Friday, October 22, 2010

Lindsey and Jordan at The Rand Bryan House

I always love the Rand-Bryan House in Garner. It looks fabulous in any season and it's just the right size to feel intimate and warm and yet spacious. I was glad that on October 9th it was all that and more for Lindsey and Jordan. And it was a beautiful fall day besides.

Jordan and Lindsey had been together four years after meeting on a blind date. They were grateful for the love they shared in that they didn't try to change each other and delighted in who they are together. I really enjoyed meeting them. They're clear and thoughtful people who love the home they have and their family of animal companions around them, Rusty, Thumper, and Blizzard.

I especially loved the processional music, 'Wonderwall' by Oasis, and Lindsey's processional music they chose was 'From This Moment On' by Shania Twain. And of course those great dresses for Lindsey's bridemaids and flower girl. Lindsey's sister, Caiti, who is only 13 months younger was her Maid of Honor.

Jordan and Lindsey loved the spiritual ceremony on my website and that's how they came to contact me. I'm glad they did.

We have photographer Michael Lentz to thank for these wonderful photographs. He was great to work with and provided me with these photographs, after getting the couple's approval, only two weeks after the ceremony. That was a treat for me and for Lindsay and Jordan.

The Rand Bryan house has all these wonderful windows in their main reception room that made the fall light sparkle. And their theme of fall colors of really sparkled.

Lindsey's mother was her Wedding Planner. She did a fabulous job and I was grateful for her, too. This picture is of Lindsey and Jordan with her parents.

John from Anything Music was their DJ and did a great job, Cleveland Florist did her flowers with wonderful calla lilies, Swank Cake Design did their cake (pardon my not very good picture of her cake) and Soup To Nuts was their caterer.
Also Martha, the owner of the Rand Bryan House, as always, was a huge help.

Here's my other not so good picture of her friends preparing for the reception. I just wanted you to see how lovely the lighting and their decorations were.

They are young people who have their heads on straight as some of their guests told me. I could tell that, too. Mature beyond their years, with a twinkle in their eyes, I have no doubts that they will have a wonderful future. I wish them all the best!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vic and Jen at The Fuquay Varina Mineral Spring Inn

I met Vic and Jen right before their wedding. We'd had wonderful phone calls and email exchanges that made me very curious about them. They were delightful. This was a small family wedding of at most forty guests in their neighborhood. The innkeeper of the Fuquay Varina Mineral Spring Inn who is also the mayor of Fuquay Varina, John Byrne, told me that they live just down the street.

Jennifer's wonderful younger sisters were her bridesmaids and flower girl. The limousine and driver you see behind you are Teddy Crider from Meridian Town Cars. He asked if it was okay to stay in the driveway during the wedding and was given a rousing yes.

The only dilemma with family members taking pictures is the above. I hope he got a good shot. And it added a sweet caring touch to the ceremony. I was glad that Vic and Jen could ignore him.

Here you can see the amazing lawn and garden of the inn. They had a wonderful day, and a wonderful anniversary date. The unique Sunday, 10/10/10. May all the other elements of their life be this auspicious. I wish them many blessings.

Matthew and Jennifer at Rock Quarry B and B

It was a treat to celebrate with Jennifer and Matthew at the fabulous Rock Quarry Farm which is a B and B just west of Chapel Hill on Highway 54. Camille, the owner, is always so gracious and the setting lends itself so well to an intimate outdoor wedding. This time is was a special treat for her since Jennifer's mother is Camille's cousin.

There are so many ceremony sites to choose from at the Rock Quarry Farm. I've officiated at several weddings here and each time I learn more about its versatility. And Camille is always a great help in giving cues so that the processional flows smoothly. Isn't this trellis amazing!

The day was perfect and they had wonderful professionals to help make their day special.
Matthew and Jennifer had a guitarist for the ceremony music. They had intended to have a fiddle player, too, but unfortunately he was ill.

Jennifer and Matthew wanted a traditional ceremony with just a few touches to represent their own uniqueness. For example, we ended their ceremony with a Welsh blessing in honor of Matthew's parents who couldn't come to the wedding from Great Britain. It goes, 'Wishing you a house full of sunshine, Hearts full of cheer, Love that grows deeper, each day of the year.'

He was great, as was the DJ, Darren Hunicutt. Jennifer and Matthew's cake was provided by Sugarland, Victorian Seasons in Apex did her flowers, and Sisters Catering in Raleigh provided the food.

This is the front of Rock Quarry Farm, but other than using the porch for pictures, every ceremony I've done happens in the back. The house is set far from the street though so parking and street noise are not a problem.

Guests were enjoying cocktails here while we were having pictures taken. Other side of this barn is also a great site for a ceremony.

This wonderfully rustic cottage is used as a changing room for one of the couple. In the background you see the Sisters Catering truck and on the porch you see champagne set out on a white tablecloth for the toast. There is also a fire all ready to go in the fire pit for later.

Here are Jennifer's father, her Maid of Honor, Michelle and Matthew's Best Man, Ian after the ceremony by the swimming pool for pictures.

And I wonder where this classic truck came from. It's sure a great backdrop. All of the good shots above were taken my Jennifer's uncle Alex Webb who is a professional photographer but alas is from out of town. He captured the radiance of the couple and the day. I took the shots that are ordinary.

I just got this note from Jennifer with the wonderful pictures from Uncle Alex. She wrote, 'We love what you did for us and feel we had a perfect ceremony. We are loving married life and are ready for many years of love and bliss together!

I'm delighted for Jennifer and Matthew - especially for the love that grows deeper through all the years. Many blessing to them!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Elio and Marie Wed at The Sutherland

On September 18th I presided over Elio and Marie's wedding at The Sutherland. I'd heard about it for a long time but had never been there. Then was pleasantly surprised that it was only 45 minutes drive from my home in Hillsborough.

Elio and Marie planned carefully and the elegance of their wedding showed the fruits of their labor. This was aided too by the wonderful staff at The Sutherland, led by Gayle. One thing especially to note, and Gayle helps you remember, is to follow the directions on The Sutherland website instead of relying on GPS or online maps program because the directions are tricky. Marie and Elio even put this on their invitation.

The home and grounds are elegant. The pictures you see are mine. I took them with my Droid. That's why they're not the best. Glen Ho was their photographer. I'm sure his are wonderful. Most times, I need to drive to another ceremony or want to drive home to be with my Sweetie, so I capture a few pictures is possible after the ceremony. Before the ceremony I'm making sure that all will go as planned, rereading the ceremony so it's fresh in my mind and heart, or finding a moment of pause, to become centered and focused on the couple and their love.

The day was unseasonably warm and the sun was in Marie and Elio's eyes at the beginning of the ceremony but with 2 small steps back we got them into the shade. The only problem was that those two steps took them farther from their families, but I could see the relief in Elio's eyes to be just a little out of the heat. I always encourage couples to see their site at the same time of day as their ceremony. The position of the sun can make the difference between enjoying your ceremony and roasting through it.

But the heat didn't mar the loving and low key ceremony that Marie and Elio had crafted. We shared the sweet poem, 'Falling In Love Is Like Owning a Dog,' by Taylor Mali, which was a big hit, especially for these two dog lovers.

The Sutherland site is lovely. The flower petals adding just the right hint of color.

This is a shot after the ceremony. I was upstairs gathering my belongings to leave the couple to their guests and their celebration when I noticed photographer Glen Ho taking pictures outside.
What a wonderful setting, as you can see. Because then I went downstairs, too, to capture my own picture of Marie and Elio and their families against this beautiful backdrop.

Elio and Marie chose a blessing which goes 'May yours always be a shared adventure, right with moments of serenity as well as excitement. Play together, laugh together, and walk together for a lifetime.' I wish them all the best, and hope that their marriage brings them much joy.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Scott and Meghan Celebrate Their Love on Sept 5th at The Carolina Inn

I had the privilege of marrying Scott and Meghan in The Bryan Courtyard of The Carolina Inn on Sunday September 5th of this year. It was a wonderful time. First of all, they had great weather. Then they had great help. Rachel from Bliss by Sam coordinated with the easy charm and wonderful efficiency that I've known her always to have.

Then they had a group of young string musicians from UNC who provided excellent music, and Allison of Sandfoot Photography was also at her regular best. I was grateful to the Carolina Inn for sending them my way.

Meghan works in maternal and child health and Scott has set up a web site for charitable giving. They both have strong commitments to creating better lives for others. They inspired me and gave me much hope for the future of our planet.

They wanted their wedding to celebrate their faith and their delight in each other. They both found peace in being with each other and complement each other well. They love watching slapstick comedies (my kind of folks), cooking and taking their dog for walks. They relish in the simple pleasures.

Meghan's Bridesmaid's beautiful Iris bouquets was designed by Margaret Pender of Victoria Park Florist to honor their colors of purple, blue and silver. All her flowers were stunning.

This gives you a great long view of the Bryan Courtyard which is sometimes hard to find. Thanks Allison for this.

And here we get to enjoy Meghan and Scott exchanging their vows.

