Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Few of My June and July Weddings

I only have pictures for a few of the couples I married in June and July (so far), so more will come!

On June 6th I married Rebecca and Gilbert at her parent's home in Durham.

They chose a small quiet ceremony to celebrate their love. Rebecca and Gilbert each had one attendant and Rebecca's daughter was the flower girl.

They introduced me to a new poem that day for their ceremony. It is 'I Saw Two Clouds at Morning' by John Gardener Brainard:

"I saw two clouds at morning,
Tinged with the rising sun,
And in the dawn they floated on,
And mingled into one;

I thought that morning cloud was blest,
it moved so sweetly to the west.

I saw two summer currents
Flow smoothly to their meeting,
And join their course,
with silent force,
In peace each other greeting:
Calm was their course through banks of green,
While dimpling eddies played between.

Such be your gentle motion,
Till life's last pulse shall beat;
Like summer's beam, and summer's stream,
Float on, in joy, to meet
A Calmer sea, where storms shall cease -
A purer sky, where all is peace."

Their wedding day spoke of the poem. It was blue, sunny, and not too hot, especially because the couple chose 10 am for their wedding time. Rebecca also chose red Gerber Daisies to provide color and the lush foliage did the rest.

I hadn't met Rebecca or Gilbert before their wedding. We did all the planning by email and phone since they chose my 'just us' ceremony option with keeps things simple.

It was a delight to meet them and their families, who comfortably sat on the back porch during the ceremony.

On Sunday, June 14th, I married Tim and Kristina at The Matthews House in Cary. Their photographer was Gillian Carlin of Diane McKinney Photography.

Tim and Kristina chose to have a small huppah in their ceremony. In the Jewish faith, it's a symbolic representation of the home they will create. For Tim and Kristina, it also ensured that they would have shade for their ceremony on the sunny day.

Tim and Kristina are friends of my nephew and niece-in-law, who I had married three years before, so for me, the day felt like being with family.

To get pictures of Kristina coming down the aisle, Gillian found a spot behind the huppah where she had a perfect view without being seen by the guests.

The enclosed garden of The Matthews House provided privacy and created an intimate space for the ceremony. You can notice the brick wall behind Kristina and her father.

The Matthews House gave the whole day the touch of elegance the couple wanted which wonderfully complemented their playful exuberance and delight in their day.

Tim and Kristina chose the words of the Celtic Handfasting Ceremony as part of their wedding. They left out the use of the handfasting cord, but included the powerful symbolism of acknowledging the hands of your beloved that will be there to comfort you in times of trial and grief, there to hold your children as they grow, and there to hold you as you go through life together. There were some teary moments in this heartwarming ceremony.

I also loved how Tim was comfortable on this warm day in the classic way of the Southern gentleman, with a linen suit.

Tamara Hedgepeth was their wedding director and she was wonderful. With 5 attendants on each side, 3 flower girls, and a ring bearer there were lots of people for her to wrangle, help relax, and get to the right place at the right time. Thank heavens for her easy grace and patient manner.

The music for the ceremony and the reception was provided by DJ John Williford of Carolina Productions. He had a great line of sight from the porch of the Matthews House so coordination was easy and the sound was great. Then he only had to move about 20 feet to be ready for the reception.

It was great to work with so many wonderful professionals.

On July 4th I married Angela and Matt at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary. They chose that date because they loved the idea of having fireworks every year on their anniversary and from the start their wedding had its own flair and pizazz.

Matt is a chef, so he and each of his attendants wore a boutonniére of herbs instead of flowers. They vowed they would eat them by the end of the evening.

Angela's attendants wore red with black Converse high-tops, and Matt and his attendants wore black formal wear with red vests and red Converse high-tops. As you can see, the bride also had a touch of red on her gown.

I loved the way the Angela's attendants strode down the aisle with a saucy step sure of their footing. With so many outdoor wedding venues, women sink into the ground when they wear high heels, making it definitely precarious to walk gracefully.

Amy, at The Umstead, ensured that the timing was perfect and greeted the newly weds with a champagne toast right after the ceremony as we waited for the guests to go to the cocktail hour before we went to the wedding site for post-wedding pictures. The Umstead also has a very experienced 'sound' man and microphone system so that everyone could hear every word of the ceremony.

Summer Gibbs of Summer Gibbs Photography was the wonderful photographer. Angela and Matt's friends uploaded these images to Summer's images will come soon.

We successfully bubbled the couple and the wedding party and they recessed to the music of the Darth Vadar theme from Star Wars. Can you tell that the couple are science fiction fans?

On July 9th I was on Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks to marry the daughter of my dear friend, Pat. Liz (as her friends call her), or Bess (as her family knows her) and her fiancé Mike decided that, even though they now live in New York City, they wanted to be married on the beach where Mike proposed. After the ceremony we all went to a local seafood restaurant called The Back Porch, for dinner.

Ocracoke is a very small town on a very small island. It feels like small friendly neighborhood. Bess and Mike's families rented beach houses for the week before the ceremony and they and the wedding party relaxed and ate good food at each others' houses. We arrived a day early to have the rehearsal which was essential in such a wide open setting.

Bess and Mike had only about 40 people at their wedding but had a reception in Durham on the next Saturday night for all their friends from high school and college days.

In the wedding, Bess and Mike's dog Dinali was ritually walked down the aisle as part of the processional by one of her attendants. Then Dinali was handed off to a willing friend. It worked well in this casual setting. In the ceremony we spoke of the powerful symbol of the ocean in their lives and it's meaning to their marriage. Here is a part of the ritual I wrote for them:

"Water is the elemental force of nature on this our water planet. It sustains all life. And it is only here at the ocean that we can truly understand the magnitude of its depth, breath, and power. So too is the power of love. It defies containment, definition and comprehension. It moves us with its mystery and its majesty. We realized that we are just a drop in its totality. marriage moves u closer to experiencing this with wonder. Through marriage, we come closer to the larger flow of life and love that are beyond our control. We experience how we must both surrender to the tides of life and love within us, and to learn to navigate their currents, to understand that we stand always at the edge of what we do not know."

I loved seeing the long hug shared by Pat and her daughter after the ceremony. That's me in the background in the black and white dress. I chose that dress first because Bess told me to wear what was comfortable. Then I chose it to provide a strong visual focal point for the ceremony against the long expanses of sky, sea, and beach.

We had to navigate some strong winds during the wedding but all went well. In fact it was a cloudy cool day until about an hour before the ceremony when the sun came out. We were all amazed by Mike and Bess's luck.

Their cake at the reception in Durham was by Tracey of SugarPunk, Confections with Conviction. It honored the couple's love of Ocracoke, the beach and the lighthouse which is the most famous sight on the island.

The reception was held at The Four Points Durham near Southpoint Mall and the fabulous dinner was catered by Foster's Market in Durham. Both were excellent! And the dance floor got lots of action that evening.

1 comment: