Sealed with a kiss!

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

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Wedding Bells Really Ring at Yidi and Matt's Wedding at Long View Center!

Loving tenderness is what comes to mind when I think of Matt and Yidi! It was such a pleasure to work with them to create their ceremony and I was so honored to officiate their beautiful wedding at Unity Church of the Triangle at Long View Center on Saturday, June 16, 2012. Yidi was born in China but relocated to the US and was working in a university hospital laboratory when she noticed this handsome young surgeon always brought his lab samples to her. Matt confessed that he was really impressed with Yidi and how intelligent and organized she is. She also had photos of her family and her beloved dogs on her desk so he knew how important family was for her which is equally important to him. Their wedding ceremony reflected that too. Their first "date" was at a dog park between their residences in April of 2010 where their dogs got to know each other and Yidi and Matt had long talks about everything and anything. They realized they shared so many core values that they soon became a couple and eventually decided to marry. They met with me in January to plan the ceremony which was a traditional American wedding ceremony in structure (Matt's family is Roman Catholic) but also wanted to include some words in Mandarin with English translations because not all the guests understood English. So we got to work. Their rehearsal was the day before and Matt and Yidi came dressed in traditional Chinese clothing with a lot of red which is good luck. It was no surprise that the rehearsal dinner was at a Chinese restaurant in Chapel Hill! The wedding day dawned and to our surprise, the City of Raleigh decided to repave Person Street that day, of all days. We delayed the start of the wedding 15 minutes because of the backed up traffic and finding parking but everyone eventually got there.  
Matt and his father, Bill, who also served as his best man, were ensconced in the Green Room behind the altar from where we entered. Diane McDaniels, the Facilities Manager for Long View came in to check on them.
Sarah Hobgood is a wonderful pianist. She had to play extra long because of the delay but no problem! Her page-turner is a mentor of Matt or Yidi's, I can't remember which, and arranged for Sarah to play for the wedding.
Finally the guests were in place and it was time to start. Matt and I, followed by his non-escorting groomsmen took our places on the altar. I wonder what those groomsmen are whispering about!
First in was Marcella, Matt's grandmother, escorted by Nate, one of our groomsmen.
Mary Alice, Matt's mother, is escorted in by Bill and then he stepped up next to Matt. 
Mother of the Bride, Xerong, was escorted in by Michael then he took his place with the groomsmen.
After our lovely bridesmaids entered, it was time for our beautiful bride, Yidi. Since her father is no longer living, she was escorted in by her nephew, Xiaomeng, as a representative of her family. Inthe background you can see Matt's Aunt, Sister Margaret, who served as our wedding director.
Our photographer, Charlotte Claypoole, is up in the choir loft getting some great photos of Yidi's entrance.
The sanctuary at Long View Center is the most elegant and beautiful setting for a wedding in Raleigh. I love doing weddings here but it has been since 2009 because it was closed for a while. Now Unity Church of the Triangle leases the space and offers it to the public for weddings. I am an active member of this church and I'm here every Sunday and love to sing in our amazing choir. The Church is located at 118 S. Person St., corner of Hargett and Person, just across the street from Moore's Square. Come check us out!
After welcoming everyone, my words were translated into Mandarin by Xixi, niece of the bride.
Then Matt's sister, Susanna, read two Catholic readings that were particularly significant because they were given to Matt and Susanna's great-great-grandmother, Margaret, by their great-great-grandfather, Thomas, in 1873, the year of their marriage. Very special!  
Yidi's mother, Xerong, then spoke to the guests in Mandarin which was then translated into English by Xixe. She was so gracious and thanked everyone for being there for the occasion and some sweet words about Yidi and Matt including these: "As Matt and Yidi’s relationship has progressed I’ve had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time with Matt.  I can’t say we’ve had many long detailed conversations (Matt really needs to work on his Mandarin), but I can say that through his actions, his smiles, and his laughter I have come to know Matt fairly well."
At this point, Bill, Mary Alice and Xerong were asked to stand while I told them how much their love and support has meant to their children. Then I asked them to take them into their families as son and daughter.
Everyone, including Yidi and Matt, got many good laughs from their story and the humor we included.
Matt and Yidi prepared their vows to each other and read them to each other during the ceremony. They also had them printed in their wedding program.  
 The exchange of rings......then the pronouncement (no photo of that this time!).....
Aaaahhh the kiss! Nate stepped over to the bell tower and rang the bell! 
 They were so happy! 
And now they are officially a family!  
Yidi and Matt, congratulations! I wish you all the best in your move to Pennsylvania for your residency. I know you will be so happy together. When you need a baby blessing/christening ceremony, do call on me! 

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