Sealed with a kiss!

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shannon and Ryan's Dream Wedding at the Cotton Room!

Shannon and Ryan were simply aglow with love that filled the whole room during their wedding ceremony! It was so sweet to be in the presence of their love for each other and their thankfulness for having each other in their lives. Shannon first contacted me via the contact form on my website giving me her wedding date of October 13, 2012 at the Cotton Room. She wrote: "I would love to hear more about your services and pricing.  We would like for our wedding ceremony to be personalized, special and unforgettable :)" Everything she wanted is actually my specialty so we set up a date to meet on February 4th and see if we were a good fit. Of course we were and they booked me on the spot. I emailed my exclusive collection of diverse ceremony material to them and they started putting together what they wanted me to say to them and their guests at their wedding. They also individually answered some questions for me about how they met, fell in love, etc. so that I could write their story for the ceremony. It did not take us long to come up with a beautiful ceremony, including their story, why they love and wanted to marry each other, and very special vows that they kept secret from each other so they could hear them for the first time on their wedding day. 
When Marty and I arrived at the Cotton Room having just come from doing a wedding at the Carolina Inn, the area for the ceremony was ready.
Tia Jones-Nusbaum, their wedding planner/director with Erin McLean Events had placed their beautiful programs on the chairs of the family members being escorted in. I am so grateful to Tia for getting the rehearsal organized and started the day before while I was stuck in traffic trying to get there. When I arrived, it was time to go over the ceremony logistics so the timing could not have been better!
Their wedding programs were beautiful! Ryan's father is a graphic designer and had made them and color coordinated them with the navy theme.
I brought my own sound system for this wedding as the DJ was only doing the reception. You can see me in the distance where I am hiding it behind the billowing curtains.  
Behind the curtains are most of the tables for the reception pushed together to later be spread out into the ceremony area. Tre Bella was the florist for both this wedding and the one I had just come from. 
How perfect to have a cotton boll as part of the decoration since the venue was originally part of the Golden Belt Cotton Company, now renovated into many different spaces. 
 Love these table coverings with all the fluffy petals!  
Arioso Strings provided a guitar duo for the ceremony music. You may recognize Ed, left, with whom I have done so many weddings I can't count them all--but they are on this blog! His fellow guitarist is Chris whom I met for the first time that day. They did a great job with the music--of course! One can always count on Arioso Strings for their professionalism, reliability and superb musicians. 
Nancy Ray and her husband Will with Nancy Ray Photography were capturing the day in photographs and arranged this "blind" meeting of the bride and groom to exchange their gifts to each other. Wish Ryan's head was not blocked by the post but I know he was beaming---is that a pun or what! Lindsey and Daniel with Heart Stone Films were videoing the wedding as well and I can't wait to see that video!
 Tia got us all lined up to enter for the ceremony. 
Ryan's parents, Patricia and Jim, go first followed by Shannon's mother, Susan, and her stepfather, Jason.
Then the 8 groomsmen plus Ryan and I entered, then the 8 bridesmaids. We filled up the entire span of space at the front. Love those pretty windows behind us.
 Shannon was escorted in by her dad, Jeff, as all the guests stood in her honor.
 Here we go! Wish you could see the grin on Ryan's face!  
After the words of welcome, the prayer, and tribute to the parents, I launched into their "story!"
Shannon and Ryan met in May of 2009 at the party of mutual friends to watch a hockey game in the 2009 NHL Playoffs. They were just friends for a while, chatting on the phone, instant messaging and texting, until Shannon went down to Myrtle beach the following July to hang out with Ryan and get to know each other. Their attraction began to grow but the relationship remained a long distance one for about a year until Ryan moved to Raleigh. It did not take long before they became inseparable and eventually decided to marry.
They are both best friends to each other and love making each other happy and laugh a lot. Neither can imagine their lives without each other. They are looking forward to being together for the rest of their lives, creating irreplaceable memories, taking care of their fur babies, and starting their own family some day. 
They read their secret vows to each other from my book, evoking some tears along the way.
  Then they exchanged rings.
I made the pronouncement of marriage and they shared their first kiss as husband and wife!
  Let's go celebrate!!
The guests were invited to another area of the space to enjoy cocktails while the wedding party took photos. 
Here we are behind the scenes with the bridesmaids bustling the bride's train up out of the way so she could dance to her heart's content with her new husband! 
Ryan and Shannon, what a fabulous wedding! You two are such a wonderful couple and I know your marriage is going to be filled with bliss. I loved working with you to create your dream wedding that was "personalized, special and unforgettable :)" 

No comments: