Sealed with a kiss!

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

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Aeriall and CJ's Dream Wedding Come True!

CJ and Aeriall's wedding was on Sunday October 4th, 2015 at All Saints Chapel. Initially Aeriall's mother contacted me back in April about officiating then I met with CJ and Aeriall. They have a sweet story having met each other in college and I looked forward to co-creating a romantic ceremony with them.
Nice way to display what would traditionally be in a wedding program!
This wedding theme was rustic. The old milk bottles and antique table they were on, the barrels with the jars of flowers flanking the altar, and it all fit in with the ambiance of this rustic historic chapel.
When the parents had been escorted in, CJ and his guys and I emerged from the side room. Their friend Gabe played for the processional. Double duty guy!
After the bridesmaids had entered, it was time for our cute little flower girl, Callie, and our ring bearer, Thomas to enter.
I invited the guests to stand for the bride's entrance!
Aeriall and her father, Morris, entered after our wedding planner/director, Cathy Anna, straightened her dress.
CJ stepped down to the floor level, Aeriall and Morris paused at the front row so her mother, Tora, could join them. I asked the question, her parents answered, then Morris placed Aeriall's hand into CJ's and they stepped up onto the altar with me.
You cannot tell it here but they were both in tears at this point and I was digging out my hankie! 
Aeriall swipes her tears then shared the hankie with CJ! 
After the welcome address and the prayer, we remembered those not with us. 
I stepped out and gave a blessing to their parents then launched into their fabulous, very romantic story. Yes, there was definitely some humor there and we all had some good laughs.
They exchanged their vows by reading them from my book. 
The rings were exchanged.....
They poured their sand together......
The closing blessing before the pronouncement of marriage.
I placed my hand on theirs and declared them husband and wife and invited CJ to kiss his beautiful wife!
So romantic! Surprised us all! 
"We are really married!"
I introduced them to their guests amidst the applause and cheering! 
And out they went into their new life!
Aeriall and CJ, your wedding was terrific! You are a great couple--a wonderful match for each other--and you simply radiate love! I wish you all the best forever!

Our Vendors for this Wedding:

Wedding Venue: All Saints Chapel
Wedding Director: Cathy Anna

DJ: The Perfect Beat
Florist: Fallons Flowers
Caterer: RockyTop Hospitality

Wonderful Interfaith Wedding for Warren and Maria With a Surprise Ending!

Maria and Warren planned to have their beautiful wedding ceremony on October 3, 2015 in the Ann Hill Courtyard of The Carolina Inn. All was going well until Hurricane Joaquin came whirling along the North Carolina coast sending bands of rain and wind into the Triangle. The ground was already super-saturated from two previous rainy weekends so their wedding was forced inside where a portion of the John Hill Ballroom was cordoned off for the ceremony. And, it could not have been prettier!
 This chuppah and all the floral arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres were done by Tre Bella. 
Maria and Warren's ceremony was custom blended to include both Christian and Jewish elements. Here we have the Unity Candle (Christian) which included their children lighting candles. We had the Cup of Life and Glass Breaking (Jewish) traditions too. All ready for the ceremony.
This is a beautiful Ketubah--a marriage contract that is traditionally signed at a Jewish wedding. 
Inside the other two-thirds of the ballroom, their band was set up. Maria and Warren are fans of big bands and jazz. I did not get the name of the band although we could hear them rehearsing before the ceremony.
This sweet cake was by Whole Foods Bakery in Chapel Hill.
The music for the ceremony was provided by Scott Schillin. He was set up at the back of the ballroom.
The guests started arriving and taking their seats. 
Our beautiful bride, Maria, and her equally beautiful daughter, Elena, were hidden out of sight. Gina, our wonderful wedding director with A Southern Soiree makes sure no one sees them, especially the groom!
Christobal Perez with Azul Photography is getting in position for the processional. 
Our wonderful wedding director, Gina with A Southern Soiree, cued Warren and me and Jacob, Warren's son, to enter.
Elena and Zoe, Warren's daughter, were next to enter. 
Warren, Jacob and I await the entrance of the bridesmaids and the bride!
Both Warren's and Maria's parents are deceased so Maria had her cousin Blase escort her down the aisle.  
A warm welcome to all followed by a prayer based on First Corinthians (one of the Christian elements).
Then the children's blessing which included words from Warren and Maria to each other's children. 
Explanation of the Unity Candle. 
The lighting on the Unity Candle by Warren and Maria.
Elena, Jacob and Zoe lit their candles from the Unity Candle symbolizing family unity.
The Cup of Life ceremony in which Maria and Warren drank of the same Kiddush cup of wine.
Maria and Warren, like many modern couples, were matched up on line. Their love story spans 5 years because neither were eager to rush things. They each had their own priorities and goals and gradually melded their lives together. Destiny was truly evident in these two finding each other!
They had each told me in private what they love about each other and what they are looking forward to in marriage. Neither had heard what the other told me until this sweet moment in the ceremony.
They make their promises of marriage to each other.
The exchange of rings.
The pronouncement of marriage!
A beautiful kiss! 
"Aha! We did it" moment!
At this point I introduced the couple and whereas they would typically recess out, there was a big surprise in store for the guests!
I gave the signal and the famous a cappella group from UNC, The Clef Hangers, stood and began singing Carolina on My Mind to Maria and Warren.
They continued with Crazy Love for Maria! 
The Clef Hangers exited followed by Maria and Warren, now wife and husband!
Jacob escorted his sisters down the aisle! 
A group shot of all the guests! The rain had stopped! 
Warren and Maria, what a wonderful wedding! I hope it fulfilled all your dreams. I am honored to have joined you in marriage and I wish you the best always!

Our Wonderful Vendors for this wedding:

Venue: The Carolina Inn
Wedding Director: A Southern Soiree
Musician: Scott Schillin
Photographer: Azul Photography
Florist: Tre Bella Flowers

Wedding Cake: WholeFoods in Chapel Hill