife and baby .  Alex, sister of the bride, is holding Catherine's dress up so it would not get wet on the grass. 
Don't you know that Catherine is so glad she is wearing platform heels to slog through the wet grass! 
Dad brings the bride down the aisle umbrella and all! He had to close it and put it down before I could ask him the big question: "Philip, as Catherine's father, do you and her mother, Ann, bless and support Catherine as she comes to join in marriage with Forrest?" Of course he said "We do, with all our blessings." 
I moved to the side and had Catherine and Forrest face their guests while I conducted the ceremony until it was time for the vows and rings. The rain was coming down so hard and making so much noise as it drummed on the top of the tent, I had to really raise my voice for the guests to hear me but I did not want to blast Catherine and Forrest by standing too close to them. 
Catherine's brother, Damian, chose and presented a wonderful reading for Catherine and Forrest. I just love listening to his British accent. He did a fabulous presentation and I must get that reading from him via Catherine!
Look at the back of Catherine's wedding gown. It was stunning. Forrest is taking in the reading word for word. Doesn't the background look like a fine painting? It is amazing the effect of the rain in photos.
I am telling their story here. They and the guests thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful humor of how they finally got together and fell in love. Especially the part about Catherine becoming such a Tarheels fan! 
The vows were exchanged and now for the rings. 
A closing blessing.
The pronouncement of marriage. Note that Forrest has his thumbs clamped on top of my hand. 
The KISS! Note my hand is still on theirs. I didn't want to just jerk it out from under Forrest's thumbs! I read in a photographer's blog the other night a request that the officiant step to the side for the kiss so she/he was not in the kiss photo. I am quite happy to do that and planned to move aside but in this instance, I was stuck in place! 
Here they are, the new Mr. and Mrs.! Everyone applauded and the music provided by Arioso Strings began.
Wow! What a wonderful wedding for two very special people! Remember, the old belief is that rain on your wedding day means that God is crying tears of happiness! Catherine and Forrest, you are a super couple and I know you will be so happy together. I wish you a lifetime of peace, joy and love!


Miranda said...

Thank you for this. Not all of us could make it for the big day so your description and pictures are a great help in getting a 'feel' of it all.

Mary Page Block said...

Always wonderful for Arioso Strings to be at a wedding you are part of! I've linked your post on my blog.