Sealed with a kiss!

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

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Melissa and Daniel's Wonderful Wedding at the Matthews House!

Melissa and Daniel have been together since they were in high school. They met when Melissa and her family moved into Dan's neighborhood in Angier in the summer of 2000. They definitely noticed each other and eventually became high school sweethearts and have been together ever since. They both feel really fortunate that they grew up into adulthood together and know each other extremely well. "They love life and love each other and there is nothing more complete which is what's really important in life and why they are making this commitment to each other today."
Melissa and Daniel booked me as the officiant for their wedding last November. Their wedding date was October 15, 2011 and took place at the beautiful Matthews House in Cary. It was planned down to the finest detail as that is the kind of conscientious couple these two are.
The beautiful floral arrangements and the stunning bridal bouquet of purple lilies were provided by Greg Kennedy of Brides and Bouquets with whom I have done weddings for 12 years now. His talent is amazing!
This beautiful cake was provided by Sweet Memories. Our wonderful photographer for the occasion was the amazing Michelle Gunton. Love working with Michelle. She has a way of gathering people and making everyone have fun having their picture taken. Just a delight! John Hayes who owns Southern Video Design was on hand to record the wedding for posterity. It was good to see John again and we too have done many a wedding together!
Of course I was looking forward to working again with one of my favorite DJs, Lenny Fritts with A Touch of Class DJ. Lenny always takes such good care of me and is really on the ball making sure the wedding is running smoothly! We have another wedding next weekend together at the Raleigh Country Club which he kindly referred the bride and groom to me. Thanks, as always, Lenny!
The groomsmen as ushers are ready to begin seating the guests as Kimberly hands out beautiful programs that Melissa and Daniel designed and created together.
Once all the guests were seated, we began the processional. Jacob escorts in Melissa's Grandmother, Uma. Behind them are Daniel's mother, Joyce, who is escorted in by her older son, Tim, also Dan's best man
All the pretty bridesmaids then are lined up and ready to be cued in. 
The first to go is Alyssa, our Junior Bridesmaid, whose job was to pull the wagon in which our "Wagon Attendants" Luke and Nicholas are seated.
They were so cute and stayed in the wagon all the way up the aisle! 
The groom, best man and groomsmen had already entered so it was time for the seven bridesmaids to enter and take their places up front. Melissa is watching them all go in as she waited for her turn to enter.
Gary was all smiles as he brought Melissa in. That is Kelly Miller, our wedding director, dashing to straighten Melissa's train. Kelly directs weddings for the Matthews House if requested. She is always a joy to work with and had this one superbly organized and we started right on time.  Thanks, Kelly!
Poor Melissa! The sun was right in her face, her sister Katie's too. It was too high for our very tall groom to block but eventually the sun lowered down behind the roof of the house and we were in shade.
 At this point the sun has almost dropped down and Melissa can see Daniel's grinning face!
I related their wonderful love story and secret paragraphs as to why they have chosen each other as life-mates then it was time for their vows and the ring exchange.
They intermingled their purple and white sand together in the sand ceremony while Lenny played some pretty music softly.
You could tell they have been practicing that kiss!! 
Melissa and Daniel, you have an amazing story and I can tell how much you love each other. You have a very solid foundation for a great marriage and I wish you all the best life can bring your way!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall Garden Wedding for Pam and Mike!

Pam and Mike live in Whiteville but were looking for a place to have a small family wedding in the Raleigh area. She sent me an email inquiring of my availability and suggestions of places for weddings. I told her about my wedding garden and it fit her plans perfectly so we found a good date and time for us all and got to work on the ceremony.The wedding was Saturday October 15, 2011 at 2:00 PM.
Like any good love story, Pam and Mike were not looking for a relationship when they stumbled across each other on a website called My Yearbook where Mike's photo kept popping up on Pam's side bar with his mouth wide open like he had been splattered like a fly on a windshield. Drawn to his apparent spontaneity, humor and love of life, she finally clicked on his funny face out of curiosity. Their lively bantering back and forth in cyberspace eventually led to a phone conversation then meeting in person even though they lived hundreds of miles apart. It was then that they discovered that they had lived in the same town 20 years ago and had probably passed each other on the streets and hung out at the same places. They even knew the same people! It sure seems like they were destined to meet and be together.They told me that from their first conversation, they have felt like best friends, almost like a set of twins. They even joke that they are each other except in gender. Everything seems so natural and so simple, just like love is supposed to be.
Both Pam and Mike have been married before so they wanted their children to be present and participate in a family unity sand ceremony.
Pam's grown sons, Joseph and Andrew, were there and her sweet granddaughter, Jocelyn, above. Mike's daughters, Gia, Eva, and Mary, were there too. We were quite happy that Pam's father, Harold, could be with us too. 
All the family members got to pour some sand into the beautiful container that Pam found in Michael's in the wedding department. This popular sand ceremony design has been improved upon with a larger container and a larger opening for easier pouring.
Pam and Mike, you are so refreshing! I love your love story and the way it all worked out for you to discover each other and spend the rest of your lives together loving each other and having fun. You are two bright spirits and I was honored to marry you to each other!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What A Fun Wedding for Jackie and Steve at the Preston Woodall House!

