Sealed with a kiss!

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

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Quaker Style Wedding for Jen an Rob at Celebrity Dairy!

This is the first wedding I have done at Celebrity Dairy although I have heard about it for years. Usually I don't travel as far as Siler City for weddings. It is about an hour's drive from Raleigh. But when Jen and Rob contacted me about officiating their wedding there on September 6, 2015, there was no question that I would do it because I had officiated her older sister, Elyse, and her husband, Josh's, wedding in 2006. That was a wedding that I will never forget! Let me tell you about it because it is not on this blog which I started in 2008.

Josh and Elyse's wedding was to take place at Caffe Luna. Josh and I were waiting there for Elyse and the bridesmaids to arrive so we could start the ceremony when we got word that the limo bringing them ran a red light and crashed into another car. All were on their way to Wake Medical Center. Josh and I hopped into my car and went there and met the limo. Thankfully there were no serious injuries beyond a few bruises. Knowing that it would take hours to get seen there, Elyse's father, Miguel appealed to the hospital administration for permission to use the chapel for the wedding ceremony. Permission was granted and since family and wedding party were already there, Elyse and Josh were married in the hospital. After getting checked out by the docs, the wedding party and family finally arrived at Caffe Luna to join their guests!
The chapel in the hospital was quite nice and very light and bright! 

So sweet!
Congratulations to Josh and Elyse who will soon be celebrating 9 years of wedding bliss! 

So now back to Jen and Rob. They are really independent thinkers--a good match for each other--and had really given their wedding ceremony a great deal of thought before we even met to talk about it. They had decided they wanted something different and although they are not Quakers, they liked the idea of having the guests participate in the ceremony. And because I think the wedding ceremony is all about what the couple want, I was fine with whatever they wanted. I sent them a couple of samples of that kind of ceremony along with a lot of other ceremony material so they could put together a first draft we could refine into a complete ceremony.
 The ceremony site was between the farmhouse and the garden and the goat pens. 
Our DJ, Tim, is all set up. He is with All Events DJs and was assisted by Jamey (not pictured) with whom I had worked before when she was helping out a florist on a wedding. Jamey was our mic-runner when the guests shared during the ceremony. Thanks, Jamey!
 Gotta show you some goats!
 They were really friendly and loved the attention!
 This is Kyle, Rob's friend, who came down from New York City to video the wedding for them. 
The flowers were from Perry-winkle Farms and arranged and hung on the shepherd's hooks in mason jars by the mother and grandmother of the bride. They also did the bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces.
 Behind the house and patio was the grassy area for the reception. Here is the itinerary. 
 The great room inside the farmhouse where cocktail hour took place. 
 This is a pretty "green" wedding--a reflection of Jen and Rob's values!
 Chatting with Father of the Bride, Miguel, and Mother of the Groom, Carole. 
 Elyse and Josh's two beautiful daughters, Elaina and Sadie. It was great to meet them for the first time. 
A hug for Evelyn, Mother of the Bride. I love doing weddings for siblings because I get to know the families! 
Okay everyone! Time to get lined up! Rob and his guys were lounging on the front porch and it was time to get moving!
 The wedding party and grandmothers......
 I am the first one in followed by the families....
 Rob escorts his mother, Carole, in followed by his dad, Bob. 
 Josh and Joseph, the latest addition to their family! 
 Nathan escorts Miguel's mother, Juanita, in then steps up with Rob and me. 
 Then Chris escorts Evelyn's mother, Elizabeth, in then joins us up front. 
 Taylor, our best man, is next. 
 Then John, Jen and Elyse's brother, and Bridesman takes his place. 
 Then Tim, Man of Honor, steps up to his place. 
 Beautiful Matron of Honor, Elyse, processes in. Beautiful tiffany blue color. 
 Sadie and Elaina are bringing up the rear before the bride is escorted in by her parents. 
And so we are awaiting the bride's entrance......Our photographer, Shelley, with Hartman Outdoor Photography is getting some good pictures. Her husband Josh is covering the bride's procession.
 Miguel and Evelyn proudly escort Jen to the altar!
 "Who presents this woman to marry this man?" They answered: "We do!"
A welcome to all and then an explanation of the ceremony in the "Quaker tradition: a ceremony that truly reflects just how important every person here today is in their lives. A Quaker ceremony allows all of the assembled to be active participants in the ceremony and it is important to Rob and Jen to start this next chapter with the blessing of the community who so greatly helped shape them into who they are today." 
The wedding party sat down on the first row while Jen and Rob remained standing. 
So we began 20 minutes of silence and sharing with Rob's mother reading a poem, or that was the plan! She expressed her feelings to the two of them and then read some words of a poem! Then the hugs and tears flowed!  
 Then Miguel had some sweet words to say to the couple......
And one by one many of their friends and family stood and spoke.  
To close the 20 minutes of sharing, Evelyn added her tribute and a poem then the wedding party assembled again. I collected the rings from Taylor.  
They had written their vows together and spoke them to each other reading from my book and placed their rings.   
 The pronouncement followed a closing blessing for the couple.
 I invited them to seal their vows with a kiss!
 The presentation of the newlyweds!! 
 Their friend Kathleen who directed for them greeted them as they recessed. 
 The wedding party and guests assembled in the front of the farmhouse for photos. 
 Josh and Shelley started assembling the groups to be photographed. 
 Carole and other family members were saying how much they liked the ceremony. 
I sneaked in between groups for a snapshot of the couple with me before we left. Rob and Jen, you knew what you wanted and you made it happen. I was touched by all the tributes of your friends and family and got to know you even better during the ceremony! I wish you the very best of life together!
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To contact Kayelily:
 919-345-4608
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