Sealed with a kiss!

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

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ronda and Mark Get Married at Raleigh Country Club!

The wedding of Ronda and Mark is really special for me. Ronda and I used to work together many years ago, she moved on to a new job, and we had lost touch. So, when she called to tell me she was getting married and wanted me to officiate, I was simply thrilled! I was anxious to meet her fiance, Mark, and her children from a previous marriage, Jonathan and Julia. We met on March 15th to plan their wedding for May 20, 2012. It was short notice and I was so happy I was available. Mark agreed for me to officiate and said he "liked my style!" They were not planning a very big wedding and they wanted the children in it. They chose Raleigh Country Club, a great venue. I love doing weddings with Bonnie Miller there. She and her staff take really good care of their brides and grooms.
It was a beautiful day that Sunday. The temperature was perfect but it was a bit windy.
View of the back of the club from the ceremony site on the green. 
This cake was baked by Not Just Cakes and the flowers provided by Ronda's mother who did the floral decorations.
Bruce Stevenson provided the ceremony music. The photographer for the wedding was Teri Lyn out of Charlotte who was contracted to provide her services by David's Bridal. 
 When the bride's parents were seated, the guys and I entered. 
Julia, daughter of the bride, entered next as our flower girl. 
Jonathan escorts his beautiful mother down the aisle! 
Such a pretty vista and backdrop for a wedding. Notice the clock on the tower says 2:00. We started right on time and the clock reflects that we accomplished what we were going for -- a 20 minute ceremony.
Mark gave Julia a necklace to commemorate the special occasion and said some really sweet words to her. I was impressed that he flawlessly opened the tiny clasp on the first try and got the necklace on without fumbling!
Then it was Jonathan's turn. Mark said some touching words to him and gave him a watch.
Then I told everyone how Ronda and Mark had first met at work back in 2002, were definitely taken with each other, but neither was ready for a relationship. Ronda told me that she also fell for Mark's dog, Mulligan, and often dog-sat for him, which gave them an excuse to keep in touch outside the office. It was not until several years later that Mark approached Ronda agan. They were both amazed that their original feelings were still there. This time they were both ready and soon became a couple.  Last June, Mark proposed at work with two dozen roses and had Ronda's mother and her children there. What a romantic!
 Wrong hand, Ronda!!
Now for the family unity sand pouring where Mark and Ronda poured 1/2 of their sand in separately making 2 layers, then Julia and Jonathan poured theirs in making 4 layers. The fifth layer was the blending of Mark and Ronda's sand symbolizing the union of this family who are so fortunate to have found each other and are so happy to officially be joined together.
 Pronouncement and kiss! (Look at the clock. We are right at 20 minutes!) 
 I introduced them as a family and they all 4 hugged before recessing out.
 Stepping out into their new life and their honeymoon to Cancun.
Bonnie and I congratulating each other on a great wedding well done! Thanks, Bonnie!
Relaxing in the board room before going out to take some photos. Everyone is glad the ceremony went so well and is behind them. It is time to celebrate!
Ronda and Mark, I could tell that the two of you simply adore each other. I know you are so happy together and Julia and Jonathan are two very lucky kids with you for parents. Thank you for choosing me to officiate for you; it was my honor! Let's not lose touch again! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Beautiful Wedding for Nichole and Chris at the Stone Chapel!

Nichole and Chris live in Florida and contacted me way back in 2010 to officiate their wedding on May 19, 2012 at the Stone Chapel in Wake Forest. They are real planners and so wise to get started early to get their first choice of wedding vendors. Their reception was close by at Wakefield Plantation Golf Club, an elegant venue.  I was impressed at how thoroughly and carefully they thought of everything and made their dreams of a storybook wedding come true. I felt like I was marrying old friends because I had known them much longer than I get to know most couples. Finally the big day arrived! 
It was a lovely day that Saturday and the Stone Chapel was ready! It is an old historic chapel that is now used for weddings and other events. I have done many weddings here through the years.
Betsy Coley, photographer, had the bride and her bridesmaids outside for photos while the groom was sequestered inside the chapel.
Aaron Asbury and James Tigner from Island Sound DJ and Video were there capturing the wedding on video. 
Our wedding director was Megan McReynolds. I have known Megan for many years and occasionally we get to work together. She actually works at Chatham Hill Wineries where I have done a couple of weddings and offers her wedding services to brides who find her. She also makes stunning quilts! Megan is really good at all she does and it is fun to work with her. After the seating of the grandparents and parents, the bridesmaids and groomsmen entered then it was time for the flower girls.  The older one held a sign that said "Uncle Chris, Here Comes Your Girl!" (I know Nichole found that on Pinterest because I heard she was an avid "pinner" and so am I!) As the older flower girl sprinkled petals, the little one began to stop and pick up each petal. It was funny and finally Megan had to retrieve her and hand her over to her mother. I have learned that trying to rehearse little children is a futile task because when the church is filled with guests, it just is not the same as practicing with empty seats!
Nichole asked both her father and her stepfather to escort her in. They were both honored to do so.
 And here we go!
Chris and Nichole won a contest to have an original poem written for them. It was a perfect reading for their wedding and Chris' cousin, Kelsey, did a great job of presenting it.
It was time for their story. They met 5 1/2 years ago when Nichole got a job as hostess at Rooster's, a new restaurant in Charlotte, where Chris was a pastry chef. Their stations were near each other so they got to know each other which prompted Chris to ask Nichole out on a date. His only night off was one of Nichole's work nights so he bribed the other hostess to fill in for her by giving her $20 and free milkshakes for her and her boyfriend! That one date was all it took for these two to fall for each other. Eventually Chris' employment took him to Florida and Nichole followed.
Nichole told me that roosters remain special to them and they collect little figurines of roosters. They brought some to sit atop the envelope box!
Making their promises of marriage to each other and sealing them with their rings......
The big pronouncement of marriage, at last! 
 I try to get out from behind the couple for the kiss. They were fast! 
Congratulations, Nichole and Chris! You did it! I know you are so happy and so glad that the wedding came off just as planned, making all your hard work worth it! It was simply gorgeous! I wish you two all the best in life!

