Sealed with a kiss!

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

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dana and Todd Marry at St. Mark's Chapel!

Dana and Todd vacillated back and forth about eloping to the mountains of North Carolina or having a large formal wedding with family and friends here in Raleigh. At one point several months ago they met with me and we talked about a wedding here in Raleigh. It went back and forth until early November when they decided they wanted to marry sooner rather than later and called me to find out when I was available. Then all the pieces miraculously fell into place and the synchronicity of it all was a clear sign that this was the way it was supposed to be. They had loved historic St. Mark's Chapel on the Mordecai Campus in downtown Raleigh from the get-go but it was booked on the day they wanted to marry--December 7, 2013. But a few days later, they got a call that the couple that had booked it cancelled and Dana and Todd grabbed it and called me. Okay, on with the plans for the reception. One of the places they wanted was Flights, the restaurant at the Renaissance Hotel where they had their anniversary dinner and where Todd had proposed. It was available. Perfect! 
Saturday December 7th was a bit on the chilly side but the air was crisp and clean and the overcast sky made the colors and clarity of the photographs amazing. Before the ceremony their photographer, Michelle Strickland of It Speaks to Me Fine Art Photography was taking some pictures of Dana out in front of the chapel. Above Dana is with her best friend and maid of honor, Andrea, who is also a good friend of Todd's and was instrumental in bringing the two together.
 Dana and her mother, Alexandra, are so happy about this wedding! 
Susan was our director for the wedding. She got everyone together and made sure the bride made a grand entrance!
This altar chest is decorated not only with pretty flowers by Kelley Kennedy with Teacup Floral, but also with sock monkeys--a sentimental part of Dana and Todd's story--and with a ring warming dish that Todd himself made. I wish I had gotten a good picture of it to show you. He did an amazing job and it was a surprise for Dana.
Jonathan and Joshua are Todd's sons. They are part of the ceremony and ready to get started!
Todd's mother, Karin, and his stepfather, Bruce, are waiting outside the chapel for the cue to get lined up.
 Jonathan and Joshua entered first and took their seats. 
 Then I entered followed by Todd and his best man, Alex. 
 Andrea takes her walk down the aisle. 
 Susan opened the double doors and here comes the bride! 
Todd met her halfway and they came together to the altar to be joined in marriage. 
They requested that I begin with a quote from the movie, The Princess Bride: "Mawiage. Mawiage is wot beings us togeder twoday. Mawiage, that blessed awangement, that dweam wifin a dweam...."  Those that know Princess Bride think it is hilarious. Those who don't I am sure are worried that they are going to have to listen to an entire ceremony spoken by an officiant with a severe speech impediment!
After explanation of the ring warming ceremony, Alex started the rings on the bride's side to be passed row by row to each guest for their blessings.
 Dana and Todd were so ready to be married! 
 There was a tribute to their parents and their friends. 
 Dana had some sweet words to say to Todd's sons which brought forth some tears.
She also presented each of them with a special ring to commemorate this special occasion.
 Hug for Joshua.....
 Hug for Jonathan...then a family hug and the boys resumed their seats. 
And then it was time for their story. Neither Todd nor Dana lack the ability to put their memories and their feelings in words. The story was rather lengthy having gone through several revisions but it was all so special and we could not leave anything out.
 They both have a great sense of humor so we laughed a lot as I enjoyed delivering the funny lines!
And more laughter!
Then the part where they hear what each of them has told me they love about each other for the first time.
Both Todd and Dana share an Irish heritage so they wanted the handfasting ritual where their hands are bound by a cord that symbolically represents their love.
Then they join their right hands making the symbol of infinity, blessing their marriage in the eternal ebb and flow of the universe.
 They read their vows to each other from my book. 
 After the vows, the cord was removed and replaced symbolically with their rings.
Before the pronouncement of marriage they received the Irish blessing and then officially became husband and wife.
They processed out to have a wee bit of alone time while the guests were assembled for a group shot. Then we brought them back in to get into the picture.
 The whole gang......
Todd and Dana, it was a pleasure to join you together. Thank you for the honor! You know what a good match you are. Tried and true for sure! I wish you all the best life can bring your way! I know you will be soooo happy!
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