Sealed with a kiss!

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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kristen and Chris Marry Surrounded by Mother Nature!

Kristen and Chris' wedding was my first one at Rock Quarry Farm in Chapel Hill. I had heard about this lovely venue and gotten requests to do weddings there but the dates and times never worked. So happy that it worked out for me to officiate Kristen and Chris' wedding there on April 26, 2014. It is a gorgeous site. I met Camille, the owner, at our rehearsal in the rain the day before. But the wedding day dawned sunny and beautiful.
When Marty and I arrived, their photographer Jessica Crawford and her second shooter had our beautiful bride and her maidens out in the front yard taking photos. Marty snapped a few and here is one. I must admit there were so many great photos from this wedding that it was hard to choose which ones to put on this post. So, there are more than usual!
We made our way past the farmhouse, the carport area and the barn to the ceremony site and set up my sound system.
Dana Cadwell with C&D Events was their wedding planner and her staff had set up the arbor and decorated it with pretty flowers.
 They also hung mason jars with assorted flowers on the aisle chairs. 
The musicians were warming up--a string quartet put together by Catherine Hueston. 
 The guests began arriving and were invited to get refreshments at the bar area under the carport. 
The groom and his groomsmen were playing corn hole in front of the barn. I snagged Eric, the best man, to sign the marriage license for me. We also decided that he should hold the real rings and not our little ring bearer, Nathan--a wise decision.
The barn is apparently new construction and the boards have been left with gaps to allow light and air to stream in. It was quite unique and airy. It had been set up for the reception. The caterer was Unforgettable Food Affairs and instead of a wedding cake, they had Wedding Desserts by Sweet Traditions by LeAne.
 The guests of honor! 
Patrick Cooke with PC Productions was the DJ for the reception. I know everyone had a great time with Patrick as MC! 
 The guest table with programs (I forgot to get one!) and the Tree of Life style guest sign in. 
The guests had all been ushered to the ceremony site and Dana was getting the processional lined up.  Dana is the tall young lady in the orange dress on the right.  Great job, Dana!
The bride's grandmother, Caroline, was escorted in first, then Chris' parents, Marilyn and Bob (above), made their way down the aisle.
 Mother of the Bride, Kim, is escorted by Allen, Father of the Bride, who returned to bring in Kristen.
Then it is time for the guys and me. You will note that I am dressed in a light blue, close to Carolina Blue, at their request.
 It was a long processional!! 
 Waiting for the ring bearer and the bride. 
Nathan started off headed for the aisle but veered off track to the right. Someone intercepted him and got him back on track and he made it down the aisle. He was so cute!
 Here comes our gorgeous bride and her proud father!
 Everyone stands in her honor. 
 Welcome to everyone!
 The Wedding Prayer by Robert Louis Stephenson.
 Beautiful setting in the arms of Mother Nature!  
The parents stood for a special blessing the couple prepared for them. Tears spilled! 
Then I asked everyone to stand and asked for their blessing and support of this marriage. Everyone answered "We will" very enthusiastically.
 Kristen's friend, Crystal, shared words by George Eliot.
 Chris' friend, Mike, shared the words of William Shakespeare from King John.  
And now for the story of how Kristen and Chris met and fell in love and decided to marry followed by a special paragraph from each about what they love about each other.
 The vows along with a few tears and sniffles! 
 Exchange of rings.....
I believe this is where Chris turned his back to the guests to wipe his nose and I said "give it a good blow!" (I always check to see that noses are wiped before the kiss which was coming up soon!) It was also a "two hankie" wedding--one for the bride and one for the groom!
 The pronouncement followed by.......
 Wow, we're married! 
Time for some post-ceremony photos!  
Jessica set up some great compositions. But, I am not sure Kristen is very confident that Chris will not lose his grip on her!
 Chris and Kristen, you were a joy to work with and a very well matched couple. I know you will have a very happy and prosperous marriage! Best always!

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Fabulous Wedding for Eleanor and Justin at The Oaks at Salem!

This pretty photo and the one below it were taken about 4:00 on Saturday April 25, 2014 at The Oaks at Salem in Apex. The weatherman had been predicting terrible rain and thunderstorms all day and it had rained on and off yet the sun was shining. Should we take a chance?
Joslin at The Oaks had put out all the chairs for the ceremony in front of the big tree about 2:30 but the clouds were building and the weather report predicted a thunder boomer would hit Apex at about 5:00--ceremony start time. Wisely at about 3:30, the call was made to relocate the wedding under the tent on the terrace--a beautiful Plan B for this venue. There was no time to retrieve the chairs. 
Brian Darocha, our DJ with Unlimited DJ Service, was all set up when Marty and I arrived. My microphone plugged into his body pack and we did a sound check and all was well. I was so happy to work with Brian again and I knew he would monitor the sound and raise or lower the volume as needed due to rain and thunder.
Bride are always disappointed when the weather does not cooperate but Eleanor was being a great sport about it. Might as well!
Sweet Memories Bakery made this gorgeous cake. The irises are all sugar and the colors are delicious! Crave was the caterer and the buffet was all set up in the downstairs area for the reception.
 It is raining now. Can you tell? Such a beautiful venue with the stately manor house, lake and terrace. 
You can see that the sky is darkening and the lights are on inside the tent. Exactly at 5:00 there was a huge downpour of rain. We decided to wait about 10 minutes for a lull.
And it is time to begin......I walked out first and Justin and his two sons, Jared and Jordan, escorted the mothers in and then they joined me up front.
 Justin brings in his mother, Cindy, followed by his dad, Terry. 
 Eleanor's dad has passed on so her mother, Marjorie, escorted her in. The English Garden did the flowers. 
Our two bridesmaids followed. Jacie, Justin's daughter, was first in and then Melissa, Maid of Honor and friend of the bride, who is expecting twins in just a few months--or sooner!
 Welcome, prayer, remembering loved ones who are no longer with us, honoring of the parents, and blessing of Justin's children. 
 Then their story began......
Eleanor and Justin started working at a local hospital in 2006 at about the same time. Their departments worked in close tandem with each other but it would be years before they knew each other's names and became acquainted--not that they had not noticed each other from a distance though!
 Justin flirted with Eleanor and kept asking her if she was on Facebook.....
Eleanor did not even text! However as her interest in Justin grew, she had a friend help her get on Facebook and out of the blue, Justin got a Friend request from her. And that opened up the lines of communication outside of work.
In 2010 when Eleanor needed a good friend to talk to, she called Justin and they went to a park to talk--for hours--and shared a kiss under the stars, each claiming that the other instigated it! And ever since, they have been inseparable.
On May 20, 2013 their lives changed forever when Justin planned an elaborate and intricate proposal on a boat. Justin pulled out the ring box and opened it. Eleanor, in shock, tearing up and at a loss for words, realized that they were holding a diamond ring on the bow of a boat over the water and quickly took the ring and put it on her finger. Justin asked "Does that mean yes?" Eleanor responded "You haven't asked me yet!"  Of course he asked quickly and she could not say yes fast enough. The wedding planning began!
They had written secret vows to each other that were printed facing them in my book. Justin had a bit of trouble getting through his. Eleanor had practically memorized hers but I heard a some tears in her voice too!
 Then they exchanged rings and received a blessing. 
 The big moment......
Justin and Eleanor, despite the weather, your wedding was wonderful and I know your marriage will be filled with love, happiness and satisfaction! I wish you only the best of everything!
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