Sealed with a kiss!

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

Monday, January 25, 2010

Latercha and Michael's Wonderful Wedding at Crabtree Marriott!

Brenda Ragland contacted me last November to see if I could officiate the wedding of her friends, Michael and Latercha, on January 16th at the Crabtree Marriott. She was the wedding planner and taking care of organizing and procuring vendors for their wedding. Brenda is a Wedding Consultant and Floral Designer for A Perfect Setting. We made arrangements for me to meet her and the couple in a restaurant in downtown Raleigh. I usually meet with couples  in my home but they were interviewing ministers at the location of their choice. I was happy to go meet with them. After explaining my services and reading a sample ceremony to them, they signed with me on the spot. They wanted me to write their ceremony and add the story of how they met and fell in love. So, we emailed back and forth and came up with the perfect ceremony for them.

Marty (my "roadie") and I arrived at the Crabtree Marriott at 2:00 for the 3:00 wedding and got my microphone hooked into the sound system. Michael himself is a DJ and so he was intricately involved with getting this all set up for both the ceremony and the reception which were in different rooms. His friend Rasheed Smith was the DJ for the evening. The theme was red roses and they were everywhere. When Marty tried taking some photos, my new camera (which had worked fine for 5 weddings since Christmas) would not take pictures. It was too late for us to come back home and get my old one so Amanda Olson, our photographer, promised to send me photos when she gets them done. I have delayed posting this blog hoping to get the photos but decided to go ahead and put it up and add them later.

The ceremony went beautifully and Latercha was simply stunning in her wedding dress with her pretty "up-do" hair style. Her father escorted her in and proudly presented her to Michael. We paid tribute to their parents and I told their "story." After the vows and rings, they poured their red and white sand together and I made the pronouncement of marriage which was followed by the KISS then the presentation of the couple to their guests amidst much applause. They recessed followed by the wedding party and parents. Many guests came up to me to say how much they enjoyed the ceremony because it was so personal and different from traditional ceremonies.

After sticking around for photos after the ceremony, Marty and I left the happy couple and their guests to celebrate the rest of the afternoon and probably into the evening. Latercha and Michael, you are such a good match for each other and I appreciate your maturity and dedication to each other. I know you will be so happy!

I want to credit their wedding vendors: I want to thank Kelly Bray, Events Manager of the Marriott, for all of her help with this wedding and for bringing me water when I developed a dry tickle in my throat and coughing during the rehearsal!   John Carter of A Perfect Day Images covered the MC and the video for the wedding. Bob Taylor, videographer was handling the video equipment. Sweet Memories provided the beautiful cake bedecked with red roses and Fallon's did the beautiful rose floral arrangements. Brenda, you did a great job assembling a superb team of wedding vendors and organizing a beautiful and smoothly flowing wedding!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wedding Trends for 2010............

I came across this article on line tonight and thought it quite interesting, including the colors forecast for this year and I thought you would be interested in seeing this too!

Vintage themes among wedding trends expected in 2010

As with any fashion statement, whether it is in home décor or clothing trends for the upcoming year, there are also forecasts on the trends expected in weddings for 2010.

One of the most common trends will be intimacy. Whether it means a smaller wedding, or a backyard event complete with a homey barbeque, more and more weddings will be smaller scale. This is partly due to couples not wanting to spend a lot given the recent economic times. Keep in mind that it isn't always less expensive to be married at home; it is much cozier and far more intimate.

Many, many couples are turning to DIY for their weddings. From invitations to thank you cards right down to guest favours, the bride and groom are seeking out big craft and business stores to find cost-effective solutions to their budgetary concerns. Some are deciding not to give favours to their guests as a cost-saving measure even though they are well aware of the expense for a couple to attend a wedding; others feel that an expression of their thanks to their guests is extremely important.

Vintage themes are in! Consider 1950's as the inspiration. Things like Birdcage Veils (a hat or head piece with a veil covering only the face), feather headpieces with a feather clip earring, a headpiece with jewels, and mermaid style gowns are all vintage inspired. Cake styles from the 50's and 60's were traditional two-tier cakes with traditional cake-toppers, and bouquets were elaborate arm bouquets or cascades. [How about Steampunk? I did one of these weddings recently with the vintage Victorian costumes and touch of Sci-Fi!]

