Sealed with a kiss!

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

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Spectacular Wedding of Suzanne and James at The Oaks at Salem!

Suzanne and James' wedding was simply spectacular and unforgettable. Suzanne is one of those brides who had a very detailed vision of her wedding day and she astutely brought it into amazing reality. She even had a surreal influence on the weather as well: at the rehearsal the forecast for the wedding day was 90% rain. When asked if she wanted to go ahead and "call" the wedding and have the ceremony under the tent, she declined. Sure enough, there was no rain on her wedding day! The big day was July 3rd, 2016 at The Oaks at Salem in Apex. 
The ceremony site was ready when Dave and I got there. They had a monogram made and placed the table with cross in front.
The floral arrangements and flower balls on each side, hanging jars and petals in the aisle are by Mews Design
Nifty little signs directing the guests. 
The catering staff, Catering by Design, is busy setting up the reception area in the tent. In the back ground you can see the barn that now belongs to The Oaks--more venue options! Congratulations to them for acquiring this adjacent property.
The guests have arrived and are mingling before walking around the pond to the ceremony site. 
Suzanne and James have a strong faith-based relationship. Instead of doing a "first look" they wanted to say prayers with each other before the ceremony. I just happened to be there when this took place. Suzanne was settled into her chair and closed her eyes. James (with his eyes closed) was lead into the room by his best man, Rusty, and manuevered into his chair. They joined hands and took turns saying prayers for their upcoming marriage. So sweet.
The reception area under the tent is vacated by the guests who have gathered across the pond for the ceremony. 
It was a warm day but with a nice cloud cover--wonderful for photography. 
Udeshi Hargett is busy playing her beautiful prelude music before the ceremony starts. 
Damien Maas is manning the video camera, just one of many video cameras including a drone. His video of this wedding is spectacular too! And if that was not enough, he DJ'd the wedding reception as well.
James and I lead the groomsmen into place in front of the guests.
The bridesmaids begin their long walk from the house around the other side of the pond. 
When they were in place, the bride and her father, Lou, began their trek. 
Lou takes his place after transferring Suzanne's hand into James' hand. 
The bridesmaids straighten Suzanne's dress and train. 
Here we go!
Such a pretty ceremony! We began with a warm welcome to all, a prayer and remembrance of those no longer with us, a blessing for their parents and a reading from Colossians, chapter 3.
Then I stepped out and related the story of how they met Memorial Day weekend of 2012 when Suzanne was visiting friends in Atlanta and went on an adventure called "shoot the hootch" (tubing down the Chattahoochee River for about 5 hours). They were instantly attracted to each other but knew living great distances apart was a big obstacle. Nevertheless, on a return trip to Atlanta a couple of months later, they reconnected and have never really been apart since and finally making it to Raleigh where they both now live.
There were many funny moments with laughter during the story. 
Then the things they they told me in confidence they love about each other are heard for the first time. 
The vows and rings were exchanged. 
After a closing blessing for the couple, I pronounced them husband and wife and invited them to share their first kiss as a married couple!
No problem following through on that invitation! 
They turned and faced their guests. 
Introduction of the newlyweds! 
The bride and groom lead their wedding party off to the side for photographs while the guests went around the other side of the pond to the reception. Our photographer was Missy Loves Jerry Photography.
Congratulations, Suzanne and James! You make the greatest couple--so in love and so dedicated to each other. I know you will have a long and happy marriage. I wish you the best always!

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