Sealed with a kiss!

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

Monday, July 6, 2015

Southern Plantation Wedding for Lesly and Noah at Rose Hill!

Both Lesly and Noah are active military. In fact they met at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado back in 2009. Because most of Lesly's family is in North Carolina, they chose the beautiful Rose Hill Plantation in Nashville NC for their wedding venue. They were referred to me by the venue and on February 16th of this year Lesly contacted me from my website inquiring of my availability for their Sunday June 14th 2015 wedding. I was delighted that I was available. Being a decisive couple, they hired me sight unseen and got their wedding date reserved on my calendar promptly. Then we began collaborating on their ceremony.
The day arrived and it was very hot. The guests were inside the house staying cool until 5 minutes before we were ready to begin. The flags had been placed in the flag holders and we were ready.
 This is the reception hall next door to the mansion. 
 Rose Hill does their own catering and our florist, Fresh Affairs, had been there and done their thing! 
 This beautiful cake was by Sweet Memories
 Their color theme was yellow and blue and the bride and groom table reflects their colors.  
Meanwhile, Lenny Fritts with Touch of Class DJs, had gotten set up and we did a sound check. I am so grateful for Lenny because he is such a take charge, knowledgeable person, especially when it comes to weddings. (The couple did not have a wedding director because they assumed the event facilitator would do that for them. It is not uncommon for brides and grooms to make that assumption because after all, it is not every day that you plan a wedding!) Lenny stepped in and directed. He was there for the rehearsal as well and because I was running late, he got started without me. Thanks, Lenny, as always, a pleasure working with you.
The wedding as at 5:00 and by that time the house had cast a long shadow over the seating area for which the guests were most grateful! 
Noah escorted his beautiful mother, Teresa, followed by his dad, David.   
 Then Mother of the Bride, Maria, is escorted in by her son, Lyle. 
 Noah makes the dash back to the sunporch steps where we were waiting for him so we could enter.
 And so Noah, his best man Eric, and I made our way to the front and up the steps. 
 We didn't get a photo of every couple, but they just kept on coming! 
 All the guys are in the military and some of the women probably are too. 
 Another couple! 
 And now our Maid of Honor, Karlie. 
 Our pretty little girls in blue! One holds the rings and the other the flower petals.
And now our beautiful bride with her father. Alex is holding the long train so it does not drag on the gravel drive.
 Then around to the front of the house to the paved walkway.
 James Walters of Walters and Walters Photography was capturing the day with his cameras. 
  We are all watching Lesly and her dad enter and I invited the guests to stand. 
 Kate Pope is our second shooter and she gets the bride up close! 
Alfredo transferred the hand of his beautiful daughter to Noah and they turned and faced each other as the guests are seated again.
It was such a fabulous ceremony. Lesly and Noah provided me with answers to my questions about how they met and fell in love so I could write their story for the ceremony and so by the time the ceremony was written, I felt like I had known them for years.
 Our bridesmaids all in a row!
And on the other side of the porch stand our handsome guys in their distinctive uniforms.
After welcoming everyone to North Carolina we opened with a prayer and remembrance of all their loved ones who are no longer with us on earth. And then it was time to honor their parents whose marriages have stood the test of time and have been valuable role models to our bride and groom.
As I said earlier, Lesly and Noah met in 2009 at the Air Force Academy. Lesly was a freshman cadet and Noah a junior. And for the two cadets of the two classes to know each other beyond friendship was absolutely forbidden. But they were definitely on each other's radar and since they were both on athletic teams, they could work out and train together every day. Lesly would flirt with Noah and it was really difficult for him to keep his distance.
But finally he could resist no longer and he drove all the way from his home in Pennsylvania during the Christmas holiday break to New Mexico to spend New Year's with Lesly. The rest is history, as they say!
After Noah graduated, their relationship become a long distance one but their love prevailed and the distance even made their relationship stronger. And so here they stand ready to pledge their hearts in marriage!
Then I revealed to each of them what the other had told me they love about them, why they wanted to marry and what they are looking forward to. And the hankie I carry with me was needed at that point.
 Noah too! 
 They had written personal vows to each other which they read next. 
 Now Noah's turn!
 The ring bearer gave the rings to Karlie and Eric and they handed them to me. 
 They symbolism of the rings they will exchange.....
 Lesly goes first.......
 Then Noah......
 They poured their sand together symbolizing the union of their lives on this day.
 A closing blessing.....
 I invited them to gaze around them at their friends and families honoring them this day.
 The pronouncement of marriage! 
 Good kiss, Noah! 
 The sweet "after-kiss" moment that all couples have as the reality of marriage sinks in! 
 It is done!!!
 James is getting some great pictures! 
While the guests headed off for cocktails and refreshments and cool air, the wedding party headed around into the shade then came back to the front of the house for pictures. By that time I had gotten my table and the sand containers put away and my microphone off.
Lesly and Noah! Congratulations! It was unbelievably wonderful, despite the heat. I wish you all the best and thank you for your service to our country!
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