Sealed with a kiss!

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

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Allyson and Jeff's Sweet Wedding at 12 Oaks Country Club

I so appreciate Jeff and Allyson's flexibility. We met on January 15th to plan their wedding for June 18, 2011 at 12 Oaks Country Club. They were really intrigued about creating their own ceremony and telling their story (a really good one) in the ceremony. Shortly after our meeting, I discovered that I had not synchronized my mobile calendar with my desk top calendar and  just a few days earlier had booked a wedding for that same day and same time. I phoned Jeff immediately and apologized for my error. They were very understanding and graciously decided to start their wedding earlier so I could still officiate for them. I thank them very much for their generosity. I was excited to see this new venue as well and I am not sure but this wedding may have been the first one at this beautiful site. 12 Oaks is a new subdivision in Holly Springs and I got to see the area at the rehearsal. There is a huge clubhouse and golf shop on the property along with spectacular homes. Jeff and Allyson had their ceremony at the elegant and well-appointed welcome center. It was the perfect setting for their wedding with about 45 guests.
The family unity sand ceremony and the necklaces they were giving to each other's daughter during the ceremony were ready.
The food was all set up and the bar stocked for the wonderful occasion.
The ceremony took place on the back porch and patio. All the chairs were set in place and the Basket Tree Florists had very tastefully decorated the altar area and both sets of stairs with greenery, flowers and ribbon. Marty and I set up my small sound system and Adam Pitts, the guitarist who was providing the ceremony music, set up his equipment also. He was located on the porch to the right. Jim Colman and his second shooter, Allison, had set up strobe lights on the porch also.
Our processional got a little out of order as the grandmother and mother of the bride took their seats before we got started. Jeff escorted his mother, Beulah, to her seat then stepped over to the foot of the steps to wait for Allyson.
We had many flower girls. They were so pretty in their poofy white dresses with baskets of yellow petals to scatter. Erin, Allyson's sister, and her father, Owen, urge this little girl to step forth. Children of this age may likely not understand what adults are asking them to do at a wedding. It is not often a child is all dressed up and asked to walk down an aisle flanked by so many "big" people and throw petals from a basket onto the ground!
These beautiful girls are Anna, Jeff's daughter, on the left, and Juliette, Allyson's daughter on the right. They were so excited that they were going to be sisters!
Owen proudly escorts Allyson down the aisle to Jeff while Jim Colman gets a good shot of them.
There was an awkward turned humorous time delay before Owen "handed over" Allyson to Jeff as the aisle was shorter than the music being played by Adam for the bride's entrance!
Ah, now we are in place and the ceremony has begun in earnest! Juliette is sticking close to Mom's side. She was not a bit afraid to get involved in the action!
Jeff had some sweet words to say to Juliette: “Juliette, I want you to know how much I love your mother and want you both to join Anna and me as a family.  We would like to give you and your mom the kind of family that you have never had the chance to enjoy. I know that I will never be your dad, but am so happy to embrace you as my daughter.  I hope to someday earn your love and that you will be happy to tell me and anyone who asks that you love me…"  Then he put one of the necklaces around her neck.
Allyson had these sweet words to say to Anna: “Anna, thank you for opening your heart to Juliette and me and sharing this incredible man you call Dad.  I hope you will embrace the love we have for you today and will accept us as family. As our families are forever joined today, my hope is you will not look at me as a stepmother, but rather as a friend, one more person in your life who will love you and support you through all of life’s journeys.” Then she put the necklace around her neck.
I stepped out to speak to the guests and started telling the terrific story of how Jeff and Allyson met and fell in love. It is really a good story. I was especially touched by Jeff's romantic nature and the fabulous proposal he pulled off. Everyone loved hearing about it.
Time for the vows and rings. They wrote their own vows to each other and read them from my book. 
Then it was time for the family unity sand ceremony as each of this new family of four poured their sand together.
The beautiful layers of colors of sand represent this family's individuality and their union.
Loved the kiss!
They circled around the house closely followed by Jim and Allison to the front steps for photos.
Allyson and Jeff, thank you for giving me the honor of officiating your wedding. It was wonderful and you were so considerate of my time on that day. I have no doubt whatsoever that you are a match made in heaven. Bless you!

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