Sealed with a kiss!

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Laurel and Craig's Sweet Wedding in my Wedding Garden!

Monday February 20, 2017 could not have been a more beautiful day for a wedding in my garden. Even a few azalea blossoms peeked out. The camellia was in bloom too. It could have been May!
Laurel's father, Dale, escorted her down the aisle.
Laurel's parents came down for the wedding from Ohio. Unfortunately Craig's parents live in England and were not able to come. However, Craig's brother Ashley was with us and Craig's nephew Ronny. Laurel's brother Drew was here too plus a few other friends.
After welcoming everyone and recognizing their family members, they exchanged vows and rings. 
Laurel places the ring on Craig's finger. 
The pronouncement of marriage! 
As they kissed, I reached behind them to ring the bell. 
Introducing the newlyweds to their guests! 
The families together! 
Now everyone! 
Laurel and Craig, congratulations on your marriage! I wish you all the happiness in the world! 

Jemalia and Udo Marry at the Bridge Club on February 18, 2017!

The Bridge Club at 105 W. Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh is a new wedding venue. This was my first wedding there and it was wonderful. The staff is so helpful and accommodating. They also have their own house sound system which is so convenient for me to plug my mic into.
The Bridge Club is on the second and third floors of what used to be a bank building with very high ceilings. It is right upstairs from the Death and Taxes restaurant. Bridge Club does their own catering.
The second floor is where the ceremony and cocktail hour were held. The reception was on the third floor. Here is where the ceremony will take place. The windows look out onto Salisbury Street. These pretty florals were by Kelly Odom Flowers.
Getting my mic on and doing a sound check. 
Phil on cello and Sherry on violin of Florian Music provided the ceremony and cocktail hour music. Always wonderful to work with! 
This is the spacious third floor where the tables are ready for the reception. The chairs for the ceremony will be moved up here. This is also where the bride and her maidens hang out before the ceremony.
Jemalia checks her messages while her mother and the three bridesmaids relax. 
My husband Dave was taking photos for me. I don't know what was happening here but looks like it was funny!
Confectionate Cakes made this lovely gold and pink wedding cake. 
Hannah, our flower girl, and Matthew, our ring bearer, are hanging out here, Hanna with her mother and Matthew with his sister, waiting for the ceremony to start.
After all the guests had arrived our director, Heather, cued the musicians and the mother of the groom, Femmie, and her partner, Simon, to enter and be seated.
Jemalia's mother, Lillie, and her father, Tony, enter next and Tony returned to bring in the bride.
Then it was my turn to walk as Heather motions for the guys to follow me. 
Udo and his family are from The Netherlands where they grow very tall people! This is his brother, Erwin. I felt like I was in the valley of the giants!
We are awaiting the flower girl and ring bearer and after a slow start they began processing in. All those people watching them is a bit intimidating to young children.
Heather did a great job of convincing them to walk down the aisle. Matthew took the ring pillow to Erwin and was rewarded with a pack of M&Ms!
Here comes the bride and her father! Heather fluffs the train. Jemalia is no shorty either! 
Joe Payne, our esteemed photographer, followed them down the aisle getting some good shots. 
Ahh! Here we all are. At 5'5" I was the shortest person in the wedding party. Udo and his brother and Jemalia's brother are all at least 7 ft tall!
After the welcome, we honored their parents. This was a sweet surprise to them. We also recognized Udo's teenage daughter, Fabienne. 
Then I got to tell the story of how Jemalia and Udo met and fell in love. Their journey together began exactly 4 years ago to the day. Udo proposed exactly one year ago to the day. And now the wedding--he wanted only one date to remember--February 18th!
Then they heard what each of them told me they love about each other. Some humor here too! 
They made their vows to each other then exchanged rings. 
I reached up to make the pronouncement! 
Ah...the sweet kiss! 
I introduced them to their guests and as they headed down the aisle I stepped into the center again for the recessional of the wedding party and parents then invited the guests to move to the back of the room for cocktails while the chairs were being moved upstairs for the reception. Meanwhile Joe took the wedding party outside and down around the corner to the Capital for photos. I packed up my mic and Dave and I headed out to find them for one more picture!
Congratulations, Jemalia and Udo! What a wonderful wedding you planned. You are a beautiful couple and I am so honored that you chose me to join you in marriage. I wish you the best life can bring!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Jessica and Bob Wed at The Mims House in Holly Springs!

The Leslie-Alford Mims House is a historic site in downtown Holly Springs. Two women, Priscilla Erwin and Brooke Everhart, have lovingly restored this beautiful home to its original splendor plus more. As wedding planners they could envision weddings and events there. Others had tried to restore the old home but had failed. Priscilla and Brooke decided to go for it and have done a wonderful job.
You can see downtown Holly Springs in the background here. 
There is an old church next door which shares the driveway and parking lot. Keeping watch over both properties is a monument to Confederate Soldiers. 
Priscilla and Brooke landscaped the grounds and added the portico and a large paver terrace where a tent can be erected to handle large weddings and receptions. 
Brooke and Priscilla with me! 
This lovely parlor was ready for the wedding. The beautiful florals were by Greg Kennedy of Brides and Bouquets. He is so talented.
The Family Unity Sand Ceremony was ready for pouring. Jessica has one daughter and Bob has three sons and a daughter. Today they became one big family.
Getting the marriage license signed, getting the wedding rings and leaving the pretty keepsake certificate I make for my couples.
Priscilla tells us it is time to get lined up to enter. The guests are seated and ready. 
After Bob and his three sons entered with me, the two girls followed together. 
It is time for our beautiful bride! 
And so we begin the ceremony welcoming everyone.
On Jessica and Bob's behalf I spoke to their children telling them how loved they are and how honored they will be in this marriage and family that becomes one today.
Now speaking to Jessica's daughter. 
They exchanged vows then the rings. 
Jessica puts the ring on Bob's finger. 
Then it was time for the sand ceremony. Unfortunately Jessica's high heel got caught in the floor grate and when she picked up her foot the grate came with it! Before anyone could help her, the grate released her shoe and she was careful to straddle it after that! It was comical. She and Bob each pour a layer of sand in the container.
Then the kids pour in their sand one at the time followed by Bob and Jessica blending their sand together on top. 
I made the pronouncement of marriage and invited Bob to kiss the bride. (Funny how children react to kissing of their parents!)
That "after-kiss" moment when reality sinks in--we did it!
And a happy hug! 
The pretty sand layers joined together. 
The happy new family poses for a photo for our photographer, Morgan with Live View Studios
Congratulations, Bob and Jessica! What a lovely and sweet wedding. I loved working with you to personalize it for you and your family. I wish you much happiness and joy!