Ashleigh and Scott Get Married in a Beautiful Wedding Ceremony at Highgrove!

Ashleigh and Scott are so perfectly matched! A line in the ceremony: "Who would have guessed that two people with Canadian backgrounds, one a bartender and the other a barfly, would find each other in Wake Forest NC and decide to spend their lives together? Well the love story we all celebrate today did indeed begin just this way! Back in September of 2008, Ashleigh was bar-tending at the Carolina Ale House in Wake Forest and got to know one of the regulars who distinguished himself by leaving gracious and generous tips." Ashleigh really liked that Scott was taller than she was so she decided to "give it a shot" when he asked her out! As you can see in the wedding photos here, they are both really tall and once again, I was dwarfed!
When Marty and I arrived for the wedding on 5/18/2012 at Highgrove Estate, Elizabeth Myers with Sweet Life Studios was busy taking shots of the bride with her parents out front.
Ashleigh's bridesmaids in beautiful purple were ready for their photographs. Dee and Kristin with Makeup for Your Day did their hair and makeup. The girls were beautiful and picture-perfect!
Meanwhile, in the back of the house, Frank Myers was getting shots of the groom and his groomsmen.
Frank, you got the memo about purple! Once again, it was great working this wedding with you and Elizabeth! You are both such talented photographers. 
The couple had wishing stones on which the guests wrote their wishes for the couple and signed. These will be displayed in their home as a reminder of all those who were at their wedding.
The Garden Ballroom was all decked out with pretty centerpieces by Fresh Affairs and up-lighting by Island Sound.
 Beautiful cake by Lori with Simply Cakes
 The gorgeous "Newlywed Table!" 
 Scott and Ashleigh had lots of photographs scattered around. Such a nice touch.
Jason, with Island Sound DJ and Videography, was our great DJ and provided both the ceremony and reception music. I know he kept that dance floor filled all night for this fun crowd! Thanks for plugging my microphone into your system for the ceremony, Jason.
 For all the wedding envelopes.......
 Table seating chart with photo--great idea! 
And so we begin......Ashleigh's pretty mother, Connie, was escorted by her nephew following the seating of the grandparents.
 My turn...I love that I found purple shoes that match my purple dress for weddings!
Scott has the honor of escorting in his beautiful mother, Jan.
 Then the rest of the bridal party comes in as couples. 
Patrick, father of the bride, was so thrilled to walk Ashleigh down the aisle. I enjoyed chatting with him after the wedding. Anne Eberle with Highgrove directed the wedding and makes sure the bride's train is flowing. Anne and I work together very often and I appreciate being a preferred vendor there. I will see her again this next weekend making three weekends in a row at Highgrove! Such a pleasure doing weddings there. It is the perfect setting for a wedding and the staff really knows how to run weddings without any glitches. Highgrove also does the catering and the food is delicious!
Such a pretty backdrop for wedding photos with Lake Laurel in the background. With all the rain we have had, the foliage is a lush green. At this point in the ceremony we have welcomed everyone, honored the parents and then I told their story and added what they loved about each other and what they are looking forward to in marriage. There was a lot of humor because Ashleigh and Scott are such fun people, gave me lots of great material to work with, and I truly enjoyed every minute co-creating their very special, unique, and romantic ceremony with them.
"Scott, take this ring and with it my promise of faith and patience, friendship and love for the rest of my life."
 Making sure that ring is securely on Scott's finger!!
"Scott and Ashleigh, in the serenity of nature surrounding us, in the spirit of joyful commitment, you have declared your love and devotion to each other. I now pronounce you husband and wife!"
Ahhhh....the kiss! (Scott is being careful not to dislodge the veil, just as I warned him about at the rehearsal!)
They are married! 
Ashleigh and Scott, it was such a pleasure and an honor to work with you to create your dream wedding ceremony and officially hitch you two together in marriage. You are such a great couple and I know you are going to be so happy as husband and wife! I wish you all the best in life!