Sealed with a kiss!

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Kevin and Nicole Wed at Embassy Suites Brier Creek on August 18th, 2018!

I met Nicole's parents before I met Nicole and Kevin. They had been to a bridal show in January where they hired most of their vendors, but not the officiant. My friends and colleagues from another venue who were at the bridal show told them all about me and my ceremonies and so we met on January 15th and really enjoyed getting to know each other. They had moved to Raleigh a few years ago from Boston and Kevin and Nicole had followed them South. I had lived in Boston many years ago so we had that in common. On January 25th I met with Nicole and Kevin and the contract was signed and we began creating their ceremony.
Embassy Suites in Brier Creek is quite a nice wedding venue. This photo is at the end of the large hallway where the cocktail hour will be held in between the ceremony and the reception. The terrace is through the glass doors on the left. I've done one other wedding there and I really don't understand why more couples don't choose this versatile setting. They have an outdoor space on their spacious terrace, the huge ballrooms for receptions and a large space across the hall for indoor wedding ceremonies. Their current event coordinator is Ashley Cook but she told me she is moving up and the new coordinator is Devon Schuman. Nicole and Kevin's wedding was the last one that Ashley was coordinating.
The ceremony room is filling up. Because August is usually a very hot month of the year, Nicole and Kevin thoughtfully chose to have their wedding indoors in the cool air-conditioning! We all appreciated that, especially their guests since most had traveled from New England to North Carolina!
This is the spacious ballroom which is all decked out for the wedding. Although it may look like our DJ Robert Parrish with Epix Melody Entertainment and our photographer James Walters are duking it out, they are really just coordinating the events for the reception.
Dave grabbed a shot of Ashley Cook, James Walters and me before the ceremony started. James is with Walters and Walters Photography and we do a lot of weddings together. He is so accommodating of Dave taking photos for this blog and I truly appreciate his tolerance!
This Danielle, wife of and business partner with Robert, our DJ. She directed the wedding processional for us. Thanks, Danielle! 
We are now getting all lined up for the processional. This is where I noticed the guys did not have boutonnieres so I asked about them. Turns out they were in the ballroom and needed to be pinned on. We also found the wrist corsages for the grandmothers and mothers there. So we delayed the start of the wedding.
 John, Father of the Bride, holding a wrist corsage while I pin his boutonniere on. 
Getting the groom's boutonniere securely pinned on after pinning on the groomsmen's boutonnieres. 
Meanwhile James gets some great photos of Lilly, our flower girl, Nicole's niece. 
The guests are patiently waiting!
After Kevin's two grandmothers are escorted in, it is time for Kevin's parents, Mary and Bob, to enter.
John escorts in the Mother of the Bride, Joyce, then circles back to bring in Nicole. 
Now Kevin and I entered followed by the groomsmen. 
The bridesmaids entered then Lilly sprinkled the aisle with the rose petals. 
Here comes our beautiful bride and her proud father!
John transferred Nicole's hand into Kevin's and all the guests were seated. 
And so the ceremony began. A warm welcome to all followed by a prayer and remembrance of those loved ones no longer with us.
Then we paid sweet tribute to their parents whose marriages have been wonderful role models for our couple. Kevin's Aunt Terry read a poem about two trees that grow so closely together they look like one. 
A few tears rolled out of Nicole's eyes and I handed her a hankie!
Then it was time to tell their story. It is a good one. They met the old-fashioned way--in a bar! It was a bar in Boston called Howl at the Moon when they were both out on the town with friends almost 8 years ago.
Nicole was attracted to Kevin's self-confidence and "swagger!" Kevin liked Nicole's "attitude" and that she liked sports. So they began dating.
Kevin passed the "family test" and so at that point Nicole knew he was the one. 
A few months after moving to Raleigh, their apartment was nearly destroyed by a fire, and Kevin, instead of buying new "stuff," decided it was time to get a puppy. Which they did and Nicole named her Bella, overruling Kevin's choice of Precious. About a year later they added their second beagle puppy--Frodo--Kevin's choice. Another year later they bought their first house and Kevin proposed.
Now to reveal what they each told me in confidence that they love about each other.  
Then they made their vows to each other. 
Time to exchange rings. 
Nicole puts the ring on Kevin's finger as she said her ring vows to Kevin. 
Nicole's Aunt Corinne presented the closing blessing. 
I pronounced them married and invited them to share their first kiss as husband and wife!
Such a happy couple! 
I introduced them to their guests and asked them to stand and join me in congratulating them.
The wedding party and parents exited to the terrace for photos. I just love Joyce's golden dress. It is gorgeous!
The guys congratulating Kevin! 
The guests were invited into the hall for cocktails and I headed for the terrace. 
Kevin and Nicole! Congratulations on a great wedding! It was wonderful and Dave and I enjoyed the reception immensely. You are a great couple and I know you will have a wonderful marriage!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Jess and Royce's Backyard Wedding on August 11, 2018!!

Jess and Royce wanted to get married in their backyard surrounded by their family and friends--a down-home wedding with no fanfare. When Dave and I arrived at 7:00 PM, the picnic was in full swing.
They had a main tent and a side canopy for the wedding gifts.
That tent was well-staked. No chance of any wind blowing it away! 
This bright red barn and side shed is where the food and drinks were laid out for everyone to fill their plates! 
A quick photo with the bride and groom before the wedding before they changed clothes for the ceremony. 
Everyone gathered under the main tent for the ceremony. 
Their kids and best man and maid of honor, Royce and I got into place in one corner facing the guests sitting at their tables.
Royce's son, Nathan, on guitar and niece Dominique on cello played Leonard Cohen's moving version of Hallelujah as the bride and her dad processed in from the house.
And here they are! 
I asked the question and Tim answered and took his seat. 
Royce and Jess turned to face each other and the ceremony began. Jess's dress was perfect for the wedding! We welcomed everyone and had a prayer and a tribute to their parents. Then special words for each of their children: Kyrstin and Nathan, Julia and Christopher. 
I pronounced them married after a few words on marriage, revealed what they each love about each other, they exchanged vows and rings and a closing blessing.
Their first kiss as husband and wife! 
Reality sinking in!
I presented them to their guests who were cheering them on. 
Everyone was so happy to see Jess and Royce married! 
We got a quick photo out in the field. You can see the threatening rain clouds as a few drops fell. 
Royce and Jess, congratulations! What a fun wedding. I hope it exceeded all your dreams of your wedding day. Thank you for choosing me to join you in marriage. I wish you all the best forever!