Sealed with a kiss!

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

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Beautiful November Wedding for Tammy and Jeff in my Wedding Garden!

Jeff called me last night--Thanksgiving evening--and asked if I could possibly perform a wedding ceremony this morning (November 29, 2013) for him and Tammy. Their plans to go to Charlotte tomorrow to get married were just not working out as planned and friends had traveled all the way from New York for their wedding. So they needed to work something out. I was very happy that I had the morning free and that the weather was going to be quite decent for an outdoor wedding in my garden. So we pulled it off and it was simply grand!  
When Tammy and Jeff and their families and friends arrived, I learned that they had been high school sweethearts in their hometown of Dunkirk, NY. They went their separate ways afterwards, married and had children, but those marriages did not endure. Tammy found Jeff on Facebook and contacted him and they were delighted that they were both single again. They picked up where they left off so many years ago with led to this wonderful day. This is a resounding theme in many weddings I do and I adore being part of these "re-found" loves! 
Since I had not met them or learned their story ahead of time, nor did I know they both had children, their ceremony was simple yet heartfelt. I did ad lib a children's blessing for their wonderful and thrilled children!
 I stepped aside and rang the bell while they kissed and hugged. 
 Their sweet dog, Mojo, was there with her pink bow on to be a part of the wedding!
Tammy's best friend forever and her daughter came down from New York. They had originally met in London when their exes were working together and have daughters the same age so they are really considered family too. Their friendship continues although there have been many changes through the years. That's such a sweet story!
Tammy and Jeff, congratulations! Finally you are together! Your life journeys have prepared you for your paths to cross again and this time converge. I am so happy for you both and your children! I wish you all the best!
To contact me:
Or leave a comment below!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fantastic Wedding for Sarah and George at All Saints' Chapel!

Sarah and George met back in 2005 when they were both river guides in Western North Carolina. After a few trips down the river, they got to know each other and started dating. In 2010 Sarah moved to Raleigh and their relationship became long distance for two long years. George proposed in 2011 and was able to re-locate finally to Raleigh in 2012 and they set the wedding date of November 23, 2013.  And the wedding planning began--a long time coming! They chose All Saints Chapel for the wedding ceremony and The Stockroom for their reception. 
They also chose Marilyn Wienand, Carolina Harp, to provide heavenly music for their wedding ceremony. Marilyn is fantastic and her harp is gorgeous. She also plays piano and organ if anyone is in need of her enormous talent!
The chapel was beautiful with the flower petals and candles on the altar.
Cateringworks did all the florals as well as catering the reception. So pretty!
So, we were ready to begin right on time. Our wedding director in the background is Amelia Davey of When In White. She cued the first couple in who was Mark, father of the groom, and Rebecca, stepmother of the groom.
Our groom, George, escorted his mother, Lana, then joined us at the altar.
Watching the bridesmaids process in.
Our beautiful bride was escorted in by her beautiful mother, Mary!
We began with a warm welcome, prayer, and remembrance of those who have passed on (Sarah's dad).
Then we paid tribute to the parents and then their story!
Their story was fun to tell and we enjoyed some laughs too. 
They read their vows to each other from my book and then exchanged rings. (Our photographer was Max with Blue Box Weddings.)
The closing blessing and pronouncement of marriage was next.
The best part---the kiss! 
Look at that smile on George's face! 
Sarah and George, congratulations! Wonderful wedding and I could tell all your guests really enjoyed being witnesses to your love and commitment to each other. I wish you all the best life can offer!
To contact me:
Or leave a comment below!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Nancy Jo and Nick Wed at St. Mark's Chapel!

