Sealed with a kiss!

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

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Wonderful Wedding for Erin and Ryan at Highgrove!

Highgrove Estates in Fuquay-Varina has never looked more grand on Erin and Ryan's wedding day, May 30, 2015! 
Although the big oak tree with the swing out front had to be removed, the gazebo with the swing is a lovely replacement and I know that brides and grooms get great wedding pictures in it!
The owners of Highgrove, Vickie and Angela, have done a superb job of restoring this beauty to its original grandeur plus more! The landscaping is gorgeous and so colorful. Their new Sales Manager is Ann Turnbill, who was my first bride in my first big wedding back in 1999 when I was just beginning my wedding ministry! It was great to see her again after 16 years!
 Every couple gets announced on this chalk board! 
 The pergola is all decked out for the wedding and they had adorable fans for programs for the guests. 
The patio's permanent pavilion with the bar is where the guests hang out before and after the ceremony. 
 Highgrove does their own catering. This menu looks delicious! 
 The garden ballroom with his draped ceiling is always elegant--and air-conditioned!  
 Sweet Memories made this beautiful cake.
 Phil with Lightwater Video Productions out of Winston-Salem is set up and ready for the ceremony. 
 A medallion for the couple is projected onto the dance floor. 
 Flowers on Broad provided all the floral arrangements and bouquets. This is the bride and groom table.
 Our staff from Island Sound DJ Company--Sean is the "tekkie" and Frankie is our DJ. Great guys to work with! 
A clever idea. Guests sign little paper hearts then insert them between the glass and matt with a heart on it from the top of the frame. 
 Getting the guests to their seats on this rather warm day! 
 I entered first to "anchor" the altar space as each person in the wedding party entered and stepped into place. 
 Ryan escorted his mother, Kim, in with his dad, Phillip following, then joined me up front.
 Carol, mother of the bride, was escorted in by her son, Alex. 
It is 5:30 and the sun is setting over the roof of the house right in our eyes. We always hope for a cloud to float over the sun to give us some relief!
 Then the bridesmaids are escorted in by the groomsmen. 
The lady in the black is our Highgrove wedding director. Diane. Angela, who was their director had her baby early--the day before the wedding--and so Diane stepped in to direct. Thanks, Diane!!
 The next couple.
 Our Best Man, Scott, and Maid of Honor, Krystina!
 Somerly, our flower girl. 
 Then Brooks and Reagan began their adventure down the aisle. 
 Tara Parker, our photographer, at the end of the aisle is getting this slow procession! 
 They made it!!
 And now for our beautiful bride escorted by her father, Chip.
 Chip answered my question, placed Erin's hand into Ryan's then everyone sat down. 
Welcome to everyone! Opening prayer and remembering loved ones who are no longer with us. Blessing of the parents.
Then their story! It all began in West Virginia on January 31st, 2013 when Ryan and Erin first connected while out for dinner one night with co-workers from the hospital where they both worked. Although a blizzard had begun outside, their attraction was so strong, they lingered to get to know each other. Ryan walked Erin to her car and they shared their first kiss amongst the snowflakes and had pretty scary drives home. To say that it was a memorable moment is an understatement! The dating began and Ryan proposed on January 31st, exactly one year to the day since they met. They relocated to North Carolina in June 2014 when Erin received a fellowship at UNC.  Erin found me on Highgrove's list of preferred vendors and saw all my reviews on Weddingwire and sent me an email in April of 2014. I was delighted that I was available and we moved quickly to get their wedding on my calendar and begin work on their ceremony. I met them in person for the first time at their rehearsal but felt like I had known them for years!
 Then it was time to exchange vows and rings. 
 The pronouncement of marriage! I invited Ryan to kiss the bride!  
 The kiss needs to be long enough for the photographer to get a picture and so it was! 
 There is that sweet "after-kiss" moment that always happens as the marriage sinks in! 
 And there they go (as I grabbed a hankie to wipe my face)!
Ryan and Erin, it was a beautiful wedding and you two were cool as cucumbers while I sweated it out! Congratulations. You are so right for each other and I know your marriage will be long and happy!
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