Sealed with a kiss!

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Denise and Keith Tie The Knot at The Matthews House!

Denise and Keith found themselves sitting at the same kitchen table at a mutual friends' engagement party in March of 2011. Keith was attracted to Denise's gorgeousness and Denise to Keith's personality and easy going nature. Their conversation flowed easily and it felt like they had known each other forever. After many attempts to get together they officially became a couple whereupon Keith promptly asked Denise to come with him to a friend's wedding. She asked where the wedding would be. He told her Poland. She asked "Poland, the country?" He replied yes and she eagerly accepted the invitation. That's when Keith new Denise was The One! They both love to travel. Keith is good at planning adventures and Denise is good at coming along with him! Keith proposed in August of 2013 while on a trip out West and they chose the wedding date of August 16, 2014 at The Matthews House in Cary. 
I've been doing weddings at the lovely historic Matthews House for at least 12 to 14 years and the property has undergone many changes and developments over time. This view above is of the side of the house. At one time a huge old tree stood between the house and the chairs but it was lost to decay a couple of years ago. In the early days of weddings here the chairs were placed to face the house and porch creating an L-shaped aisle from the front door. 
The beautiful fence was added and an arch was created so that the guests face toward the back of the property where there now stand a beautiful reception hall. It used to be just grass and an unsightly view of the backyards of the neighbors on the street over. Adding the reception hall not only added wonderful space for the reception and Plan B if the weather was not cooperative but also gave more privacy!
Inside the reception hall is this lovely cake by Patisserie which is the in-house bakery for the Matthews House. 
 The beautiful floral designs are by Gregg Kennedy of Brides and Bouquets.  Gorgeous as usual! 
Our DJ, Cody Ross with Touch of Class DJs, is set up in the reception hall and a mobile unit is out on the side porch for the ceremony. Ross had an ear mic ready for me and the sound was perfect!
Warren McCormack is our very capable photographer and brought along a second shooter to cover the festivities. Warren and I have worked many weddings together and he is always so easy going and fun to work with.
The guests are seated and we are ready to begin the processional. You can see the reception hall in the background.
The parents and wedding party get all lined up in the front of the house.
Preeti Waas is the manager of The Matthews House and usually directs the weddings there. She has recently begun her own event planning and directing business called Mehar Events. She specializes in Indian weddings and the blended Indian/American weddings! Go check out her website! I know she will be a grand success.
 Entering is the groom's parents, Ruth and Glenn. 
Then Daniel escorts his mother and Mother of the Bride, Christine. Daniel then circled around to escort in the bride with his father, Paul.
 Ready, girls? 
 Preeti stands watch to cue Cody for the entrance of the wedding party.
 So pretty in their mint dresses! 
 So now for the bride! 
 Please stand for our beautiful bride!
 Presentation of the Bride....
 Here we go! Preeti straightens the bride's train.
 Welcome, prayer, then their love story......
 Some good laughs all around......
 Vows and rings....
Feel the happiness of this day. Feel the love of your family and dearest friends surrounding you as they honor you on your wedding day!
 The official pronouncement of marriage.....
 Stepping joyfully into their future! 
Denise and Keith--a wonderful wedding! I know you two are so happy together and off on more adventures! I wish you all the best.
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fairy Tale Wedding for Nicolle and Sean!

