Sealed with a kiss!

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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Megan and Michael's Wonderful Wedding at Home!

Megan and Michael and their two pups live in the most wonderful, secluded home in Apex. In fact, it is almost in New Hill near the place where I officiated my first wedding in 1997. You truly could say their house is "out in the sticks!" I am so happy my GPS found it. Their wedding was originally scheduled to be on Saturday March 29, 2014 but the weather forecast was dismal. So since their guests would still be around on Sunday, the date was changed to the 30th of March. It was still overcast but no rain or thunderstorms. 
When Dave and I walked up the driveway we could see the house and the multilevel decks that are designed so that you feel you are truly in the woods. The guests arrived at noon and I got there shortly thereafter. Their DJ, was BJ with DJ America. Got my microphone plugged in and we did a sound check and were ready to go.
Then I met Michael and Megan who have been together a long time. They had told me they are looking forward to their friends never asking them again "so when are you getting married?!" We actually put that in their ceremony!
Their photographers, Paul and Melissa, with Wake Forest Portrait Shoppe, were busy shooting and they had also brought their Photo Booth. The kids were having a great time dressing up!
 Nice flag!
 The reception took place around the back of the house on another set of multilevel decks plus a tent. 
Confectionate Cakes did the beautiful wedding cake and the groom's cake. Michael must be into computers! 
Megan has two sweet dogs who are also service dogs. Gracye is retired though. She is a min pin. Ava, her Italian greyhound, is an active service dog who can sense when a seizure is coming on and signals Megan who was injured in Iraq and subject to seizures. Megan has her own training school for these talented  pooches. It is called Triumphant Tails and she trains dogs to be of service to people with all kinds of medical conditions. I learned a lot just reading her website. What a great service! Thank you, Megan!
 Another nice touch.....
Lucky me, I could dress warmly. It was not quite 50 degrees outside that Sunday afternoon. We are ready to begin!
 Here come Gracye and Ava carrying the rings! 
Close family sat up on the deck and the rest of the guests watched the ceremony from the surrounding area. 
Here comes the bride escorted by her father.
 I think Michael was shedding a few tears by this point! 
They wanted a very brief ceremony and it was not quite 10 minutes in length. 
 But sweet nonetheless! 
Dave was taking photos from the ground and could not capture the moment of the pronouncement of marriage but he got that kiss! 
 Finally at last! A big round of applause! 
 Ava and Gracye having done their ring bearing duties are ready to get back inside to the warmth!
My heartfelt thanks go out to this talented young woman, Heather Miller, who heads up her own florist business (Eclectic Sage) and also does event design and wedding planning! She actually brought me on board to officiate. She pulled all this together for the couple and then rose to the challenge of switching all the vendors to another day on short notice. She was a dream to work with! You are going far in the wedding business, Heather! 
Megan and Michael, I am honored that I got to hitch you together in marriage and be a part of your special day. I am so happy for you and I wish you the best of everything!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Beautiful Interfaith Wedding for Tara and Seth at Brier Creek!

Almost exactly a year ago I met Tara and Seth to plan their wedding ceremony. Seth is Jewish, Tara Christian and they wanted traditional wedding customs of both faiths in their ceremony including some Hebrew words. Andrew Weiss canted the beautiful Hebrew words in the ceremony for us.  And the weather, aside from being quite breezy, was gorgeous in spite of all the unpredictable weather we have been having in NC lately. The wedding was March 22, 2014 at the Jasmine Courtyard at Brier Creek Country Club. You can see the wind blowing the drapes and the tablecloth in the photo below taken before the ceremony. 
The Unity Candle set up, wine and glass and glass to break are in place on the table under the pergola.
Mews Designs was the florist and had these pretty little suspended jars of flowers gracing the aisle. The altar was decorated simply and elegantly with Boston ferns and two pedestals. Simplicity is always refreshing! 
Tara and Seth chose to do a "first look" before the ceremony. In addition to being such a sweet moment when they first see each other before the wedding, they could get most of the photos done early too. So when Marty and I arrived, they were taking pictures at the site. Someone must have asked Tara and Seth a question or something they were pondering in the photo above, thus their non-smiling expressions. But I include this photo because it is the only good one I have of Seth's parents, Keith and Adrienne, and his sweet grandmother, Leonor.
Tara and her sister, Kelley, who was also her Maid of Honor. Love the black and white with the pop of red!
In the ballroom, the tables and chairs and our DJ, Mel Manning, were set up and ready. Our photographer was Joe Payne. Videoing the wedding was Olde Road Pictures Videography
Simply Cakes had just delivered and set up this stunning wedding cake.
I went upstairs to the Dogwood Room to sign the Ketubah, a Jewish marriage contract. After that it was back to the courtyard for Mel to place the microphone on Andrew.
Time to get lined up! This is Terri, mother of the bride waiting for her escort, Nicholas, to return to escort her in. Shelly Keeter was our excellent wedding director for this wedding in addition to being the event manager for the club. Seth and Tara contracted with her to be their wedding director in addition to her other responsibilities and everything flowed smoothly along! Thanks, Shelly!  
Seth and his best man, Nick, were feeling fine and ready to go! I wish I knew what was so funny!
 Andrew and I led the way for the groom and groomsmen to enter. 
Our ring bearer, William, and flower girl, Maddie, were next in and did a super job! Tara and her father, Tom, look cool as cucumbers as they wait for the bride's grand entrance!
Where's the bride? Great shot of the guests who are looking for the bride. Everyone else has entered now and the anticipation builds!
And here they come! 
Tom places Tara's hand into Seth's hand and she kisses Dad good bye as he carefully avoids stepping on her dress to take his seat.
 The ceremony began with "Shalom aleychem!" Welcome, everyone!  
 Everyone's head is bowed for the opening prayer. 
We remembered those loved ones who are no longer with us physically but are with us in spirit. Then a few words of tribute to the couple's parents sitting on the first row.
Then it was time to light the unity candle which was definitely a challenge in the wind. But above you see the actual evidence that they did get it lit but it took all 4 of us! Yay!
 The Seven Blessings were spoken before the couple shared the wine. 
 Tara went first. 
Then Seth, who would traditionally finish off the rest. (I had originally intended to pour the wine Shelly put on the table into a special glass the couple brought for the wine but their glass was too fragile to withstand the wind. Consequently there was more wine than usual in the more substantial glass and I could tell Seth was debating in his head whether to drink it all or not! That's is what is tickling Tara!)
This is the sweet part of the ceremony where I tell the bride and groom what they told me in confidence they love about each other, why they want to marry each other and what they are looking forward to in marriage.
 They had written secret vows to each other that they read from my book. 
 They exchange rings......
To close we had a Prayer based on First Corinthians, then Andrew did a perfect job canting Shehecheyano, A Special Prayer, from the Jewish tradition.
 The pronouncement of marriage was next but they could not kiss until....
 Seth broke the glass and we all shouted Mazeltov! 
 Tara really laid one on Seth!!
 And another! 
 Now tell me, doesn't Seth look like he is reeling here? It must have been that kiss! 
 Okay, he's back to the moment and so happy! 
 The wedding party and parents followed......then off to the reception for the guests! 
One last picture for the road! Wow, what a wedding. It was really gorgeous, Tara and Seth. Give yourselves a big pat on the back. It was great working with you and I wish you all the best in the world!

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