Sealed with a kiss!

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

Monday, December 2, 2019

Mary and Marek's Beautiful Family Wedding in the White Garden!

Mary and Marek met and fell in love as kids in high school 11 years ago in 2008 and their love has endured--a testament that puppy love and school kid crushes can become true love and last a lifetime. They actually were engaged on Mary's 18th birthday in 2011 beginning an extraordinarily long engagement. It wasn't planned that way but life, college degrees, and careers just kept getting in the way of making wedding plans. But finally they made it a priority and booked the White Garden in the JC Raulston Arboretum for October 10th 2019. Then they met with me in June and we began writing their ceremony together. 
Upon arrival at the arboretum on the wedding day, I noticed a new addition to the garden--a bee hut! How adorable and I know the bees love it.
Aaron Prillaman was already there when Dave and I arrived. He was all set up and tuning the guitar.
A tribute to their loved ones who have passed on from this earth but surely were with us in spirit. They were especially missing Mary's mother Beth on this special day.
When the guests were seated I entered and took my place.
Marek escorted his parents, Milagros and Marek, in and then joined me up front. 
Mary's father Norm escorted in his beautiful daughter!
The English Garden provided the beautiful bouquet. 
Our photographer, Jennifer Outlaw of AO&JO Photography captured the presentation of the bride. Aaron Outlaw was videoing the wedding too.
They turned and faced each other holding both hands as I invited the guests to be seated and welcomed them all to this wonderful, long-awaited wedding!
A tribute to their wonderful parents was next. 
Then I launched right into their story and how they met. 
Marek was rather shy in school and Mary had to make a bold move to get him to ask her out and it worked!
For their engagement, Marek staged an elaborate "follow the clues" kind of game and at then end of which was Marek with ring and question. She answered yes, they cried tears of joy, then celebrated. 
Then I told Mary what Marek had told me in confidence he loved most about her and what he is looking forward to in marriage.
Then Marek got to hear for the first time what Mary told me about her love for him.
They had each written vows and kept them secret from each other. Marek reads his to Mary from my book here. Beautiful words for a beautiful woman.
With a little humor too! 
Then it was Mary's turn to read her vows to Marek.
The exchange of rings was next.
Mary places the ring on Marek's finger as she says words to him after me. 
They chose to have the Anniversary Box as their unity ceremony. It was inside the gazebo on my little table and I stepped back into the gazebo as they entered and placed their unshared loveletters to each other to be opened on their first anniversary.
Back to the steps for the closing blessing.
I placed my hand on theirs and pronounced them married and invited them to kiss!
The first kiss was too brief so I got them to kiss again so Jennifer could get a good picture!
I invited their guests to stand and join me in congratulating Mary and Marek, now wife and husband!
Mary and Marek! What a wonderful couple you are. I am honored to have joined you in marriage. Thank you for giving me that honor. I wish you the best always!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Christine and Kevin Wed at the NC State Park Alumni Center!

I loved working with Christine and Kevin! They've known each other almost all their lives but their romance didn't spark until Kevin's 25th birthday in 2015! He proposed in 2018 and they planned a beautiful wedding for October 27th 2019 at the NC State Park Alumni Center with the help of their wedding planner and director, Caroline with Caroline Ruth Design.
The original forecast for the day was rain and it did rain that morning but by 3:30, the clouds had cleared. 
Inside in the foyer, the guests were arriving.
For their guest "book," they asked their guests to sign this wooden sign. 
Inside the ballroom, this lovely cake by Ashley Cakes was all set up and ready to be cut! 
A view of the ballroom from the upstairs balcony. (This was our Plan B if it rained,)
Meanwhile Christine and her bridesmaids are dressed, make-up and hair done, and popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate.
Evan with Island Sound was in charge of providing my sound for the ceremony. It was perfect! What's the point of writing a beautiful one of a kind ceremony if the guests cannot enjoy it?
Caroline did a fantastic job being in charge of this wedding and all the behind the scenes details. I've never had the pleasure of working with her before this wedding and look forward to many more weddings together! Chris Nieto and his team were their photographers.
North Raleigh Florists provided the birch arbor decked with florals. The table in the background holds their Anniversary Box for the unity ceremony.
The Anniversary Box holding a bottle of wine into which they will place their handwritten, sealed without sharing love letters. On their first anniversary, they will open the box, pour each other a glass of wine and read their letters from each other. Recall their wedding day and the year that has passed by. Then write each other another love letter, seal without sharing, place the old and new letters and a new bottle of wine back in the box and repeat on every anniversary creating a legacy of love for themselves and future generations.
Victoria Pedroza, violinist, and her friend the cellist provided beautiful music for the ceremony processional and recessional.
There are many sculptures of wolves around the alumni center! Go Wolfpack! My father and sister are NC State grads.
I entered first and asked the guests to put away their phones and cameras and be with Christine and Kevin in their hearts as they join their lives in marriage.
Then the parents were seated followed by Kevin and his guys. 
Christine's attendants were next. She mixed it up with men and women. A popular trend these days. 
Linda and Ryan
Our flower girl and ring bearer entered next and made their way down the aisle. 
The kids sat on the front row and then it was time for the guests to stand for the entrance of the bride!
Christine and her dad, Bobby, entered from the front of the center around the sidewalk. 
Happy day! 
After the presentation of the bride we had a prayer and remembered those no longer with us, especially Christine's mother, Nancy. But she was with us in the hearts of all those who knew and loved her.
A tribute to their parents came next. 
Following that I began telling the story of how they met and fell in love. There were quite a few funny moments and we enjoyed laughing together.
Time to reveal what they had each told me in confidence they love about each other. 
They made their vows then exchanged rings while reading their ring vows from my book. 
Christine's turn! 
The anniversary box and closing blessing followed. 
I love making the pronouncement of marriage and inviting them to kiss! 
They love it as the guests applauded! 
Yay! It is done! 
Bobby and Luann, stepmother of the bride, exit. 
Then Kevin's parents, Diane and Steven. 
The children and their adult in charge exit! 
Christine and Kevin, what a beautiful wedding! I loved it and I loved working with and getting to know you. You are a great match and I wish you all the best!