Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Joseph and AnnMarie Wed at All Saints Chapel in Downtown Raleigh

The first time I talked to AnnMarie on the phone I was charmed by the laugh in her voice. She told me that she and Joe wanted an intimate ceremony focused on their love and their love of their families. They wouldn't be having a traditional wedding party, she said, but wanted to involve families more directly than other ceremonies they'd been to. Almost everyone would be coming from out of town. And since everyone there was important to both them, they didn't want to leave anyone out. These were the people they loved, standing up with them, hearing their vows and supporting them in their love.

I also felt another connection with AnnMarie. She's a middle school language arts teacher. My Sweetheart, Ruben, is a middle school science teacher. I know how hard middle school teachers work. They have to educate both the parents and the kids who, at that age, have much of their being occupied trying to figure what their body is doing to them. Middle school teachers have a calling that I respect big time. Joe's an engineer who has been in the US Air Force. They both have an integrity that shines through them.

When I first met them, I was delighted to know that I'd be the one marrying them.
They'd met each other three years before when they lived in different cities but by Spring of 2010 not only they, but both their families were all settled in North Carolina. What an affirmation of closeness.

This would be a family affair. Even the pianist, Erica, is a good friend, offering her gift of music to their wedding. And her friend Alissa, was their volunteer coordinator, ensuring that the day's events ran smoothly.

Joe and Ann Marie decided to have their ceremony at All Saints Chapel in downtown Raleigh, and it seemed to fit them perfectly. It's such an intimate setting and has simple timeless beauty in each polished beam. Plus the location was perfect. Everyone could walk to the Cafe Luna for the reception.
I offer these pictures of the chapel so you can see too how lovely it is and how it suited them.

All these wonderful pictures were taken by Robert Filcsik of Filcsik Photography. Aren't they wonderful! I'm so glad that Joe and AnnMarie will have these moments captured forever.

Here is looking from the back to the front where I'm standing.

Here is a picture looking to the back of the chapel.

Here is a picture from the balcony. An added bonus for the photographer. At a different wedding I did at this chapel, the photographer took a group shot from the balcony right after the ceremony.

Joseph escorted his mother into the sanctuary followed by his father, and Ann Marie entered with both her parents.
Then we offered a prayer of blessing for AnnMarie and Joe and their new life together asking God for a loving and bountiful blessing on their marriage.

Joe's mother read a beautiful translation of the portion of Paul's 1st Letter to the Corinthians that talks about love. If you decide to have this read at your wedding, I suggest that you compare the translations to find the one you like. They are all lovely but can vary a lot. And isn't this a wonderful hat moment for Joseph's mom. We women don't get near enough hat moments so we have to make them memorable. Hers was great.

The woman who made AnnMarie's wedding dress made the tie that we used for the handfasting from the same material as the dress, with the same appliques. It was perfect. I loved how they drank in each moment in their ceremony, fully present to each other and to the day. With their good friends and families close by, they were surrounded by love and you could feel it tangibly.

Some times couples are so nervous that they aren't able to drink in the love and support that surrounds them. AnnMarie and Joseph could. They showed this too in 'the kiss.' I tell couples not to let it go too quickly or the photographer will miss it. Joe didn't lose his opportunity for a full on smooch with accompanying dip of AnnMarie in classic romantic grandeur. We all loved it, and AnnMarie loved it and was sure surprised.

I sense that this is a part of what they offer to the world in their callings and in the fullness of their love. I imagine that their lives will always have that same exuberance I saw on this day. I wish them much joy.

I never go to the reception, preferring to come home to my Sweetheart, Ruben, but I wanted to honor the other wedding professionals at the reception that helped to make AnnMarie and Joe's wedding just what they wanted it to be. Wedding professionals tend to love what they do. It makes them fun to work with and very good at what they do.

At the reception, the DJ was Patrick Cooke of PC productions, the cake was made by Sweet Memories Bakery in Apex, the florist was Renee Becker from The Flower Cupboard, and AnnMarie's makeup was by Make-up Art by Jenny.

When they got back from their honeymoon I got this great note from AnnMarie:

Thank you so much for all that you have done for us! We feel blessed to have had you with us on our day. I am especially appreciative of your calming and guiding influence. I can't even put into words how reassuring the looks were that you gave us as we went through the ceremony. You really did transform the space into something sacred. It happened like magic. And that kiss! I tried to plan one out, but Joe told me, "No way!" He wanted to surprise me on that day! He sure did! LOL! '

May their lives be full of many such loving surprises. I have a hunch it will be.

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