Sealed with a kiss!

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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Anna and Jason Get Married at Wakefield Plantation!

Anna and Jason met in college (ECU) and became friends, then roommates and good friends. It was after Jason went home for the summer that they realized that they really cared for each other. And, so when he returned to school in the fall, they became a couple. They finished their degrees, adopted their dog, and moved to Raleigh for better jobs. Their relationship even survived buying and remodeling a house so they are pretty sure their marriage has stood the test! This past February Jason proposed after Anna dropped a few hints (or a few hundred) over the past few years. And then the wedding planning began in earnest.
They chose the date of July 20, 2013 and the lovely Wakefield Plantation for their venue. The day arrived with sunshine and plenty of heat and humidity with a slight breeze everyone was thankful for. This is the view from the ceremony site.
Their ceremony music was provided by this trio with The Music House. Paula is the vocalist and Johnny plays the dulcimer among many other instruments. Don't know the name of our violinist. They created some very pretty music for the prelude, processional and recessional. 
It is time to begin and so after the parents and grandparents were seated, Jason and I, followed by the groomsmen, marched in to take our places.
Then the bridesmaids entered one by one. Friend of the bride, Michelle, was our director.
Our sweet flower girl, Zoey, made her entrance sprinkling the petals. The ring bearer, Riley, was supposed to enter before her but no sign of him. I figured he chickened out at the last minute!
But, can you see that Jason and I are looking off to the left above? We spotted Riley on the sideline trying to decide to come in or not. We gestured him to come on and he scampered up front and got into his place before I invited the guests to stand for the bride! 
Kimberly Miller, the catering manager with the club, fluffed the train right before Anna and her dad, Hudson, began their walk in.
 Anna is such a beautiful young woman and a gorgeous bride! 
Their story was a lot of fun and we made sure it had plenty of humor. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, especially our Maid of Honor, Jamie, who is the groom's sister. I must have been telling something on her brother at the moment this photo was snapped.
Anna and Jason decided to include the Celtic tradition of handfasting where I bound their joined hands with a cord which represents their love.
I think here I am pointing out that their joined hands and arms form the symbol of infinity, blessing their marriage in the ebb and flow of the Universe.
 They made their promises to each other while their hands were joined.
Then I removed the cord and they placed their rings which symbolically took the place of the cord. Riley at this moment decided to check out what was going on!
 "You may kiss the bride!"
At our rehearsal, Jason had been a little shy about the kiss. But he got through it just fine. 
In all the excitement, Anna forgot her bouquet! Oh well, no big deal! 
They had the cutest wedding programs that were fans for which all the guests were grateful!
Our photographer, Elizabeth Burchette, was snapping photos of the bridal party.
Then it was time for me to get a shot with the bride and groom! Anna and Jason, it was a pleasure working with you. I thank you for choosing me to be a part of your special day. May all the happiness in the world be yours!
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Norma and Charles Wed at Duke Memorial Chapel!

On Sunday July 14th, Norma emailed me to see if I could perform a civil ceremony for her and her fiancĂ©Charles. They live in Arkansas but were in Durham for Norma's graduation for her MBA. They wanted to get married on Saturday July 20, 2013. Some of their family members were going to be there for graduation and well, it would be a good time to get married too. After considering my wedding garden, Duke Gardens, and other places, they chose to have their intimate private ceremony in the Duke Memorial Chapel which is inside the larger Duke Chapel. I had not done a wedding in that smaller chapel but now I know it is a sweet place for a small wedding. 

I sent Norma a proposed ceremony and suggested that since they were marrying in a chapel they might consider having a simple non-denominational prayer and they liked that idea. Norma is of Mexican heritage and her parents and sister were present along with a couple of friends from school. Charles was born in India. Unfortunately his family could not be with us for the occasion. 

So I arrived at Duke Campus to discover the road I usually take to the Chapel was closed and the alternate street was reduced to one lane. Even though I had given myself extra time, I arrived in the parking deck just a few minutes before the scheduled ceremony time of noon. My cell phone rang and it was Norma. I explained I was on foot between the parking deck and the chapel. As soon as I arrived, they gave me the license and we assembled on the altar and began the ceremony. It was short but sweet and included a blessing for her parents. I don't know their story but I do know they have known each other 4 years and I am assuming they met at Duke during that time. They make a beautiful couple and are very much in love. 
After the ceremony I handed my cell phone to one of Norma's friends and she snapped this photo for the blog. Norma and Charles, congratulations! It was my honor and my pleasure to join you in marriage. I wish you love, peace and joy forever! 

