Sealed with a kiss!

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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bill Surprises Diana with a Wedding At Regency Park!

Bill sent me an email on 12/21 wanting to know if I could officiate his wedding to Diana on 12/30/11. I wrote back and said that I was available but then did not hear from him for a day or two. Because he has a Yahoo email address and my responses run into problems getting through Yahoo's spam filter, I gave him a call. Turned out he was planning to surprise his bride by staging a wedding at the place where, as he put it, their hearts first joined. I knew then and there that Bill was a pretty romantic guy! The place was the Koka Booth Amphitheatre at Regency Park in Cary. Since I love being a part of creative weddings I was happy to participate in pulling off this surprise wedding. He told me that they were going to get their license a few says before and for all she knew the plan was to go to the courthouse that Friday morning to get married there. He asked me for suggestions about flowers and I told him he would need a boutonniere and to get Diana a wrist corsage since she can't hold a bouquet and hold hands at the same time. I also suggested a ring of rose petals to form a "unity circle" they could stand in and he loved that idea. So, I wrote a lovely ceremony for them and emailed it to Bill for his review and edits. He sent payment to me and for the two witnesses I was providing via PayPal and made all the arrangements with North Raleigh Florists close to me for me to pick up the flowers and bring with me. The plan was for me and the two witnesses, my husband Dave and my "roadie" Marty, to be there by 9:45 AM out of sight behind the bandshell. It was a chilly morning but as long as we stood in a patch of sunshine, we were fine.
Just on cue, about 10:00 Bill and Diana showed up and as they were standing in the bandshell looking out at the amphitheater, I walked out and introduced myself and asked Diana if she would like to get married here.
 She was absolutely flabbergasted and moved to tears. 
So I pinned on Bill's boutonniere, got the wrist corsage on Diana and made a circle of rose petals for them to stand in. Bill gave Dave his camera to take photos with while Marty used mine for the blog. Diana took off her coat and unveiled a beautiful dress for the wedding. She said she did not feel cold at all!

Bill and Diana, as a symbol of your unity and intent to be eternal partners, you stand in a sacred circle of rose petals. The circle is the oldest sacred symbol, one with no beginning, and no end.  There is a quotation that goes like this: “Our family is a circle of love and strength. With every birth and every union, the circle grows. Every joy shared adds more love. Every obstacle faced together makes the circle stronger.

For thousands of years men and women have exchanged rings as tokens of their wedding vows. These rings are your gifts to each other to remind you always, and those that gaze upon their beauty, that you have pledged your love and commitment in marriage to each other. And when you have been together for a long, long time, you will look at these rings, and you will feel the indentation they have made on your fingers, and you will know that these rings contain all the memories of what your lives and your relationship have been. May they always serve to remind you of how great your love is for one another.
Bill and Diana, by the power vested in me, in the presence of these witnesses, I now pronounce that you are husband and wife.
 Diana, you may kiss your husband! Bill, you may kiss your wife!
Bill and Diana, I wish you many years of wedded bliss! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Garden on Millbrook is Open for Weddings Again!

Sisters' Garden and Catering, located at 2400 E. Millbrook Road in Raleigh, has recently changed ownership and is now called The Garden on Millbrook. The staff has been retained so you can expect the same excellent quality of service and amenities they have been known for for many years.
I am especially glad that Marc Dabagian has remained at The Garden. He is so great to work with and a master at coordinating weddings there. Yay, Marc! I am happy to help them put out the word that they are open for business and their 2012 calendar is wide open for weddings and other events.

This venue has been one of my favorite wedding spots throughout the years and I love officiating weddings there. There are many weddings on this blog at this site. The Garden on Millbrook has a lovely courtyard type garden setting where you can have an outdoor ceremony surrounded by lush foliage with or without a tent. If the weather becomes adverse, Plan B is right there as the spacious ballroom will accommodate a large number of guests for the ceremony and the reception. They can provide the catering or you can choose from their list of approved caterers. They also continue to do off-premises catering as well.

Contact : Adelaide: 919.872.2100
                Marc: 919.656.8010 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve Wedding for Jennifer and Mark!

While on a business trip in California, Jennifer's mother, Judy, contacted me on December 13 about officiating for her daughter Jennifer who was marrying her sweetheart Mark on December 23, 2011 at her home in North Raleigh. She was referred to me by Greg Lewis of Catering by Design. Thanks, Greg! (I so appreciate the vendors who send couples to me. Met with a couple this week who were referred by a musician I work with.)

