Sealed with a kiss!

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

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Nicole and Akira's Fabulous Wedding at The Cotton Room!

Nicole and Akira are a great couple! I enjoyed working with them to make their ceremony exactly what they envisioned. Officiating their wedding was even more fun! They chose The Cotton Room, a wonderful venue in Durham. It was perfect for them. The wedding day was January 6th, 2018. It was a very cold day outside but we were toasty warm inside.
When Dave and I arrived, everything was ready for the guests. This table was for the guests to sign the heart-shaped petals of the tree.
 View from the front of the ceremony area to the back where the bar is. 
 The best man signed the marriage license for me. 
 One of their guests is trying to decide which leaf to sign! 
 Photos of their years together leading up to this wonderful day! 
 James Walters, our esteemed photographer with Walters and Walters Photography
Ashley Cakes made this beautiful cake and the cupcakes. It is stowed away in the area where the reception will take place.
 A close up view of this beautiful cake. 
Alex Choi with Vox DJ was our DJ. Love working with Alex. He got me plugged into this sound system and we did a sound check before the guests were seated.
 Alex also provided this stunning uplighting. 
A peek behind the drapes reveals the reception area which will later be expanded into the ceremony area while the guests are enjoying cocktail hour. Petal and Oak were the florists. Triangle Catering is providing the delicious dinner.
 Summer is the event manager and wedding director for The Cotton Room. We love working together! 
 Stealing a quiet moment to review the ceremony script.
 Alex and Summer go over the cues for the processional. 
 Isn't this beautiful? So simple yet so elegant. Fabulous design. 
 Phil McInnis with Twenty-One Films is wiring me for the video. 
 So the guests have begun to arrive.
After the guests have been seated, the wedding party gets lined up. A moment to chat with James since the last wedding we did together.
 The groom and groomsmen and I were discussing something......
 I checked their boutonnieres and all were secure. 
 Phil is placing the video microphone on Akira. 
 Akira wanted to look at his vows one more time before the ceremony.
 Then our dog-sitter, Chase, came in with Sadie, Nicole and Akira's beloved fur baby. 
 She was so excited to see Akira and he had to calm her down. 
 Sadie's garland of flowers were placed around her neck. She was the Flower Dog, after all! 
Summer is cuing Alex to begin the first music for the processional as Pat, brother of the bride, escorts his mother, Merry Lea, into the ceremony then circles back.
 And down the aisle they go! 
 I go in next followed by Akira and Austin, the best man.
 Then the couples enter: Kelsey and Pat
 Alex and Zack
 Jessi and Sam
 Then it was time for Miles, our ring bearer.  He was not sure he wanted to do this.
 But once he got going and saw Akira and his grandmother at the end of the aisle, he speeded up! 
 Sadie couldn't resist greeting the guests as she made her way down the aisle to Akira!
 And here comes the bride and her dad, Chris! 
 Chris answered my question and transferred Nicole's hand into Akira's and then joined the guests. 
 I am checking Nicole's eyes for spillage of tears and got out my hankie. 
A warm welcome to all the guests was first. Then a tribute to those loved ones no longer living. Truly missed was Akira's mother, Machiko, as well as some of their grandparents.
 Meanwhile Chase has rounded Sadie up and taken her behind the scenes to wait! Such a sweet dog!
Next was a tribute to Nicole's parents, Merry Lea and Chris, and Akira's father, Robert. Always a sweet surprise for the parents. 
 After telling their wonderful love story, I revealed their secret paragraphs to them, so sweet. 
This was when I said to Akira from Nicole: "She can’t wait to have little quarter Asian babies with you and argue over how to raise them." Akira and the guests cracked up at that! 

 Then it was time for the vows.
 Akira read his promises from my book where they faced him. 
 He did a great job and Nicole told him so! 
 The lovely bridesmaids witnessing the ceremony.
 Then Nicole read her vows from my book to Akira. She did great too! 
 Best Man Austin handed me the rings.
 Akira said his words to Nicole as he placed the ring on her finger.
 Then Nicole placed the ring on Akira's finger.
 I pronounced them husband and wife after a closing blessing! 
 It's time for the kiss! 
A good one! Everyone was cheering.
The newlywed couple and the wedding party and parents recessed out and disappeared behind the drapes while I invited the guests to cocktail hour. When the ceremony space was cleared, we went back to the ceremony area for some photos.
Sadie is so patient! 
Nicole and Akira! Fantastic wedding! Great planning job. I loved working with you and I am so happy for you and wish you the best of everything forever!