Scott and Meghan had their reception in the Hill Ballroom to the music of Joe Bunn DJ Company, with Randy Bennet as their DJ.

Cinda's Creative Cakes created their cake. I sampled her cakes at the Carolina Inn bridal event that they have every January. They were beautiful, great, and she's the consummate professional.

Scott and Meghan told me that they have found their home in each other. May their hearts always cherish this great gift. I wish them many blessings!

Cassey and Pat Marry at Home in Style

I got this picture from Cassandra and Pat's wedding that I had to share with you. I performed their ceremony on Aug 28th. They were both in their early forties and it was the first marriage for both of them. They weren't sure that marriage was 'in the cards,' as Cassy put it, for her but then they found each other.

They had a small wedding but did it in big style. Pat wore a top hat and tails and Cassy's dress had just a touch of color that made it unique and playful.

They married at Cassy's parents house which was especially special since both his and Pat's fathers had passed. We included an honoring of them in the ceremony.

Blessedly, in the summer heat, they had a tent that gave us all shade.

They kept it simple:
Cassey's sister and identical twin was her Maid of Honor, No one walked her down the aisle, (which happens a lot more these days,) and they used an IPOD for their ceremony music.
They also had the lyrics to John Lennon's song 'Love' as their reading of timeless wisdom about love and marriage. As a Beatles' fan, I was especially glad to be able to read Lennon's words.

And Pat and Cassy had a wonderful time with many hugs and much celebrating for them.
I'm delighted for them. There are so many ways to make a wedding your own. Cassy and Pat concentrated on just what was important for them. And I'm glad. If they do the same for the rest of their lives, they'll have a wonderful marriage and a wonderful life!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Andy and Jolie's Wedding at The Shrine Club in Raleigh

On 5th June I got to marry Andy and Jolie. They wisely chose the Shrine Club in Raleigh where they could stay cool and have their reception there too. There was also a stage where the wedding party could stand so that everyone could see.

I was delighted for them. They heard about me from Ryan and Jenna who I'd married just 2 months before, so I got to see them at the Andy and Jolie's wedding, too, still glowingly happy.

I'm just getting around to their blog now, but I still remember their wonderful smiles and Jolie's captivating ebullience.

They were especially grateful that the space at The Shrine Club flowed so well with the ceremony room right next to the reception room, and did the catering so that they didn't have a lot to worry about.

Jason Huggins at Island Sound took care of both their ceremony and reception music, and handled a mic for me as well which made is easy for everyone to hear. Flowerama of Raleigh did Jolie's wonderful flowers and her stylist was Salon Blu.

Andy and Jolie had her aunt and uncle from New York to do their photographs. We have them to thank for these. Their company there is Photogenics.

We ended with a beautiful blessing and prayer upon their marriage: 'We ask that the Holy Spirit of love may deepen the lives of Jolie and Andy. May their relationship, which today has been expressed, continue to grow in the years to come. And whatever changes time may bring, let this wedding ceremony remain as a treasured memory and a guide to life. May they always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims: "Out of all this world, You have chosen me. " When life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found then as now, still hand in hand, still thanking You for each other, Amen."

They're a playful and a thoughtful couple, having already navigated some hardship that has caused them to become a couple with a solid foundation of caring and respect in their marriage.
I with them all the best.

They went to the Dominican Republic on their honeymoon and had a fabulous time.
I'm so glad!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Jeff and Margart Celebrate their Wedding on July 17th

I'm very grateful when wonderful couples I've married introduce me to other wonderful couples to marry. And that is how I met Jeff and Margaret. They're a couple with busy professional lives. Jeff is in graduate school at NC state in school counseling and Margaret works for a pharmaceutical company, yet they had time to meet in July of 2007 in downtown Raleigh where Margaret had arrived in a rickshaw. Now that's entering in style.

After they began dating, they always had a lot to talk about and their affection just kept growing. They found out that their parents both live in Georgia about thirty minutes drive from each other, where Margaret grew up. Then they discovered that they both love football and love traveling to the games. They found out they traveled well together (a real sign as far as I'm concerned) and that their friends meshed.

They're both easy going low stress people who don't take themselves too seriously. And I can tell you that they're also very generous of spirit and considerate - to each other, and to others.

I can't tell you how many people have commented to Ruben and I how they notice that we are very considerate of each other. And I'm amazed that they find it unusual. I love being grateful for Ruben and showing it. And I could tell and was delighted to see that Margaret and Jeff are also very considerate people. It bodes well for their marriage. I believe that consideration comes from cherishing the other and being grateful for them in your life. It in itself is an act of love.