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Happy Wedding for Jennifer and David and Their Sons!

It was Monday July 15th when Jennifer called to see if I could marry her and David in my garden the following Saturday, July 20, 2013. We set a time for 3:00 and I sent her a proposed ceremony to make any changes they wanted and email back to me. She and David each have a son they are raising and wanted to make sure they were included in the ceremony. I suggested a sand ceremony and although she was not keen on that she did not know what else there was. So I included in the ceremony a "children's blessing" in which the boys are told how important they are, how much they are loved, and how they will always be there for them. And they could give them a memento to remember the day. Jennifer and David worded the ceremony the way they wanted, chose their vows and we were set. 
Saturday arrived and it was HOT and HUMID--but not raining! And some mosquitos thought they would snack on us too! Jennifer's mother, Sherry, her Aunt Melissa and Uncle Joe were present as guests and witnesses. David's son Mikael and Jennifer's son Ted were color coordinated and really excited for this day.
No, that is not my new hairdo! The humidity makes my hair get the "flippies," as my hairdresser Randy calls them!
Jennifer told me that it was actually the two boys who brought them together. Ted and Mikael were a bit shy about all the attention during the ceremony (but were also anxious to get their gifts). Little boys are not nearly as easy to shop for like little girls who are into jewelry, but Jennifer and David found bracelets made of bicycle chain and dogtags for the boys which were perfect!
"David, let's see that kiss!" as I rang the bell in the arbor and stepped to the side. 
 What a kiss!!!
 Bubbles for the newlyweds!
Jennifer and David, you are a delightful couple and have a wonderful blended family now. I know you are going to be so happy together! I wish you all the best life can bring you!
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Amy and Bill Get Married at the Historic Virginia Dare Ballroom Downtown Raleigh!

Amy and Bill both had been married before so this time they wanted a really fun, non-pompous wedding! When I met them it was obvious that they both have the same sense of humor, are over-the-moon in love and were really like a couple of kids together. What fun! They most definitely wanted control over their ceremony so that it reflected both of them and their sense of humor! The date was July 13, 2013 at the Virginia Dare Ballroom on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh in what was formerly the Sir Walter Raleigh Hotel. It was the perfect venue for them. 
Amy and Bill knew when they booked me that my arrival at their wedding from an earlier wedding in Durham would be close to ceremony start time. When Marty and I arrived after finding parking on a Saturday night, all the guests were there and seated.
Jason Dolat, on the right, was our DJ and had a lapel microphone waiting for me. Dave Spencer played the guitar for the ceremony.
There were no attendants and Bill met Amy halfway down the aisle and they came together to be joined in marriage.
 Don't you love Amy's chartreuse shoes! And my stole matched!
Both Amy and Bill have young sons. That's Bill's son, Wyatt, watching the ceremony through an iPhone. Wonder if he is videoing the ceremony. Amy also has two older sons and a daughter-in-law who were present.
Their friend James read a poem and I loaned him my lapel microphone so everyone could hear him.
That's Nathan, Amy's son, in the green shirt signing the marriage license. Wyatt will sign as the other witness. Yep, that's right--no age limit for signing as witnesses. Please note the beautiful wedding cake made by the bride! She and the groom also did the flowers. After the ceremony there was a smorgasbord of desserts and Coffee & Crepes provided a crepe station. And they happily danced the night away!
Bill and Amy, what a blast you were to work with! Thank you for choosing me to officiate your wonderful wedding!

Just received this note from Amy:


We have been high on a mountain since Sunday--no cell, no internet. We've had a fantastic time hiking and exploring. Made our way to civilization this morning to tour a local winery then head over to my parents to get Nathan. As soon as we had a cell signal we were bombarded with messages from our friends. They thought our ceremony was incredible and so do we!!!  Thank you so very much for making our night exactly what we hoped for!  We will definitely do the reviews soon! 

Thanks again you're the best!


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