Sealed with a kiss!

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

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beautiful Fall Wedding for Mary and Matt at the Preston Woodall House!

Mary and Matt are both serving our country in the military, Mary in the Air Force and Matt in the Navy. They were both stationed in Hawaii when they met in 2009 and discovered they both love  finding new and exciting things to do together such as walking on lava fields and diving with manta rays! They have had some wonderful adventures together and it was time to get married. They set the wedding date for November  19, 2011 at the wonderful Preston-Woodall House in Benson. Mary's mother contacted me last May about officiating and put me in touch with Mary and Matt who were then living in California. We started working on the ceremony by email and met for the first time at their rehearsal Friday evening.
This is the Preston Woodall House from the side. The front is to the right. I have been doing weddings here for over 10 years now and always enjoy being here. It is such an elegant venue and Diane Seymour, the events manager, is a delight to work with. 
The front parlor was sumptuously spread with really wonderful appetizers for the guests.
For favors for the guests to take home with them, Mary chose caramel apple kits.
The Cora Lily Ballroom was all set up for the ceremony. After the ceremony the room was "turned" by the staff and ready for the reception.
Douglas Potts at the Harris-Teeter in Cary was the florist. He did a fine job!
This beautiful wedding cake was created by Lisa of Tier Bella. Gorgeous!
Jeff Martin with Strawboss Productions was our DJ. 
A gift from the bride's parents was a framed display of their two family coat of arms. Matt's family is of Welsh heritage while Mary's hails from England.
Their photographer was Rob Seelye with Studio R1. I have done many weddings with Rob but we had not crossed paths in about a year. It was great to see him again. He did an engagement session with Mary and Matt a few days before the wedding because they had not been able to come to NC earlier and put them together for their wedding poster to be signed by the guests. Their first date was on Memorial Day. The photos were taken at Jordan Lake and replicate some of their great ventures in Hawaii.
Last in was the bride with her father. She looked so pretty and the flowers were stunning.
Diane looks happy that all went smoothly with the ceremony and now it is time to set up for the reception while the guests enjoyed a cocktail hour in the mezzanine.
Well done, Mary and Matt! Now you can get on with your great adventures. May all your dreams come true!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Warm Wedding on a Chilly Day at Snipes Farm for Lisa and Tyler!

Lisa and Tyler went to the same high school in Cary but never met until they were home from college, he at Georgia Tech and she at UNC Charlotte, at a mutual friend's birthday party the summer of 2006.  They noticed each other right away and spent a large chunk of the party getting to know each other. School beckoned them back and they did not see each other until the following summer back in Cary where they kept bumping into each other at friends' get togethers. One thing led to another and they began dating. Although they had to separate once again, they decided to keep seeing each other. Many phone calls, plane rides, and long distance drives between Cary and Atlanta ensued with Tyler landing a great job all the way in Boston while Lisa stayed in NC finishing up a graduate degree and planning their wedding for the magical date of 11/11/11 at Snipes Farm Retreat. With marriage, they look forward to living together in the same household and in the same city for the first time!

Lisa and Tyler came to see me in May to officiate their wedding. They are a delightful couple and seem to balance each other well. Lisa is quite outgoing whereas Tyler is a "man of few words" I was to discover as we were creating the ceremony! Well, he is a geek so what do you expect?? They chose the bulk of the ceremony and answered some questions for me and I put together their wonderful story and managed to squeeze out a few facts from Tyler! I could tell he chooses his words carefully and so Lisa filled me in on the details.
The wedding day turned out to be quite chilly but the sky was a clear bright blue and with the contrast of the beautiful fall colors of the leaves and grass, the day was gorgeous! We had the ceremony at the "wedding tree" on the farm overlooking the meadows and trees.  
Daisy Cakes provided these delectable cup cakes. Green Planet Catering was providing the healthy  and delicious food. Tre Bella furnished the pretty flowers and boutonnieres.
The inside of the barn was warm and toasty as everything was being set up. You may recall that there was a terrible accident on I-40 that day that backed westbound traffic up to Johnston County and some of our vendors got caught in that back-up. But not to worry, Snipes Farm is a very casual fun venue and time is not a big deal! So, there was no panic or stress.
Mel Manning was our DJ for the reception and he was one caught in the traffic as well as the caterers. He was ready to go by the time the ceremony was done and the reception started.
Matthew Kanon was there when we arrived. He was warming up his guitar and keeping his head and ears warm too. He told us he had done a wedding at the beach the weekend before and had forgotten his hat and he almost froze to death!! So, he made sure he remembered it today. Matt and I have done many weddings together through the years but this is the first time this year. Turns out he is living in Goldsboro now but still loves to do weddings in the Triangle. 
It is quite a long walk from the barn to the ceremony site and when Erin McLean, our wedding director, cued us, Tyler and I began the trek closely followed by David and Charlie while Tyler's brothers, Sam and Mark, stayed behind to escort in their two grandmothers. 
The bridesmaids,  Kelly, Brittany, Claire, and one bridesman, Jay, followed then it was time for Lisa and her father to make the journey down the "aisle."
Lisa's dress was beautiful and quite unique. It really fit her personality and she was absolutely radiant!
The guests were all standing in her honor as they made their way across the grassy meadow.
"Who supports and blesses Lisa as she comes to join in marriage to Tyler?" Andy, Lisa's father, proudly answered in his British accent: "Her mother and I do." He was born and raised in England whereas her mother was born and raised in Malaysia so Lisa's heritage is quite unique. Her grandmother and aunt came all the way from England for the nuptials.
You can see Abigail Seymour, our photographer, in the background getting her shots.
I wonder how old this majestic tree is. I have been doing weddings under its canopy for over 12 years now and it has become a good friend.
I was not aware of it during the ceremony but seeing these photos I notice that Lisa had a lot of animation in her face that made Tyler smile. She was so relaxed and really did not seem to be cold at all. The wind picked up and by the time I left the wedding it was 43 degrees not counting the wind chill factor. Lisa told me at the rehearsal that she would be just fine because in high school she was in the Color Guard and learned to tolerate cold weather! Lucky for me, I could wear warm attire.
The attendants retired to the back porch area to be in the photos. Everybody was ready to party!
Erin poses with the couple for this blog. Thanks, Erin, it is great working with you again so soon! Let's do a lot more together! 
Lisa and Tyler, I know you will love living and working in Boston. I lived there after I graduated from college too and had a blast. I wish you both prosperity and abundance, peace, joy and very much love!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