All Saints Chapel, a lovely restored 19th century chapel, in downtown Raleigh was a wonderful spot for them to marry. It exudes a simple gentle spirituality. The stained glass windows add a special light to the setting, too. We opened Jeff and Margaret's ceremony was a request that people silently, from the depths of their hearts, offer up their own blessings and prayers for Jeff and Margaret and their new life together. This moment of silence filled the hall with joyful reverence.

Sarah at All Saints coordinated our efforts there and was a big help, especially given the size of their wedding party. We also must thank Rusty Worden who took their photographs, although the ones you see here were taken by me or by their friends. (It's just taking a little time for Jeff and Margaret to decide on the official shots they'd like.) Rusty is a very skilled photographer who I've worked with before. You see him here setting up a shot after the ceremony in this picture I took from the balcony.

All Saints has this wonderful balcony that you can fill with guests or just take pictures from. It offers such a unique vantage point. Especially if you're a more skilled photographer than I am. It's also where they have their sound system located.

Margaret and Jeff's wedding party was large and close knit - made up of long term friends who came from all over the United States to celebrate their day with them.
The couple I married last year were in the wedding and now live in Michigan. On this hot July day, I think they were grateful for at least the weather there.

Jim Unger from Joe Bunn DJ Company was our DJ for the music for the ceremony and Julie Carlson Liles, the owner of CDI Florals in Holly Springs provided the flowers.

The reception was held at Marbles, the kid's museum, walking distance from the chapel. I didn't attend. I always want to come home to Ruben. I imagine that it was wonderful. How could it not be? Here are some shots from there.

I got this note from Jeff about a week after their wedding: 'We are back from the honeymoon and have been busy moving the past three days! Makes us definitely long for a return to the Caribbean where just last week we were lounging in the sun! Thank you so much for all of your help and for leading a wonderful ceremony for us. We are so grateful for your help and guidance and for the support of all of our family and friends who were there with us. ...

Thanks again so much!
Jeff and Margaret

I want to thank them, too. My heart smiles whenever I think of them!

Amanda and David at Crenshaw Hall

I love it when you can tell a couple is really having fun at their wedding. Not just after the ceremony but before and during the ceremony, too. Amanda and David were like that. They didn't let any nervousness dampen their delight. And it was a wonderful occasion.

Just look how David is beaming as he's watching Amanda enter.

Crenshaw Hall was lovely and set just the right tone for them.

Not only the ceremony site but this beautiful restored home gave them the classic feel they wanted.

Another thing that they did is to hire great people so that they didn't need to worry.
Gail Stephenson and Heather Irvin at Premiere Catering were a joy to work with. Gail had even guided the rehearsal, and on that Saturday, she and Heather were everywhere checking on details. Here they are as the couple are getting pictures taken after the ceremony, checking on final details for the reception.

Michelle Gunton took these marvelous photographs of their wedding and gave me some to show to you. She is always wonderful to work with, skilled and patient. Their DJ was from Joe Bunn DJ, Co. whose staff always does a great job. Their cake was from Ambrosia Cakes and their florist was Darryl Senter, who I think is related to Amanda's mother.

David and Amanda have known each other for ten years. They began dating in high school, and bought a house together in 2008. They're comfortable easy going, genuine people who didn't want anything stuffy or boring or drawn out. And I agreed! They wanted a comfortable fun ceremony that people would enjoy, especially their families, who they're both very close to. In fact Amanda's Matron of Honor was her mother.

They asked for classy but simple and this seemed to be their theme all throughout their ceremony.

Their personality really shone in their music and their words of commitment to each other, which they wrote themselves. These words, so like them, were loving and tender, and simply beautiful, and were the heart of their ceremony. I loved how they were fully present to each other and to the moment. You can see the strong foundation of love this couple has built together.

And the music! Everybody loved it. With their music they immediately brought smiles to everyone and they brought their unique and joyful personalities into the setting. From the first measure, you knew it was their wedding, their celebration of their love. Yay!

The first processional was 'Feeling Good,' I think the rendition was by Muse. It was fabulous. Their flower girl came in on the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars. Amanda came in on a song by a band called Morbid Angel called 'Desolate Ways.' The recessional music was from the band Unearth, the song was Big Bear and the Hour of Chaos.
If you haven't heard 'Feeling Good' play it right now while you read this. Just Google it and you'll be feeling great, too.

They were surrounded by close friends and family at their wedding and you could tell they were well loved. I'm not surprised. This couple exudes joy of life and of love. I wish them many many blessings for all their years.