Sealed with a kiss!

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Caitie and Charley Get Married at St. Mark's Chapel!

St. Mark's Chapel is a historic rustic chapel built in 1847 and is located on the campus of the Mordecai House in downtown Raleigh. It is the sweetest little chapel and the acoustics are amazing. The maximum capacity is 55 people. The photo above of Caitie and Charley at the Mordecai House was sent to me by Michelle Gunton, our photographer for the day. It was taken after the wedding, of course! 
Before the wedding, Charley was outside the chapel greeting the guests. The wedding day was April 2, 2011 at 4:00 PM. The rains had stopped and although it was quite breezy, it was a pretty day. 

Charley and Caitie had not wanted a formal wedding and thought they would just go to the courthouse and get married or go on a destination type wedding. But, Caitie's mother, Mary, really wanted them to have a real wedding so that at least the family and close friends could be there and celebrate. Caitie and Charley reluctantly agreed and found St. Mark's Chapel. Then Mary contacted me. I was happy that I was available to officiate and they hired me without ever meeting with me. Turns out that my daughter and Caitie went to high school together, something we did not realize until much later into the process of creating their ceremony. Yes, the connection was made via Facebook! 

Caitie and Charley really began to get excited about their wedding when we started working on their special ceremony. They, like many other couples, just assumed the ceremony would be pretty standard, cut and dried, and impersonal. Just something to get over with! But after reading the sample ceremonies I sent them and realizing the possibility of having theirs be very personal and to their liking, their excitement about their wedding was definitely sparked. They answered some questions for me about themselves and their relationship and I fashioned a story for them. Since both of their parents are together, that gave us a great opportunity to really honor them too during the ceremony. I met Charley and Caitie for the first time face to face at the rehearsal the day before. Of course I had followed them on Facebook too and they had followed this blog and my website, so we really were not strangers!
There were lots of cute kids attending. I believe most of them were nieces and nephews of Charley!
Mike Danchi, superb violinist from Arioso Strings, entertained all the guests before the ceremony started with gorgeous music. 
This is Jenny, Caitie's equally beautiful sister, and Maid of Honor. Their father, Lon, escorted her to the chapel from the old Post Office building where the brides get ready and wait until it is time to walk down the aisle.
Now it is time for the bride to get in place for her entrance and walk down the aisle with her father.
In the two photos above I am thanking the parents of the couple. Charley's parents have been married 40 years and Caitie's 38 years. The parents decided to swap sides they sat on so that the groom's parents could see the groom's face and the bride's parents, her face. Otherwise, the traditional seating only allows the parents to see the back of their child during the ceremony.
And now we come to the couple's story and theirs was a good one with lots of humor.  Everyone seemed to enjoy hearing about all the near misses they had before they finally got together and discovered how wonderful each other was! I thank Michelle for sending me the black and white photo above.
Both Caitie and Charley have "Mc" in their last names so I suggested they do the Celtic handfasting ceremony and they loved the idea and the ritual.
Then we came to the ring exchange. I ask the bride and groom to join left hands so they will be holding the hand they put the ring on--less chance of putting the ring on the wrong finger. However, this is a challenge for left-handed people because they have to use their right hands to put the ring on the left finger! Both Charley and Caitie are lefties so I had them practice ahead of time and they did just fine!
They also included the sand ceremony and Charley is at a disadvantage here that I did not even think of because he has to pour with his right hand! Sorry, Charley! Wonder if their kids will be left-handed.
It is all over now! They are married! (I saw where Caitie posted on Facebook during her reception at Solas that she was now married.)
After the couple and parents exited, Michelle and I rounded up all the guests and got them assembled for the group picture.
Caitie and Charley, it was such a wonderful experience working with you and getting to know you and officiating your wonderful wedding! I know that you will be so happy and contented to be married to each other and have a long sweet marriage like your parents. 
What a great shot, Michelle! You can see more wedding photos of Charley and Caitie on Michelle's Blog.

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