Sealed with a kiss!

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

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Andrea and Tony's Valentine Day Wedding in my Wedding Garden!

Andrea and Tony really did not like the idea of getting married at the Wake County Courthouse and I am so happy they found me and my wedding garden. Valentines Day February 14th 2018 turned out to be a lovely day with comfortable temperatures and overcast sky. 
This shot was taken earlier that morning when the sun was out. I put the garlands of white flowers on the arbor and blew the leaves and gumball thingies off the terrace. The cushions are on the benches and we are ready!
When our guests had arrived, they took their seats and Tony and I stood up front awaiting Andrea and her father's entrance from the family room.
Terry, father of the bride, proudly escorted his beautiful daughter down the aisle as the Bridal March played on the iPhone!
 Andrea's brother Jared is manning the music and taking photos. 
A view from the upper deck while I am paying tribute to Andrea's parents and her brother and thanking them for being with us on this momentous day.
They are expecting a little girl in March and so I included an "unborn baby blessing" in the wedding ceremony where I had them put their hands on their daughter and bless her.
 Then I placed my hand on her and gave her my blessings. 
 Time for some words on love and marriage and this grand thing called marriage!
 Then it was time for them to make their vows to each other. 
 Tony made his pledges to Andrea and placed the ring on her finger. 
 Then Andrea made her pledges to Tony and placed the ring on his finger.
 After a closing blessing for them, I pronounced them husband.......
 .....and wife!
 Then I invited them to share their first kiss as a married couple! 
 Cheering all around! 
 "We are married!" 
Andrea and Tony, thank you for giving me the honor of joining you in marriage. I wish you all the best and am looking forward to seeing a photo of your sweet little girl when she is born next month!! Congratulations!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Liz and Ryan's Beautiful Wedding at All Saints Chapel!

Liz and Ryan chose historical All Saints Chapel in downtown Raleigh for their wedding Janurary 27th 2018. It was a beautiful morning wedding with the sun streaming through the windows.
The ceremony music was provided by the Blue Star Travelers Band. Liz is a competition clogger so it is my hunch she knows of this band through that hobby of hers. They were warming up before the ceremony.
 The altar chest was simply decorated upon which was placed their Memory Box for the ceremony. 
 A lovely sign with a fiddle belonging to the band.  Brandi's Botanicals supplied the florals.
 Before the guests arrived, I found a moment to sit down and review the ceremony script. 
It is very common for wedding guests to fill in the seats from the back to the front! Frequently that leaves empty chairs up front and on the aisle. Unfortunately these empty chairs show up in the couple's wedding photos of the processional and recessional. So to avoid that happening, I've been known to ask guests sitting in the back to move forward and fill in the aisle seats. That is exactly what I am doing here!
 Okay, that's much better! Time to begin the ceremony. 
Our Maid of Honor, Liz's good friend Emily, was our wedding director since she was the last bridesmaid to enter. She is getting ready to cue the band and open the doors and direct us in.
After I entered and took my place up front to anchor the sacred space, Zack and Trent escorted the grandmothers in then circled back.
 Then it was Liz's grandfather in the wheelchair who entered next pushed by her uncle. 
 Ryan escorted his parents, Pat and Gary, into the ceremony then joined me at the altar. 
 The two groomsmen entered next. 
Liz and Ryan love their families and wanted them to enter as family units. Next in were Ryan's brother Chris' family and Chris stepped up to join Ryan as his best man. His wife and son were seated while their daughter circled back to sprinkle floor petals before the bride entered.
 Liz's sister and bridesmaid and her family entered next and she joined us up front. 
 Ryan's sister and her family entered next, were seated and their daughter circled back to sprinkle petals.
Liz's second sister, also a bridesmaid, and her family entered next with their sons Zack and Trent and she took her place on the altar.
 Emily then processed down the aisle after instructing our flower girls to enter when she got up front.
Olivia and Kayla were excellent flower girls who did a very good job following instructions and sprinkling the flower petals!
 The chapel doors were closed and the band changed music for the entrance of the bride and her parents. 
 Bud and Sandy proudly escort their beautiful daughter down the aisle as everyone stood in their honor.
After Liz's parents gave their love and support to Liz as she came to join in marriage to Ryan, the couple stepped up onto the altar and turned and faced each other and we began.
After welcoming the guests and a prayer, I then spoke to the couple's parents telling them how much their children thank them for being wonderful role models of loving marriages that have stood the test of time. Both sets of parents have been married over 45 years!
Then it was time to tell the story of how Liz and Ryan met, finally began dating and fell in love. They initially met at work training conferences a couple of years before Liz began working in the same place Ryan worked.
They are both quite shy so that first date was a long time coming after Liz tired of dropping subtle hints and finally invited Ryan to go see the Hobbit movie with her. They are both Lord of the Rings fans.
It did not take long for them to both come to the realization that there was something very special between them and they began to see each other on a regular basis.
 Ryan proposed in March of 2017, we all know what Liz answered, and the wedding planning began.
Telling Liz what Ryan told me in confidence what he loves about her, why he wants to marry her and what he is looking forward to in marriage.
 The tears flowed and Liz's mascara started running. Here I pulled out my hankie and blotted under her eyes.
 I wanted to get the mascara off before she turned to face the guests! 
With that taken care of, Ryan got to hear what Liz told me she loves about him, wants to marry him and is looking forward to in marriage.
 Then it is time for the vows.
 They read their vows to each other from my book where the words were printed facing them. 
 Ryan places the ring on Liz's finger.
 Liz reciprocates!
They had written loveletters to each other, sealed them without sharing, and placed them in their Memory Box. They will open the box on their first anniversary, read them and reflect upon the reasons that they fell in love and vowed to marry one another on this day     
 Following a closing blessing, I made the pronouncement of marriage and invited them to kiss.
 Look at that twinkle in Ryan's eye! 
After introducing them to their guests for the first time as husband and wife, they made their way down the aisle.
 The wedding party recessed.
Then the parents. Then I asked the guests to turn around to face the loft and move to the center aisle for the photographer, Paul Seiler, to get a group shot. Then the wedding party and bride and groom joined them.
 Great shot, even from the first level! I know Paul really got a wonderful picture of the whole group from the loft. The guests then left for Humble Pie where the reception would take place while the couple and their families grabbed some photos in the chapel. 
 The Blue Star Travelers got out of the way! 
Liz and Ryan! What a great wedding! I hope it fulfilled all of your desires for your ceremony. I loved working with you to craft your very special ceremony and processional and loved telling your love story. I wish you all the best forever!