Sealed with a kiss!

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

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Chrissie and Eric's Beautiful Wedding in my Wedding Garden!

Chrissie and Eric were married in my garden on April 30th, 2018. It was the most perfect day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing their hearts out!
 Welcome to my garden!
 I draped the arbor with the garlands of white flowers and put out the cushions on the benches and the garden was ready!
The trees, shrubs and wild bushes in my backyard have leafed out and along with the ivy, turned the background a very lush green,
Chrissie and Deborah arrived early to hide out from the groom. My dear wedding colleague, Kevin Seifert, was on hand to photograph this wedding for Chrissie and Eric. I thank him for sharing all the photos of this wedding!
 I pinned the corsage on Deborah's dress. This can be tricky but I've done this so many times, I've gotten good at it.
 Deborah is Chrissie's father's significant other and already feels like family to Chrissie.
Chrissie is a beautiful young woman and equally beatutiful bride. Her dress was gorgeous and was perfect for her. 
This pretty lady and I had not met until her wedding day! She and Eric had visited the courthouse and decided that was not for them. They wanted a more intimate and personalize ceremony. She found me and all arrangements were made by email and US Mail.
 A few photos in the garden before Eric and Chrissie's father arrived. 
 Meanwhile inside, Chrissie's father, Lawrence, and Deborah signed the license as the witnesses. 
Eric had arrived, I had the rings, and so it was time to begin the ceremony. Lawrence escorted his beautiful daughter down the aisle.
 Chrissie hands her bouquet to Deborah.
 And so we began!
 The birds were singing and almost drowning me out! 
 Kevin got a few aerial shots from my upper deck.
 The lighting was spectacular! 
I thanked Lawrence and Deborah for their love and support of our couple after a short prayer and remembering those not with us on this occasion, especially Chrissie's mother.
"The occasion we witness today is the destiny of your two souls....."
 Then the vows to each other.........
 Time for the exchange of the rings......
 Eric, take this tiny little ring.....
 And he did! 
 Chrissie's turn! 
 The moment they become husband and wife! I invited them to share their first kiss as a married couple.
 I rang the bell and stepped out of the way of the picture. 
 Ahh....married at last! 
 Hugs all around now!
 Time to celebrate! 
 My customary pose with the couple! 
 What a nice family! 
After Kevin took many photos in the garden to commemorate this wonderful wedding day, it was time to say goodbye to Chrissie and Eric, Deborah and Lawrence, as they left to go celebrate.
I presented them with the keepsake certificate of marriage I give all my couples and answered questions on getting the certified copies of the license for changing Chrissie's name.
Chrissie and Eric! I am so thrilled that you found me and gave me the honor of hosting your wedding and joining you in marriage. You are a great couple and I wish you the best always!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Melissa and Phil's Fabulous Wedding at Caffe Luna!

Melissa and Phil met with me on March 4th to discuss my officiating their wedding. We hit it off right away and they hired me on the spot. I also recommended other vendors they needed and they got right on it and assembled a great team of vendors, most of us members of the NC Wedding Ring, a group of seasoned wedding professionals in the Triangle.
Melissa and Phil's wonderful ceremony was Sunday April 29th, 2018 at Caffe Luna in downtown Raleigh where I do a LOT of weddings. It is the best place in town for a fun, laid-back wedding ceremony and reception.  The food and wine cannot be beat!
Melissa wore these cute and comfy Tieks especially designed for weddings! 
Emily Thomas with Emily Katherine Events was with Melissa and her bridesmaids in the hotel room getting ready for the ceremony before heading over to Caffe Luna nearby.
Margo Codd Williams with Belloviso was Melissa's hair and make-up person. 
Kevin Seifert was our photographer who furnished all these photos of this wedding for this blog. 
What a great photographer! Thank you, Kevin!! Eric took this photo for me to put on this blog.
Usually I have no photos of the bride getting ready so this was a great addition. 
Emily has arrived at Caffe Luna and speaks with Sherry Lattin with Florian Music about the processional music. 
Kevin caught this shot of me going between the ceremony area and the reception area. 
Cool wedding cake by Daisy Magnolia!
Sherry begins the prelude music while guests are arriving and getting seated. She is so good! 
Getting that boutonniere pinned on securely on Phil. 
Getting the Maid of Honor's signature on the marriage license in the VIP room where Melissa was hanging out with her bridesmaids before the ceremony.
It was such a happy day. Melissa was all grins and laughter. In the mirror you can see the reflection of Eric Hodgden with All Around Raleigh DJ who provided the music for the reception. 
Phil's dad signed the marriage license for me. He came down from Connecticut to be with us. 
When Emily gave me the signal, I walked out and took my place. 
Phil and his father, also his best man, followed.  Then the bridesmaids entered and took their places. 
On cue, Melissa came through the back door and began floating down the aisle. 
Then Phil began walking toward her and they met in the middle. 
They came down the aisle together to be married. So romantic!
I invited the guests to be seated then welcomed them to this wonderful occasion. 
I asked the guests to join me in prayer then it was time to thank the couple's parents for all their love and support. 
The fun part of the ceremony is chronicling the story of how Phil and Melissa met and fell in love. 
It all began 13 years ago in 2005 when both of them were college students in Charleston SC--1000 miles south of Connecticut where they both grew up.
They both ended up back in Connecticut for a while but they have followed their careers to many locations finally ending up in Raleigh. Phil surprised Melissa with a proposal in December of 2016 and they began pulling this wedding together despite their very hectic schedules.
Next came the part where they each hear for the first time what the other has told me they love about them. It is so sweet and can be quite humorous as in this case.
They read their promises of marriage to each other from my book while placing their rings. 
Melissa's turn although she is putting the ring on the wrong hand! 
They chose the Anniversary Box for their unity ceremony. They each wrote a love letter to each other the night before the wedding day and sealed them without sharing and gave them to me. During the ceremony I handed them the letters to place in the box with a bottle of wine to be opened on their first wedding anniversary along with this bottle of wine.
Phil's turn to put his letter in. Someone gave them a bottle of really vintage wine! 
I pronounced them married and invited them to share their first kiss as a married couple! 
Congratulations from Melissa's mother and stepfather. 
I got a big hug from Phil. He had told me he had never been to a wedding before. So his own wedding was his first experience of a wedding! He was such a happy man!
Melissa and Phil, congratulations to you both. Thank you for giving me the honor of joining you in marriage. Your wedding was so much fun and touching too. I wish you the best forever!