Sealed with a kiss!

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ali and Landon's Incredible Wedding at The State Club!

Ali and Landon's wedding ceremony "takes the cake" for the wedding with the most laughter of any other wedding I have had the privilege of officiating! And that is due in large part to their fun-loving personalities. I got to know them pretty well because they took my Marriage Optimization class.  I loved teaching them about what to expect in marriage and answering their insightful questions. It was no surprise that they are very compatible and a great match.
Marty and I arrived on October 11th 2014 at The State Club to find Landon and his guys outside the club but there were no chairs set up for the ceremony. I  found out they had checked the doppler for weather predictions for their start time of 5:30 that afternoon and spotted a very large dark cloud headed their way. So, they wisely "called" the wedding and moved the ceremony indoors. And it was a good thing because we found out later it started raining during the ceremony.
Best man Zach, Ali's brother, on the right, and one of our ushers relax before the ceremony. You can see their photographer, Cara, with f8 Studios and her second shooter in the background. Cara and I have done a lot of weddings together through the years.
 View of the ballroom from the second level all decked out for the reception. 
 The room for the ceremony is ready to go! 
 Monica Noa with Nouveau Events has everything under control! Such a pleasure to work with her. 
 Such a pretty wedding cake by Edible Art
A table full of photos of their parents' and grandparents' weddings and a headpiece from one of the brides. 
 Their guest book made with photos of their travels. 
 Engagement photo!
So the guests took their seats. It was a "kid-friendly" wedding and one of our small guests is having a  great time already!
Monica has us all lined up beginning with the four grandparents. Mitch with Joe Bunn DJ Company is providing our music. 
 Landon and I in line waiting our turn to enter.
 Andrea, Landon's sister, is Ali's Maid of Honor. Kelley with Teacup Floral provided the pretty flowers. 
 Ali's father, Rick, brings Ali in! That is Wendy, event manager for the Club, in the background.
Welcome to all, opening prayer and tribute to the parents first. Then a reading of "I Carry Your Heart With Me" by ee cumming was shared by Christy.
Then their story. What fun! The day they met is a clue to their fun personalities and why this ceremony was so funny. In 2009 they were with a gathering of mutual friends at the Flying Saucer, sitting at opposite ends of a table. Because neither was interested in the conversations around them, they amused themselves by making funny faces at each other. Eventually they got around to talking and getting to know each other. After a few months they began to hang out together and developed a close bond which blossomed into romance.
Ali was working on a horse farm and pursuing her master's degree at NCSU. Landon had recently gotten out of the military and was unemployed. When Ali graduated and got her first "real" job, not wanting to be a slacker, Landon got a job with a crane company which he soon discovered was not for him. He promptly quit and began pursuing a degree in electrical engineering and will graduate next May.
They love to travel. In fact, two months into their relationship they took an 8 day Caribbean cruise. Landon spent four months earlier this year on an internship in Switzerland and of course Ali went over to spend a few weeks with him so they could explore Europe together.  In fact, they worked on putting the first draft of their ceremony together from my material while sitting in a beer garden overlooking Prague.
 The proposal story was quite funny as Landon's proposal did not go as he had planned! 
 Whew, getting married is hard work, isn't it, Landon??
 So, now for the secret paragraphs and their vows to each other.
 The rings were exchanged, then a closing blessing. 
Landon kept sniffing during the ceremony so I had to check to make sure everything was good for the kiss that was coming up after the pronouncement!
 The pronouncement! 
 Off we go! 
We gathered in the room where the groom and groomsmen and fathers hung out before the wedding. It was supplied with nerf guns (I think that is what they called them!) and so Ali and Landon had a good time playing with them as Cara and Marty got some good pictures of them. When all the guests had gone down into the lobby for cocktails, we returned to the ceremony room for photos.
And so it is!! Congratulations, Ali and Landon. What a fabulous wedding for a fabulous couple who are so attuned to each other! All the best to you!
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fabulous Wedding of Cheryl and Dave at Caffe Luna!

Dave and Cheryl had a great wedding at Caffe Luna Saturday morning October 11th, 2014. Caffe Luna is a great place for an informal fun wedding with really good food (and wine)! It was perfect for Cheryl and Dave who had both been down the "marriage road" before and were looking for a wedding that was an expression of the two of them.
One of the dining rooms all set up for the reception. 
A beautiful wedding cake for the Fall season by Simply Cakes!
And so the guests have arrived and we shooed them to the front of the room. Kelly Kennedy of Teacup Floral provided the flower petals that flanked the aisle and all the flower arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres and the flowers on the cake. So colorful and bright!
Cheryl's parents, Jean and Dave, entered after Dave's son Travis escorted in Dave's mother, Rita. 
Then Cheryl's daughter, Melanie, processed in (no photo) followed by our beautiful bride, Cheryl, escorted by her son, Andrew.
Now you can see Andrew's face that was missed in the photo above! 
After the welcome and prayer, Dave's sister, Maureen, reads the poem Dave wrote for this special occasion. Now this is the kind of reading everyone loves! It told their story in a humorous and sweet way. Here is one verse to give you an idea:
"So we throw off the bow lines no matter the weather
As we kayak through life and sail off together."
Then I got to add more details to their story. They met 5 years ago at a meet up hike. They connected and went on their first date 2 days later. Then a few days later went kayaking together. They loved the comfortable feelings and how much they had in common and the dating began in earnest.
On New Year's Eve they shared their first kiss and have never looked back. 
The vows and rings.....
The pronouncement of marriage.......
Oh, yes!!
Outside the rear of Caffe Luna is the bus station and a little grassy courtyard where we take pictures. Their photographer, Lu Collazo, climbed up the steps to instruct the guests to stand in a heart-shaped circle.
Wonderful group shots with my camera a little lower--with the CAT bus in the background! 
Dave and Cheryl, what a great couple you are. I am so happy you found each other and found me too! What a wonderful wedding. I loved it!

PS: Got this sweet note from Dave a few days after the wedding--Thanks, Dave!

Hi Kayelily,

I want to thank you for your professionalism and guidance with our wedding ceremony.

I cannot tell you how many people have told me that it was the best wedding ceremony they had ever been to.

Thank you again, I will spread the word whenever I can, that you are the person to use when it comes to getting married.


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