Sealed with a kiss!

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

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Scottish Themed Wedding for Jana and Jeremy in the Green Rolling Hills of Chapel Hill!

This was the sweetest wedding. Jana and Jeremy are such an interesting couple and I loved telling their story. It began four years ago at Tyler's in Carrboro where they had their first date which lasted much longer than either expected. Of course they were delighted to discover each other and that they both loved traveling, bluegrass music festivals and being in the great outdoors. In fact, Jeremy is quite an accomplished camper and outdoorsman and told me that they had become a "well-oiled camping machine" that can be set up and relaxing within a matter of minutes cuddled together in a swinging hammock beside a babbling stream! He really appreciates that Jana never complains about the bugs or the dirt and is content to be in whatever beautiful place she happens to be in, enjoying nature's majesty and not dwelling on things she cannot change. Jana loves that Jeremy is a gourmet camp cook, even gets up early to bring her tea in the morning when they are camping, and is such a romantic guy who gives her a different perspective on life. They are a strong, well-matched team and were thrilled to celebrate their marriage surrounded by their family and friends in this lovely setting.
Their wedding was October 1, 2011 which turned out to be quite a cool windy afternoon at The Barn at Valhalla. This lovely pastoral venue is located between Carrboro and Saxapahaw and if we did not know we were in Chapel Hill, we could be in the rolling hills of Scotland. I visited Scotland this past August and can attest to the similarity in landscape. The only thing missing that would be in Scotland is a flock of sheep munching on the grassy hillside. Inside the "barn" is the more formal seating for the reception, the DJ (Steve Stowe with Joe Bunn DJ Company, not pictured) and the dessert spread. In lieu of a wedding cake were scrumptious looking pies and other sweet treats created by Scratch Bakery, a company whose mission is to use only healthy produce from local farmers! Beau Catering was in charge of the rest of the reception goodies for the evening. The guests gathered on the deck off the side of the reception room for cocktails prior to being seated for the ceremony. On the second story of the barn are guest rooms and usually the bridal party stays there the night before.
Jeremy's parents make their way down the aisle. 
Mother of the bride was escorted in by her son while Dad was proudly hanging back to bring in the Bride.
Instead of having attendants, Jana and Jeremy had their closest friends process in then be seated. Here are Jana's 8 friends. You can't really see much of her in the photo above but Erin McLean, our wedding director, did a fabulous job directing this wedding and making sure it went seamlessly. This is the third wedding Erin and I have done together at this location and it sure is good to have her handling all the details! Thanks, Erin!
Then the sweet little flower girls.......
Jana and her father make their entrance!
Such a pretty setting with the lake in the background. Their two friends, Melissa and Patty, presented a special reading. To the left, you can barely see their friend Jeff Yetter at the keyboard. He provided the processional music.
Jeremy cut these rhododendron branches from a friend's home near Boone and hauled them here in his truck then fashioned this unique arbor which has ivy stems and leaves woven through the branches and flanked by large pots of pretty green and white caladiums and fern fronds. Jeremy is dressed in traditional Scottish fashion with his family tartan.
They turn to smile at their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and dear friends as I asked them for their blessings for this marriage.
Then we got to the wedding address which included their wonderful story with many touches of sweet humor in it which everyone enjoyed. 
They read their special vows to each other from my book where I printed the words so that they were facing them. 
Their friends, Meg and Joe, crafted a beautiful wooden wine box for them. Wish I had gotten a photo of the top of the box where they had handcarved an intricate tree into it. Into the box Jeremy and Jana placed love letters to each other. The box was sealed until their first anniversary when they open it, pour each other a glass of wine then read the love letters from each other for the first time to remind them of all the qualities that they love in each other. 
The pronouncement of marriage was made followed by the sealing of their vows with their first kiss as husband and wife.
Most ceremonies end at this point but next was the "pinning of the tartan" ritual in the Scottish tradition.
Jeremy places the family tartan scarf on Jana to symbolize the acceptance of her into his family. The wind was whipping her veil all around so I helped by holding it out of the way!
 And here they are, husband and wife at last! 
Bagpiper Robert White graced us with appropriate Scottish music both before and after the ceremony! I am pretty sure I have done weddings in the past with Robert!
I was so happy to have this opportunity to wear my purple Celtic prayer stole I picked up in Dublin this past August. Can you see what the wind is doing to our hairdos?
Jana and Jeremy, you are a vibrant, steadfast couple and you truly belong together! I was honored to have legally tied your knot and a part of your special day! Thank you!

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