Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Alex and Laura Wed at The Fearrington on July 3rd

July 3rd was surprisingly cool. I've been grateful for this summer weather, and we were all especially grateful that day. It was awhile back because I had some delicious vacation in August and am now catching up. On that balmy evening I had the pleasure of marrying Alex and Laura at The Fearrington, in Chatham County on 15-501 just south of Chapel Hill.

The elegance of their wedding was matched by the elegance of their photographs taken by Logan Jarrard, of Logan Jarrard Photography. You can see more of his work for Laura and Alex on his blog. (Click on 'blog' to go straight there.)

The ceremony was held in the gazebo under the old huge Pecan tree which provided lots of welcome shade. As you can see there were chairs for two-hundred guests. Alex and Laura had grown up in Chapel Hill. Our DJ Gino, provided a microphone so that all the guests could hear every word. We also wanted to hear every note of the music played by Alex's dad and his Aunt Mary.

And Cheryl, from The Fearrington was essential in helping the day go smoothly. Thank you!

The only drawback was the pesky mosquitoes that love moist summer lawns in NC. But Alex and Laura planned for this by having small spray bottles of herbal insect repellent at a table near where guests entered. We all bathed our ankles liberally before the service.

(TIP: As a minister, I keep a bottle of this in my 'kit bag' at all times. No one wants to be distracted by mosquito bites during a ceremony.)

It was a perfect day. It was unseasonably cool on Friday July 3rd and we were all grateful. Even with this advantage though, all the guests were grateful for the wedding programs that doubled as fans. I can't speak highly of the advantage of this small hand-made breeze in our hot muggy summers. Even the famous Fearrington cows were content. We could hear them lowing now and again in the field nearby.

Alex and Laura were radiant and at ease as their ceremony approached. They'd been together for years and were surrounded by all their friends of long standing. They had met on the track team in high school and had been together ever since. And in the next month would be moving to Pennsylvania for Laura to begin medical school.

They incorporated several unique elements to their ceremony. Both Laura and Alex's parents spoke words of blessing to them in their own words. They had written love letters to each other and put them, unopened, in a box with a bottle of wine, sealing the box as part of the ceremony. It was to be opened when they needed to be reminded of their love for each other or on their twentieth anniversary, whichever came first.

I laud Alex and Laura for their relaxed manner during the ceremony. Even though I knew they were excited and eager for this day, they were surrounded by those who loved them, and they knew that nothing could go wrong that would spoil the intent of their day. They truly enjoyed their day.

Their attendants, Lisa and Nicholas, signed the licenses in the Garden Room at The Fearrington while everyone was cooling down a moment before pictures. During this time the guests made their way down to the barn.

After the ceremony, and after pictures of the wedding party, Logan Jarrard Alex and Laura to another of the wonderful lawns at The Fearrington for some pictures while all the guests enjoyed the cool of The Barn and refreshments before the reception.

Don't let the name confuse, you. You can tell by the elegance of the setting that the barn is now anything but a barn. But the stalls for the dairy cows are still intact in the hall as you enter this elegant setting.

I wish them many blessings as they begin this new adventure in their lives together!

Monday, August 10, 2009

David and Andrea's Wedding June 27th

I performed a simple ceremony for David and Andrea on this quiet Saturday evening in a small ceremony at Yates Mill Pond in Raleigh, off Lake Wheeler Road.

The park let them use the small 4-row semi-circular amphitheater at no cost but they couldn't reserve the spot. So our small group of thirteen, made up of family and friends met in the parking lot and made our way down the short path to the amphitheater.

Andrea's father came all the way from Denmark to give her away.

David and Andrea had several milestones in the last three months. They were pregnant with twins and had just bought a house. After this final milestone of their wedding, they were going to rest up for the arrival of their twin girls. They hoped for a larger celebration after the birth of their girls but family and friends were joyful as we met the photographer and carried the CD player to the small private setting.

Andrea and David felt that fate had somehow guided them to each other. They met on Facebook here in NC but they found that they had been in the same place at the same time five times in their past up in the small town they both came from in Connecticut.
In this ceremony we celebrated both their commitment to each other with the beautiful ceremony of Celtic Handfasting, and we celebrated the new family they are creating with special words of welcome for their daughters.

It was a hot North Carolina muggy Saturday so they made sure that everyone had plenty of cold water around. Last pictures were taken on the bridge over the pond as everyone enjoyed a champagne toast before this loving group of family and friends went off to dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Gina McLean Photography provided the wonderful pictures for the event.

Kendra and Scott at 1705 Prime in Raleigh

I just got some wonderful pictures!

On June 20th I married Kendra and Scott at 1705 Prime in Raleigh on East Millbrook Road.

It was an intimate wedding site for their close family and friends and this was the perfect venue for it. Parents and honored guests sat in chairs facing the wedding party. Guests sat at tables in a semi-circle around the hardwood floor dance floor. This was also where Kendra and Scott and their wedding party stood.

We were all grateful on this hot summer day for this comfortable and easy venue.

Musicians played 'The Luckiest' when Scott entered with his parents. And indeed he and Kendra both beamed during their whole wedding.

They had some unique elements to their ceremony which befitted their fun personalities.

They said their vows with their hands placed upon a Scottish Oathing Stone (you can find out more about Scottish wedding customs here). This was a real stone from Scotland brought all the way here by Kendra's Maid of Honor who had flown in the night before. Kendra and Scott both placed their hands upon the stone then we said these words of introduction:

'The vows Kendra and Scott make together this day will provide a firm foundation for the life they share together from this day forward. To symbolize this firm foundation they will be borrowing from an old Scottish Tradition in which the couple will use an Oathing Stone to set their vows in stone.' They then proceeded with vows in their own words that they spoke to each other.

Their rings were carried into the ceremony each in its own beautifully decorated box carried each carried by an earnest young ring bearer. They were placed on the small table behind me until we were ready for them.

They ended with an Irish Wedding Blessing spoken by two young nieces:

May you always have enough happiness to keep you sweet
Enough trials to keep you strong
Success to make you eager
Friends to give you comfort
Wealth to meet your needs
Enthusiasm to look for tomorrow
And a growing love to make each day better than the day before.

Their ceremony was also rich in other music perfect for a wedding.
To honor those family members who had passed on their friend sang a beautiful rendition of 'I'll Be Seeing You.' And another friend sang the Sarah McLaughlin song 'Push' which was a particular favorite of theirs. I loved how their warm and loving personalities shone throughout the whole occasion. I wish them many blessings.