Sealed with a kiss!

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

Monday, June 13, 2011

Governor Dan Malloy and Kayelily Officiate Wedding of Vanja and Patrick!

In the New York Times, June 11, 2011: "Vanja Vlahovic and Patrick D. Malloy were married Friday evening in an outdoor ceremony at Fearrington Village, a resort in Pittsboro, N.C. The Rev. Kayelily Middleton, a minister ordained by the New Thought Theological Seminary in Atlanta, officiated, with Dannel Patrick Malloy, the governor of Connecticut and an uncle of the bridegroom, taking part."

Vanja called me from London in March to see if I was available to officiate her wedding to Patrick on June 10, 2011 at Fearrington Village. She explained that she and Patrick, who lives in New York City, wanted his uncle, Governor Dannel Patrick Malloy of Connecticut, to officiate for them but had just found out that although he could officiate weddings in his own state, he was not authorized to do so in North Carolina. So they needed a minister who was willing to work with them in creating a ceremony which included Uncle Dan. I welcomed the opportunity to officiate for Vanja and Patrick and work with his uncle. So, I emailed her a contract which she completed and emailed to me and her mother and father who live in Chapel Hill mailed me a check for my fee. I did not meet Patrick or Vanja in person until the rehearsal the day before the wedding but we were all set to go as Cheryl van Rensburg and Gilda McDaniel of Fearrington Village handled the processional and recessional details.
The wedding was held in the Crabapple Garden which is nicely shaded. Here I am doing a sound check before the guests arrive. They expected about 140 guests. Notice the pretty yellow wedding programs hanging from the spindles of the chairs.
Patrick and I are going over the pronunciation of his grandparents' names who will be remembered in the ceremony. Patrick is an architect and lives in New York City. He studied at Pratt Institute and the Rhode Island School of Design. He and Vanja discovered each other at an art museum in NYC when she was studying at Sotheby’s Institute of Art.
This is the Red Room where all the guys hang out before the ceremony. It is so cool and comfortable. The Inn provides sandwiches and cold non-alcoholic beverages.  All these guys are brothers! Patrick is one of 7 boys and 4 girls!
Vanja's father, Branislav, joined us and helped me with the pronunciation of Vanja's side of the family names. They are from Croatia so the pronunciation was a little more challenging for me.
One of Patrick's brothers was assigned to take care of Vanja's adorable Maltese, Bailey. He has on a tux and stood with the groomsmen during the wedding. You will see more photos of Bailey!
Then I looked up the bride. Their photographer, Krystal Kast, had the bride and her bridesmaids out in front of the inn for photos before the wedding. Vanja is so tall and beautiful and her gown was stunning. She got it at the place where "Say Yes to the Dress" takes place! Vanja is currently living in London where she is pursuing her Ph.D. in art history. She graduated magna cum laude from Duke. She received a masters degree, with distinction, in American fine and decorative arts at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York.
Time for the ceremony to begin. First the grandmothers of the bride were escorted in. Then it was time for Uncle Dan to escort in his wife, Cathy, then return to the Sun Room to join the guys and me.
Patrick's parents, Bill and Evon, were next. They live in Connecticut.
 Vanja's mother, Gordana, was escorted in by Patrick's brother, William.
Governor Dan Malloy and I entered next from the Sun Room followed by the groomsmen and the groom.
The very handsome Malloy brothers! I really needed flashcards to tell them apart!
Steve Stowe with Joe Bunn DJ Company handled the sound for the ceremony which turned out to be quite a challenge. There was my microphone, one for the governor, and one for the readers. The frequencies of the receivers all bled into each other and he had to mute two while one of us was speaking. Since we alternated back and forth, he had to be on his toes and he did a great job because I was not able to tell what he was doing during the ceremony. Dennis Huffstutler with Cinema One Studio was videoing the wedding.
Our lovely bridesmaids: Shayna, the maid of honor, is a friend of Vanja's. So is Elyssa. Ana is her cousin and the maiden on the far left is Patrick's sister, Kathleen.
 Here comes our gorgeous bride and her proud papa!
The weather was rather hot and muggy and we could occasionally hear thunder in the distance. But, I knew we had plenty of time to do the ceremony without rushing.
I have two ceremony books so I fixed one up for Dan with all his parts color coded as was my script.
A good shot of the front row on the groom's side with Evon and Bill Malloy and Cathy Malloy.
I think at this point I am addressing the parents with a very special surprise parents' blessing and Dan appears to be listening to the thunder!
Dan shared the story about how Vanja (an only child) was introduced to Patrick's rather large family one Easter. Dan himself is one of eight. He said that they were all impressed that Vanja could hold her own and did not even need flashcards that Patrick promised to make for her so she could keep all his brothers' names straight!
It was really special for Vanja and Patrick to have his Uncle Dan be a part of this ceremony.
I have hankies tucked in my book and at this point, I reached over and handed Patrick one of them to wipe the sweat off his brow and commented that getting married is hard work!
 Isn't Bailey adorable? He was so well behaved. He travels back and forth to London with Vanja and has his own passport. They told me his ticket cost more than Vanja's!
The couple wanted their mothers to do readings. This is Gordana, Vanja's mother, reading an excerpt from Captain Corelli's Mandolin.
Evon, Patrick's mother, stepped up and read the "Celtic Wedding Blessing."
  Exchange of rings and vows.
 And away the go--into their future!
 Had to have a photo with the Governor. It was an honor to co-officiate this wedding with him and a delight to chat with him and his family.
Photos were next. Krystal started off getting some beautiful ones of Vanja with the garden in the background.
Then it was my turn to get a picture with the happy couple. Please notice how tall they are. Vanja had on flats, not heels! During the ceremony they stood one step down from Dan and me and that was a good thing!

Then it was over to The Barn for the reception area photos before all the guests filled it up. So pretty and yet comfortable. After all, it is a barn!
This beautiful cake was baked by the chef at Fearrington. Fearrington of course provides all the food, the cake and the florals.
My good friend and colleague, Joe Bunn, was on hand in the barn ready to DJ the reception. Joe has been DJ'ing since he was 13 years old and formed Joe Bunn DJ Company about 9 years ago. I have been officiating weddings for 12 years so we have worked together many, many times.

Vanja and Patrick, thank you for finding me! I loved working with you to create a wonderful ceremony and being part of your special day. I know you will be very happy together and have a long and loving marriage!


Rev. Barbara Lodge said...

Great post! Looks like everyone was having a grand time.

Reverend Kayelily Middleton said...

I received this note from Vanja:

Dear Kayelily,

The blog is amazing!!! Thank you for making it- I've sent it to both my mom and Patrick's and my maid of honor and everyone loves it! Plus-you got some GREAT photos of Bailey (my little baby!) Thank you so much for officiating our wedding! You really went above and beyond our expectations and we are so thrilled you were part of our big day!

I'll make sure to send you a few photos once I get them back from Krystal!

All my best,