Friday, September 25, 2009

Stefan and Kate At The Sarah Duke Center in Durham

On August 29th, I had the honor of performing Stefan and Kate's marriage ceremony at the wonderful Sarah P. Duke Center in Duke Gardens, in Durham, NC.

We were all nervous about rain that weekend, but a storm roared through Durham about an hour after the rehearsal on Friday evening and we were blessedly left with the cooler weather brought in by the front. The water lilies were blooming and a blue heron graced us with its presence on the pond during the whole of the rehearsal. We all considered it nature's blessing on the occasion. Kate and Stefan both love the natural world. So much so that their ceremony began with these words:

"We are here today to celebrate the marriage between Stefan and Kate. The life this couple has created together is imbued with much love. They share not only a deep romantic love, rooted in sincere friendship, but also a love of life and its offerings. They share a passion for exploration of and protection of the natural world, and a respect for all cultures of the earth. The interest and values that brought them together in the beginning continue to unite and inspire them."

The Sarah Duke Center has amphitheater seating which faces the pond and which is perfect for this size group of about 120 people. You can see the Sarah Duke Center behind, where the reception was held. It has a large lawn and a walkway where the wedding party gathered to enter the amphitheater. The cocktail hour, was held on the covered porch (you can see its roof in this photo.)

Allison Davis of Sandfoot Photography took all of these fabulous pictures and you can see more on her web site. Ken Holmes of DJ Bunn Co. was the DJ for the music for the ceremony and the reception. He found the perfect spot for a good view, unobstructed but also discreet.

Both Kate's parents walked her down the aisle, which at the Sarah P. Duke Center is wide enough to do gracefully. She entered to a Celtic harp version of the traditional Bridal March.

Christy White of A Designing Mind, event floral designer combined cymbidium orchids, jade roses, South American line hydrangeas, Sahara roses, bells of Ireland and Yoko Ono green button poms for the beautiful floral bouquets.

Stefan and Kate each chose different vows to speak to the other. While most couple do not choose to do this, it's always a treat for me when I know that both people have taken the opportunity to say vows that uniquely fit their love for the other.

Kate has an Irish heritage so wanted the family's Irish wedding bell to be in the ceremony. We created a ceremony for the bell where they ring the bell on their wedding day and promise to ring it whenever they need to be reminded of their love for each other as it is on this day.

We then had the delicious moment in the ceremony when we were told that the clapper of the bell had come off and they said 'ring ring ring' for the sound of the bell. It was a fun and unforgettable moment that they'll probably remember much more powerfully that what was planned. And with more humor. Which is always good for a marriage.

The Catering Company smoothly handled all the arrangements for the cocktail hour and the reception in the ballroom which is also graced with a life sized statue of a blue heron. And the dance floor was occupies for the rest of the evening.

I wish them great happiness as they begin this new adventure together.

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