Sealed with a kiss!

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

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fabulous Wedding of Wendy and Robert at Caffe Luna!

Wendy and Robert were such a great couple to collaborate with on their wedding ceremony! They loved answering all my questions so I could write their "story" in a sweet and humorous way. They sure enjoyed their wedding ceremony along with all their guests!  Wendy and Robert are not a flippant or frivolous couple by any means and had both waited patiently until they found each other, seemingly content to be on their own until they did. They were mere acquaintances for many years as the friendship slowly developed and deepened until one day it dawned on them that they were meant for each other! We first met to start planning their wedding ceremony when they came to see me in December. I was so impressed that they both knew what they wanted and were careful and organized planners. The big day arrived on May 21, 2011 at 11:00 AM at Caffe Luna downtown Raleigh, the same weekend as Artsplosure, so you can imagine the traffic and parking challenges. Parker Kennedy, owner of the restaurant (and my neighbor), diligently patrolled the private parking lot across the street for those of us in the wedding party, especially Wendy's mother who is in a wheelchair. But, we did it all just fine and on time to boot!
This is Peter Krumenacker of Island Sound DJ who provided our music for the ceremony and the reception and plugged my mic into his system. The sound was perfect! Gregg Kennedy of Brides and Bouquets did all the flowers. He is so good!
 Wendy was escorted down the aisle by her brother-in-law, Mike.
Our wonderful photographer was Michelle Gunton and as you can see, she sent me some great shots to put on the blog. Thanks, Michelle! Love working with you.
These are shots taken while I was telling the guests the story of how Wendy and Robert met. As you can see, we all enjoyed hearing all about it.
Wendy's sister, Diane, was her matron of honor, and Robert's niece, Abby was the junior bridesmaid.
I thought this photo was interesting. I am behind Wendy speaking to her parents on the front row. You cannot see me but my reflection is in the mirror on the left. I had no idea until I saw this photo.
The logo of  Caffe Luna is quite visible behind the sheer curtain hanging behind us for the ceremony.
You may have noticed that both Wendy and Robert are tall people and I felt rather like a midget during the ceremony. I forgot to step aside during the kiss and got my face framed perfectly in between the kiss!
 It's over and they are officially husband and wife!
Marty and I packed up my microphone and left after this photo but Michelle took Wendy and Robert over to Artsplosure and got this great picture below and I wanted to share it with you:
Robert and Wendy, maybe you are back from your honeymoon by now? I know you are such world travelers so you may not be. Do have fun and keep in touch. What a wonderful wedding you had thanks to your diligent planning and knowing yourselves so well. Congratulations!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beach Wedding for Eric And Amy at Falls Lake!

Last December, Amy and Eric came to see me about officiating their wedding on May 15, 2011 at Falls Lake. Turns out that I know Eric's father. In fact, he was the listing agent for our home we purchased in 1997. So, that made Eric and Amy's wedding even more special to me. They are a fun loving and spunky couple. They love going on crazy adventures and are so well matched. And, they are madly in love which is obvious to all who are around them. So, for their wedding they wanted casual, fun, no bells and whistles, and to be surrounded by their close friends and families. Rollingview Recreation Center on Falls Lake in Durham was just perfect for their beach wedding! Although rain had drenched North Carolina the day before, this Sunday afternoon was bright and sunny. A perfect day for a beach wedding!
When Marty and I arrived for the wedding, there were many guests there socializing. I spoke with Eric's dad, Pratt, and met his wife, Jan, and collected the marriage license from Amy and Eric. They had put a bunch of their photos from childhood to the present on the mantle over the fireplace in the lodge where the reception would be held.
Their friend, Ryan, a favorite chef of theirs, was busy in the kitchen getting dinner ready. The tables had been prepared out on the deck for a non-alcoholic cocktail hour following the ceremony. No alcoholic beverages are allowed at the Falls Lake State Park. Their photographer was a friend and they did their own flowers. This was truly a DIY wedding and it came off just as great as they planned.
The view of the lodge from the parking lot. I was here once before many years ago when some friends of mine got married. It was before I was a minister, so I was a guest!
This is the view of the lodge from the beach area. It is a great setting for a wedding and reception.
The BEACH! Really, did you know you can have a beach wedding in the Triangle? To the right you can see my sound system which is run on battery power. Eric hooked his MP3 with the wedding music in it into my system and his friend Bryan manned the MP3 for the processional and recessional music. It worked amazingly well!
Eric and I processed in. As an afterthought, I wish I had gone barefooted. It would have been easier to walk in the sand, and why not?
Amy was escorted in by her parents, Marv and Diane. They were so happy to bring their beaming daughter down the aisle!
At this point in the ceremony I am giving the parents' blessing as they all stand. Eric's parents are divorced and both remarried. His mother is Judy and her husband is Roy. Judy told me after the wedding that she just loved the ceremony the couple and I had created together.
Amy and Eric's story was really fun. Eric told me that when he met Amy his life changed because he never thought he would ever marry and have kids and was shocked to find himself wanting just that kind of life with Amy. The story also included their many travels and Eric's proposal which blew Amy away.  Then they exchanged vows and rings.
Everyone is cheering as Eric and Amy, now married, made their exit to begin their new married life. They were so happy and you could see them kissing each other frequently!
Eric and Amy, you are such a great couple and very well suited to each other! I love how you are so in love and may that exuberance and sense of adventure you both have be fulfilled your whole life!  I expect you to call me when you have babies, you hear!!