Bridesmaids dresses: How often have you heard of a bridesmaid hating the dress she had to wear in a wedding, and, sometimes more than once? Well, the trend now is for brides to choose the colour of the dresses. They leave it up to the bridesmaid to choose a style she likes and one that suits her, making it more likely a dress to be worn in future. They can find off the rack dresses for reasonable prices. Some guidelines have to be issued before the purchases can take place, but everyone ends up happy.

As well as the mermaid dress mentioned earlier, there will be a move toward luxurious ball gowns in heavier fabrics. Asymmetry will be important as will ruffles, draping and some irregular finishes. Is strapless gone? Not a chance. It will continue to be very strong. If you want colour rather than white, this is the year! Bold colours are strong in the colour forecast.

We have seen the unity candle and the sand ceremony. Now there is the Love Letter. It's a beautiful trend with the Bride and Groom each writing a love letter to the other person. The letters are handed to the Officiant, who will say a few words over them, then they are placed in a box, it is locked, and it is not opened until a date the couple chooses. [I call this the Wedding Box Ceremony and several of my couples chose to include it in their ceremony in 2009]

From food, to attire and décor, being eco-friendly continues to motivate vendors to provide cost-effective and environmentally sound choices for the green-minded couple.

Here is a list of the big colours for 2010 weddings: lilac, magenta, pink, mauve, coral, turquoise, gray, fuchsia, buttercup, mango, light blue, navy, and cobalt blue. Think of vintage colours and destinations such as the Caribbean, and you'll be right on. From these colours there are beautiful combinations, let your imagination run wild! Or check out colour inspiration boards on wedding websites such as www.bridalcanvas.comor [Could chocolate brown with blue or pink finally have gone out of style? I have seen these colors frequently for the past two years!]

It's your wedding, your budget, your statement, and your style.

No matter what the trends are for 2010, you will remember your wedding day for the romance and commitment of the day.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Wonderful Wedding Video by A Moment Like This!

I wanted to share with all of you a wonderful video of a wedding I did at Highgrove Estates last year. Bianca Palmer of A Moment Like This, a husband/wife photography/videography team who are fantastic, just sent me this link so that I could see it. They have actually used my voice during the ceremony in parts of it. I am so happy to get this because so many people tell me how soothing and calming my voice is during a wedding and I wanted to let others I have not met or who have not heard me deliver a ceremony hear it. This is perfect!
This is the wedding of Lori and Bijal. It was such a memorable wedding and they are such a terrific couple. In this photo you can see Seth and Bianca in the foreground filming and taking photos. The ceremony was an interfaith one combining Christian and Hindu traditions. Truly unique to this couple. See the earlier post of the wedding hereJoe Bunn was the DJ and you can hear his voice announcing the couple when they entered the reception.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Megan and Kevin Wed at the Renaissance Raleigh Hotel!

Megan and Kevin came to see me in September to officiate their wedding on January 9, 2010. Their wedding date had to coordinate with Kevin's deployment schedule. They chose to have their wedding at the beautiful new Renaissance Hotel in North Hills. It is a gorgeous place for both the ceremony and reception. They have a built in audio system into which I just plugged my wireless microphone and receiver. The sound was perfect and everyone could hear the ceremony very clearly. Megan Brewer, the events manager, is really on the ball making sure every detail is taken care of. Thanks, Megan!
Kevin and I entered followed by the two groomsmen after the parents had been escorted in. Men in uniform are soooo handsome! You can see two of the Arioso Strings quartet who provided the wonderful music for the ceremony. DJ Richie provided the music for the reception.

This is our cute little flower girl, Cecelia, who is two. This photo was taken after the wedding. At the wedding, she was accompanied down the aisle by her mother, one of our bridesmaids and sat with her father who was seated on the front row. Isn't she adorable?
Megan is proudly escorted in by her father. She is so beautiful and her dress was stunning! I saw a few tears escape Kevin's eyes when he saw her coming toward him. What a moment!
After a warm welcome to the guests and a prayer, we paid tribute to the couple's parents which produced more tears! Kevin and Megan had asked me to read ee cumming's poem "I Carry Your Heart." This was followed by the wedding address which is about the couple's beliefs in love and marriage. Here is a tiny snippet of the words they chose: "You hold each other's hearts in the palms of your hands.  Be gentle caregivers, honoring this trust.  Let this be a marriage that enhances your individuality and allows you to know the greatest gift that God has given us – the ability to love and to be loved." They then exchanged vows and rings.
They lit their Unity Candle from their individual flames that had been lit by their mothers as I read this quote by Rabbi Baal Shem Tov: “From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls that are destined to be together find each other, their streams of light flow together, and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being.” I made the pronouncement of marriage followed by the Irish Blessing and a prayer then announced them to their guests!