Nicolle and Sean are true Disney fans. Their favorite Disney movie is Up. There were words like "Once upon a time" and "Happily ever after" incorporated into their ceremony.
Their wedding program was one of the cleverest depictions I have ever seen for a wedding program. The house and balloons represent the movie Up and the mouse ears, their love of all things Disney. Notice too that the bride is standing on  steps to raise her up to the groom's level.
Their wedding was Thursday August 14th, 2014 at the Second Empire downtown Raleigh. It is a wonderful place for small intimate weddings. Above is the East Parlor which has been all decked out by Kelley Kennedy of Teacup Floral with petals in the aisle and bows on the chairs. I am seeing their delightful wedding program for the first time in this photo and noticing that the bride was standing on steps! Neil MacAulay of Our Family Photo, relative of the groom's family, was our professional photographer. He is from Charlotte. 
Downstairs the preparations for the reception are complete! Unfortunately the wedding cake had not been brought out of refrigeration so we don't have a photo. Another unfortunate turn of events was that the violinist who was supposed to play for the ceremony did not show up. Marilyn, event manager for Second Empire, upon learning that, immediately sprang into action, procured a boom box and downloaded the Disney tunes for the ceremony and we had music! Good going, Marilyn!!
When it was time to begin, Christine, friend of Sean's mother who had been tapped to direct the wedding, signaled for me and the groom and his attendants to enter. Sean's father, Mike, was his best man, two friends, and Sean's sister, Shannon, also stood up with him.
The 3 bridesmaids entered, then Nicolle's sister Michelle who was Maid of Honor.  Nicolle's father, Mark, escorted in our "Princess" bride. She did look like a princess from a Disney movie, too!
And so, let us begin...."Once upon a time, almost 6 years ago, out of all the people in the world, Nicolle and Sean were blessed with the good fortune of finding one another......"
To honor Sean's heritage, they included the hand-fasting ceremony where their left hands are bound by a cord representing love. They then joined right hands forming the symbol of infinity.
They exchanged their vows while their hands were bound in love. (Are you noticing the height discrepancy? Nicolle and I felt a bit like midgets standing with her tall Prince Charming!)
 The exchange of rings......
I asked them to look around at all their loved ones and feel the love of those who had come to honor them on their wedding day before I made the pronouncement of marriage.
And then I reached behind me and swung around the stool for Nicolle to stand on for the pronouncement and the kiss! (When I told her at the rehearsal that two of my former brides with very tall bridegrooms had stood on a stool for the kiss, she jumped at the chance! And so I brought my stool!  Should have brought one for myself!)
 I had quite a reach for their hands to make the pronouncement!
 How perfect!!
 The Princess and her Prince Charming! 
 Happiness abounds when you wish upon a star!
Sean, you are truly a gentle giant and I am so happy that you and your princess Nicolle found each other! I wish you always the best. May you live happily ever after and may all your dreams come true!
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beautiful Wedding at Dinwiddie Chapel at Peace College for Jen and Kevin!

Jen and Kevin are so well-matched! They met when they were both freshmen at UNC and their friendship gradually grew within a group of friends who often dined together in the dining hall. It took Kevin almost 4 years to realize there was an attraction there. During their senior year things changed as they both found themselves free of any other love interest and some subtle flirting began. After one such flirtatious episode that involved a cap, they shared their first kiss. Their first date was Valentine's Day of 2009 when they enjoyed pizza and sneaked a bottle of wine into the movie theater! Since then they have rarely gone a day without seeing each other--especially after Kevin found out what a good cook Jen is! The proposal happened in December of 2013 following a candlelit dinner at the Carolina Club and the wedding planning began.
Jen's father, Larry, has worked at Peace College for 30 years and Jen and Kevin really love the Dinwiddie Chapel there so that is where they chose to have their ceremony on Sunday August 10 2014, followed by a fun reception at Caffe Luna.
The majestic pipe organ was played by Mr. Hermann and it was so grand! He is good! On the altar are flowers by Kelly Odom. To the left is the beautiful wooden wine box and their sealed love letters on each side of the flowers ready to be placed in the box and locked up not to be opened until their first wedding anniversary and enjoyed with a glass of the wine.
On an easel greeting the guests as they arrived was a clever old window with photos and mementos. 
While Jen and her maidens were hidden away, their photographer Meg Niemczyk was getting the groom and his men to pose for some "academic" photos!!
Pinning on the boutonnieres!
The groomsmen and I were first to enter followed by the parents. When Kevin escorted his mother in, he then joined us up front.
Kevin's boss, Elizabeth, was our honorary wedding director. She did a super job and everything went exactly as planned. Thanks, Elizabeth!
The last of the pretty bridesmaids to enter in their pretty apple red dresses. Red weddings are so gorgeous! 
Larry beamed the whole time as he proudly escorted his beautiful daughter down the aisle! 
After bidding Dad goodbye, the bride and groom stepped up to the higher level to join me for the ceremony. 
Telling their story! We had some good laughs here but......
Even better laughs with "Jen looks forward to being able to hang out with her best friend every day for the rest of her life and having someone around who will eat anything when her culinary experiments go wrong!"
They chose the "I do" type of vows where I ask the questions and they answer "I do." 
Then the rings....
After the rings they walked to the altar and put their love letters in the box with the wine and wine glasses and locked it.
A closing blessing, then the pronouncement of marriage, then......
The new Mr. and Mrs.! 
What a great couple! 
Jen and Kevin, what can I say? I loved your wedding. It was perfect for you. I am honored to have had the privilege of joining you in marriage! I know you are so happy and I wish for you all the best!

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