Sealed with a kiss!

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

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Laura and Chris' Wonderful Wedding in the White Garden!

The day was September 9th, 2017 in the lovely White Garden at JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. I had met Laura and Chris way back in January when they hired me to officiate their wedding. Little did I know how much fun we would have writing their ceremony. They are both creative and very independent thinkers to be sure! 
So I was really looking forward to this wedding and telling their story. They have known each other since college in New York State back in 2008. You could say that Laura pursued Chris until he caught her!
A little background on this lovely garden which has been pruned of heavy foliage that used to make it dark and mosquitoey.  It is light and bright now! And Like the bamboo screen behind it for privacy.
And they added a flagstone walk for the aisle.
Udeshi Hargett, our violinist, was already there when Dave and I arrived. It was good to see her again! We do lots of weddings together. 
When the guests were seated and everyone in the wedding party hidden from sight, I took my place.
Then Chris' best man, Eddie, escorted Laura's Grandmother Frances in, then joined me up front.
Chris escorted his mother Patty in. She was seated and he joined Eddie and me. 
Laura's sister and maid of honor, Melissa, then processed in down the aisle.
When Melissa was in place, Udeshi began the music for Laura and her mother Patty to enter. (Yes, both mothers are named Patty!)
Laura gazes around at all their guests as I welcomed them to this wonderful occasion.
There was a short prayer and remembrance of Laura's grandfather then a tribute to the couple's mothers. 

I had the best time telling their fabulous story! 
It was filled with humor and we laughed a lot, especially Laura who was enjoying hearing the tale of their love unfold.
Chris was having a pretty good time too. And so were their guests. 
Then I revealed to Laura what Chris had told me in confidence he loves about her, why he wants to marry her and what he is looking forward to in marriage!
Then it is Chris' turn to hear what Laura told me. 
I asked them to make their promises of marriage to each other by reading the words they had chosen from my book where I had printed them facing them.
Laura's vows to Chris.
Then I asked Eddie for the rings. And he handed me a packet of candy Pop rings. Another laugh. Then he handed me the little wooden box and the bottom fell out of it spilling Laura's ring onto the ground. She quickly retrieved it and handed it to me. Whew, glad it didn't roll under the gazebo!
Chris repeated the ring vows to Laura after me while placing the ring on her hand!
She did the same! 
And she held onto his hand for a few extra moments. 
I reached down and put my hand on theirs and made the pronouncement of marriage!
Time for the kiss!!
Hey, we did it! Married, at last!
They recessed down the aisle as everyone cheered. 
Another kiss for the photographer! (Their professional photographer was Bill Bolen with Thirteenth Moon Photography) Dave (my hubby/photographer) snapped this one for me for this blog. I love this shot!
Laura and Chris, what a joy it was to work with you to come up with such an amazing and humorous
ceremony then present it to your guests. A work of art and a legacy for you. I am so happy that you found each other and that you found me and gave me the honor of joining you in marriage. May you have all the best life has to offer and may your marriage be a grand adventure and may the force be with you!

A Wedding Garden Ceremony for Sarah and David!

Sarah and I made all the arrangements for her and David to marry in my wedding garden in June. But their lives got so busy they just could not pull things together in time. So we postponed to September 9th, 2017. It was a beautiful day for their wedding! 
They brought their closest family members with them and were married surrounded by the people dearest and most important to them.
Welcome to all was followed by a short prayer. 
A few words on how important this relationship is for Sarah and David. 
They loved the vows I sent them. 
David says "I do."
I pronounced them married and invited them to share their first kiss as husband and wife.
And so they did! 
Sarah and David, congratulations! I am glad we finally got you married so you can relax and enjoy wedded bliss! I wish you all the best!

Shannon and Michael Wed at St. Mark's Chapel!

Shannon and Michael tied the knot on September 8th, 2017 at the historic St. Mark's Chapel on the Mordecai campus in downtown Raleigh. The sweetest chapel for the sweetest couple! 
Michael's two sons were part of the ceremony and got to pour their sand together with Shannon and Michael's symbolizing the family that was officially born on this wedding day.
Fresh Affairs provided the floral spray and the lighted wire balls flanking the altar chest and the bride's bouquet and the boutonnieres. 
Meanwhile the guests were arriving and Michael and Shannon were greeting them having had their photos taken earlier.
Their photographer was Brian Mullins, one of the best in the area, who was accompanied by his second shooter, Rebecca. They were setting up family groups in front of the chapel.
This little guest was all decked out with orange glasses to match his orange suspenders! 
When it was time, we shooed the guests inside the chapel and got ready to process down the aisle. Shannon is poised at the bottom of the steps to ascend and make her entrance when cued.
Michael, his sons and I entered first, then Shannon. Michael met her in the aisle and escorted her in. 
I placed Shannon's bouquet on the altar chest and they turned and faced each other. Matt Kanon, our guitarist, on the right is winding down the music.
We welcomed everyone to this wonderful occasion followed by a prayer and remembering those no longer with us.
I invited their parents to stand while we gave them a big tribute for their love and support of our couple.
Then it was time to recognize Michael's two boys, Jordan and Zack. I read some sweet words to them from Shannon.
A few words about love and marriage.
They exchanged their vows. 
Then I gave them the opportunity to say some personal words to each other not having gotten Shannon's email that they had decided to leave this part out! So they were not prepared and we all had a good laugh about that!
They said "I love you" to each other and that was perfect!
Giving Michael the ring to place on Shannon's finger.
He said the words after me to Shannon as he placed the ring on her finger. Then she placed the ring on Michael's finger with the same words.
Time for the pouring of the sand.
Michael and Shannon each pour in a layer of their sand. 
Jordan and Zack came up and poured their sand in one at the time. Michael held the funnel to make sure all the sand got inside the central container.
A closing blessing was next. 
Then I pronounced them husband and wife and invited them to share their first married kiss! 
And so they did! 
I invited the guests to stand and join me in congratulating the couple!
Then we assembled the guests on the altar for a group shot by Brian who was in the loft. 
The sand sculpture.
Congratulations, Shannon and Michael! What a sweet family wedding. It fit you so perfectly and I am so honored to have joined you in marriage. Best to you always!