Sealed with a kiss!

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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Elyce and Jay's Surprise Wedding at Brier Creek Country Club!

When I met Elyce and Jay I knew this wedding was going to be special and a lot of fun for everyone, especially their guests. One reason is that it was a surprise wedding for their guests and two, Jay and Elyce have an amazing love story. Jay contacted me the last of May about officiating on June 17, 2011 @ 9 PM at Brier Creek Country Club. It was short notice but not many weddings take place at 9:00 PM so since the last wedding I had scheduled for that Friday evening was at 6:00 PM, I was delighted I was available. Then he told me it was going to be a surprise wedding! I loved that because I have done several surprise weddings and they are always the sweetest occasions! Their friends were invited to their engagement party that evening and originally that was what they planned with a wedding in the fall. Well, that all changed when they found out that they were happily expecting their second child in the fall. Surprise! They are just delighted and so are their friends and family. So, I met with them on May 30th and we began to plan their wonderful surprise ceremony. They had thought it all out and the plan was a good one.
When Marty and I arrived at 8:00 PM that evening, it was still daylight. Peter Montgomery with Brier Creek was on hand to get us anything we needed which turned out to be a power strip since they had many white lights plugged in and I needed an outlet for my system. He was a such a great help. All the guests were upstairs partying and could not see us. We got busy setting up my sound system through which Jay would play the processional music via his MP3 which plugs right into my system. 
The seating for this wedding was the reverse of the usual way we orient weddings at Brier Creek but we needed the ability to light the altar area. It worked out so well maybe other couples will decide on this arrangement. 
So the portico with steps became our stage with beautiful floating candles and plenty of white lights as well as the pot lights in the ceiling of the portico. The table with the containers for the family unity sand ceremony had been filled and set in place by Peter. The announcement about the wedding was scheduled for 8:30 at which time the bride and groom would go to the respective locker rooms and don their wedding clothes! We did have a slight delay as Jay tried to remember how to tie his bowtie! No other men on hand had any experience with this. He finally got it tied and we were ready to begin. The guests were all seated and Elyce was ready at the other end of the aisle.
Jay is turning on the music. I had to step over because it appeared there was no power but the power plug had gotten jiggled and needed replugging. Thank goodness that was all that was needed!  Many thanks to Michelle Gunton, their photographer, for sending me the great photos with her logo on them. Marty and my camera struggled with the darkness!
 You can see how dark it is becoming as we get started. 
Elyce wanted her father, John, to walk her down the aisle so her brother accompanied them pushing the wheelchair.
 Have you ever seen such big smiles? 
The transfer of hands is happening here. That is Elyce's mother, Judy, on the left. John and Judy have been married 50 years and Jay and Elyce aspire to make it to that mark too!
I stepped out from behind the couple to speak to the guests. Their story is such a good one and they helped make it quite humorous. The guests got to laugh a lot at this ceremony. Then there was a paragraph Elyce wrote for me to say to Jay about why she wanted to marry him. Jay wrote a corresponding paragraph about why he wanted to marry Elyce. These paragraphs were sent to me separately and kept secret from the one it was about.  Jay suggested that we keep them secret and it is something I have already been incorporating into many other ceremonies. So sweet. We then had the family unity sand ceremony in which Gabrielle, Elyce's daughter, got to pour her sand and the sand for Jackson, Elyce and Jay's son, and the wee one not yet born.
Can you see why I stepped out from behind the couple? They are both so tall. I felt like a midget! Jay is 6'6" and Elyce with heels on is over 6'.
Although it is not the best quality, I had to put this photo in! The words were "Jay, you can FINALLY kiss your wife!"
 And the deed is done! They are finally married!
The couple and their guests adjourned to the verandah which was all set up and ready with food and drinks.
Sweet photo Michelle got of Elyce reassuring Gabrielle who was probably overwhelmed by the occasion.
Elyce and Jay,  I will never forget your wedding and neither will your guests!  I got so many compliments on the ceremony. Several guests told me it was the very best wedding ceremony they had ever heard and they had been to many. What a great family you are and I know you are so happy together. It is written all over you! Please keep me posted on the new baby's birth and maybe we can do a baby blessing ceremony and include Jackson and Gabrielle too. Bless you all!

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