Sealed with a kiss!

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Meena and Matt Wed at The Glenwood!

Meena and Matt initially planned to have their small intimate wedding in my wedding garden on September 5th, 2018 but it was later moved to The Glenwood where they could have the ceremony and reception in the same location. They hired Jordan Zemonek to photograph the wedding and she kindly sent me these photos for this post. Thank you, Jordan!! 
 I was delighted to officiate for Meena and Matt in the sweet garden area that has been created for weddings. The Glenwood is a wedding venue operated by Irregardless and leased from the Women's Club of Raleigh.
 When the bride was ready, their families took their places in the garden. Then Matt and I entered.
 Meena and her father, Mike, made their entrance into the garden. 
 The guests were standing in her honor!
After Mike transferred Meena's hand into Matt's hand, he was seated with the guests and the couple and I stepped up into the front of the gazebo.
 We began with words of welcome to everyone and then a sweet prayer. 
I addressed their parents and told them how thankful Meena and Matt were for their love and support all their lives and to have them present on this special day.
 They loved including the poem about two trees growing so closely together they seem to be one. 
 Some words of love and marriage that reflect their beliefs and aspirations. 
 It was then time to exchange their promises of marriage. 
Matt places the ring on Meena's finger and said his ring vows to her. 
 Then Meena said her ring vows to Matt and placed the ring on his finger. 
 We had a closing blessing then I pronounced them husband and wife and invited them to kiss.
The newlywed couple! 
The gazebo in the garden faces the sun and it was 95 degrees. All three of us were dripping with perspiration by the time the ceremony was over.
Meena and Matt, congratulations on your marriage. I am so happy for you. It was my honor to join you in marriage and I wish you all the best in life!

A Beautiful Wedding for Rickita and Jarrod at The Bradford on September 2, 2018!

Rickita and Jarrod chose The Bradford for their venue. It is located in New Hill just a hop skip and jump from Raleigh and easy to get to. It is an elegant estate built by two sister wedding planners to specifically to host weddings. 
Rain was threatening on September 2nd and dark clouds hovered over us when we arrived. Deziree, our wedding planner with K Dream Effects, was carefully watching the weather forecast. It was decided to delay the wedding by 20 minutes and the guests were moved under the tent over the terrace. (This photo was taken after the wedding as we were leaving and the sky has begun to reflect the sunset.)
Cool announcement board! 
This was taken before the rain delay was decided on. You can see the dark clouds rolling above! 
The redwood arbor was beautifully decorated. The Bradford staff provided the florals. 
Under the tent where the reception will be held is the sweetheart table. 
The tables are set and ready for the reception. After the ceremony the guests are invited into the manor house for cocktails while the staff places the chairs from the ceremony garden around the tables. On the far right you can see our DJ, Ray Wilson with Social Soundtracks, and me setting up my microphone for the ceremony.
Whole Foods provided their cakes. The little note to the left of the main cake gives the flavors: lemon-strawberry, chocolate-strawberry, and vanilla. Yummy!
While we are waiting, I get the mothers of the couple to sign the marriage license. This is Jarrod's mom, Victoria. I had to climb 3 flights of stairs to find Rickita and her mother, Angela. My friend and colleague, Tiwa Lawrence, make-up artist had just finished their make-up.
This pretty distressed chest holds photos of the couple's parents and maybe grandparents. 
Pinning the boutonniere on Ricky, Father of the Bride. 
Zachary Boylston was our photographer.
I entered the ceremony area first and made the "unplugged" announcement then the processional began.
Jarrod escorted his mother in and then joined me followed by our best man Tyler. (No, Jarrod did not forget his socks! Going sockless is apparently the trend for guys in weddings these days. He had on the same kind of velvet slippers the groom of my wedding the day before had worn without socks. He did say they were pretty uncomfortable!)
Rickita's brother Othell escorts their mother in. 
Rickita's sister Erica was her Maid of Honor. 
Then Ricky escorted in our beautiful bride while everyone stood in her honor. 
The little girl on the right is our flower girl but too shy to make it down the aisle! 
The ceremony began with a big welcome to all their friends and family. 
We had an opening prayer followed by remembrance of loved ones no longer with us. 
A tribute to their parents was next then I got to tell the story of how they met and fell in love. It was back in 2010 when they were both in college--Rickita at UNC and Jarrod at NC State. It was at a party with their circle of friends. Jarrod made sure to get her phone number from a friend and began texting her. Their first date was a few months later and really, the rest is history!
Jarrod watches Rickita's expression as I read to her what Jarrod told me in confidence he loves about her, why he wants to marry her and what he is looking forward to in marriage.
Then Rickita got to watch Jarrod hear what she had told me about him! 
They exchanged their vows by reading the words to each other from my book. 
Rickita's turn to make her vows to Jarrod. 
Then they exchanged their rings. 
A closing blessing. 
I pronounced them equal partners joined in marriage and invited them to kiss! 
And now I presented them to their guests as husband and wife! 
I invited the guests to stand and join me in congratulating them! 
The raindrops had begun to fall as they hurried into the ballroom and the guests into the manor house.
Rickita and Jarrod, congratulations! What a great wedding! I am so happy for you. Thank you for choosing me to join you in marriage. I wish you all the best!