Sealed with a kiss!

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

Friday, March 30, 2018

Sharon and Stewart Wed in Kayelily's Garden!

Sharon and Stewart were joined in marriage in my wedding garden on Monday March 26th, 2018. They found me when the minister they had previously contacted became unable to officiate for them. I am so thrilled that they found me and that everything flowed smoothly for their wedding and the weather even cooperated! I met with them a few days prior to the wedding and found them a delightful couple who were so happy to have found each other. They asked me to furnish two witnesses for them so my husband Dave and my friend Debra were most happy to be with us. We also had Matt Land with us. He videoed and photographed the wedding and the video here and all the photos are Matt's. I thank him for giving permission to use them here. He is a multi-talented young man and his website is HERE

The gate that leads to my garden. 
The camellias were in full bloom.
Before the wedding Sharon brought florals to decorate the arbor with. Here she and Debra are putting on the finishing touches.
So pretty and purple! I have cafe lights on the arbor for night weddings but they look like ornaments here!
While Sharon went in the house to get into her wedding dress, Stewart and Matt took some pictures in the garden. 
The English Garden furnished Stewart's boutonniere and Sharon's bouquet. Sharon told me she saw another wedding on my blog where the English Garden did the flowers and she liked them so much decided to have them do hers. 
Stewart patiently waiting outside the family room. The weather was just perfect! 
Meanwhile Debra was helping Sharon touch up her hair. 
Sharon is now down in the garden and ready for the wedding! 
And so we gathered for the ceremony. Sharon and Stewart told me that they were so happy to have found each other--it was miraculous and unexpected.
They are so compatible that it wasn't long before Sharon moved from Tennessee to Raleigh to be with Stewart. They love making a comfortable home together and lots of traveling.
They placed their rings on each other's finger. 
I placed my hand on theirs and declared them husband and wife. 
They share their first kiss as a married couple! 
Our newlyweds! 
Look at those very happy faces! 
The keepsake certificate of marriage that I gave them.
They brought champagne and flutes to toast to their new marriage so we all went upstairs to celebrate!
Sharon is holding Matt's champagne while he snaps a photo of us in my kitchen!
Sharon and Stewart, congratulations! I'll never forget your wedding. Thank you for giving me the honor of joining you in matrimony. I wish you all the best and I think we'll be getting together for dinner sometimes soon!

A Beautiful Wedding for Lisa and Joe at Hudson Manor in Louisburg!

Lisa and Joe chose the lovely historic Hudson Manor in Louisburg for their wedding venue on March 17th, 2018. It is such a great place to get married. It is about a 40 minute drive from Raleigh now since the 401 bypass around Rolesville is done. Melissa and Glen, the owners, bought this old estate many years ago and I have been doing weddings there from the beginning and have watched the property being developed into an amazing place.
When they bought the house, it had a white wooden front porch which gradually deteriorated. When it came time to replace it, they discovered that the original porch had been brick and so they had the porch restored to its original design.
They built a beautiful ballroom for reception and then later added the outdoor terrace in the back. 
This is the circular Ceremony Garden where we do outdoor weddings in nice weather. I've done many weddings there, in the ballroom, on the Lake View Terrace and now in the new chapel.
Inside the ballroom the tables and chairs are set for the reception. Melissa provides all the furnishings and the catering.
This lovely cake is by Confectionate Cakes
Taylor Pittman is our DJ. Taylor and I have done so many weddings together here at Hudson Manor!
Lake View Terrace is on the way to the chapel.
The guest book and programs are here for the guests to sign in on their way to the chapel.
Family of our bride is hanging out checking their devices before the ceremony. 
Melissa's horses!
A view of the back of the property and barn. 
The chapel was built a few years ago and is great for those who want a church-like setting and for inclement weather wedding days!
Melissa thought of everything when she had this built. A pretty stained glass window at the altar, room for the unity candle, plenty of side windows to let in lots of natural light. The acoustics are so good that I did not need a microphone to be heard.
The alcove is perfect for the unity ceremony whether it be candles or sand pouring or the anniversary box. Fresh Affairs provided the florals, bouquets and boutonnieres.
A view of the reception hall on the right and the manor house on the left from the chapel.
Joe and his dad, Danny, who was his son't best man, are ready for the ceremony to begin!
Easton is our ring bearer and sign holder! Looks like he is not a happy camper here!
Our 4 groomsmen are ready too. 
Joe's grandmother Ruth  and his mother JoAnne and the bride's parents, Angela and Mike, and family make their way to the chapel. 
Easton and his dad are ready!
Our photographer is Ally White with '93 Farmhouse Photography
The procession began with the escorting in of Joe's Grandmother, Ruth. 
Then his mother, JoAnne, is escorted in. Joe and Danny and I are waiting just inside the chapel so Joe cannot see the bride who is hidden behind the wall where I am standing. Our second shooter, Emily, is getting a shot of the procession.
It is time for Joe, our best man and I to enter and take our places up front followed by the 4 groomsmen and the 4 bridesmaids.
It is Easton's turn but he is too shy to make the walk alone! 
Then our sweet flower girl, Laiken, is encouraged by Melissa to walk down the aisle and sprinkle the flower petals. She is quite reluctant! 3 year olds like Easton and Laiken don't grasp the meaning of what they are expected to do in the wedding and more often than not balk at the prospect of walking down the aisle with all the guests watching them!
But she takes off and reaches in her basket for the petals.
With much encouragement of the guests on the aisle seats, she makes it about halfway with two petals sprinkled.
Just a little further to where her mother is seated.
Once she saw her mother, she stopped, and being sure to distribute the petals, she dumps the basket of petals into the aisle.
As far as she was concerned she was done! She stepped over the row of petals and happily joined her mother! She was so cute!
Time for our beautiful bride and her dad, Mike, to enter as the guests stood in Lisa's honor. 
After the presentation of the bride, Joe and Lisa turned and faced each other. 
I warmly welcomed all the guests and thanked them for being there for Joe and Lisa. Then a brief prayer followed by a surprise tribute to their parents for all the love and support they have given them throughout their lives.
Then it was time to tell their story! It was a fun story and everyone enjoyed hearing how they met, fell in love and got to this wedding day.
There were lots of funny parts to their story!
Then they got to hear what each of them had told me in confidence what they love about each other and what they are looking forward to in marriage.
Then they made their vows to each other. 
Sealing their vows with the exchange of rings. 
Lisa places the ring on Joe's finger as she says her words to him.
They lit the unity candle as a symbol of their marriage and lives together henceforth. 
After a closing prayer, I pronounced them husband and wife and invited them to share their first kiss as husband and wife!
Even though it was an "unplugged" wedding, one guests could not resist snapping a photo of the kiss! 
It was my pleasure to introduce the newlyweds to their guests and invited them to stand and join me in congratulating them.  Then Lisa and Joe scooted down the aisle!
Oh Happy Day! 
Pictures commenced after the ceremony in front of the manor house while the guests enjoyed cocktails. 
Emily untangles Joe from the veil!
Lisa is beautiful and her dress was perfect for her. The train tended to snag slightly on the bricks but that made this photo possible with the train stretched its full length.
Lisa and Joe! What a great wedding! It was fabulous and I thank you for giving me the honor of joining you in marriage. I wish you the best always!