Sealed with a kiss!

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

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ann Marie and Ken's Wonderful Wedding at Sitti!

Ann Marie and Ken introduced me to a new venue--the enclosed courtyard behind Sitti and Gravy--two side by side restaurants at the corner of Hargett and Wilmington Streets in downtown Raleigh. I never knew this space existed.
Their wedding day was November 15th, 2014 and you may recall that was a rather unseasonably chilly weekend. In fact the high that day was 46 degrees, if that! They rented outdoor heaters and because the space was protected from the wind, it was fairly comfortable. Up front you can see that Victor with All Events DJ Company, is already set up for the ceremony. His assistant, Serg, was also there.
 The pretty floral arrangements were provided by Teacup Florals. Always bright and colorful! 
The view from the "stage" area to the rear of the courtyard where the entrances from Sitti and Gravy are on the right. 
The outdoor bar area that backs up to the restaurants. 
On the wall across from the restaurants is a spacious area that has been carved out for receptions. Sitti was providing the food for the reception.
Their wedding planner and director, Karen Harmych, and I are deciding to move the floral arrangements back a little to give the couple and me more space for the ceremony.
 This pretty wedding cake was provided by Cake Couture Boutique
When it was time to begin, the best man, Joe, and groomsman, Pat, and I processed in. Ken escorted his mother Sandra and father Kenny in and then joined us. Then the two bridesmaids, Debbie and Laura followed. 
 Ann Marie was escorted in by her mother, Margie.  Videoing the wedding was Wilkie with Hayzen'sProductions. Our still photographer was Bridget McEnaney. 
The ceremony was about 20 minutes long. Ken and Ann Marie were very diligent in providing me the details of their love story and what they love about each other which was woven into the ceremony. The guests were sitting on the edges of their chairs listening.
A block away there was some kind of festival and a rather loud band began playing during the ceremony and because there was no roof on our courtyard, the sound came right into our space. Thankfully I was miked and Victor pumped up the volume so everyone could hear the words of the ceremony.
Ann Marie and Ken are really enjoying this! And Ann Marie, like every other bride I know, is oblivious to the chilly air! 
Like many modern couples these days, Ken and Ann Marie were matched up by an online dating service. Ken spotted her profile first and liked her witty text and cute picture. She responded to his initial note and they began chatting online. A few days later they decided to meet in person. Ann Marie was delighted to find that Ken is a very patient and generous man with a sweet disposition. He even waited an hour for her when she was late for their first date. And then he was surprised when she gave him a hug at the end of the date. It did not take long for them to get serious and officially become a couple. Although it was a challenge, they managed to find time to be together despite the fact that he lived in Raleigh and she in Carrboro and worked different shifts. In fact, Ken was sleep-deprived during the first part of their relationship until Ann Marie moved to Raleigh and changed to a day shift. He was most grateful to get some sleep!
 I am telling Ann Marie what Ken told me about what he loves about her and why he wants to marry her. 
 And now Ken gets to hear why Ann Marie loves and wants to marry him!  
They exchanged vows and rings. The rose ceremony has been around for many years. Ann Marie just loved the words and the symbolism. Their mothers presented them with roses which they then exchanged.
The rose is considered a symbol of love and a single rose always means "I love you." The roses were their first gifts to each other as husband and wife and I asked them to choose a special place in their home where they could place roses for each other on special or ordinary occasions and when they could not find words to express their feelings, words that could be "I'm sorry" or "I am hurting" or "I forgive you." The rose left in that spot meant "I still love you."
 Then I pronounced them husband and wife and invited them to kiss. 
 The kiss followed by a sweet little giggle by Ann Marie! 
"Dear family and friends, it is my distinct honor to now present to you for the first time, Ken and Ann Marie, husband and wife!"
And they step into their new marriage! 
Ann Marie and Ken, you are meant for each other! I am so happy that you found each other and fell in love. Thank you for giving me the honor of joining you in marriage! I wish you all the best forever!
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