Sealed with a kiss!

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

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vickie and James Marry in Kayelily's Wedding Garden!

Vickie and James wanted to have a small private wedding with just a few friends and family members but did not want to go down to the courthouse to get married. They wanted a spiritual ceremony followed by a big party to celebrate. So, they decided to have their wedding in my wedding garden on August 23rd. I wrote a wedding ceremony based on what they knew they wanted and emailed it to them for their review. Vickie and James are both blind and have email programs that read their messages to them! How wonderful! So, they told me they loved the ceremony and did not want to change a thing. The weather was quite pleasant and we began the ceremony with Vickie being escorted into the garden by her son Eric. Her daughter Summer served as her maid of honor and James' friend Dennis was his best man. Their guests enjoyed hearing it and seeing Vickie and James finally married to each other. After some picture taking for their sighted family and friends, they departed for a big celebration of their marriage.

I wish you all the best, James and Vickie!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Elaine and Hwa Wed at the Carolina Inn!

The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill is an elegant and popular place for weddings. The staff is so efficient that they can have several weddings and receptions happening simultaneously. I love doing weddings there. Elaine and Hwa chose to have their wedding in the Ann Hill Courtyard out front on August 16th. It had rained the night before and the grass was a bit soggy but the Inn provided rubber mats for the aisle so the bridesmaids did not sink! Marty and I set up my sound system and did a sound check with the two readers and we were set to go. Harpist and Floutist Brittany and Marisa Farrell provided lovely music for the occasion.

After the seating of Elaine's grandmother and their parents, Hwa and his groomsmen and I entered and took our places. then the 5 lovely bridesmaids and maid of honor entered. They had two ring bearers and two flower girls but they got a bit off track for a while but eventually two of them made it down the aisle thanks to our very capable wedding director, Cori Stocum! (You can rehearse children over and over but when the seats are filled with the guests on the wedding day, their reaction is unpredictable!) Then Elaine's proud father escorted her down the aisle. Her beautiful wedding dress was dazzling--one of the prettiest I have ever seen and it fit her perfectly! Elaine and Hwa honored their parents by having letters they had written to them read both in Chinese and in English. Amanda and Hao did a great job presenting the letters. The bride and groom read their vows to each other from my book and we concluded with the rings, pronouncement, the kiss, and introduction of the newlywed couple to their guests.
Then it was time for Amy Hathaway, their photographer, to get the post-wedding photos of the wedding party and family. My roadie, Marty, was in charge of my camera and took these photos. After my sound equipment was all packed up, we took a look at the beautiful wedding cake and the ice sculpture. Wow! I don't know who did the cake and the ice sculpture to give them credit. Maybe Elaine or Hwa will leave a comment on this blog telling us who. We ran into Randy, their DJ for the reception. He is with Joe Bunn DJ Company and I saw Joe Bunn himself down the hall doing a reception in the Old Well Room for another newlywed couple. Joe gets around!
Congratulations, Elaine and Hwa!

A Unique Wedding at Duke Gardens!

Amrika and Jeremy were both born in Trinidad and wanted a wedding ceremony American style but in Trinidad dress which is so beautiful and colorful! We had fun getting the ceremony just right and on Saturday morning August 16th 2008 I arrived at the pergola of Duke Garden to officiate for them.

It was overcast that morning and the inside of the pergola was quite dark--not good for photographs for sure! Their photographer Dilip Barman had to get creative. They were videoing the ceremony too. So we decided to do the ceremony on the steps, as you can see, out in the sunlight, with the guests flanking the sides of the steps. The cameraman first had me begin the ceremony facing the camera with my back to the couple, then I turned around and spoke to them. For the pronouncement I moved up the steps behind them so the camera would have a better view of the couple and their kiss!

Amrika's parents and family were able to be with us for the wedding but regrettably, Jeremy's parents were in Trinidad. Amrika and Jeremy are so much fun to be with--Jeremy loves to clown around! It was a great wedding celebration! All the best to you, Amrika and Jeremy!

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Surprise Wedding for the Bride!

Gary called me Thursday morning 8/14 while I was at the hairdresser so I did not answer. When my hair was done I checked to see if the caller had left a message but he didn't. So, I called the unknown number and asked if anyone had called me. Gary said yes and that he had called a bunch of ministers and I was the only one who called him back. He wanted to get married the next evening in their home in Fuquay Varina and wanted to surprise the bride! When I said that he would need to get the marriage license, he told me that he and Adis had gotten the marriage license the week before but had not made plans for the wedding yet. With that little detail taken care of, I told him that I would be happy to officiate. We talked about the kind of ceremony he wanted and then he said he needed to get the rings and could I recommend a place to get them. I asked him where he was and it turned out that he and I were talking to each other by cell phone in the same parking lot! So, we got out of our cars and met each other face to face! Wild, huh?

When I arrived to do the wedding Friday night, the downstairs was in a flurry of being decorated by their friends. I said to Gary that the bride must surely know by now. But he said no, she was upstairs with her girlfriends getting dressed to go out to dinner with friends--or so she thought! Gary had thought of everything--rings, cake, decorations, food, music, guests, runners, rose petals, a bouquet for Adis, a ring pillow for Gabriel, and even a garter! Isn't that sooooo romantic? What a guy! I had offered to bring the sand ceremony set up which I did along with my handy little table to put it on. My husband Dave came with me and took photos.

