Sealed with a kiss!

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

Friday, December 4, 2015

Christina and Tenita Wed in an Enchanted Forest!

Christina and Tenita came to me with their dreams for a beautiful wedding. They are very creative independent thinking women and definitely wanted to put their own spin on their wedding. I loved being part of it. They chose the date of October 31, 2015--yes, Halloween but there was nothing spooky about their wedding! Christina's parents happen to own a lovely wedding venue in Pittsboro--Het Landhuis. I had heard about it and seen beautiful photographs of the site and looked forward to their wedding there.
After about an hour's drive from Raleigh way out into the country, Dave and I arrived where people were scuttling around getting ready for the wedding. We found our way to the area where many wedding ceremonies take place--see above. Usually there are rows of white pews set in the rectangle where this day there were cocktail tables covered with pretty purple tablecloths reflecting their color scheme. Note that I am wearing purple too.
Signs for the ceremony directed us onto a mulch covered pathway into the woods. All the pine tree stumps were topped with whimsical figures.
 Greeting us when we arrived was this sign. 
 The white pews were in semi-circular fashion facing the center where the ceremony would take place.
 The other set of pews.
J.D. Silverthorne, our DJ with Anything Music, had already set up and was waiting on me to plug my microphone into his system and do a sound check. He is wonderful to work with and the sound was perfect for the ceremony.
 A silver candelabra topped this wooden post. 
 Many of the posts were topped with little statues of Buddha and many guests were dressed in Indian garb. 
 Out of the woods and back toward the meadow area where the building and the pretty lake with fountain are. 
 This is a really old log home beautifully restored. 
 Christina's parents are from Holland and bought this estate and have transformed it into a wedding venue.
 A tent was in place for the reception. Love the rattan chairs and the purple satin table cloths!
 The caterer was Kabab and Curry and a wonderful menu of Indian food, one of my favorites.
 It was my pleasure to meet Chris, Christina's father and owner of Het Landhuis
 And Indian goddess of sorts!
 This one looks like a Chinese dragon! 
 This bowl was to be sounded with three chimes to signal the beginning of the ceremony.
 The guests have found their way and are seated and waiting. 
The plan was for Tenita and her mother, Linda, to enter from one direction, Christina and her parents, Chris and Lisa, to enter from the opposite direction and meet in the middle where I would be standing.
 Here comes Christina! 
 Here comes Tenita and I have taken my place and invited the guests to stand in honor of the brides.
 They get closer and closer!
They must have practiced this walk to make sure they got to the center at the same time!
As they came together, Christina and Tenita handed their bouquets to their mothers and the parents were seated with the guests.
 The ceremony began with a welcome to all who had traveled to be with them.
Then words on how they met and fell in love followed by what they love about each other. I moved around as I spoke so I did not block anyone's view of these lovely ladies in their identical dresses.
They loved a poem called The Meaning of Love by Krina Shah which expressed their feelings for each other so well.

 So I asked them to look at each other as if they were speaking to each other as I read the poem. 
They chose to include the Celtic hand fasting ritual in the ceremony so I wrapped their joined left hands in the purple hand fasting cord which represented their love for each other.
Then I asked them to join their left hands forming the symbol of infinity blessing their marriage in the eternal ebb and flow of the Universe.
 They made their vows to each other.
 Then I removed the cord for the exchange of rings which symbolically replaced the cord. 
So, I asked "May I have the rings, please?" Both girls looked at each other and I realized at that point that the rings had been forgotten. The photographer, Elizabeth Thorp, realized the dilemma and she is offering hers. I quickly pulled two rings off my left hand and the ceremony continued as if nothing was wrong!
 And so Christina and Tenita were married with my rings which amazingly fit them perfectly! 
 Before the pronouncement of marriage, we had a blessing for the brides. 
 Ahh, almost there! 
 I really had fun pronouncing these two sweet women married. 
 They chose to be pronounced wife and wife.
 And they sealed their union with their first kiss as a married couple!
 Yay! We did it! 
 I scooted over to their mothers and retrieved their bouquets. 
 Honored guests, it my delight to present to you for the first time, the newlyweds, Christina and Tenita!
 And away they go for photographs!
Believe me, it was quite a feat walking up the naturally uneven steps with their huge dresses and trains that if not held up snagged on every rock.
 They finally made it to the top. We sent Tenita's brother to the house to get their rings. 
 Elizabeth and her second shooter got some great shots of the brides in this sweeping meadow.
 The rings arrived and we had a little private ceremony as they placed their real rings on each other's fingers. 
Christina, Tenita, your wedding was magical! I hope your vision was fulfilled. You did a great job pulling everything together. I wish you love, peace, joy and contentment in your life together!

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