Sealed with a kiss!

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

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Jenn and Luke's Wonderful Wedding at Duke Chapel!

Jenn and Luke live in New York City now but met while they were both law students at Duke. So they decided Duke Chapel would be the best place to get married--right where it all began! So on September 24th, 2016 I had the honor of joining them in marriage. 
Duke Chapel is vast and daunting and a beautiful setting for a wedding. The chapel was closed for over a year for restoration and reopened the summer of 2016. They have weddings on the weekends every 2 hours so we were on a precise schedule as usual. Blanche Williams with the chapel has the rehearsal and wedding day schedule down to a T and the efficiency is amazing. I thank their wonderful photographer, Brian Mullins, for referring Jenn and Luke to me. Ashley and Nathan with Oak City Films were there to capture the wedding on video.
When I first arrived, I wanted to get the Unity Candle set up in place. Instead of having their mothers light their individual candles, they chose the option of lighting their own flames from the Source candle, a votive that I brought and lit before the ceremony.
Then I plugged my theater microphone into the chapel sound system and did a sound check. They have a professional sound technician who operates the sound system for which I am very grateful because the acoustics in the chapel are tricky for amplified sound. Through years of officiating weddings there, I have learned to speak slower than usual so my words don't reverberate back on top of each other!
So, after everyone is in their proper place and the guests seated, Luke, his groomsmen and I entered from he vestibule on the side. Luke and I took our places on the floor level and the groomsmen did too although they were supposed to take their places on the steps.
When the maid of honor processed in, she motioned for the groomsmen to move up which they did. It looked to the guests that was what they were supposed to do!
With the wedding party in position, we look to the back of the chapel at the majestic organ over the entrance from which the bride will enter.
The guests and wedding party standing for the bride and her parents to enter. 
Here they come! 
Jenn's parents gave their blessing and support to their daughter and placed her hand into Luke's hand and the bride and groom ascended to the altar. We began with words of welcome to their guests who had come from near and far, mainly far! Then a prayer and remembrance of those no longer with us.
Their tribute to their parents was so special and very touching. A few tears were shed! And then I enjoyed sharing the story of how Luke and Jenn met in 2012 and what had transpired since then. The two of them have a great sense of humor and the story reflected this in several places and laughter filled the chapel.
Then they got to hear what each one had told me in confidence about their love for each other. 
Jenn is hearing what Luke told me here. 
A few tears leaked out!
They made their vows to each other.
Then exchanged their rings.
Time for the Unity Candle Ceremony.
They joined their individual flames and lit the Candle of Unity and Commitment. 
Then they replaced their individual candles in the holders without extinguishing them as their individuality remains and does not end with marriage. (Luke sneaks a peek at his new ring!)
The closing blessing came next. 
Then the pronouncement of marriage! 
Sealed with a kiss! 
"We did it!"
The wedding party exited and circled back for photos while the guests departed to The Cotton Room for the reception.
Jessica, maid of honor, and Alan, best man, sign in the big book of weddings, a tradition at Duke Chapel. The couple and I signed also.
Jenn and Luke, I adored working with you and although we did not meet in person until your rehearsal, we got to know each other well. Thank you for choosing me to join you in marriage. I wish you the best life can bring you!

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