So, Judy and I worked out the logistics of booking the wedding and then I contacted Jennifer and Mark for details about their wedding ceremony. They wanted to remember those not able to be with us, thank Judy for her love and support, and include their baby daughter, Leila, in the ceremony. I sent them a proposed ceremony and they took it from there, making it just what they wanted and that is what is so important!
The big day arrived and Marty and I finally found our way to Judy's house. The roads in that area of Falls of Neuse up near the dam have totally been rerouted and my GPS got all confused! The day was so beautiful, a sunny bright day in the high 60s, so nice we could have done the wedding outside but all the preparations had been done inside Judy's beautiful home.
The sand ceremony was set up and ready. 
Leila is not walking solo yet but she loves to push her little cart which Jen had filled with beautiful flowers so that she could be our flower girl! She was so adorable pushing the cart into the living room!
Of course, watching strangers take pictures is a lot more interesting than watching Mommy and Daddy get married!
Jennifer was so beautiful in her gorgeous wedding gown and Mark was all dressed up and handsome too. They were planning a big party that evening to celebrate and Greg was catering.
Judy is holding not only the bride's bouquet but also the flower girl and really was fulfilling the role of Matron of Honor!
They poured their own sand, brown and white, and added Leila's which was a pretty shiny gold sand.
 The finished container leaves plenty of room to add more sand for future children they hope to have.
I wondered why  Jen avoided looking at Mark during the ceremony. Then I found out after the ceremony she was afraid that if she did, she would cry. Here's a photo where she peeked!
I made them kiss 3 times so we could get a photo and although blurry, this is the best of the three!
Hah! Married at last! Breathing a sigh of relief and happiness! 
It's celebration time!! Congratulations, Jen and Mark! It was my honor to marry you to each other and be a part of your special day. Call me when you have another baby and we can add another layer to that vase of sand! Merry Christmas to you all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wonderful Winter Wedding for Kristin and Tim at The Cotton Company!

Kristin and Tim are a great couple. When we met on November 20th, they shared the funny story of how they met each other with me. I am so happy they found each other because they seem so compatible! They were a lot of fun to work with in creating their special ceremony for December 17, 2011 and worked so hard to transform the upstairs gallery of The Cotton Company in Wake Forest into a winter wonderland. Kristin's mother, Renee, was so very kind to donate all the decorations to the bride whose wedding was there the next day! 
Marty and I arrived an hour before the ceremony and everything was in place. The caterer, Jessie Scott with Tastefully Yours, was getting all the beverages set up.
This beautiful cake was made by Dawn Macon. 
The DJ, Frankie Hagen with Island Sound, was setting up too. He was great to work with and had been told that I brought my own microphone and receiver so he was ready. Frankie also identified for me the most beautiful rendition of the Bridal March Kristin had chosen for her entrance that I had heard at previous weddings and loved. It is by Jonathan Cain of Journeys. It is on You Tube at this link.  
This is the latest trend in bouquets--brooch bouquets--made with vintage brooches. How gorgeous they were and Kristin made them herself! I had read about them just the other day but this was the first time I have actually seen them.
Across the dance floor Kristin and her father, Gregory, float down the aisle to that magical Bridal March. Our photographer for this occasion was Bernhard Goetsch with BG Photography in High Point. This was the first wedding he and I have done together but I met him a couple of years ago at a wedding event in Mebane. He also does a lot of weddings with our mutual friend, Rev. Jane Burnette in the Triad, and had furnished our website with some great photos he had taken of Jane. It was good to see him again and work with him!
Kristin's friends Samantha and Shannon were her two attendants. Tim's best man was his father, Tim Sr., and his groomsman was his younger brother, Josh.  They were not at our rehearsal but did just fine.
After the vows, Kristin and Tim exchanged rings. Then we had the Unity Cross ceremony.
The Unity Cross symbolizes the joining of the bride and groom in marriage. First Tim took the frame of the cross which represented strength and his role as the supporter and protector of his family and set it up in the base.
Then Kristin placed the more intricate sculpture inside the frame representing her many capabilities and how she fit perfectly together within the frame of the marriage.
The Unity Cross comes with three pegs which hold it in place. These three pegs represent God: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. I placed those three pegs in place and finished the ceremony with words from Matthew 19: "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two shall become one. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
Then we closed with a prayer based on First Corinthians, the pronouncement of marriage, the kiss and the presentation of the newly wed couple!
 They look so happy and thrilled to finally be married. It is time to party!!
Kristin and Tim, what a wonderful couple you are and what a wonderful wedding you planned. It was my pleasure and my honor to know you and officiate for you! I wish you all the best!