Sealed with a kiss!

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

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Debbie and Banzai Happily Join Their Hearts in Marriage Again!

Back in August of 2001 I married Debbie and Banzai at St. Marks Chapel. 16 years later, on November 2, 2017,  I got a note on Facebook Messenger from Banzai about doing a ceremony for them at the beach. I assumed that it was a renewal of vows ceremony. I informed him that I do not travel as far as the coast to perform ceremonies. So they changed their plans and decided to have their ceremony in my garden instead on November 18, 2017. Banzai also told me that this would be a "new marriage" ceremony, not a renewal of vows. They had divorced in 2008 and then reunited in 2010 but had not remarried. And now they wanted me to join them in marriage again! I was so thrilled to do this! We got together on November 10th and planned their new ceremony. It was so good to see them again! 
The venue changed from my garden to their home in Raleigh and when I arrived for their wedding I was greeted by Debbie's daughters, Lauren and Kayla, now 16 years older and all grown up.
We did the ceremony in their backyard on the patio. Our guests were Kayla's husband and Lauren and their friends. I thank one of them for taking these photos for me with my cell phone.
I had adapted their original ceremony for this new one using quite a few of the same words. Their original ceremony was quite beautiful. They each wrote words for each other that they did not share until the ceremony, just as they had done in 2001.
 A panoramic view! 
 Banzai reads his words from my book to Debbie.
 Then Debbie reads hers from my book to Banzai.
 They exchanged their vows and then their rings.
 Banzai gets his ring!
 In their first ceremony they did the blessing of the hands and so we did them again this time. 
 They took turns each holding each other's hands skyward to see the blessing they were to each other.
 After a closing blessing I pronounced them husband and wife, again! 
 They never really stopped loving each other. I was so happy to be part of this happy day!
 Debbie's teacup yorkies joined us for a photo opportunity! 
Banzai and Debbie! Congratulations! I am so happy that you are together again and so thrilled that you gave me the honor to join you in marriage again. I'll never forget you!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sarah and Shawn Tie The Knot!

On November 11, 2017, Sarah and Shawn joined their lives in marriage and I was delighted to have officiated their wedding at 214 Martin in downtown Raleigh.
The ceremony space was all decked out with a pretty arch and florals provided by Kelly Kennedy of Teacup Floral. She always does such a great job. Bethany Joy Photography was our professional photographer and Complete Weddings was their videographer, DJ, and photo booth.
There were many cute signs for the guests. 

And more signage! 
Catching up with Jenny, our honorary director and friend of Shawn's mother. 
Billy Ezzel of Complete Weddings was the DJ. Billy and I have known each other for years and love working together at weddings. I plugged my microphone into his body-pack and we did a sound check. This venue shares the building with another venue (Market Hall) and the walls are very thin and the sound from one bleeds over into the other. Our ceremony was timed to start at 6:00 sharp to avoid interference from sound through the wall behind the ceremony altar which was due to begin at 6:30. Billy assured me he could drown out any sound that came from next door!
I pinned the boutonnieres on all the guys. Shawn first.
Checking that the runner is taped down securely. A loose runner is a tripping hazard.
It is 6:00 and time to begin. The guests are all seated and waiting! Jenny starts getting the grandparents, parents, and wedding party lined up. 
Meanwhile I am keeping Shawn sequestered so he won't glimpse his beautiful bride prematurely!
And so we are all lined up and Jenny has gone up the stairs to get the bridesmaids. 
The grandparents and parents are on their way and Shawn and I followed by the groomsmen are next. 
The bridesmaids take their places. 
Jaci, our Matron of Honor, processes in with her sweet baby girl who is handed off to Jaci and Sarah's mother!
Jenny cued Billy then it was time for Sarah and her father, Frank, to enter. 
The guests were standing in their honor!
Everyone was seated and given a warm welcome followed by an opening prayer. 
We remembered the loved ones who are no longer with us physically but who are here in spirit.
I spoke to the parents and told them how much their children loved and appreciated them. Evoked a few tears from the two mothers!
Then I got to tell the story of how Sarah and Shawn had met when they were both students at East Carolina University back in the summer of 2011. Shawn went on to become a professional athlete and that has taken them on many adventures together.
Shawn proposed in August of 2016 and they began planning this wedding!
Sarah gets to hear now what Shawn told me in confidence he loves about her and why he wants to marry her. 
Then it is Shawn's turn to hear what Sarah told me about him!
I don't have the photos of them exchanging their vows, the rings, lighting the unity candle, the pronouncement and the kiss but here I am presenting them to their guests as husband and wife! (I am hoping Bethany Joy will send me her photos to fill in these gaps.)
And out they go into their new married life!
The wedding party recessed followed by the parents and grandparents.
Their unity candle is shining brightly as are their individual candles which do not cease to burn just because they are married.
While the guests enjoyed cocktails and the room was being flipped, we caught some photos up front.
Sarah and Shawn! Great wedding despite the sound distraction at the end. You are now married and your course is set for a grand adventure in life together. I loved working with you and I wish you the best always!