Nancy Jo and Nick have both been married before so when they met each other, they knew they had met their soulmate and their courtship quickly evolved into the decision to marry sooner rather than later. Nancy Jo also became quickly attached to Nick's 6 year old son, Zach. They wanted a date in October but since St. Mark's Chapel was already booked, they settled on November 17, 2013. It turned out to be a gorgeous fall day and their wedding colors of orange and purple were spectacular. 
The altar chest at the chapel was beautifully decorated with fall leaves, candles, lanterns and flowers.
This sweet little historic chapel owned by the City of Raleigh is one of my favorite venues. It holds 55 people and is easily decked out for a wedding.
Love the assortment of pumpkins with the burlap wreaths and candles artfully done by Zac Salazar, an interior decorator and friend on Nancy Jo's. The candles, by the way, are battery operated ones. Candles with real flames are not allowed due to the chapel's age and risk of loss.
That little red-headed boy all dressed up in his suit and boutonniere is Zach. Looks like he is quite happy that some of his friends were at the wedding too!
It is time to get started. Look at that absolutely brilliant red tree in the background! And our best man, Chuck, and groom, Nick, in the foreground.
Nick and I processed in followed by Chuck, then Zach, then Nancy Jo's Goddaughter, Helayna, and her matron of honor, Melissa.
Nancy Jo is herself a photographer and covering her wedding is Jennifer Woodlief, one of her photographers at Nancy Jo Photography.
Here comes our beautiful bride! 
It is customary to close the doors before the bride enters. The music changed and the guests were invited to stand in honor of the bride.
"There is an old tradition that the family and friends give the beloveds to one another as an acknowledgement of their support for this union. I believe all of you here qualify as the friends and family of Nick and Nancy Jo. So, please answer 'We do' when I ask, 'Who has the privilege of presenting this woman, Nancy Jo, to this man, Nick?'" Of course I got a rousing "We do!"
After the opening words we passed around a dish containing the rings for a ring warming ritual. Then a prayer and remembrance of those no long on earth, especially remembering Nancy Jo's parents.
Then we gave a nice tribute to Nick's parents followed by a blessing for Zach.
Nancy Jo said some very sweet words to Zach and made her promises to him.
And then she presented him with a handsome pocket watch as a memento of this special occasion. He looks pretty happy about it!
Then we continued with the couple's story, what they love about each other and what they are looking forward to in marriage. This flowed into their vows to each other and the ring exchange.
There was a closing blessing which their guests read to them in unison and I then made the pronouncement of marriage and invited them to kiss each other!
Did not get a shot of the kiss but this was right after it! 
And they walk into the next chapter of their lives together--marriage! Here is a link to a video of their wedding and reception:
Nancy Jo and Nick and Zach, what a great family you are! I know you are so happy to be official and beginning this next step together. I wish you all the best forever!

To contact me:
Or leave a comment below!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Jessica and Casey Wed at Long View Center!

Jessica and Casey knew they wanted me to officiate their wedding at Long View Center after attending Jessica's cousin Anna's wedding to her husband Scott at the Angus Barn last year. In fact, Jessica was one of Anna's bridesmaids as Anna would be for Jessica. When Marty and I arrived on their beautiful wedding day of November 16, 2013, the wedding party and families were out in Moore's Park getting some wonderful shots. Casey and Jessica opted for a "first look" ahead of the ceremony which allows time to do a lot of the wedding photography before the ceremony.
The couple with Jessica's family.
Pretty in red!! Anna is the third one from the right with hand on hip. It was great to see her and Scott again. He is in medical school in Richmond VA.  He said it is just as grueling as he expected!
The guys are really ready to do this!
So sweet!  
They had a very large wedding party. The groomsmen ranged all the way from the altar down to the side aisle. And the bridesmaids the same on the other side. Casey, his best man Avery, and I are waiting for the bride on the floor level then we will all step to the top for the ceremony. Symbolic of taking their marriage to a higher level.
Jessica is stunningly beautiful and even more so as a bride! (Sorry my photos are blurry!)
Long View Center is the most elegant wedding venue in downtown Raleigh. Unfortunately the building is being sold and will no longer be open to the public for weddings after June 2014.
Scott McKenzie, Music Director at Unity of the Triangle, was our pianist along with a guitarist whose name I did not get.
Jessica's Uncle and Godfather, Michael, read the words of Judith Bielicki in "Friendship."
Then I got to tell the story of how Casey and Jessica met, fell in love, and got to this momentous day!
Our photographer, Sarah Der, comes in for some close-ups of the ring exchange. 
Didn't get a photo of the pronouncement or the kiss--the first or second one. But one of the groomsmen dashed over to the bell tower to ring the bell!
We are all listening to the bell ring here before I presented the couple!
Jessica and Casey, I know you are enjoying wedding bliss now! Thank you for giving me the honor of officiating for you. You were great to work with and I am convinced that you are a great match!
To contact me:
Or leave a comment below!