Sealed with a kiss!

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

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Manuela and Rodney Have a Beautiful Wedding at the Wagner House!

Manuela and Rodney met with me in July to talk about my officiating their wedding on September 17, 2011at the Wagner House in Clayton. Actually they were already married a year before and although it was not a secret, Manuela really wanted a formal wedding ceremony with a big white dress with friends and family surrounding them and Rodney was supporting her in this all the way. I was happy to do the honors for this sweet couple and help make their dream come true!
The Wagner House is a historic colonial mansion in downtown Clayton, NC. I have done many weddings here for the past 12 years. Brenda and Mac Avent, the owners, have made a showcase out of the old home. Every year Brenda has made some improvement and embellishment. The gazebo and ceremony space in the back yard is magnificent. I look forward to seeing what she has added each year.
Years ago there was a circular drive and just the garden and gazebo. She has added the roof and fans and lights and has done away with the circular drive. We can actually do weddings in the rain there if it is not blowing. She also had a door cut in the garden dining room on the back of the house so that you can come out to the garden area covered in case of inclement weather. Her plantings and lush flower beds are something to be admired. This year she told me that she guesses she has done all she can and she will be miserable next spring because she won't have a project! What a problem to have but I bet she will think of something! Brenda is a professional caterer as well so the Wagner House comes with the caterer. She also caters offsite.
This is the garden dining room. It is so sunny and cheery. The door you see to the right leads out to the garden. There are two other dining rooms so she can accommodate quite a crowd.
Piece-a-Cake provided this yummy, lemony looking wedding cake. It is so pretty and I bet it tasted just as good as it looks.
When we were ready to begin, Rodney's best man, who is his brother David, and I entered the gazebo followed by Rodney who escorted his parents in, and then Dorte, the Maid of Honor. Manuela was escorted in by her father, Ulrich. Her parents are German and do not speak English so my question was translated for him.
And the ceremony began. I was so glad I had my sound system because there was a festival going on a few blocks away and we could hear the music. But nothing was going to stop this wedding celebration!
After welcoming all the guests and giving a prayer, I asked Rodney's father to bring forth the couple's young son, Alexander, into the gazebo to be blessed and baptized. He was the sweetest little boy and had the biggest blue eyes. He did not feel well that day so he was unusually quiet, which might be a good thing under the circumstances. He was very cooperative though, even when I sprinkled his head with water.
That was followed by the Family Unity Sand Ceremony in which the couple poured beautiful stones and sand representing the three of them into the container. Lauren with Waterhouse Studios was our photographer for the wedding and you can see her hand and camera on the right getting a good shot of the sand pouring.
Rodney and Manuela had written secret vows to each other which they heard for the first time on this day.
They sealed their vows with the exchange of rings: "This ring is a symbol of my love. Receive this ring as a token of wedded love and faith."
I declared them husband and wife and asked them to share a kiss to celebrate!
A very happy couple!
After the guests went to the reception, we gathered on the front steps for photos. Manuela and Rodney, I love the look in your eyes when you look at each other. Your love is very evident and radiates from you. Alexander is a very lucky little boy! I wish you all the happiness in the world.

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