Sealed with a kiss!

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

Friday, April 26, 2019

Reecha and Heath's Forever Wedding at Rose Hill!

Reecha and Heath's wedding was originally scheduled for September 15th 2018 but Hurricane Florence blew in and changed their plans. They postponed to December 8th. The weather was cold and snow and ice predicted for later in the evening but the wedding was on no matter what! 
They chose the beautiful Rose Hill Plantation in Nashville, NC for their venue. 
A view of the gazebo where weddings in good weather are held. 
Inside the ballroom, I check out the sand ceremony set up and make sure it is ready. 
The cake was ready! And beautiful. By Edible Art. 
Heath and Reecha have known each other since middle school and went to high school together. They never dated but had a little crush on each other but nothing came of it. They graduated, went their separate ways to live their lives and raise their families. These are their high school photos for the 1980s!
Everyone was getting dressed and hanging out in the lodge. The guys were downstairs playing pool and snacking while the women were upstairs getting ready.
The place was beautifully decked out for Christmas. Would you believe I've done a wedding in this room many years ago?
Meanwhile back in the ballroom, the guests are assembling for the ceremony. Reecha's heritage is Indian and there are many guests dressed up in the traditional garments of this culture.
(Our wedding director for this wedding was Jennifer with Vision Events. The photographer was Brandon with Southern Love Studios. Our DJ was Randy Bennett with BunnDJ Co. The videographer was Elijah with Morgan Scott Films and the florist was Specialties Florals and Events. Rose Hill does their own catering.
The wedding party and I processed in then it was time for Reecha and her father to enter!
Purple was their color. Everyone is standing for the bride. 
They make their way down the aisle and I asked her father Ravi who blesses and supports Reecha as she comes to join in marriage to Heath. He of course answered that he and her mother did and everyone was seated.
We began the ceremony with a warm welcome to all followed by a prayer and remembrance of loved ones no longer with us.
A special surprise tribute to their parents was next.
Then I turned to their children who were in the wedding party and told them how important they are in the marriage we celebrate today.
The story--fast forward more than 20 years from high school graduation. Heath, single again, began browsing around on Facebook and found Reecha's page. He looked around to see how her life had gone since high school. He loved looking at photos of her and her kids.  He sent her a Friend request and wished her a Happy Mother's Day for the next two years. She friended him back but it took her 2 years to start a conversation. They found themselves in similar situations and the Facetiming, texting,  messaging commenced. Four months later they met in person. It was instant attraction and the feeling of being home again. But, he lived in Florida and Reecha in Raleigh so they endured a 4½ year long-distance relationship. He proposed on her birthday in 2017 and the wedding planning began in earnest!
I asked them each to tell me in confidence what they love about each other and what they are looking forward to in marriage. During the ceremony I revealed to the other what their beloved has told me.
Time for their vows and the exchange of rings. 
Heath places the ring on Reecha's finger.
They each poured in their sand then each of their children came forward and poured in their container of sand creating one big happy family.
A closing blessing then I pronounced them married and invited them to share their first kiss as husband and wife.
Sealed with a kiss! 
Married at last! 
So happy for them! 
My friends Rubin and Pam were their guests. I had no idea that they had known them since high school! 
The sand sculpture in a glass brick with all their names on it. 
Our cute little flower girls who finally can dance and sing without being shushed as they were during the ceremony! So adorable!
Reecha and Heath! Congratulations! It was a long time coming and I am so thrilled to have joined you in matrimony! I wish you and your family all the best forever!

Christmas Bells Ring for Kelsey and Daniel's Beautiful Wedding!

Kelsey and Daniel love Christmastime so they picked a wedding date of December 8th, 2018 and chose Market Hall in downtown Raleigh for their venue. 
The day was cold and snow was predicted later on but for their wedding, the bad weather held off!
The wall was draped and of course a Christmas tree was their "altar." Next to the tree is my little table with a bell on it which would be part of the ceremony. 
 Whitney Davis with C&D Events was our wedding director. She had everything under control!
Our team of photographers with Cor Photography are ready for the processional.
I entered first followed by Daniel and his groomsmen.
The bridesmaids then entered one by one and too their places. Time for our Bride!
  (All the photos above were taken with my camera. All the photos below except for the last one, were provided by our professional photographers for which I am so grateful!)
 Kelsey and her father, Mike, float down the aisle!
  All the guests are standing in her honor.
I don't remember what was so funny but he answered my question, placed Kelsey's hand in Daniel's, then joined the guests who were taking their seats. 
 A surprise tribute to their parents!
 Then to tell their story from the day they met to this, their wedding day.
 Good humor in their secret paragraphs from each other!
 Saying their vows.
 Exchanging rings.
I had found the Celtic Bell Ceremony earlier in the year and thought it would be really appropriate for their Christmas-themed wedding so I adapted it as follows:
Kelsey and Daniel’s favorite season of the year is Christmas and so it was an obvious choice to have their wedding this time of year.  At Christmas we hear the joyful sounds of bells ringing and well-wishing.  Bells have long been associated with weddings as their joyous tones announce good tidings and are said to bring good luck. Bells are also commonly used to get attention, as a signal or an announcement of a significant event. Kelsey and Daniel have chosen to include the Celtic Bell ceremony that reminds us not only of the happiness they share today but also of the practice of compromise inherent in strong marriages.  
Daniel and Kelsey, on behalf of all gathered here, I ring this bell in celebration of your marriage which begins today. (officiant rings bell) I give this bell to you now and ask you to give the bell a hardy ring while thinking lovely thoughts about each other and happy thoughts of your future life together. (couple rings bell)
Keep this bell in your home to remind you of your wedding day. When arguments arise, put this bell to its best use as an attention-getter. One of you should ring the bell to call a truce. The familiar sound it makes should remind you of your wedding vows and conjure up the happiest memories from this day and help you resolve your differences with love and compassion.
 I pronounced them married and invited them to share their first kiss as husband and wife.
 Sealed with a kiss!
 Presentation of the Newlyweds!
 I invited the guests to stand and join me in congratulating them!
 Another kiss!
 The deed is done! Time to celebrate!
The wedding party! 
Kelsey and Daniel--great wedding! So happy you chose me to join you in marriage! Thanks for being a great couple and working with me to create the ceremony you dreamed of. I wish you all the best always!