Sealed with a kiss!

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

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wonderful Fall Wedding for Lia and Steve at Barclay Villa!

I met Lia and Steve last March when they came to see me about officiating their wedding on November 13, 2010 at Barclay Villa in Angier. I had not done a wedding there in about 3 years so I was delighted for the opportunity to be there and work with Cathy Honeycutt again. She and I go way back! In addition to being in charge of the catering (Barclay Catering and Event Planning), Cathy assembles and directs the wedding for the couple. Also on hand  was her assistant, Cindy Ebersbach. With both of them running the show, all bases were covered and we had a great rehearsal on Friday assuring that the wedding processional flowed smoothly.  So, when Marty and I arrived an hour before ceremony start time on Saturday at 4:00 to set up my sound system, the chairs were all in place and the musicians were arriving as well.
The opposite end of the aisle from the gazebo is the ballroom with the balcony overlooking the garden. The grandparents, parents, bridesmaids and bride and escort enter from this area. The Villa was all decorated for Christmas and looked so festive.
This is a new pool and fountain that had been installed since I was last there. It was so pretty and tranquil.
Here we are down at the gazebo getting all set up. Barclay Villa is like a setting of a fairytale with its castle-like features and beautifully landscaped grounds.
Ambrosia Cake Creations provided this striking wedding cake decorated with the wedding colors of black and red.
Above is the ballroom all prepared for the reception dinner. I once did a winter wedding in front of the massive fireplace between the Christmas trees.
This is the front entrance of the estate. Our photographer, Craig Carpenter with Luster Studios, had the groom and groomsmen out front taking some photos before the wedding while the bridal party was sequestered inside in the exquisite parlors.See Craig's preview photos on his Facebook page.
This is the pool and fountain where the guests gathered after the ceremony for cocktails.
We were graced with the lovely music of Florian Music thanks to their founder and coordinator, Sherry Lattin. We have done a lot of weddings together recently and it is always a pleasure to work with Sherry and her musicians. Sherry is the violinist on the left. The musician on the right played the trumpet for the bride's entrance. Steve and Lia had selected mostly contemporary music for which the group found sheet music and learned for the wedding.
It is almost time to begin so the guys and I gathered on the side of the ballroom from where we entered. I entered to a piece from Pirates of the Caribbean! It was very majestic!
After all the groomsmen entered, it was time for the bridesmaids who carried topiary balls of black and white tulle with red Christmas ornaments and some red feathers. (The two people standing to the side are guests who arrived after the processional began and were seated after the bride entered.) Lia and her sister, Jenna, Maid of Honor, made all the floral arrangements and wanted something out of the ordinary and succeeded beautifully!
 Lia was escorted in by her mother and grandfather. It was very special for them all.
Lia and Steve met in 2003 when one of Steve's friends, Matt, also a groomsman, introduced them and they hit it off. They dated for 5 years having all kinds of fun and adventures then Steve proposed at a very special place on their 5th year anniversary of dating. Lia was truly surprised but said yes, of course. Their story was included in the wedding ceremony and the guests loved hearing it and laughing at the funny parts. 
They loved creating their own ceremony and writing their own personal vows to each other which is what Lia is reading to Steve from my book. They both put in a few funny lines.
 The pronouncement of marriage was next and then....
Steve nailed Lia with a kiss.Thanks to Craig Carpenter for this fine quality photo!
After I presented the newlyweds to their guests, they recessed up the aisle and into the ballroom, up the stairs and out onto the balcony where they watched the wedding party and parents and grandparents recess.
Then I asked all their guests to stand and move to the center then turn around facing the balcony  for a group photo which I know will really be good because Craig had the vantage point of shooting from the balcony. Can't wait to see those shots.
Steve and Lia, what a fabulous wedding. Your hard work and careful planning sure showed in every aspect. I really loved writing your story. You are a remarkable couple and I know you will have a great marriage! Congratulations!

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