Sealed with a kiss!

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

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Beautiful Highgrove Wedding for Ashley and Rodney!

Ashley, Rodney and I did all our planning long distance. They live in Georgia where Rodney is stationed in the military. We had a Skype session back in January and then began working on the ceremony for their wedding October 9th, 2015 at the beautiful Highgrove Estates in Fuquay-Varina.
It was a very pleasant Friday evening when Susan and I arrived. (Susan is a friend who came to take photos of the wedding for this blog for me.)
In the garden ballroom this lovely cake by Sweet Memories was on display. Ashley's color scheme was black, charcoal and glitter gold.
The sweetheart table is good to go!
The tables are set and the favors in place. In the background you can see Lenny Fritts setting up his DJ equipment that he will be plugging my receiver into so that my voice will be amplified.
Back in the house in the dining room, the guests were arriving and placing their gifts on the table along with the pretty bride and bridesmaids' bouquets by Expressions of Love florist.
Pomegranate mocktails awaited the guests next to a very pretty display of First Corinthians 13. 
The portico was hung with shimmering sheets of glass strands and two pedestals of flowers. 
A close up look at the glass beads--actually they were flattened like coins. Very striking effect.
The guests had arrived and we were ready to begin so I entered followed by Rodney and his best man, BJ. 
We watched the pretty bridesmaids enter coupled up with the groomsmen. 
Jason Martin of Veritas was our photographer. Jason is so talented with a very edgy style I like. 
At last Ashley's father, Brian, got to escort his beautiful daughter down the aisle!
Brian presented Ashley to Rodney with her family's blessings. 
And so we began. Welcome to everyone, a sweet prayer for Rodney and Ashley, then a tribute to their parents. Then I shared the story of how they met and fell in love with their guests. They met in Raleigh one night in March of 2012 when they were both out on the town with friends. They were instantly attracted to each other and after talking a while they were both smitten. From that point on they became a couple. There have been some ups and downs as Rodney's military service was a challenge to be together. After many 14 hour trips and a few speeding tickets later, Ashley relocated to be with him in Georgia. 
Ashley and Rodney chose to include the hand-fasting ritual where I wrapped the cord which represents their love around their left hands. Then they joined their right hands and made their vows to each other. 
Rodney did not divulge to anyone what he was going to say. He spoke without notes and his words were quite touching.
I removed the cord which was replaced symbolically by their rings. 
They exchanged their rings by each saying to the other "So, my love, my everything, take this ring as a symbol of my never-ending love."
Then I declared them husband and wife and invited them to seal their vows with a kiss! 
I am getting out of the way!! 
I introduced them to their guests and the cheering began as they scampered down the aisle! 
Rodney and Ashley, what a gorgeous wedding you created. And you are a gorgeous couple as well. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special day! May all your dreams come true!

Our Vendors:

Wedding Director at Highgrove: Angela
Touch of Class DJ: Lenny Fritts
Photographer: Jason Martin with Veritas
Lighting: Ward Productions
Florist: Expressionsof Love
Wedding Cake: SweetMemories

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