Sealed with a kiss!

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Fabulous Wedding for Jessi and Stew at The Stockroom 230!

Jessi, Stew and I met last March to talk about their wedding on November 26th 2016 at The Stockroom and the ceremony they envisioned. They really liked that I wanted them to participate in creating their ceremony and would know and have approved in advance what I would be saying at their ceremony. And so we got to work! 
They loved the Anniversary Box ceremony where the bride and groom write loveletters to each other the day before the wedding and seal them without sharing them. During the ceremony they put them in the box which holds a bottle of wine and lock the box. On their first anniversary they open the box, pour each other a glass of wine and read their letters from each other bringing back all the feelings and excitement of their wedding day. Then they write another letter reflecting on the year that has passed and how they are feeling on their first anniversary, seal their letters unshared, place the original and new letters back in the box to be opened on the second anniversary and repeat every anniversary. In 25 years what a legacy of their marriage for themselves and their children and grandchildren.
The altar decor was very simple and elegant--table, candles, box, and glass for breaking in the pouch.
What great quote for a wedding day in November! 

Upstairs in the Glass Box, Michelle Gunton, their wonderful photographer, was busy getting photos of the bride and her maidens. Thank you, Michelle for sending me these photos. I always love working with Michelle! (The ones with her logo on them are the ones she took. The other "filler" photos were taken with my camera by my sweet husband and roadie, Dave.)
I just love this color! Cranberry is so perfect for Thanksgiving, isn't it? 
Michelle, Randy Bennett--our fabulous DJ with BunnDJ Company--and I having a pow-wow before the ceremony started. They love hearing my ceremonies. In fact, Randy recorded it and sent me the recording before I even got home that night! Thank you, Randy!
The guests began arriving and getting seated. After the ceremony, they went downstairs to the Mahler Gallery for cocktail hour while this room was flipped for the reception.
Our videographer, Gary Costner, captured the wedding on video. I would love to see what he put together! If he sends it to me, I will come back and post it to this blog.
Kelly Odom did all the florals. What great work he does. 
The guys opted not to have boutonnieres. Instead they had handkerchiefs. They did not know how to fold them and have them all look the same. So, I refolded and positioned each groomsman's hankie while we were waiting for the processional to begin.
Our esteemed wedding planner/director was Sally Oakley. She is getting us all lined up to process in. I just love working with Sally. We have done so many weddings together over the years and have a mutual admiration thing going on. Always know that the wedding will be well organized and every detail anticipated and handled when Sally and her crew are in charge.
The guys and I have entered and taken our places at this point. It is time for the bridesmaids to enter now.
The Maid of Honor, Hanna, is just taking her place before the music changes for the bride and her parents enter.
And here they come! 
Anticipation! Everyone is looking at Jessi and her parents as they enter. 
Closer and closer! 
Jessi and Stew chose for me to ask her parents: "Alice and David, do you support your daughter's decision to join together in holy matrimony with Stewart, and do you vow to receive him as a member of your family from this day on?" Of course they answered "We do!"
All the guests were welcomed and thanked for making the journey to be with us. 
Then a sweet prayer and remembrance of those loved ones no longer with us. 
I stepped out from behind the couple to address their parents and thank them for all their love and support all their lives. Guaranteed to bring forth tears from the mothers and often the fathers too!
They had quite a story to tell. This was a version no one had heard that I wrote based on their separate answers to my questions then edited by them. They met in November of 2013 while out with mutual friends celebrating another friend's birthday. There were very funny moments in the story as the friends moved from bar to bar and Jessi and Stew's conversation covered everything from music, Star Wars, family, traveling, and food and finally books. They also discovered the many times their lives could have intersected but did not. But, the timing was not right until the evening they met.
Afterwards these two were simply smitten with each other and the dating began. They had many adventures together and traveled many places.
The travels culminated in a long anticipated trip to Ireland August 2015 where Stew surprised Jessi by proposing on top of the Cliffs of Mohr after a 3-hour hike! It was quite a story!
Now Jessi hears for the first time what Stew told me that he loves about her, why he wants to marry her and what he is looking forward to.
Then it is Stew's turn to hear what Jessi told me she loves about him etcetera. Both of them have a wonderful sense of humor that was reflected over and over in the ceremony. The couple and their guests were having a wonderful time!
Stew reads his vows from my book to Jessi as he places the ring on her finger. 
Then Jessi says her vows and places the ring on his finger. 
It was then time to explain to the guests the significance of the Anniversary Box.
I handed them their letters and stepped aside so they could place them in the box and lock it.
In honor of Jessi's Jewish heritage, we had the breaking of the glass ceremony in which I placed the glass in pouch at Stew's feet and he gave it a good stomp and we all shouted Mazeltov! At that point I placed my hand on theirs and pronounced them husband and wife and invited them to kiss.
Got a good shot of this great kiss! 
This is what I call the "after kiss" moment. It always happens. It is like they are looking at each other and thinking "we did it!"
So happy to introduce them to their guests for the first time as husband and wife. 
Randy started the recessional music and up the aisle they went amidst cheering and applause. Michelle is capturing this very magical moment!
This wonderful image by Michelle of the guys must have been taken before the wedding when it was still daylight outside.
After the ceremony the wedding party and parents gathered in the Glass box for a few more photos and then Michelle took Jessi and Stew out on Fayetteville Street for some really great photos in the city lights.
The room has been flipped and ready for the guests to return. 
Randy introduced the wedding party and the bride and groom and they had their first dance! 
Jessi and Stew! You are the greatest couple! You are perfect for each other and it was inevitable that your paths would cross at the right place and right time. Thank you for giving me the honor of joining you in marriage! I wish you the greatest happiness and satisfaction life can give.

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