October 17th was a chilly day, and it had rained for several days before that, making an outdoor wedding not a guaranteed success. But it was important that Kelly and Todd be married in the Raleigh Rose Garden and it was only after the ceremony that I totally understood why. Roses speak to this couple.
And the heavens conspired to make the day magical. It was overcast up to the very moment before Kelly entered the ceremony. Then the sun shone, but only until the end of the ceremony when it tucked back behind a cloud. But during the ceremony it lit up the sky, Kelly's and Todd's faces, and the roses.
We can thank Meg Daniels of The Photography of Meg Daniels for these wonderful pictures, and for capturing the day so beautifully.
And a special thanks to Gina Beatty Martinez of the Raleigh Little Theater Rose Garden for all the logistics of ensuring the garden was ready for Kelly and Todd and their wedding.
Todd and Kelly met at the MBA program at NC-State three years ago and they both felt the touch of fate or the Divine in the meeting. They wanted to stress their appreciation of each other in their ceremony and the joy in their shared love. They described it as a positive loop of energy and appreciation. Roses were an excellent symbol of that feeling of being gifted by our Beloved in our life.
They had a guest offer a reading called 'Dedication to My Wife' by T. S. Eliot that ends with ' No peevish winter wind shall chill, No sullen tropic sun shall wither, The roses in the rose-garden which is ours and ours only', they exchanged roses as the first gift upon their marriage, and they gave the roses to their mothers after the ceremony.
Kelly's bouquet of roses was made by the florist Fallon's Flowers on Wake Forest and they were a lush bouquet of, you guessed it, roses. The continuity of the theme was lovely and seamless.
Arioso Strings provided the elegant music safely ensconced in the gazebo again the cold and damp. The bride entered to the Air from Suite #3 by Bach, and the couple recessed to the Largo from Xerxes by Handel.
They left in a white stretch limousine provided by A Formal Affair, LLC and driven by Paul Copplestone (1-888-753-6653) for their reception and much celebrating.
Many years ago I presided at a wedding at Ayr Mount in Hillsborough for which the groom's Aunt Peggy wrote a special poem, 'Marriage Grove.' I kept this poem with Aunt Peggy's permission and Todd and Kelly chose it for their ceremony:
you played at love
wildly growing into separateness
but not today
today you step into this
of saplings sprung beside the founding tree
an array of your life hopes and dreams
with God wielding influence as a spade
separating your want from weed
while with passionate interest
you water each seed
this is the challenge
for weather changes
give yourself to shade the other
or warm each other
become deeply rooted
urging toward what unknown Sun
unafraid of growth
sustained by its apportioned Grace
embracing this rocky
I wish Kelly and Todd much joy as they cultivate the garden of their marriage.