Sealed with a kiss!

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

Monday, August 12, 2019

Kathleen and Matt's Gorgeous Wedding at the Merrimon-Wynne House!!

What a spectacular wedding this was! Kathleen and Matt and I met in April of 2018 to plan the ceremony for their wedding on May 18th 2019 at the beautiful Merrimon-Wynne House in downtown Raleigh. 
The wedding day was clear and sunny and a bit on the hot side so Kathleen thoughtfully called for the ceremony to be inside the carriage house which is air-conditioned and comfortable.
Meantime the reception was planned for outdoors on the lawn. The white parasols provide some shade although by the time the ceremony and cocktail hour are over, the temperature will be very comfortable outside.
Snap Pea is our caterer. They create very unique and original cuisine that is based on the time of year and available delicious foods. The menu is never set and the couple allow Snap Pea Catering to use their own creativity in the offerings for the wedding.
The table setting are bright and simple. Meristem Floral provided the centerpieces and all the florals for the wedding including the spectacular florals in the carriage house for the ceremony and the bouquets for the bridesmaids and bride.
One table is now completed and the others are in the process of being florally enhanced! 
Meantime, Bronwyn Duffield, our photographer, is getting photos of our lovely bride on the side porch. 
Elegant Ensembles is tuning up in the carriage house for the prelude music and processional. They hired Island Sound to provide the microphone for me and one for the reader. 
While the guests are being directed to the carriage house for the ceremony, the wedding party and I are assembling in the parlor from which we will process.
It is a full house! 
Kaila, the event manager for the Merrimon-Wynne House, is also our director for this wedding. She is going to get the wedding party started processing in.
The bride's grandmother then, Matt's parents, then the mother of the bride enter first. 
Then Matt and I took our walk down the aisle together 
His groomsmen joined us.
Then it was time for the bridesmaids to process in. 
And now Kathleen and her dad begin their walk down the aisle! 
The guests are standing in honor of the bride. 
Kathleen and Matt turn and face each other and we begin with a warm welcome to everyone. We remember loved ones who are no longer with us.
A sweet surprise for their parents is next as I tell them how grateful our couple is for their love and support all their lives.
Their friend Christine then shared the words of The Key to Love by Robert Millay with us. 
Then I had the great pleasure of sharing the story of how Matt and Kathleen met 7 years ago in college and how they got to their wedding day today including Matt's proposal in 2017. It has been a wonderful journey.
There were some humorous moments in the story too and we loved laughing. 
Then they each got to hear what the other told me in confidence why they love each other. 
They exchanged their secret vows by reading them to each other from my book. Some humor here also! 
Then it was time for the rings as Matt place the ring on Kathleen's finger. 
Then Kathleen put the ring on Matt's finger. 
After a closing blessing, I pronounced them married and invited them to kiss! 
We missed getting a photo of the kiss but here is the beginning!
This is Bronwyn's spectacular shot of the presentation of the newlywed couple! 
Please stand and join me in congratulating Matt and Kathleen, now married!
And away they go1
So happy to finally be married!
As I was removing my microphone, this nice gentleman came up to me to find out who I was since I was not listed on the program, and to tell me that was the best wedding ceremony he'd ever heard!
While the guests were enjoying cocktails inside the house, the wedding party gathered in the garden. Snap Pea servers brought this delectable plate out for Kathleen. It looked fabulous and she enjoyed every bite while Kaila bustled up her train. Also please note the bodice of Kathleen's incredibly beautiful wedding gown!
Meanwhile Matt and his best man and groomsmen were digging up the flower bed to find the bourbon they had buried upside down to ensure nice weather on the wedding day. It worked.
It took a bit of digging to locate it. Kaila told me that many bottles have been buried there and she wouldn't be surprised if he found more than one!
Matt and Kathleen!! What a spectacular wedding! Thank you for giving me the honor of joining you in marriage! You are a great couple and I wish you the most happiness ever!
Thank you for this wonderful review too!

Kathleen , married on 05/18/2019 
 5.0 View more
Unique, Personalized and Professional
My husband and I chose to have Kayelily officiate our ceremony about a year before our wedding. We first found her based on the phenomenal online reviews and then scheduled a time to meet in person. At this meeting Kayelily walked us through her entire process for creating each ceremony and she also gave us helpful information on obtaining our marriage license and getting a name change after the wedding.

