Sealed with a kiss!

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

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Touching, Memorable Wedding for Bettie Anne and Buddy at Caffe Luna!

Bettie Anne called me one evening in September to find out if I could officiate hers and Buddy's wedding in Raleigh at Caffe Luna. Bettie Anne is a cousin of Parker Kennedy who is the owner of Caffe Luna and also my neighbor. I thank Parker for sending her to me. Her wedding date was Sunday December 1, 2013 and I was thrilled that I was available. We made all the arrangements and started on hers and Buddy's ceremony. Once again, theirs is the sweet story of having been childhood friends gone their separate ways and finding one another years later. They were actually next door neighbors in Creedmoor NC and both had secret crushes on each other but neither of them knew that back then. The couple and I did not meet face to face until their rehearsal on Friday but I knew them pretty well by then as a result of the ceremony creation process we accomplished totally by email.
When Dave (my assistant and photographer--and husband!) and I arrived at Caffe Luna on the wedding day, their families were all there. Both Bettie Anne and Buddy's grown children and grandchildren live in the Triangle area and although the couple lives in Charlotte, they wanted to have their wedding here and Caffe Luna was the perfect setting. 
Simple pots of colorful poinsettias graced the tables. That was all that was needed in this beautiful restaurant whose walls are graced by paintings of Parker's very talented wife and well-known artist, Nicole Kennedy.
Mitch, Buddy's son, signs the marriage license for me. 
Buddy escorts his mother Patsy in. She was so thrilled with this marriage! 
The guys and I are waiting, and waiting. We thought the girls were lined up and ready when we walked out and took our places but they were not. It was a humorous few minutes and we were all laughing wondering if we should walk out and start over!
Finally the bridesmaids processed in and took their places then Bettie Anne and Sarah, her daughter and Matron of Honor, entered. Buddy's sons, Mitchell and Reed, along with John, Sarah's husband were  groomsmen. Buddy's daughter, Claire, was one of Bettie Anne's bridesmaids. The third bridesmaid, Emily, is married to Buddy's son Reed and their children are Ian, our well-behaved 4 year old ring bearer, and baby Grayson--too young to be in the wedding party but he was there!  It was family all the way around.
With everyone in place, we began with a warm welcome and a prayer. 
This ceremony was a lot of fun to deliver! There were references to their sisters, Tish and Sarah Bobbitt, and the games they all played as children. There was a tribute to Buddy's mother, Patsy, and remembrance of his father and Bettie Anne's parents who have passed on.
Their story was filled with wonderful and comical details about what they thought of each other throughout high school. They never dated. Both were too shy to confess their feelings and there was always the possibility the feelings might not be mutual and what would happen to their friendship if that was true?
So, they finished high school, went away to college and saw less and less of each other and finally lost touch for many years while they each married and raised a family. Fast forward to 2012 and the wonder of Facebook! They found and friended each other and discovered that each of them was single. Buddy lived in CA and Bettie Anne in NC but he found reason to come to Charlotte for business so they gradually renewed their friendship although it felt like no time had passed at all. 
This past August Buddy took Bettie Anne on a weekend trip to Charleston and to one of that historic city's finest restaurants. There he told her he wanted to read a poem to her that he had written. The last stanza was a proposal but Bettie Anne did not realize it until she saw the ring and responded "Yes, a thousand times yes!"
They each had such sweet words about what they loved about each other, why they wanted to marry and what they are looking forward to in marriage.
They made their vows and exchanged rings. 
A sweet version of the Irish blessing was the closing blessing followed by the pronouncement.
Then the kiss, of course! 
I almost flubbed the presentation of the couple but caught myself before I blurted out "Buddy Anne and Bettie" instead of "Buddy and Bettie Anne!" 
Bettie Anne and Buddy......I LOVE your story and I know you are a perfect match for each other after all these years. Life was just preparing you for each other to meet again and fall in love! I wish you the very best life has to offer!

Just got this note from Buddy:


We can't even begin to tell you how wonderful you were and how much more special you made our wedding. 

We both had people come up and ask us how we knew you because they thought you had known us for years. I think this is a testament to the effort you put into our ceremony. 

Even more people came forward and told us that the ceremony was the most touching and meaningful ceremony that they had EVER attended. 

As for what you have on your blog, well done yet again. 

Of course we will go to each and every site we can and rate you with 5 stars...we would give you a dozen more if the sites would let us. 

Thank you again from both of us for performing such a beautiful ceremony. 

From Buddy's iPhone

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