Sealed with a kiss!

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

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Shalyn and Leugray Wed in the White Garden at JC Raulston Arboretum!

Shalyn and Leugray live in Little Rock, Arkansas but met in Cary NC. Her family lives here in Raleigh and his in Fountain Inn, SC. So they chose to have their wedding ceremony in the White Garden at the JC Raulston Arboretum and their reception at The Stockroom in Raleigh. It was on Sunday May 17th, 2015 and the weather was ideal. I had not met them in person until their wedding day but we had Skyped back last September. However, working with them to create their ceremony, I felt I had known them for years! It was great to meet them in person, finally!
This is a sweet little gazebo. The arboretum had also brought in an extension cord from quite a distance so that the guitarist would have power. I never knew they could do this! I always use my battery powered sound system.
 The bride and her father will enter from this lovely archway.
Just after Marty and I arrived, Luciano, our guitarist from Arioso Strings arrived with his guitar and equipment.
Leugray and his Best Gal Lisa arrived and we did some chair rearranging, then Neil Boyd, their photographer and his two associate shooters, Caroline Dickson and another young lady whose name I failed to write down and now cannot remember! Photographers are not used to having their picture taken!!
So we are waiting for the guests to be seated then we will be signaled by their friend Rhett who acted as their director.
 Time to get started! 
Lisa, Leugray's Best Gal, processed in. (She may be his sister, not sure though!) Cateringworks furnished the pretty bouquets and boutonnieres, the wedding cake and all the food for the reception.
 Leugray escorted his mother, Beverley, in then stepped up and joined me and Lisa.
 Jesse, our Man of Honor, escorted his mother and mother of the bride, Cathy in then joined us up front.
 Our sweet little flower girls then entered and were seated.
 Shalyn was escorted in by her proud father, Nathan!
That is Rhett in the blue shirt. The photographers are standing by while Neil is up front getting them walking down the aisle. They had this wedding well covered!
 And so we begin! 
It was a beautiful spiritual ceremony with a warm welcome, a faith-neutral prayer, and remembrance of loved ones who have passed on from this earth.
 Then we paid tribute to their parents for all their love and support through the years. 
They have a good story and it was fun to tell. They met in 2012 in a designated smoking area outside the building they both worked in. Both being quite shy, it took months until either acted on the attraction that they both felt. And it was Shalyn who made the first brave move. Leugray panicked and almost missed responding! But, once they got past that point they hit it off. Shortly thereafter Leugray was transferred to Texas for work and the relationship turned long-distance. While Shalyn was considering possibly moving to Texas, Leugray was transferred permanently to Little Rock. Once she got a job there, she joined him. In July of 2014, while back in the Carolinas to visit family, Leugray proposed. Of course Shalyn said yes and the wedding planning commenced.
 They read their vows from my book and exchanged rings. Leugray went first. 
 Then Shalyn.....
 The pronouncement of marriage followed the closing blessing. 
 At last! 
 So, here they are, Leugray and Shalyn, now husband and wife! 
 They exited to a secluded spot for photos. 
 Followed by Lisa and Jesse and the flower girls and parents.
I invited the guests to depart and find their way to The Stockroom. It was 5:30 and Artsplosure was just closing down so I trust they made it okay. I did see some photos of the reception on Facebook so I know it was a grand celebration!
 A photo with Leugray's mom.
 Shalyn with Zoey and Jada who are Leugray's nieces. 
My turn for a picture with the happy couple! Leugray and Shalyn, congratulations. I know you are so happy and enjoying wedding bliss back in Little Rock by now! My honor to join you in matrimony!
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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Amanda and Ryan's Beautiful Wedding at The Stockroom!

Amanda and Ryan were a joy to work with to co-create their special wedding ceremony. I met with them last August and booked their wedding for May 16, 2015 at The Stockroom. They had a premier line up of vendors: Claire with Orangerie Events, Arioso Strings, Stylus was the DJ for the reception, photographer Kevin Milz, florist Tre Bella, wedding cake by Sugarland, catering by Empire Eats and make-up by Makeup for your Day. Wow! I did not get the name of the calligrapher who did this wonderful piece on the chalkboard:
We did not know at the time of planning that the same weekend as the wedding was Artsplosure. When I found out, I thought, it'll be okay because the festival would be around Moore's Square where it has always been. WRONG!! It was down Fayetteville Street from Morgan to the end and each side street. And not only Saturday but they were setting up Friday when we had our rehearsal. I was very fortunate both times manifesting a parking place within 2 blocks! The wedding started a little late as you can imagine with all the guests getting parked. But everyone was so understanding we hardly noticed.
On an easel on first floor as we entered was this wonderful photo of our couple greeting us.
Tre Bella had the simple elegant florals at the front and I brought my little table for the Wooden Wine Box to sit upon.
 Here is how it looked from the back of the room. 
On the gift and guest book table was this lovely photo which served as a wedding program. 
 An old suitcase to hold the gift envelopes!
 They had a photo book for everyone to sign as the guest book.
 A sweet note of thanks to all!
 Our string duo is set up and tuning up!
 So, when the guests were all seated and everyone had processed in except the bride, our bouncy little flower girl, Avery, made her way down the aisle. She is 2 barely years old and adorable. 
I believe these are her grandparents who were designated baby keepers for the ceremony. Avery's parents were bridesmaid and groomsman.
 Amanda is escorted in by her stepfather Jim........
 Then at the back row of chairs, her father Jim escorted her the rest of the way down the aisle.
 And so we begin. I had forgotten how tall Ryan is until the rehearsal! 
 Our groomsmen and best man, Ron, Ryan's father. 
 Our bridesmaids...... 
After the welcome, remembrance of those no longer with us, I greeted their parents and stepparents and thanked them on behalf of Ryan and Amanda for all their love and support. Then it was time for the couple's story! They met at work back in 2011but the romance did not begin for over a year when they began to see each other outside of work. And really, the rest is history, as they say! Ryan proposed in April of 2014 during a hike and picnic at Umstead Park and the wedding planning began.
 Then to reveal what they separately told me they love about each other!
Ryan told me that he can't wait to have his firstborn son, not of the canine variety and looks forward to never planning another wedding. Amanda told me she hopes that for hers and Ryan's sake, their first baby is a boy!
 Time to exchange their promises of marriage to each other. 
 Ryan places the ring on Amanda's finger while saying the words after me.
 Amanda's turn.....
This wooden box holds a bottle of wine and two wine glasses. They had also written each other a love letter and sealed them without sharing. On their first anniversary they will open the box, pour each other a glass of wine and read their letters to remember how madly in love they were on their wedding day. Then write a new letter and add it to the box to open on the next anniversary and every year thereafter.
 A closing blessing for Ryan and Amanda then the pronouncement of marriage!
 Ryan kisses his beautiful wife! 
 That sweet "after-kiss" moment captured!
 I presented them to their guests, the music began and out they went!
 It is done!!
Congratulations, Amanda and Ryan. Great wedding! All your planning paid off in a beautiful day. So honored to have officiated for you. Thank you!
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