Sealed with a kiss!

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

Friday, August 26, 2016

Annika and Brandon Wed at the Merrimon-Wynne House in Raleigh!

Annika and Brandon's wedding was on Friday June 17th, 2016 at the beautifully restored historic Merrimon-Wynne House in downtown Raleigh. It had been raining on and off all day. 
When I first arrived, I checked in with Sally Oakley, our wedding director. She did not know yet whether we would move the wedding inside or be outside.
So, Randy Bennett with Joe Bunn DJ Company, was on hand to plug my wireless mic into his system and we did a sound check in the drizzle.
The garden was absolutely beautiful with the pretty green artificial grass and the new Carriage House. 
Inside the Carriage House everything was ready for the reception. Randy's DJ station was all set up and ready to begin.
Inside the house, the mantels were display areas for old family photographs of the couple. Tre Bella was the florist for this wedding. 
The rain did not improve but steadily increased so the call was made to have the wedding inside in the parlor. All the guests except for the immediate family of the couple were standing for the ceremony. Sally has just sent in the maid of honor and gets Annika and her dad poised to begin their walk down the aisle flanked closely by their guests.
And here they come! At the end of the aisle, Annika and her dad stopped in front of me and Brandon and I asked: "Iver, as Annika's father, do you and her mother, Nancy, bless and support her as she comes to join in marriage to Brandon?" He replied "Yes, we do!" and placed Annika's hand into Brandon's hand and took his seat next to Nancy.
There were so many bridesmaids that they wrapped around the corner and down the wall. 
The groomsmen did the same!
After a welcome to all, a prayer and remembrance of those no longer with us, the tribute to their parents was given. We keep it as a sweet surprise for them. Since both their parents have intact happy marriages, the parents' blessing included thanking them for providing role models for Annika and Brandon. There were also a few humorous references to their parenting challenges such as "Paul, you tried to teach Brandon when to just 'shut his mouth' but that took a long time to teach!"

Annika and Brandon watch her parents as I said "Your marriage will serve as a model of equal partnership and friendship that Annika and Brandon will look to as the embark on their journey together."
Then I had the pleasure of telling the story of how they met and fell in love when they were both grad students at Duke. Brandon was diligent in pursuing Annika from the moment he saw her. Almost 3 years later Brandon proposed while on an outing for Annika's family for her sister's graduation in New York City. After telling the story, I then revealed their secret paragraphs about what they love about each other. A good bit of humor here!
Brandon reads his vows from my book. 
Annika reads hers to Brandon.
Brandon places the ring on her finger.
Annika places the ring on Brandon's finger.
After a closing blessing I joyfully pronounced them husband and wife!
Brandon made sure the kiss lasted long enough to get a good photo!
Introduction of the newlyweds! 
And they step into their new married life!
Brandon and Annika, what a pleasure you were to work with and your wedding was beautiful despite the rain imposed changes. What is important is that you are married and had a wonderful time on your wedding day! I wish you the best of everything!

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