Sealed with a kiss!

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

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Elena and Daniel Wed at Sitti!

Elena and Daniel are a wonderfully matched couple. Both are independent people who think outside the box. And so for their wedding they did not want the traditional wedding setting or ceremony but did want to celebrate their marriage with family and close friends. They discovered the lower level of Sitti, an authentic Lebanese restaurant carved out of a historic old building in downtown Raleigh on Wilmington Street.  And so the date of November 21st, 2015 was settled on and they met with me on September 15th and we began creating the ceremony they envisioned.
Dave and I arrived and found our way downstairs. This sign at the bottom of the steps greeted us.
 Since there was not much room to stand around in, most of the guests had taken their seats. 
 This pretty cake was ready! 
The programs were in place. 
A table for memorabilia held gifts and family photos. The lace on the table was brought by Daniel's mother as part of a family tradition. The lace had been taken from the wedding veil of Daniel's grandmother many years ago!
Daniel and his mother, Virginia, pose for a picture. The suit that Daniel is wearing is the same suit his father, Brian, wore on his wedding day.
Breaking from tradition, Elena and Daniel saw each other before the wedding. 
When all the guests had arrived and were seated, the parents took their places up front. Then the couple joined us to begin the ceremony. There was not much room to get around and take photos and the light level where we were standing was not very bright but Dave, my husband and roadie, did his best to get some photos of the ceremony.
Following a welcome to everyone, a simple prayer, remembrance of loved ones not with us, was the parents' blessing where we honored their parents. Both of their parents have happy marriages that have stood the test of time. Elena's parents, Deirdre and Peter, were married  on September 11, 1986 in Rockville Centre, NY. Daniel's parents, Virginia and Brian were married on January 17, 1979 in Brockport NY where they still live. Elena's parents have since relocated to Cary NC.
Included in the ceremony were the words to a song by Billy Joel that is very dear to Elena and Daniel that match their love for each other--"Just the Way You Are."
Then it was time for them to exchange vows as I asked them a series of questions to which they each answered "I will."
Elena's dad was holding her ring and Daniel's mom had Daniel's ring which they handed to the couple as they exchanged ring vows.
 After a closing blessing, I pronounced them husband and wife and invited Daniel to kiss his wife! 
 And so he did! 
Presenting the newlywed couple to their guests!
Congratulations, Elena and Daniel! I trust your wedding fulfilled your vision. It was lovely and I thank you for allowing me to join you in marriage! I wish you an enduring and happy marriage like your parents have created!
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