Jackie and Steve met at Jackie's son's little league baseball practice one day in March of 2009. Steve was the assistant coach filling in for the coach who could not be there. They did not officially meet for quite a while but kept eying each other from a distance at every practice and every game. In fact, to say that these two fell in love from a distance is probably the best way to put it. Jackie made the first move after baseball season by sending Steve an email asking him out. Steve was thrilled and immediately called the number she gave in the email, but there was one little problem. Jackie had given him the wrong phone number! So he resorted to email and after this initial miscommunication they did begin to date and found that they were very compatible. After a few months they broke the news they were dating to Jackie's son only to find out they were already wise to them and of course they approved! In the end, this is the truest of love stories. Jackie's love for her sons and Steve's love for the game of baseball brought them together and forged the lifetime love between them!

So, when the time came to tie the knot, they chose Sunday October 9, 2011 at the beautiful historic Preston Woodall House in Benson for their wedding ceremony and reception. They met with me in February and loved the idea of writing their own wedding ceremony. In fact, they actually wrote their own love story for the ceremony instead of leaving it up to me and did an exceptional job! Well, it is a great love story about a great couple, you know!
The Cora Lily Ballroom was all set up for the reception in bright white and red. Fresh Affairs did the beautiful flowers. Sweet Memories did the wonderful cake. Are we surprised that the bride and groom are playing baseball on top of the cake?? The photo above is a table full of props for the photobooth! What fun! And a video showing a slide show of the couple and some sweet moments.
Our DJ was Greg Ramsey with Joe Bunn DJ Company. Always love to work with Greg. The sound was perfect, of course!  Behind the scenes were our great photographers, Shawn and Suzanne with BrealPhoto. I have never worked with them before and had just met them at the launch party for Wish Upon A Wedding this month. It was good to see them in action so soon!
Diane is the wedding/events coordinator for the Preston Woodall House. I love working with her and really appreciates all the couples she sends my way. Thanks, Diane! Weddings at this site are always a treat! 
When it was time to begin, the Mother of the Groom in blue, Susan, was escorted in by her sons, Steve's twin brothers, Jason and David, followed by their father, Perry.  Diane, Mother of the Bride, is escorted in by her sons, Mike and Chris.
Steve is so ready to get married. Can't you tell? Look at that grin!
We are awaiting the entrance of our beautiful bride! 
Jackie is escorted in by her sons, Alexander and Ethan. As they approach, Steve steps down to the bottom of the stairs for them to hand her off to him. I asked: "Alexander and Ethan, as Jackie's sons, will you and her mother, Diane, now give Jackie into the care and keeping of Steve so that they may be joined in marriage?" Of course all three answered "We do!" Then Steve assisted Jackie in ascending the steps, symbolic of taking their relationship to a higher level together.

I stepped aside to speak to the parents who are standing in the first row and ask for their blessings for this marriage. Then we recognized Alexander and Ethan and how important they are in this marriage as well. They were tickled!
The next part of the ceremony was a unique poem by Swen Nater titled "Friendship" that Steve found and was so appropriate for them. We then commenced to the wedding address in which their story is incorporated with just the right amount of humor that everyone loved.
Then they exchanged vows and rings followed by the closing blessing. I looked up at Steve, and although I had already wiped the perspiration off his face a couple of times earlier in the ceremony, he was dripping again.
 So, I had to clean him up for the pronouncement and the big kiss!
A GOOD one! Home run! 
While I was busy seeing that the bride retrieved her bouquet from Kimberly, our maid of honor, one of Steve's brothers must have pulled out a towel and passed it up to Steve. I did not know about the towel until I saw this photo! The best man, Jonas, and everyone else had a good laugh! 
Steve, where are you going in such a hurry?? First base?
Steve and Jackie, congratulations! You are a great couple! Your sense of humor and adventurous spirits are fantastic and I am so happy that you connected with each other and are now one big happy family together. I know you are so thrilled to be married at last!