Sealed with a kiss!

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

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Wonderful Wedding for Hewan and Clarence at Marbles!

Hewan and Clarence met each other in Raleigh back in 2005 and their lives changed forever. Clarence was immediately attracted to this beautiful woman and she definitely noticed how handsome he was and how they had no problem talking easily about everything and anything. It did not take these two long to become a couple. After several relocations, the last one being to California, Clarence proposed during a trip to Hawaii and they began making plans for their wedding on March 23, 2013 at Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh. The couple and their wedding planner, Courtney Jones, contacted me in January and I was so happy that I was available. We made all the plans via phone, email and US mail. I met Hewan and Clarence for the first time at their rehearsal.
I have done several weddings here both when it was Exploris and since it became a kids museum a few years ago. They chose the Zanzibar room for the ceremony and the reception was out in the play area.
When we arrived, Lyn Graves with Fresh Affairs and his staff were busily setting up the decor and flowers. Due to museum hours they could not get in any earlier than 5:00 and the wedding was at 6:00. The Zanzibar room walls are paneled and at the end which we used as an altar area, was hanging a huge chalk board. But you would never know it because Lyn draped the whole wall with billowing white curtains then placed the two pedals with sprays of beautiful flowers flanked by floating candles. It was beautiful and transformed the room.
Soon the play area was transformed as well with playful table cloths and gorgeous floral arrangements. Rocky Top Hospitality was catering and Jenn Carlin, Catering Sales Manager, and her team were busy getting set up.
This gorgeous cake with glittery icing was crafted by Cinda's Creative Cakes.
Dennis, Cinda's husband who delivered the cake, and Joselle Torres, Event Host with Marbles, were standing back admiring the stunning cake.
Joselle was on the move taking care of everything and coordinating all the vendors. She and Amanda Lewis, Event Sales Assistant, are pros at hosting events at Marbles.
The very talented Marilyn Wienand with Carolina Harp provided the heavenly music for the prelude and ceremony. The ceremony was delayed starting for about 15 minutes because guests were having difficulty parking due to an event in Moore's Square across the street from the museum. But she kept playing like a champ! Thanks, Marilyn!
Finally we got started although not all the guests were there. But they trickled in during the ceremony and did not miss the whole ceremony.
The couple were especially honored that Clarence's grandmother could be at their wedding.
Clarence had the honor of escorting his beautiful mother, Maureen, in.
 Following them was mother of the bride, Amsale. 
Aren't these kids adorable? They are all Clarence's cousins. You can see that Elan, our ring bearer, was surprised to see all the people! 
 Kayla and Angelina, the flower girls, steered him in the right direction.
 Waiting for the bride.......
 Hewan's proud papa, Hailu, escorted in his very beautiful daughter. 
There were about 250 guests, all standing in the bride's honor as they processed down the aisle. 
 Honoring of the parents as they stood.
 Sarah and Josh with Carolina MediaStar were our photographers. 
Hewan's Goddaughter, Rahel, read a poem and Hewan's cousin, Euael, read a passage from First Corinthians. I did not get a good photo of Euael though.
Then it was time to tell the story of how our couple met, fell in love and why they want to marry each other. There were some quite funny parts to it which we all enjoyed hearing about, especially the bride and groom!
 Next come the vows, then the rings followed by the closing blessing.
 Finally the pronouncement of marriage and they become husband and wife.
 They got tickled and so I had them "re-do" the kiss! They did not mind at all!
 Clarence says, "Let's go!" 
Wow! What a fun wedding! Hewan and Clarence, you did it up right! It was my joy to officiate for you and get to know you in the process. You are indeed a remarkable couple. I wish you all the love and happiness in the world!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Angie and Chris Wed at Caffe Luna!

I met with Angie and Chris last September to plan their wedding ceremony slated for March 23, 2013 at Caffe Luna. She told me she had been following this blog for a while and was so happy that I was available. They wanted a non-religious, simple yet fun ceremony that reflected their personalities and their beliefs about love and marriage and one that their friends would enjoy as well. They did a lot of the wedding preparation themselves and called on friends for their help. Angie's niece, Lauren, operated the CD player for the processional and recessional. Since they had no attendants, it was quite simple. They did the florals themselves and a friend made cupcakes for the wedding cake and a sheet cake for the groom's cake. They hired Lauren Wicker with Lauren's Eternal Moments to photograph their wedding. It was pretty laid back and since it was uncomplicated, no rehearsal was needed. They had reserved Caffe Luna from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM that day and we all converged on the restaurant that morning at 10:30 to prepare for the 11:30 ceremony.
For their guest book, they had the guests write notes of advice to them. Love the peacock motif! The couple in the photo to the right are Chris' parents who are no longer with us on earth.  We also remembered Angie's father who has passed on as well. We know they were there in the hearts of everyone who knew them.
 Groom's cake! 
 Wedding Cupcake Cake! 
 Angie's mother, Samiha, is escorted in by Angie's stepfather, Lawrence.
Chris and I are next as Lauren peeps out the window to see if the bride is ready to enter.
 Here comes the Bride! 
Angie is so beautiful with her creamy soft cafe au lait complexion that reflects her Egyptian heritage. She was simply glowing and she and Chris could not take their eyes off each other during the ceremony.

They wrote secret words to say to each other before the vows and read them from my book. They are both in their early 40s and both said in so many words that they were so happy to have waited for  a long time, wondering if this time would ever happen, and would the right person ever come along. But, having found each other they cannot imagine life with anyone else. The tears were flowing by that time!
 Then they made their vows to each other. 
 The rings were exchanged.......
Angie reached over and squeezed her mother's hand right before the pronouncement!!
 "It is my pleasure and my honor to recognize you as husband and wife!"
Angie and Chris, what a wonderful wedding! You worked hard, made it what you wanted and it paid off! I wish you all the happiness in the world!