Sealed with a kiss!

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

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Grand Winter Wedding for Lizzie and John!

Lizzie and John's wedding was at the historic Merrimon-Wynne House in downtown Raleigh on January 17th, 2015. It was a glorious day for a wedding! The temperatures were in the mid-50s and the sun was shining!
Marty and I arrived and entered the tent on the property that had been transformed for the ceremony. Draping cordoned off the ceremony area and the English Garden florists had been there and set up the altar area with greenery and candelabras. 
 Our musicians from Arioso Strings arrived and began warming up.
Ah, ha! Behind the curtains The Extraordinaires were also setting up and warming up for the reception following the ceremony and cocktails. They provided me with a lavaliere microphone for the ceremony because there was no really suitable place for me to place my sound system.
The Square Rabbit was the caterer and also provided the small cake for the bride and groom to cut and the luscious cupcakes for the guests to eat!
 There were even pretty personalized teal paper towels in the restrooms! 
They had a wonderful idea for the guest book--a coffee table style book about North Carolina filled with beautiful photographs of the state. The guests were invited to pick a page and leave a note!
 Above the guest book table was this gorgeous monogram of the couple!
 Okay, it is time to get lined up, guys! 
While we got all lined up, Lizzie and her father, Clay, hung out in the parlor having some good laughs about something!
 Our pretty maidens all in a row out on the porch! 
We began with John's grandmother, Ann, followed by Lizzie's grandparents, Camille and Ronald. Then the parents.
All the guests are seated inside the big tent and waiting for us to start. One late couple dashed inside just in time before we began the processional!
After the grandparents were seated, I cued John's parents, Lynn and Curt, to enter. Curt turned around and came back to the line-up because he was his son's best man. Mother of the bride, Lynn too, and stepfather are behind them.
 John and I and the groomsmen are waiting for Curt to return and the musicians to start new music.
 Lisa, our director, then cued in the bridesmaids, flower girl and ring bearer. 
 Where's the bride???
 Here she comes! She and her father were just beaming!
Our photographer, Allen Watson, was positioned at the corner to get shots of each member of the wedding party as they entered.
 Lizzie's dress was stunning. It was perfect for her! 
 And so we began.
 We included a nice prayer then paid tribute to their parents.
Then I got to tell the story of how they met when both were in college in 2007--Lizzie at Meredith, John at NC State. They were introduced by mutual friends and began to notice each other. Lizzie worked up her courage to invite John to be her date at the spring formal and was delighted that he accepted. They laughed and danced the night away.
 The dating began their junior year and really, they have never looked back.
After graduation they both got work in Raleigh and began to grow into their adult selves in their careers and as a couple. John persuaded Lizzie to trade in her beach lounge for a backpack and introduced her to camping and the breath-taking vista from Grayson Highlands, one of his favorite spots in Virginia.
 John, this is what Lizzie told me she loves about you and why she wants to marry you.
 Lizzie, John told me how much he loves you and looks forward to building a life together. 
 They exchanged their vows and then exchanged rings.
 By the power vested in me...........
 Good kiss, John, and you were careful not to dislodge Lizzie's veil!!
 The poignant "after-kiss" moment I just love to see as reality is sinking in!
 Yep, a few tears rolled down Lizzie's cheek and I quickly handed her a hankie I carry just for that!
 Ladies and Gentlemen......the newlyweds! 
Back upstairs while the guests mingle and enjoy cocktails downstairs, Lizzie removed the veil and put a pretty comb with flowers in her hair. She had lots of help!
Lizzie and John, fantastic wedding! Thank you for allowing me to be part of your big day and join you in matrimony! I wish you all the best forever!
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lynette and Amy Tie the Knot Legally This Time!

Five years ago on January 1st, 2010, I performed a commitment ceremony for Amy and Lynette in my wedding garden. Of course it was not a legal marriage back then but it was a serious commitment nevertheless. (See that post.) Of course I am delighted that the marriage laws in North Carolina were changed in October of 2014 and that Lynette contacted me about doing a legal ceremony this time almost exactly five years to the date of their first ceremony.
A dear friend of theirs has a horse farm out in Kenly NC--about an hour's drive through beautiful countryside--where we had the wedding on Sunday January 4, 2105--my first wedding of 2015!
The weather was a pleasant temperature but the wind was blowing, the dark clouds were building and the rain was not far behind us. 
Amy and their attendants (Betsy and Cee) and I took our places in front of the fence and awaited Lynette's entrance! (Yay, I got to wear my cowboy boots for this wedding!)
 Julie, who is like a granddaughter to Lynette and Amy sprinkled some rose petals down the aisle. 
 Lynette was escorted in by dear friends who are like parents to her. 
And so we began the same ceremony from 5 years ago but expanded to include their friends and extended family there today.
This is also a double celebration: Lynette just recently reached her five year milestone in recovery from breast cancer. We are all so happy for them!
 Everyone was welcomed and a prayer was said. Some words on love and marriage then I asked them their vows. 
 They put their rings on each other's finger while reading their promises to each other from my book. 
 And now for the long awaited pronouncement that makes their union legal! 
 Celebrated with a kiss and some more rose petals! 
Lynette and Amy--thank you for being in my life. You are inspirations! It was my great honor to join you in matrimony and I am so happy for you! Let's do a renewal of vows ceremony five years from now!! Congratulations and I wish you all the best forever!
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