Kerry and Joe's Wonderful Rainy Wedding Day!

Over a year ago in March of 2010, I met with Kerry and Joe to plan their wedding ceremony for May 14, 2011 at 5:00 at The Sutherland in Wake Forest. One of the great advantages to having your wedding at The Sutherland is that you can choose which of several areas to have the ceremony and the reception and in the event of adverse weather, tents are available for any of the locations. We usually have the ceremony in the Walled Garden and the cocktail hour on the Groom's Terrace with the reception in an adjacent large tent. At the rehearsal the day before, the tent erectors were busy putting together the tent above in the walled garden. When Marty and I arrived on the wedding day it was all set up and the tables looked so pretty. It was not raining at that point.
The beautiful wedding cake was by Swank Cake Design. It was kept safely in the house until time for the reception so the humidity did not ruin it.You can't see it in this photo but hanging above the cake was a large stag deer head that appeared to be keeping watch over it!
Our fine musicians have become buddies of mine: Craig Hanemann (violin) and Ed Stephenson (guitar) with Arioso Strings. I think we have done 5 weddings together so far just this year! They are great and play so well together.
Right before the ceremony was to begin the rain began in earnest. Thankfully there was not much of a gap between the tent and the house and only a few drips, hence the black rubber mats on the steps to prevent slipping. My good buddy, Lenny Fritts, was their DJ (Touch of Class DJ) and on hand early to set up his main unit on the back porch adjacent to the reception tent and a mobile unit in the ceremony location to plug my microphone into. Lenny is always a great help to me and all the vendors at weddings. He has done so many weddings he can see any mishaps coming and avert them. He helped Ashlee Adams (one of the owners of The Sutherland) round up and lay out rubber mats to make the transition from the house to the tent dry for the wedding party processional. And, he helped Ashlee get everyone lined up for the processional. At one point during the prelude music, a fuse got tripped and he knew right where the breaker box was and quickly turned the power back on..
Time for Joe and I to start walking down the L-shaped aisle.Kerry and Joe switched things up a bit and planned their ceremony on the Groom's Terrace and the reception in the Walled Garden which turned out to be a great decision as we did have very adverse weather that late afternoon.
Our two bridesmaids, sisters of the bride, processed in with the groomsmen. 
Then it was Lizzie's turn. She did so well! Don't you love the bright yellow dresses? We had sunshine despite the rain!
 Notice the background does not even look like it is raining.
Note the background of this photo and how dark it had gotten. In fact, the rain became so heavy and thunderous during the ceremony that I could not hear myself speaking and I knew the guests could not hear me despite the microphone/speakers being turned up to maximum volume. So, I decided to pause and wait it out. Joe and Kerry's love story was just too good for the guests not to hear. I have never paused a ceremony that long--I did not time it but it must have been at least 5 minutes. The other few occasions I have paused  during a ceremony were once or twice for a train passing close by and another time for a helicopter flying low overhead. Those things pass quickly but the rain on this afternoon was pummeling. When the rain abated a bit, the guests really enjoyed hearing how Kerry fell for Joe's car before she fell in love with Joe!
 They exchanged their vows then their rings.
We all remained dry and toasty although the sand in the sand ceremony did get a bit damp to the extent that Joe and Kerry had to thump the bottom of the containers like a ketchup bottle to get the sand to pour out! That was funny!
Finally time for the pronouncement and kiss!
And the ceremony is over as Kerry and Joe walk into their new life as a married couple. Our photographer for the wedding was Megan Kime of Megan Kime Photography. Always love working with Megan. I will be looking for some of her photos of this wedding on her blog. Catering by Design was the caterer and the food sure smelled appetizing as Marty and I left to go home after the picture taking.
Kerry and Joe, you planned a fine wedding and despite the rain it was beautiful and truly a day you will never forget! I wish you all the love and happiness in the world!