When we were all ready, Adis was fetched from upstairs and truly she did not have a clue! Amazing! When she got over the initial shock, Gabriel, their 2 year old son, preceded his mother and her escort down the aisle to in front of the fireplace where Gary and I were waiting. I think she was still in some shock though--having never seen me before in her life! She was so happy though and a great sport. We had a lovely ceremony. Gary had pre-approved the ceremony via email Thursday night and they read their vows to each other. I trusted that he knew what she would like, after all he even knew her ring size. In the sand ceremony we included Gabriel and Adis' older son, Orlando, by proxy because he was visiting grandparents in Florida at the time. Cameras were flashing all around and their friend Andy was doing the video. The ceremony concluded with the kiss and much applause from their happy friends and family.
Gary, you really pulled this one off in grand style! Congratulations to you both!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Elegant Wedding at Second Empire

Weddings at Second Empire may be small but they are elegant in this restored historical home that is now a restaurant. Angie and Sean decided to have their wedding outside on the front steps facing Hillsborough Street on August 9th, 2008. The photos really show the story. They included Sean's 6 year old daughter Reilly as the flower girl and in the sand ceremony celebrating the birth of this new family.

The bride and groom's parents were all in attendance and Angie's father escorted her in. Ina Newell provided the heavenly harp music and Timberly Hill was their photographer. My husband Dave, serving as my roadie today, took these photos for the blog. Best wishes forever, Angie and Sean, and Reilly!

Flash! Wedding Party Dance!

I just got this note from one of my couples who were married on July 12th (see post below) and I thought it was so much fun that I would post it here for you all to see!

We posted up a new video on youtube of our bridal party dance. I thought I'd send you a link, especially for vendors that weren't there for the live show. ;) Thanks so much for everything!
Jacquie Rojanatavorn

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Lovely Wedding at Chapel Hill Bed and Breakfast!

Valerie and Matthew met with me on July 7th about their wedding on that magical date of 08/08/08. They told me they wanted a "simple basic ceremony." When our meeting was over, we had much more than a simple basic ceremony. They were very excited to learn about the sand ceremony and the Celtic handfasting ritual. The final ceremony script was anything but simple and basic!

They planned a small intimate wedding with family and friends (a group of 13) at the recently opened Chapel Hill Bed and Breakfast--a lovely site with a huge lily pond more the size of a lake in front! They were late arriving for the wedding which gave me a chance to take up Oscar Moncade, the owner, on his offer of a grand tour of the house which has wonderful guest rooms with large whirlpool baths and all the amenities. Thank you, Oscar! You can see photos on their website including the "lily lake." The wedding ceremony was held in the rear of the house on a huge covered pavilion with lots of ceiling fans to keep the cool breezes blowing.

When everyone arrived, including the chairs, we settled down for Matthew and Valerie's unique and meaningful ceremony. Valerie was wearing a lovely dress of Oriental style in blue and aqua and Matthew's white suit with aqua vest and tie coordinated perfectly and with the maid of honor's dress and the best man's tie. Without knowing what their colors would be, somehow I chose to wear coordinating colors too. We started with Valerie's parents escorting her in and saying some wonderful words in response to my question: "Who blesses and supports Valerie as she comes to join in marriage with Matthew?" Then they were seated and we began with a welcome to all and a big tribute to their parents which led into the sand pouring ceremony. Matthew and Valerie included their parents in the ceremony in which their parents poured their sand into the central container first symbolizing the heritage and history of their individual lives and relationships. Then the couple poured in their layer of sand representing their union with each other as well as with their families. Following the sand ceremony we had a handfasting ceremony in which their their hands were bound with a cord representing their love. They then joined their right hands together to form the symbol of infinity "blessing their marriage in the eternal ebb and flow of the universe." So fitting for this magical day with the figure 8, also the symbol of infinity. With their hands bound and crossed, they spoke their vows to each other then symbolically replaced the cord with their rings. The pronouncement followed with the kiss and presentation of the newlywed couple to their guests. See what I mean by a not so simple basic ceremony!

Jason, brother of the groom and best man, and Alison, sister of the bride and maid of honor, then signed the marriage license and the picture taking began! Matthew and Valerie, you made sure your individuality and your love for each other was a part of this wonderful occasion. Many blessings to you both!

Lara and David's Marriage Blends Two Families into One!

I took a couple of weekends off for R&R and to attend a family reunion so my first wedding back "on the job" was for Lara and David. They contacted me in June about officiating their wedding in July 2009. Well, as time went by, they decided not to wait so long and rescheduled for August 7th of 2008 @ 10 AM.

I arrived for their wedding to find that David had partial knee replacement surgery a week before the wedding and was on crutches although he used a cane during the wedding for support. It was hot and muggy but we had a lovely wedding anyway.

David's three children, Jordan, Justus, and Jalon, and Lara's two children, Jenna and Sydney were all part of the wedding in front of the gazebo. They all looked like siblings and I had a hard time telling them apart! Lara's and David's parents were in attendance having traveled from Nevada and Massachusetts respectively to be with us on this very special day. Two violinists played lovely music as David, the children and I walked down the aisle followed by the entrance of our beautiful bride. We included the sand pouring ceremony which is a wonderful way for children to participate in the wedding and feel part of the ceremony. What a wonderful family!