April and Dave's Fun Wedding at The State Club!

Some wise match-making friends of April and Dave decided that they should meet each other and persisted until they got them together. Neither April nor Dave was looking for a relationship, both having endured too many relationships that did not pan out. But then on the other hand, they felt they had nothing to lose either! April was known to be very picky and was finally convinced to meet Dave on the basis that "for goodness sake, you don't have to marry the guy!" Once they met each other, the bonding went very quickly and April added Dave to her season tickets for the Canes as they both shared a love for hockey and football, although April is a Giants fan and Dave a Jets. But they have worked out their differences, most of the time anyway. And after a while, they decided that they wanted to make their relationship a committed one by getting married. April's good friend, Andrea, whom I had also married to her husband, John, a few years ago and also performed a baby blessing ceremony for them and their daughter, Rhyan, told her she had to "get Kayelily" to officiate! April also remembered that she used to work with my daughter, also named Andrea, at Michael Dean's a few years back. So we met in February and started planning this wedding at The State Club for Sunday November 6, 2011. (I learned that you don't have to have attended or graduated from NCSU to use this fabulous facility. You do have to join the club but the fee is quite reasonable and certainly budget friendly for weddings.)
It was simply a gorgeous day for a wedding!  I had just flown back into town from having attended my 50th high school reunion the Friday and Saturday before. Dave and April were so thoughtful in letting me work with them on the previous Thursday on how to have a rehearsal which they did successfully on Saturday night while I was in Georgia having a good time with my former classmates. I thank you, April and Dave, for being so understanding! The outdoor area of The State Club was bathed in sunlight which highlighted the beautiful fall colors of the trees in the background. Since the last wedding I had done there, another bride had put up a pretty pergola on the lawn and donated it to the club. It fit in perfectly and they put a swag of beige tulle on the front of it to fit into their brown and pumpkin color theme.
Inside the reception area was this adorable cake with two pups on it. After all, Dave and April are dog people just like me! The cake is by Piece-a-Cake and follows the same color scheme.
The reception area was all set up. The florist was Fallon's and they put up the pretty orange paper lanterns on the tables and down the aisle and made the pretty bouquets of the ladies as well as the centerpieces. The State Club catered the food.
John Hensley with Anything Music was our DJ for the ceremony and the reception. Good to work with John again! Beth Tilley Green was our photographer and she brought along a second shooter too.
The processional began with the entrance of me and the groomsmen including Dave's son, Hunter,  followed by April's stepmother, Michelle, Dave and his mother, Judy, and then the mother of the bride, Robbie, and April's stepfather, Eric. Then the junior bridesmaids, one of whom is Dave's daughter, Annalisa. Next our two little flower girls made their entrance.
April was stunning in her beautiful dress and pretty flowers in her hair. I saw a tear slip out of Dave's eye as he watched her coming down the aisle.
April got really tickled during the prayer and could hardly stifle her laughter. I asked her later what was so funny and she said she did not know. The whole ceremony was so much fun and there was lots of laughter throughout.
We wrote a very special section to honor and include Dave's children, Hunter and Annalisa. April made vows to them and they made vows to her then there were hugs all around.
 April and Dave read their vows to each other and then exchanged rings.
And off they ride into the sunset--well, almost! 
What a great wedding, April and Dave! And as I write this, I hope you are honeymooning in a sunny spot! So happy to have had the honor of officiating for you. I wish you prosperity, happiness and enduring love!
Sitting out and waiting for their turn to be in photos are Andrea, my former bride and the Matron of Honor for April, and Best Man, Ron. I spotted Andrea's husband, John, inside and spoke with him for a minute. It was really great to see them again. Andrea and John, you two are looking great and very happy!