The happy couple, finally married! After the ceremony the couple and their photographer, Neil Boyd and his assistant, Beth Jarvah, dashed up to Coquette's, a favorite restaurant of the couple, for some bride and groom only photos. Marty and I caught up with them when they came back to the hotel and got a few parting shots.

Megan is beaming! I don't think Kevin is deliberately not smiling (I know he was so happy), just resting his mouth muscles from all the smiling for photos! Right, Kevin? What a great couple you are. I wish you a lifetime of happiness and fun! Thanks for serving our country, Kevin!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Steampunk Wedding for Madison and Hugo at Second Empire!

Madison and Hugo are unique individuals and they strive to express themselves in non-conformist fashion. They planned their wedding for January 9, 2010 at the historic Second Empire restaurant in Raleigh. Hugo lives in Chichester, England; Madison in Raleigh. They met on line via the Fiction-Post Writers' Forum and the romance took off. Both have spent much time visiting the other and now they will be making their home together in England after the wedding.

When Madison contacted me in November, she said that she was fearful of finding only ministers who were impersonal and/or dictatorial so she was pleasantly surprised that I was neither! She told me that she and Hugo were into Steampunk and wanted to know if that was okay with me. Well, I had never heard the term before. She explained that Steampunk is a subculture that combines Victorian culture with Sci Fi! Oh my! So I googled it and actually found a U Tube video of a Steampunk wedding! I must say that that wedding was certainly in the appropriate costume but the officiant, who was a friend of the couple and quite humorous, made the wedding a show mostly about himself, something that I am not into doing at a wedding. For me, the wedding is all about the couple! At any rate, Madison and her mother, Dionne, met with me and found out that I really enjoy officiating unique weddings that express the individuality of the couple. So we were a good fit.
I met Hugo the day of the wedding. He was strikingly handsome in his custom made outfit of blue wool. I decided to wear a black dress and my lacy prayer stole which looked Victorian, vintage heart pendant and earrings, and boots to fit the era.
Here are our three groomsmen in Victorian apparel for this wonderful occasion. I believe they all came over from England. I loved listening to all the British accents!
Here comes the bride in her lovely Victorian wedding gown! I emailed Madison and Hugo a bunch of ceremony material and they put together the ceremony they wanted and sent it to me. Of course we included the Celtic handfasting ceremony and some special readings. But for the most part the ceremony was fairly traditional. Madison opted not to have her father escort her into the ceremony and instead, they liked my suggestion of meeting each other in the middle of the aisle and walking to the front together.

The East Parlor at Second Empire was a perfect setting for this vintage themed wedding. The building's architectural style is Second Empire Victorian, a style developed in France under Napoleon III and marked by heavy ornate modification of Empire styles. The interior of the home has fourteen foot ceilings and deep bay windows. Tracy, the events coordinator, had to move a big plant from the corner so all 4 of our groomsmen would fit! The bridesmaid to the far left is Dulcie, the sister of the groom, and the maid of honor is Morgan, sister of the bride. Daniel, a good friend of Hugo's serves as the best man. Hugo's parents, Coral and Rob, are on the right front row skyping the wedding to Hugo's younger sister, Venetia, would could not come "across the pond" to the wedding.

I am looping the handfasting cord around their joined left hands. The more loops, the stronger the bond. Then they joined their right hands together forming the symbol of infinity blessing their marriage in the eternal ebb and flow of the universe.  They read their sweet and touching vows to each other from my book and exchanged rings. I made the pronouncement of marriage, they kissed and out they went! 

Married, at last!  Hugo is wearing the handfasting cord which he later transferred to Madison. We adjourned to the front entrance of the restaurant for some photos outside. Taner Ergin was our photographer. He is new to wedding photography and was getting some experience and expanding his portfolio. Madison told me a few days after the wedding that they liked his work.

I wanted to show you the bride's bouquet. It is made out of blue felt flowers with button centers made by Madison and her sister. I am sure they made sure this was authentic.

Madison and her sweet mother, Dionne, before the wedding. Dionne was so supportive of her daughter and her non-traditional wedding theme. Together they planned much of this wedding since Hugo was in England and they did a great job.
This is the reception room off the tavern in the lower level of the restaurant. Doesn't it look like a great period setting for this wedding theme?

