Sealed with a kiss!

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Courtney and Michael Wed at The Matthews House

On March 25, 2016 Courtney and Michael tied the knot at The Matthews House. The day was beautiful despite earlier chance of a thunderstorm. The Matthews House is a lovely setting for weddings. I have been officiating there since 2000 and the lovely historic old home has undergone beautiful updates and additions such as the large ballroom behind the house that is well equipped for any kind of celebration. Located in the heart of Cary.
 Michael and Courtney used an old barrel for their sign in book! 
 This pretty cake was baked by Blue Moon Bakery.
 And I imagine they also made this "candy" cake for Michael who has an extreme sweet tooth.
As part of his elaborately planned proposal of marriage, he created this Mad Lib board with the candy bars that Courtney had to match up to get the message! 
 A view of the side of the house where most outdoor weddings take place. I remember the huge old oak tree that used to stand in the area near the bay window of the house. Unfortunately it had to be removed a couple of years ago due to disease. The grass has filled in nicely and we no longer have to juggle the chairs around the tree!
They guys and I hang out before the wedding in the breezeway that connects the house and the ballroom.
Michael was nervous. I could tell because he was very quiet which was uncharacteristic of him. His future father-in-law watches me quip with Michael to lighten him up!
Meanwhile the rest of the wedding party gathers in front of the house where they are all lined up in the order they enter.
 First in are Michael's parents, Mary and Conrad. Elizabeth Parker with The Matthews House was our director. 
 Then Courtney's stepmother, Barbara, was escorted in by Drew Jr., brother of the bride. 
 In the place of honor as the last one escorted in and seated before the bride's entrance was Mother of the Bride, Shannon, escorted in by her husband and stepfather of the bride, Gerry.
 The guys and I enter from the breezeway 
 Waiting for the bridesmaids and the bride! 
  The bridesmaids are ready to make their entrance. 
 Our ring bearers, Bryson and Shea, walk down the aisle and are seated. 
The Junior Bridesmaid escorts the flower girl, Heather down the aisle as the bride and her father get ready to enter.
 Courtney and her dad, Drew, take the long walk to the end of the aisle. 
 Drew transfers Courtney's hand into Michael's then carefully takes his seat without stepping on the bride's train!
 Elizabeth's processional duties are complete. Great job, Elizabeth! 
 So the ceremony begins. 
 Our Maid of Honor, Jen, is filled with emotion and on the verge of tears, I think! 
 After the prayer and remembering those not with us, I launched into their story. It was a good one filled with lots of laughter which reflects this couple who laugh a lot.
 Until I saw these photos, I did not know that Michael was making all these funny faces behind me! 
They met at a party at Courtney's house. One of our bridesmaids brought Michael along because she thought that he and Courtney would be good together. When Michael saw Courtney, he totally agreed.
That evening he knew he wanted to kiss Courtney so he fortified his courage with a drink and "went in for the kiss." He was smitten on the spot but Courtney who secretly loved it told him to calm down and get ahold of himself. Michael became dizzy and nauseous as a result of his liquid courage and had to go lie down. Courtney and her friend parked Michael in a comfortable chair in a dark room with a trashcan nearby and returned to the party.  Courtney checked in on him several times bringing him a cool wet washcloth. He was hers from then on!
The next day, fully recovered from his affliction, he made a date with Courtney that very day. They talked for hours and knew they had something very special.
 And really, they have never looked back. 
The big reveal of what they told me in confidence they love about each other and what they are looking forward to in marriage. A sweet and tender moment.
 They made their vows to each other. Michael got a little choked up but made it through. 
 Then the rings.
 Courtney slides Michael's ring on his finger. 
 And then, Michael "went in for a kiss" only to be reprimanded by me! He did this several times!
 They liked the Wine and Chocolate unity ceremony where they each take a sip of wine......
 Michael's turn.....
 Then take a bite of chocolate. 
Michael finished off the piece of chocolate while I explained that the wine represents the bitterness life may bring while the chocolate represents the sweetness of life and that in marrying, they are agreeing to face any bitterness and the sweetness together.
 Then the pronouncement of marriage! 
 I invited Michael to "go for it" and he did! Everyone cheered! 
 The presentation of the newlyweds to their guests amid applause!
 And off they go into wedded bliss! 
 They made their way to the front of the house with the wedding party following.
 I invited the guests to the breezeway for cocktails while the couple and wedding party reconvened for photos. 
 Hey, that was fabulous! The guests loved it! 
Michael and Courtney, congratulations!! What a great wedding for a couple who are so well matched. I wish you all the happiness in the world. 

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