Sealed with a kiss!

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

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Beautiful Wedding for Marie and Eric at Duke Gardens Pergola!

Marie and Eric live in New York City. They contacted me by email in March. Their wedding was May 27th, 2017 at the Duke Garden Pergola. They wanted to return to Duke for their wedding since they had met there as freshmen in 2005. I was delighted that I was available to officiate for them and agreed to "co-officiate" with Eric's brother, Matt. We got busy collaborating on the ceremony and I met them for the first time at their rehearsal.
The Memorial Day weekend was fraught with forecasts of rain and thunderstorms but it turned out to be a sunny day with high humidity and temps in the low 90s. It was hot and everything seemed to move in slow motion! The chairs were set up and ready when Dave and I arrived to set up the sound system and mic both me and Matt.
Our guitarist, Dave Spencer, had arrived and set up his music stand and began tuning up. 
Matt arrived and we got him "wired" up for sound! 
Our wedding director, Barbara Gautier with Set The Date Wedding Planning, was dashing around getting everyone where they were supposed to be to process in.
The guests have arrived. I am in the background walking from one side of the area where the guys are to the other side where the bride and bridesmaids were hidden away.
The groomsmen with Eric and his parents, Tracey and David, await the signal to begin. I know these guys were sweltering in those suits! 
To begin the ceremony, Matt and I walked forward from the back of the pergola to the top. 
Eric escorted his parents in then joined Josh (best man), Matt and me at the top of the steps. 
Awaiting the bridesmaids and groomsmen......
The first couple.
Second couple.
Third couple.
Then our maid of honor Marifel is escorted in by groomsman David. 
Our handsome guys! 
Such pretty colors and such beautiful women. The beautiful bouquets were furnished by Maggie Smith of PineState Flowers.
Amelia, our flower girl, blows bubbles and is followed by the ring bearer carried by his father! Our photographer Stephanie Smith gets a picture of them. 
It is time for our beautiful bride and her parents to process in. Eric steps down to the ground level to receive Marie's hand in marriage.
Paul and Anecita proudly present their beautiful daughter Marie to be joined in marriage with Eric.
I asked "Anecita and Paul, do you support your daughter's decision to join together in holy matrimony with Eric, and do you vow to receive him as a member of your family from this day on?" Of course they answered "We do!"
And so Matt began with a welcome to all. Then I led everyone in prayer.
Then we blessed and thanked their parents for their love and support throughout Marie and Eric's lives.
Matt then stepped out to deliver the wedding address which consisted of the story of how they met and fell in love. He did a great job! It was so important to Eric and Marie that Matt be an integral part of their wedding because his presence in their relationship has been such a treasure.
          Marifel, being a dutiful maid of honor, stepped forth and fanned some fresh air on our bride. 
Then it was time for me to reveal their secret paragraphs we had created that each of them heard for the first time during the ceremony.
They make their promises of marriage to each other and seal them with their rings. 
Eric went first, then Marie. They read their vows from my book where the words were facing them.
Next in the ceremony as the Wooden Wine Box with the loveletters. Matt did this section. This photo was after they placed the letters in the box and came back to their positions. Helping Marifel straighten Marie's train.
I delivered a closing blessing. 
   Then invited them to look at their guests who had come from near and far to celebrate with them.
The legal pronouncement of marriage! 
Great kiss, Eric!!
"Hey, we are married!"
Matt presented the newlyweds to their guests and the bride and groom stepped into their future!
Everyone is cheering them on! 

The parents recessed together, now joined by their children's marriage!
Congratulations, Eric and Marie! It was wonderful working with you to create your amazing ceremony! Matt, you did a fabulous job delivering your part.  I wish you all the best!

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