An old Victorian clock, no doubt. There is probably some history behind this clever centerpiece!
This is the wedding cake by Simply Cakes. Madison and Dionne were really pleased with it. Part cake and part cupcake topped with the bride and groom and the elements of Sci Fi on the icing. Take a closer look at the topper:

Madison made these Sci Fi figures with the stylized Victorian outfits out of polymer clay. How adorable and how creative!

Here they are....... Our happy Mr. and Mrs.Steampunk!!
I was honored and thrilled to be a part of Madison and Hugo's special wedding. They are a fabulous couple and will go fact, all the way to England to live. Madison and Hugo, with your wonderful and individual spirits, you are bound for success! Congratulations! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Calling all 2010 and Beyond Brides: Charity Wedding Gown Sale!

Date: Saturday, February 6 and Sunday, February 7
Place: The Sheraton Raleigh Hotel

This is a wonderful event, a great cause, and a unique opportunity to buy a designer gown for a great price!

Brides Against Breast Cancer is hosting a Charity Wedding Gown
Sale. Gowns donated by designers, retailers, and manufacturers will
be sold starting as low as $99. Admission is free for both daytime
events and sales will benefit Making Memories Breast Cancer
For a preview and gala event check this out:

Dinner and Fashion Show VIP Night on Friday, February 5 at 6pm
The Sheraton Raleigh Hotel
Admission is $30

For details and registration, please call 919-606-7047, or send an
email to can also contact Susan Blakesley at Pre-registration:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Allyson and Graham Have a Fabulous Winter Wedding!

Allyson and Graham came to see me on January 18, 2009 and hired me to officiate their wedding on January 2, 2010 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship sanctuary on Wade Avenue in Raleigh. At that time, I had no idea how resourceful this young couple would be in creating their dream wedding. But, I found out at their wedding that they did a lot of very careful planning to make their wedding affordable. As Allyson told me herself, it was a DIY wedding! Brian, Allyson's father, told me that she has been a take charge, innovative person since she was a little girl.

Their reception was held at the Royal Banquet on Hillsborough Street across from the Meredith College campus. Marty and I stopped by there before the wedding to get a photo of the wedding cake the bride's mother made. It is a lovely space. We talked to Callie who was in charge of this event for Carla Towns, the Events Coordinator. The caterer furnished the dishes and silverware but Allyson purchased the linens and she and her friends and family set up the tables the night before. Her caterer was Visions Catering of Thomasville NC. I asked Graham how they came to use a caterer that far away. He told me that Allyson expanded her search beyond the Triangle and found Visions and there was no charge for travel within 200 miles and their prices were right.

Allyson's mother, Becca Lipscomb, is a cake baker. She owns the business Cakes for a Cause.  They donate part of every cake purchase either to fund research for childhood cancer or to  your charity. What a wonderful and generous enterprise! This is a lovely cake and I bet it tasted fabulous. It is missing its cake topper which was with the groom over at the church. The cake topper which I never did get to see is a replica of their two dogs!

Here you can see photos of the couple and their Labrador retriever, Huckleberry Finn, and their beagle, Bailey.  
I was most impressed with their centerpieces! Allyson found these beautiful tall vases herself and filled them with the crystal pebbles. The florist, Madelyn's Flower Shop, from Nashville NC, topped them off with white mums. They were stunning! Good job sleuthing out your vendors, Allyson.
The attendants, groom and I are in place waiting for the entrance of the bride and her parents.

Here they come!

The sanctuary of the Unitarian Church is such a beautiful contemporary setting. The acoustics are amazing! Bo, the person in charge of the sound system there, was helpful in getting my microphone plugged into their system and the sound was perfect. The couple saved money by using CD music for the prelude and burned a special CD of the processional and recessional music and it worked very nicely!

The ceremony was sweet and simple, just the way they wanted it. They found a great reading I had not heard before that fit their beliefs and feelings about love and marriage. It is titled: "When a Man and a Woman are in Love" and the author is unknown. They read their vows to each other from my book and after the exchange of rings, I pronounced them husband and wife. They really took to heart my homework assignment to practice kissing and smoothly executed a great kiss!  Sorry that I don't have a photo of that but our professional photographer, Penny Noell, surely does. Penny is a friend of the family and was wonderful to work with.

Let me tell you the story of Allyson's beautiful wedding gown! She fell in love with it when she tried it on almost two years ago at David's Bridal. But her family found another dress they liked better and she liked it as well and bought it. But, she could not stop thinking about that first dress. Later on she saw it on eBay in her size in perfect condition and bought it for a song! So, she sold the first dress she bought on a preowned wedding dress site and came out ahead. How is that for resourcefulness! The dress was perfect for Allyson. It was made for her figure and not only that, it was soft and comfortable and did not wrinkle when she sat down. A dream come true!

Allyson and Graham, you are young but you have known each other for years and have carefully thought out your decisions. I know you are going to have a wonderful and satisfying marriage! All the best to you! And hopefully I will see you again soon because Allyson's grandparents have been married almost 50 years and told me they were thinking of doing a Renewal of Vows ceremony! Just call me!

Wonderful Winter Wedding for CJ and Justin!

CJ (short for Caroline Judith) found me on The Knot and called me on 8/13/09 to see if I was available for her wedding date of January 2, 2010. We chatted and decided that since she and Justin, her fiance, lived in Boston, that I would meet with her parents to discuss my services and get to know each other a bit. Her parents, Susan and Gerald, live in Morehead City and it just so happened that my husband and I were going on vacation at Atlantic Beach nearby the following week. So we made all the arrangements and met one afternoon at the beach. I enjoyed meeting with Gerald and Susan and they reported back to CJ and Justin what they thought of me. Apparently I made a good impression because CJ and Justin decided to hire me as their wedding officiant and we got the contract signed and my fee paid quickly.

Then we began the process of creating their special ceremony via email. They really loved the idea of including their "story" in their wedding ceremony. CJ and Justin told me how and when they met, what first attracted them to each other and what they love most about each other, what they look forward to in marriage, what marriage means to them, and shared some of their cute stories and adventures with me. I took their material and crafted it into a running history of CJ and Justin and with their editing and approval, we had the bulk of their ceremony completed. All three of us loved it. It also included some great humor that I knew the guests would enjoy and I really looked forward to delivering the ceremony.  I love hearing the stories of couples and passing it on to their guests. I find the guests love it too and are in rapt attention throughout the ceremony.

CJ and Justin and I met face to face for the first time on December 22nd when they got back to NC for the holidays. We went over the logistics of our ceremony since we were having the rehearsal at a site different from the ceremony venue of the Carolina Club--the UNC Alumni Center. Both the bride and groom are UNC grads and of course this was the perfect setting for them. I had gone by there the week before (the day it snowed!) and met Sallie Sullivan, the events coordinator, and took a good look at the ceremony venue and how it would be set up for the wedding. Sallie was great and gave me a grand tour. I look forward to doing more weddings there! Finally the big day arrived! It was rather chilly with a wind chill factor down in the teens but it was warm and cozy in the Carolina Club and this beautiful wedding began.

After the grandparents, parents, groom, best man and the attendants and I entered, it was time for CJ and her father, Gerald, to make their grand entrance and float down the aisle. Here our photographer, Elizabeth Burgess, has them turn briefly and face her for a great photo.

There were about 140 guests filling this beautifully appointed and richly decorated room. There was a trellis with a floral arrangement on top and a huge fern on each side flanked by the candelabras which you cannot see from here.

A friend of theirs, Melissa Bennett, on the left here, sang a Beatles tune "In my Life" which is a favorite of CJ and Justin's and they were almost singing along with her! She was accompanied by their friend Jeffrey Danielson on keyboard. 

This is an amazing photo because the professional photographer's flash went off at the same time as mine and we got fantastic illumination of the moment I am making the pronouncement of marriage. (You can click on any of these photos and get a larger image.)

It's done! They're married!

The bride and groom and wedding party and parents and grandparents all exited to a private room while the guests went on to the reception. Then we went back into the ceremony room for photos. Here I am talking with Cindy and David, Justin's parents, holding hands, and Susan, CJ's mom. Their kids have been together since high school and they were all so thrilled with this marriage and this wedding ceremony.

Congratulations to the new "Missus!" She is really radiant! I believe all her expectations were met and she is so thrilled. No fussy babies or misbehaving children! On the left is one of our bridesmaids, Sandra, and on the right behind us is Justin's brother, Jake.

The beaming newlyweds. It's off to Jamaica in the morning! Do you think we have a Carolina Blue theme going on here? Just you wait and see!

Just look at that gorgeous wedding gown. It was encrusted with sparkles and beads and was pretty heavy. Once the train was in place, it hardly moved!

See what I mean? Carolina Blue everywhere and a UNC monogram on the glasses. This lovely cake was created by Ronald Johnson of UNC Alumni Club Catering. Our florist was Charles House of University Florist. Our capable photographer was Elizabeth Burgess of Burgess Photography and her assistant was Laurence Lynn with whom I have worked many weddings. What a team they make! I know CJ and Justin will have some fabulous photos of their special day. The make up artist was Jenny Raele of Make-up Art by Jenny.

Our DJ for the reception who also provided the sound for my microphone during the ceremony was Ken Holmes with Joe Bunn DJ Company. It was great to work with Ken again. Cindy Shuford, family friend, did a superb job of directing the wedding.  Thank you, Cindy! Sorry that the photo Marty took of us was not good enough to use--my camera was misbehaving!  

CJ and Justin, you are a wonderful couple and I know you will be very happy together and continue to live life to the fullest! You have such a bright and beautiful outlook on life and your future. I hope you will keep in touch! Have a great honeymoon in Jamaica!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Commitment Celebration Ceremony for Lynette and Amy on New Year's Day 2010!

Lynette called me on Monday, December 28th, to find out if I was willing to do a commitment ceremony for her and her partner, Amy, on New Year's Day. I was most happy to work them into my schedule and we were able to have the ceremony in my garden at 1:00. Thankfully the temperature was in the upper 40s and so it worked out well. The garden looks a bit brown and bare but nevertheless it was good to be outdoors on January 1st! They brought a few friends and were dressed in color coordinated flannel shirts and jeans--casual was the way they wanted it and so it was! I wore black jeans although you can't really tell in the photos.

 Amy is on the left, Lynette on the right. They were so happy to have this public vow of their love for each other. I had sent them a proposed ceremony and let them make the changes they wanted which were very few. They told me they loved the ceremony and it touched their hearts so much.

Exchanging rings with a few chuckles getting them on!

I pronounced them lifemates joined in a lifetime covenant.

What a great couple. I could tell they really cared for each other and were well matched. After the ceremony, Lynette wrote me a sweet (and revealing) thank you note that explained why it was so important to her and Amy to have this ceremony on January 1st. Here is what she said: "We had originally planned to do this in the fall of next year but upon thinking about how short life is and being absolutely certain that God puts people in your life at the right time prompted us to move forward together now.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer in Sept. and am currently winding up my battle at this time with radiation and we could not think of a better way to start a whole new year than how we chose to today." She also wrote: "Just wanted to drop you a line and say THANKS so much for making today very special for us.  We had a very nice lunch at PF Chang and Elizabeth and Jen had a cake made and presented it to us at lunch.  The wait staff was superb and took pictures for us and everything.  Our day started with you and a very nice ceremony and although it seemed it was over in a flash it was very meaningful and well done.  Thanks again." 

Lynette and Amy, congratulations! You have taken a great step in your relationship and I am grateful to have been a part of your special day! I wish you all the best, now and forever!

New Year's Eve Wedding for Teresa and Eric!

New Year's Eve evening, Marty and I arrived at the home of Teresa and Eric for their wedding. They were referred to me by Kenneth and Julia, a couple I married this past summer (see their wedding post by clicking here). Teresa is a local veterinarian and Julia is a student at the veterinary school, hence the referral to me. Kenneth, an airline pilot, is also a photography buff, and so he was photographing the wedding. It was good to see them both again and they looked pretty happy and content together.

Both Eric and Teresa had two sons each from previous marriages that we were blending into one big family this evening. When we were ready to begin, the boys entered followed by the bride and groom.

The wedding took place in the sunroom. The couple had cleverly covered up the windows so that the camera flashes would not be bouncing all over the place! Eric's sons, Hayden and Gavin are on the right. Teresa's sons, Brenden and Devin are on the left. Teresa's parents were also there as well as Eric's sister, Denise, and many other friends.

The boys lit the four candles on the altar when they entered which represented all the guests. Then during the Children's Blessing we recognized the kids and told them how loved and important they are in this newly formed family. After the vows and rings, they participated in a family unity sand ceremony.

The married couple exit the ceremony area to the cheers of their guests. We later staged some photos in the sunroom.

One big happy family now! Teresa and Eric, congratulations on finding one another and I wish you all the best in life!

I want to thank Jonathan Colgan who provided our music for the wedding. You did a fabulous job. Thanks to Julia who served as our cue person to let Jonathan know when to start and stop the music since he was in the living room and not in a position to see the actual ceremony.