Sealed with a kiss!

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

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Susan and Steve's Amazing Wedding at The Cotton Company!

Last December, Susan contacted me about officiating her wedding to Steve on March 10, 2012 at The Cotton Company. We all met and they loved the idea of creating their own ceremony. This was not a first wedding for either of them and all the more reason for making sure the words of the ceremony, especially the vows, were meaningful. They also liked the idea of sharing the story of their relationship, honoring their parents and children who were present, remembering their beloved 4 legged furry children (their dogs) who were on guard duty at home, and the special little touch I add with secret paragraphs crafted with each of them about why they love and want to marry their partner and what they are looking forward to in marriage. They don't hear what each other has told me until the ceremony. It is a sweet moment.
When Marty and I arrived at The Cotton Company, it had been completely transformed since the last wedding I did there in December for Kristin and Tim. They were expecting about 175 guests. The chairs are set up in the center of the room covering the dance floor which was exposed later. It was a nice set up and I did not know the space could accommodate that many guests.
This beautiful cake was provided by Sweet Loralee Pastries. It is bedecked with gorgeous red roses in keeping with their red theme. Amedeo's was catering.
Erica Barfield with Ambiance Wedding & Event Design put together a beautiful altar area with puddling satin tablecovers sprinkled with red rose petals and tall florals dripping with bling!
Marty got a picture of Erica by the cake. She was not only their florist but their wedding director too. She was on the ball and making sure everything went perfectly.
These large flower balls graced the guestbook and gift table. 
That is Steve on the left. His groomsmen were his three brothers, Dave, Ralph and Larry, his son, Josh, and Susan's son, Christopher. Our Junior Groomsman was Collin.
Our bridesmaids all dressed in hot red dresses were hidden away in the storage room before processing out. On the left is Keely, Susan's daughter, with Emily, Tiffany and Charlottte. Nakisha, our Maid of Honor, is not pictured and my guess is that she was still in the bride's dressing room. Our two Flower Girls, Belle and Sophia, are in pink and Madison, our ring bearer (rings are in the basket), is in red.
After we all processed in, Erica guided Madison down the aisle and she made it just fine and managed to stand with the bridesmaids for the whole ceremony!
Susan, looking stunning, was proudly escorted in by her father, Charles, as the guests stood in her honor. She chose to enter to Jonathan Cain's fabulous rendition of The Bridal March. I just love that music! I believe I recommended it to them and they took me up on it. The music for the ceremony was played via iPod by John Chan of the Boomerang Band that played for the reception. Steve has his own band so he must have called in some favors and got this great dance band.
The lighting was dimmed and the track lights above the altar area created a nice glow and plenty of light for me to see the ceremony words.
I have "enhanced" these lighter photos so you can see the venue better. The Event Gallery upstairs over the retail shops is quite unique. I have done many weddings here through the years. The area is quite versatile and can be set up and decorated in many ways. When the ceremony was over, the chairs were moved, the dance floor cleared, and large round tables covered with red tablecloths were arranged around the dance floor. Beth Jarvah is the event director for The Cotton Company. She is also a photographer and I have known her previously from weddings she photographed. 
Susan and Steve now step into the next chapter of their lives together, marriage. They were great to work with on the story, providing me with lots of great material, both serious and humorous, which their guests really enjoyed. Their words about their love and their vows were particularly touching as well. I could tell they know what is important to them and treasure the love they share. 
Steve and Susan, wow, what a great wedding! I am honored that you chose me to officiate. May the rest of your lives together be as spectacular!!

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