Sealed with a kiss!

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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Elizabeth and Dan Wed at the Pergola in Duke Gardens!

In contrast to the weather the previous weekend, the weather on Elizabeth and Dan's wedding day, April 23, 2011, was fantastic at Duke Gardens. It was slightly overcast making it the perfect lighting for their wedding pictures and comfortable for their many guests.
Ann, a friend and neighbor of Elizabeth's family, was our wedding director. She got everyone lined up and ready to go in from the bottom of the first tier of steps at the pergola. The grandparents and parents had entered and now it was time for the bridesmaids and groomsmen. When there are steps involved, it is always a good idea to have the groomsmen escorting the bridesmaids.
Dan's brother-in-law, Mike, and his wife, Amy (Dan's sister), and their daughter Chloe--our flower girl--enter last. To avoid Chloe, age 2, from being upset, we thought it best that her mommy and daddy escort her in. Note that she had discarded her shoes!! Dan's father Daniel served as his Best Man and Amy served as Elizabeth's Matron of Honor.
Our Father of the Bride, Jim, is taking his job very seriously here. Elizabeth's dress was so pretty and soft and she carried the train to avoid snagging it on the concrete walkway.
The "hand-off" of bride to groom is done and Jim waits for Elizabeth's train to clear before taking his seat. I like to have the groom step down to the ground level as the bride and her father are processing in. When Jim and Elizabeth stopped in front of Dan, I asked: "Jim, as Elizabeth's father, do you and her mother, Patricia, bless and support her as she comes to join in marriage to Daniel?" Of course he said "Yes, we do." Then Elizabeth gave her father a little kiss as he placed her hand into Dan's and the bride and groom then ascended the steps for the ceremony together, symbolic of taking their relationship to greater heights.
The pergola is such a gorgeous setting for weddings. Two weeks prior, the wisteria covering it was in full purple bloom which has a rather adverse side effect for weddings there as it attracts many bees to the pergola. This day there were only a few purple blooms remaining and I did not see a single bumblebee! 
Dan and Elizabeth are such a great couple. I got to know them quite well and loved working with them on their wonderful ceremony. We paid a very special surprise tribute to their parents whose marriages are intact and have stood the test of time.
Duke Gardens provides only 50 chairs and since there were more than 100 guests, most of them were standing for the ceremony. The ceremony was about 20 minutes. Dan and Elizabeth loved the wine and chocolate ceremony so we included that after they said their custom written vows to each other and exchanged rings. The wine represents the bitterness that life may bring and the chocolate the sweetness. Being married means that you accept both as part of your journey together.
And so they set off on their journey as husband and wife! 
Musicians Laura, Jake and Belinda from Arioso Strings provided their usual beautiful music for the guests prior to the beginning of the ceremony and for the processional and recessional. Always a pleasure working with these talented musicians!  Kristin and Sarah from KPO Photography were our photographers. I have worked many weddings with them in the past 12 years and they are great! Thanks, gals. 
Elizabeth and Dan, you are such a thoughtful and delightful couple and so dedicated to each other and your relationship. I know you will have a wonderful marriage! It was a joy working with you. Congratulations!


Anonymous said...

How Beautiful! Perfect weather for the perfect couple!

Russ said...

A most memorable wedding, in a lovely spot with superb timing, beautiful music, and a couple genuinely happy to be joined in marriage. We also thought the vows were infused with a joyful sense of humor...a nice touch. We wish you many years of wedded bliss, Dan and Elizabeth!

Elizabeth said...

Dear Kayelily,

You helped make our ceremony exactly what we wanted!! It was/is a reflection of where we came from, who we are as individuals and as a couple, and where we are going. We will hold those moments vividly in our minds and close to our hearts forever, and we are truly honored to have had you play such a pivotal role in this milestone. Many, many thanks.


Elizabeth and Dan

Reverend Kayelily Middleton said...

Thanks, Elizabeth and Dan. I loved working with you two to create the wedding of your dreams! I appreciate your dedication and persistence in working with me to make sure the ceremony was uniquely yours, and it certainly was! I bet your guests will always remember "Elizabeth and Dan's Wedding!"

Always and ever, Kayelily