Sealed with a kiss!

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

Friday, January 9, 2015

Beautiful Wedding for Jessi and Sam at the DoubleTree by Hilton!

Jessi and Sam's wedding was at the recently renovated Brownstone Hotel near NC State on Hillsborough now known as the DoubleTree by Hilton. It is now really elegant and plush and a great place for a wedding in downtown Raleigh. The wedding date was December 27th, 2014, the last of 3 weddings and one renewal of vows ceremony on my schedule this Saturday between Christmas and New Year's Day. Their color theme was cranberry, white and gold and the ballroom was decked out in fine fare.
The ceremony took place on the dance floor.  The guests were seated at the tables. The chairs on the dance floor were for the parents and siblings of the couple.
Brian, our DJ with Story and Rhythm, was ready. I hooked into his sound system and did a sound check. 
Brian's wife, Tosha, is the photographer for the wedding. They are a dynamic husband/wife team for weddings! 
 Props for funny photos! 
The couple's mothers collaborated to make the wedding cake out of pound cakes. Bet they were delicious. Sam and Jessi both have a love of the Simpsons and adore quoting obscure Simpson's references to each other--hence the cake topper!
 This is Katelyn Freeman who is the event manager with the hotel.   
There were no bridesmaids or groomsmen so after the parents were escorted in, Sam and I entered and took our places. Then it was time for the bride and her father, Lee, to enter. Their Day of Coordinator, Kathy Caison, gives them the cue to begin walking in.
Lee placed Jessi's hand into Sam's hand and then took his seat. Jessi and Sam then turned and faced each other. 
 We began with words of welcome and a prayer. 
Then we remembered those not present with us. Especially missed was Sam's father who passed away last summer but not before he had met and come to love Jessi and her family and they him. He was a very important person in Sam's life and would have loved to have been at their wedding.
 Then we paid tribute to Jessi's parents, Lee and Elaine, and Sam's mother, Marilyn. I think I saw a few tears fall!
Then it was time to tell the story of how Jessi and Sam met and fell in love. Like many couples, they met through mutual friends and found each other's sense of humor and values attractive. They got to know each other as friends first then began dating and have never looked back. They especially love their rescue greyhound, Stan, who "helped" Sam propose!
 Then they heard for the first time what the other had told me that they loved about each other. 
They exchanged vows, then rings. 
They had gotten a wooden box in which a bottle of wine had been placed. They wrote love letters to each other and sealed them without sharing. As part of the ceremony they placed the letters in the box not to be opened until their first wedding anniversary when they open the box, pour each other a glass of wine, and read their letters to each other. 
 I pronounced them husband and wife and invited Sam to kiss his beautiful wife.  
We had not had a rehearsal where I could tell Sam to make the kiss long enough to get a good photo so, we missed the kiss! I hope Tosha got it!
 They turn to face their families and guests........
 I retrieved the bouquet and handed it to Jessi.......
Family and friends, it is my great pleasure to present to you for the first time, Sam and Jessi, husband and wife!
Before I could get this wedding up on my blog, Jessi posted this review on Weddingwire which I appreciate so much: "I can't agree more with the hundreds of other reviews on Kayelily. She is worth every penny. From the first consultation with her to the dozens of e-mails to personalize our ceremony, she was so easy to work with. Having done so many ceremonies, Kayelily has the process down pat and makes the most important part of our wedding day, the ceremony, a relatively simple process to personalize. We got compliments from almost every single guest about how wonderful our ceremony was - that they cried, laughed and thought it was so fitting for us. Thank you Kayelily for making our wedding ceremony so perfect! "
I thank you, Jessi and Sam, for choosing me to officiate. It was my honor. You are a very well-matched couple and you know what you like and what you want. I loved working with you and sharing your ceremony with your families and friends. I wish you the best life can offer and a long and happy marriage!
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