Sealed with a kiss!

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

Monday, January 2, 2012

Meredith and Ryan's Amazing New Year's Eve Wedding at Haywood Hall!

Who would have ever thought December 31, 2011 would be a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the upper sixties?? Meredith and Ryan believed with all their hearts that it would be and their dream day came true! Meredith's father, Tom, was assigned the task of calling me to see if I was available to officiate their wedding at Haywood Hall. Fortunately I was and so Meredith, Ryan and I met in late October to plan their ceremony. It was then that I found out that she and Ryan had been at the wedding of Meghan and Mark I officiated at The Sutherland in 2009. Meghan was Meredith's Matron of Honor so that was how they knew about me.  Then, at the rehearsal I found out that I had married another bridesmaid, Jaime, Meredith's cousin, in 2002 at Millbrook Baptist Church. Another bridesmaid, Allison, piped up and told me that she tried to get me to do her wedding but I was already booked for her date. And to top that, a couple I am marrying in April of this year, Irene and Tyler, were wedding guests! Wow! My world is shrinking.

I loved working with Meredith and Ryan. They both have a delightful sense of humor and "go with the flow" attitude and that was reflected in the ceremony. We had a lot of fun making it exactly what they envisioned. Their story goes that they knew of each other in high school but had never connected. In fact, Ryan thought Meredith (now a hair stylist) was a "weirdo" because she sported funky hairstyles, even sometimes purple. Meredith was not interested in Ryan either, thinking they had nothing in common. But one magic May evening in 2009 they were at the same party and struck up a conversation that lasted into the wee hours of the morning and found out that indeed, they have a lot in common. Ryan told me that he has been unable to get Meredith off his mind ever since. Meredith told me that when Ryan kissed her that night, she knew he was the one!

The rehearsal the day before was quite the challenge with late arrivals, many sirens going off downtown, and a lot of grandparents and one great grandmother in the processional. But, our director, Winston, a beautiful blonde woman, whipped them all into shape on the wedding day and it turned out just fine.
The tent was all set up and decorated by the mother of the bride, Janet, and her friends. Cooper's Barbecue was catering the event.
Our DJ Heavy, yes, that is really what he is called although he does have a real name--Darrel Harris. He told me that he was nicknamed Heavy many years ago and it has stuck. He was so helpful and I appreciate that he was able to get the music and my voice heard although the DJ station had been pre-determined in the tent so that it was a challenge.
Terra is setting up the beautiful wedding cake inside the gazebo. Her business is called Cakes By Terra and it looks terrific!
Our photographer, Betsy Coley, was busy getting shots of the bridal party outside before the wedding. If you look closely, our beautiful bride is wearing red cowboy boots! Her dress is stunning! Her hair was by Jamie Sturdevant and makeup by Jill Carroll.
On the left is Jordan, our flower girl. She is the daughter of Jaime, the bride's cousin that I married to her husband John in 2002. Jaime is the third bridesmaid from the left next to Meredith. To the right of the bride is Meghan, the Matron of Honor, that I married in 2009. She and Mark have a 3 month old baby and are thinking about having me do a baby blessing ceremony for them. The second bridesmaid from the left is Allison who wanted me to officiate for her but I was already booked for her date.
Winston is getting Ryan's great grandmother, Eunice, and her escort, Jason, Ryan's brother, ready to be the first to process in.
After the family is escorted in, the groomsmen returned to process in with the bridesmaids.
Jordan, our flower girl, walks in with Mason, our ring bearer who is 4.
Tom, father of the bride, held her bouquet while she held up her dress to step up the steps. That dress is simply gorgeous!
Everyone is standing in honor of the bride as she and her father float down the aisle toward Ryan and the wedding party and me. They wanted me to stand at the top so that they could stand on the steps so that Meredith's wedding gown train would cascade down the steps.
"Who presents this woman to be married to this man?" "Her mother and I do."
It was amazing but not one siren, not one motorcycle, helicopter, train or other distraction happened during the ceremony! 
Ryan's father, Terry, was his best man and had the real rings. When I called for the rings, he handed them to me and then I was surprised by Mason coming forth and up the steps to hand me the pillow with the fake ring! He was so cute and diligently doing his duty! I took the pillow from him and he went back to his seat.
 I usually place my hand on the couple's joined hands to make the pronouncement but from the top of the steps, I could not reach unless I bent over so I chose not to put my hand on theirs.
 Great kiss, Ryan! 
 This is where the recessional fell apart! Not that it matters but it turned out to be comical. In the photo above, Meredith's grandmother recessed with Tom and Janet instead of waiting for her escort.
Then Terry, Father of the Groom, was to come back and get Kathy, Mother of the Groom, but instead one of the groomsmen took Eunice out next then Terry left Kathy behind as he took out his mother, Ryan's grandmother Alice.
So, since Kathy was left standing there all alone, I said to her, "you and I can recess together" and so we and the guests all laughed and walked down the aisle together. Reminded me of the wedding where the little ring bearer was forgotten and left behind so I took his hand and had him stand with me until we left together.
Congratulations, Meredith and Ryan! I know you are going to have a wonderful marriage with lots of fun and laughs. You seem very good together and I hope as I post your wedding you are far away on a fabulous honeymoon! See you in April at the wedding of Irene and Tyler!

No comments: