Sealed with a kiss!

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Katie and Charlie Have a Wonderful Wedding at Coker Arboretum on August 28, 2010!

Charlie and Katie are the sweetest couple. I enjoyed working with them so much and got to know them in the process of putting together their "story" for the ceremony. I also appreciate Charlie telling me at the rehearsal and at the wedding how comfortable they both felt with me handling the ceremony. I also enjoyed the rehearsal and working with their attendants who paid attention, refrained from chatting with each other, and focused on learning their parts in about 35 minutes. I think it was the fastest rehearsal I've done in a long time because of that and I applaud them! They did their duties perfectly on the wedding day and everyone really enjoyed being there for Charlie and Katie. Coker Arboretum in downtown Chapel Hill is a beautiful setting for a wedding. I have done many through the years there. Most of them are set in between these two huge oak trees. There are a couple of disadvantages to this venue though--the limited parking spaces on the street (no parking lot) and lack of bathroom facilities. So, weddings there must be planned accordingly. Also there is no power there so I bring my battery to power my sound system.
 The Daniel Parish Band from Wilmington NC played for the reception. Daniel (on right) and one of his musicians played acoustic guitar for the ceremony. They were quite nice to work with and were very familiar playing for wedding ceremonies.
There was one glitch in the plans that delayed the start time. The boutonnieres and mother of the groom's bouquet had been forgotten back in the hotel room. A quick call to Daniel, one of the photographers, who was on his way from the hotel, succeeded in his retrieving them and bringing them with him to the arboretum. The hold up was that he could not find a place to park and had to circle around and around. Just as we decided to start without flowers, he arrived and we quickly pinned them on the guys and got started!  Many thanks to Michael and Daniel of Sanford Creative for their photography and flower delivery! The lovely lilies were provided by The Dutch Iris Florist. In the photo above is Kathy, friend of the family, who served as our wedding director. She got everyone lined up in order behind the bushes and made sure the bridal party entered in regular intervals and cued the music changes.
The wedding party is in place and we are waiting for Katie's entrance.
And here she and her father, Willie, come. She was excited and I think Willie was a bit nervous!
Down the aisle to Charlie, waiting for Katie. 
They had about 150 guests. It was a large crowd. They had brought small bottles of water and some ice but ran out.
Tana, Katie's sister and maid of honor, got the sniffles too, so I passed her a hankie as well as one to Katie. (Tana also made the wedding cake for Katie and Charlie. What a wonderful sister!) Charlie and Katie's story is so sweet and I got to share it with their guests. They both graduated in the same class at UNC but never met until they both got jobs with the same bank, different branches, and then their paths crossed. Charlie was attracted to Katie's laughter and she was attracted by "his baby face and knew that he would be as sweet as sugar!" The attraction was undeniable from the beginning and soon they were a couple.
Charlie is putting the ring on Katie's finger and repeating his vows after me, line by line.
It is Katie's turn to put the ring on Charlie as Jefferson, the best man, looks on with a happy grin.
Blurry photo but it shows the moment of the pronouncement that Charlie and Katie became husband and wife. Marty did not get a shot of the kiss because the photographer was right in front of them getting a great shot for them.
Marty told me that as they exited the ceremony she heard Katie say "We're married" over and over!
And, out they go with the photographer and a wave to Kathy whose job is done!
Katie and Charlie, what an amazing couple you are. I was quite comfortable and had fun working with you and especially preside over your wedding ceremony. I wish you loads of happiness and a satisfying joyful marriage. Take care of Petey, Peyton and Eli! (Their chihuahuas who really would have loved to be with us on this wedding day!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cynthia and Michael's Wedding at All Saints Chapel in Raleigh!

Cynthia called me in January of this year about officiating hers and Michael's wedding on August 28, 2010 at All Saints Chapel. Cynthia and Michael live in Minnesota but were getting married in Raleigh because her parents live in NC and his parents are in the process of relocating to NC so it seemed to be the best location for their wedding. They loved All Saints Chapel for its church-like setting and old world charm. They had about 50 guests who came from all over the place to honor them.
Perry Smith, Michael's friend from Wilmington NC, provided beautiful music and vocals for the wedding.
Cynthia and Michael brought their family crests with them to display on the altar. We also included both a unity candle and a family unity sand ceremony.
Michael escorted his mother, Janine, down the aisle with his father, James, following close behind. To the right are Cynthia's parents, Michael and Phyllis, who will enter next. Father of the bride will circle back and bring in the bride. To the left is Sharon, sister-in-law of Cynthia, and Marci (behind James), wife of our best man, who directed the wedding processional.
 After the bridesmaids and flower girl entered, Cynthia is escorted in by her father, who is Lebanese. In fact, Cynthia was born in Lebanon and told me that most of her family still lives there and regrettably could not be at the wedding.
Cynthia had a lovely wedding gown and train and a cathedral length veil. The guests are standing in her honor.
With everyone in place, we began the ceremony. Cynthia and Michael brought their friend, Kamil Dadashev, photographer, from Minnesota to document their special day.
Cynthia's bridesmaids are her two teenage daughters, Christina and Victoria, and her Goddaughter, Jenny. Laurie,her best friend and Jenny's mother, is her matron of honor and is from Georgia. The groomsmen are Michael's brother, Dave, his brother-in-law, Tom, and Cynthia's brother, J.P. His best man is his good friend Paul from Wilmington. The ring bearer is Cynthia's nephew, Michael (a lot of Michaels in this wedding!), and the sweet flower girl is Cindy's niece, Madison.
Following the Unity Candle ceremony, Christina and Victoria joined Cynthia and Michael for the pouring of sand for the family unity sand ceremony.
The pronouncement then the kiss! 
Then I invited all the guests to stand and make a large circle in the chapel and sing the Peace Song. Cynthia and Michael attend a Unity Church and I suggested that they include this in their wedding and they loved the idea. When my husband, Dave, and I married in 1999, we had all our guests do the same so it was a sweet moment for me to do this all again at a wedding! I believe that one large factor in Cynthia and Michael choosing me to officiate for them was that I also am a member of a Unity Church--Unity Church of the Triangle, located in historic Long View Center, just two blocks away from All Saints Chapel.
After the song everyone gathered at the back of the chapel so Kamil could get a group shot of all the guests and the wedding party, bride and groom.
Then it was time to get some posed wedding photos of the family and wedding party together.
Look at those huge beautiful starfire lilies of Cynthia's bouquet! Cynthia and Michael, I wish you a lifetime of great happiness!

Friday, August 27, 2010

New Photos for Pam And Barrow's Wedding at The Second Empire!

Barrow and Pam were married on July 31, 2010 at The Second Empire. I posted this wedding earlier but have received some photos by their photographer, Jamie Starling, which I thought I would post a few here. The color and clarity is amazing. Thanks, Jamie. Pam and Barrow originally planned their wedding to be in my wedding garden but the rain that day played havoc with all my weddings and they wisely decided to move it indoors and Marty and I were indeed grateful for their decision, having been rained on at Duke Gardens earlier! This photo was actually taken before the ceremony as Pam and Barrow were not doing the traditional "can't see each other before the wedding" custom. They were very relaxed and excited to be surrounded by their family and closest friends.
Can't you just feel how happy they are to be getting married?
Pam is saying her ring vows to Barrow who is listening intently. He expounded on his vows to her and surprised us all.
"Can you believe it? We are MARRIED!" Not their actual words but this shot was just after the kiss and I think that is exactly what they were thinking. Thanks again for the photos, Jamie!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Beautiful Southern Wedding for Meghan and Mark at The Sutherland!

Meghan and Mark came to see me in March to plan their wedding at The Sutherland in Wake Forest on August 21, 2010. The Sutherland is a wonderful restored historic plantation and manor house and the perfect setting for their wedding. Ashlee Adams, one of the owners, is great to work with and takes care of every detail with her years of expertise. Mark told me while we were waiting for the ceremony to begin that Meghan had put him in charge of one thing for the wedding since he had worked in the food service industry--the food! He chose Shuckers for their rehearsal dinner which was a grand success and Thrills from the Grill to cater their reception. They met the owner and chef, Belo Shelton, at the Southern Bridal Show and knew that his Southern cooking would be perfect for their wedding. Mark said he was delighted to see them on the top of The Sutherland's preferred vendor list.
They chose Cinda's Creative Cakes to make their lovely wedding cake. There were about 120 guests.
Arioso Strings provided the great music for the ceremony. I have worked with these guys so many times and they always perform superbly. Ed Stephenson on guitar even brought along his fan for the hot weather! Ed plays at local restaurants like Buku in downtown Raleigh. Craig, on violin, has played at many weddings I've officiated this summer as part of a duo or trio. Always a pro--rain or shine!
When it was time to begin, the grandmothers and mothers were escorted in. Then the guys and I entered and took our places up front.
After the bridesmaids entered, it was time for Brayden, our ring bearer to enter. He was shadowed by his father so that he would stay on track. He made it down the aisle and up onto the platform where he proceeded to sit down and rip off all the ribbons on the pillow with great determination! I think that he had been told that he was to give some rings to someone and was doing his best to get to them!
If you click on the above photo for a larger image, you will notice that some of the guests are looking back to see the flower girl coming in. The rest of us up front were watching Brayden do his thing to the ring pillow and having a good chuckle. I did step over and pick up the ribbons and stuff them in my pocket. After the wedding someone asked me if I had them and I was happy to be reminded they were in my pocket and give them back. She said she was going to sew them back on the pillow!
Here comes our pretty flower girl, Halle. She knew exactly what to do and did her job beautifully. Stacy Borelli of Swank Photo Studio was their photographer. It is always fun to do weddings with Stacy. She is so flexible and laid back and takes the most amazing photos. Thanks, Stacy. Stacy is probably crouching there with a telephoto lens capturing the actions of Brayden!
Meghan is a beautiful young woman and her dress was perfect for her. Her father, George, proudly escorts her in. Meghan's mother died when she was 10 years old.  Meghan's brother, Tim, placed a rose in the chair  that would have been hers in her memory and she was remembered during the ceremony as well. There were some emotional moments and I believe George was feeling some as he brought Meghan down the aisle.
I guided Meghan and Mark in creating a very meaningful and unforgettable wedding ceremony. They met 12 years ago while in high school. They were attracted to each other then but the timing was not right. Mark told me that he knew, even back then, that someday she would be his girlfriend. It was many years later after high school and college that they encountered each other on Christmas Eve in 2006 and made a date for the next day, Christmas Day. They soon became an inseparable couple and Mark knew in his heart that Meghan would one day be his wife although she laughed when he first told her! What a wonderful love story they have and their guests and family loved hearing it on their wedding day.
Exchange of vows and rings, sand ceremony, the pronouncement, the kiss and closing blessing and they are married! Just like that!
Finally, says Mark! It is time to have some fun and enjoy being married at last. Meghan and Mark, you are a fine couple and I know you are so happy to be together forever! My blessings and congratulations!