We left the meeting confident that we'd be able to create a ceremony unique to us and our story, which was very important to us. Kayelily was helpful with input throughout the process, but also let us take our time on figuring out how we wanted the ceremony laid out. It's up to each couple how customized they'd like the ceremony to be.

I can't begin to tell you how many people came up to us after the ceremony, wrote to us afterwards, and are still telling us months later how amazing the ceremony was. I would highly recommend working with Kayelily. She's professional, has a great sense of humor, and really wants the ceremony to be unique to the couple. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Jaclyn and Chris's Wonderful Wedding at the Merrimon-Wynne House!!

Jaclyn and Chris are the sweetest couple!! We met in April of 2018 to talk about their wedding ceremony for May 11, 2019 and my services as an officiant. They loved the way I get my couples involved in creating their ceremony and making it very personal to them and hired me on the spot. 
The wedding day was at the historic Merrimon-Wynne House. The day was overcast and rain was in the forecast that afternoon. We all had our fingers crossed that we could have the ceremony outdoors before the rain started. Kaila, event manager for the venue and also our wedding director for this wedding, was watching the doppler app closely.
On overcast days, the photographs are so color-saturated and clear. No shadows and no glare. 
Luann with Southern Petals had the arbor decorated with simple greenery and white roses. So pretty! 
The guests arrived on the early side which was so fortunate because the forecast was getting worse by the minute. Rain was due in less than 30 minutes! Kaila and I decided to start the ceremony early since all the chairs were filled and our couple agreed. Our photographers Diana and Will with Will Green Photo were ready to go too.
First in were the grandparents. 
Chris' mom, Janie, is escorted in by Chris's dad, Gary, who is also the best man.  
Then mother of the bride, Diane, is escorted in by her son Andrew. 
Then it was time for Chris, his groomsmen and I to enter from the side. 
Here we come! You can see our DJ, Randy with Bunn DJ Company, playing the processional music under the cover of the patio there.
What a handsome line up!! Love the light gray suits. 
Time for the bridesmaids to enter from the front walk. Kaila is telling them when to start walking. 
The maid of honor, Mary, takes her place. Randy changes the music and it is time for the bride! 
Kaila sends Jaclyn and her dad, Jerry, on their way! Note the sky! 
Straightening the veil as she walks along. 
I asked Jerry, "Who supports Jaclyn as she comes to join in marriage to Chris?" He happily answered, "Her mother and I do!"
Gesturing for all to be seated. 
We began with a warm welcome to everyone and thanked them for coming to be with Jaclyn and Chris. 
A sweet prayer followed. 
Before I stepped forward to speak to their parents, I noticed that Jaclyn's veil was still out in the aisle instead of behind her. So I gestured to Mary to pull it around into position which she did.
Here I am speaking to the parents and telling them how grateful the couple are for having their loving support all their lives. This is a sweet surprise to the parents who don't know it's coming.
Then I had the pleasure of telling the guests the story of how Jaclyn and Chris met, fell in love, and decided to marry and their journey to this day.
They met while in college in 2011 and within 6 months became inseparable. They both graduated and obtained employment then in 2017 Chris planned a surprise proposal Thanksgiving weekend at her parents' home in Pennsylvania. Of course she said yes! Since then they have both earned advanced degrees and planned this wonderful wedding.  So the wedding day was actually a double celebration: their marriage and no more school!
Jaclyn now hears what Chris told me he loves about her. Then Chris got to hear for the first time what Jaclyn told me she loves about him.
Then it is time for the vows and ring exchange. 
Chris puts the rings on Jaclyn's finger and says the words to her after me. 
Then it is Jaclyn's turn. 
We close with a blessing.
The pronouncement of marriage!
They share their first married kiss as I quickly scoot out of the way!
I presented them to their guests just as the first raindrops began to fall!
And now they step into the next chapter of their lives--marriage! 
Jaclyn and Chris! Fabulous wedding! We made it before it rained and everything was as perfect as it could have been, Loved working with you and wish you the very best in life always!