Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jon and Diana Warm up a Cold November Day to Marry at Rosedown Plantation

Jon and Diana were delighted to find Rosedown Plantation in Smithfield just south of Raleigh. It had the wonderfully majestic feel they were looking for, they could stay there for the weekend to make things easier for them, and it fit in their budget. I was surprised to learn when I was there that all of their 2011 weekends are already booked. And they did do a fabulous job. It was a cold November day. Really chilly. But the skies from the weather system that had moved through had cleared and so it was a 'go' to have the wedding outdoors. It was really Diana's and Jon's brilliant smiles that warmed everyone up.

There were a bunch of great professionals contributing to their wedding. David Solis Olson came all the way from Charlotte to play classical guitar for their ceremony. He was amazing. Randy from Joe Bunn and Co DJs did their reception music, Brett Arthur Photography got most of these great pictures. Here he's taking pictures of Diana with her attendants in the plantation house before the ceremony.

I took a couple of these pictures with my DROID in moments between happenings. Greg Warren Flowers did the bouquets and the lovely garland at the gazebo, Unforgettable Food Affairs from Garner catered their reception, and Simply Cakes in Raleigh did their scrumptious looking chocolate cake. You'll see pictures of many of their efforts. I never stay for the reception, preferring to come home to my own Sweetheart. But I do get to see the behind the scenes preparation that goes into making it all look effortless. I laud Diana and Jon for creating a welcoming and loving experience from the first moment the guests entered the plantation and saw their photos, to the real elegance of the reception.

Jon and Diana were clear that they didn't want the same old words they'd heard so often at ceremonies. They wanted a ceremony that wasn't stuffy or uncomfortable or formal. And they wanted their ceremony to have an intimate feel. They also wanted it to include their son Jaden who is now 7. All this was music to my ears. I love creating ceremonies for couples so that they can have fun and it be loving, wise and warm at the same time.

It was so chilly that I had a quilted vest under my robe. Thankfully nobody knew, and I was warm. I bet the men were appreciating their formal wear. Where it's so often too hot in the summer, here it helped.
I loved Jon's expression as he watched Diana walk down the aisle.

We began their ceremony with the words, 'Love is a quality of spirit and an attitude of the emotion, but a marriage is a life's work, a spiritual art form. Therefore, this is an occasion of both profound joy and great responsibility, and we who partake in it bind ourselves as witnesses to the labor of love that Jon and Diana are undertaking here.'

You can see their son in formal wear and a little out of focus as he's watching his mother enter, too. I don't know what the big smile was about in the next picture, but we had lots of reason to smile. Their ceremony was beautiful and a delight.

As you leave the ceremony area at Rosedown you climb stairs up to the plantation building where the reception is held. This is what you behold as you walk up those stairs.

Congratulations, Simply Cakes! Your cake below is one cake I would have loved to taste.

Here is the main room in the plantation in which the reception was held.

Soon these tables would be filled with the many people wishing Jon and Diana a wonderful marriage and a wonderful life. And there were many!

I wish them all the best! It was a treat to be a part of their special day.

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