Friday, April 22, 2011

Brad and Erin Marry on April 2nd at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary

On April 2nd I got to marry Brad and Erin. A delightful couple, (the Universe brings me really wonderful people) Erin and Brad feel especially blessed since Brad was in a really bad car crash just 2 years ago. Neither like to be the center of attention yet they both were full of poise and grace during their wedding ceremony. And there was an obstacle to overcome. The wind was really really strong, as you'll see in the pictures. My headset had broken too and so Mike Morse provided me with this one. Of course, I like mine better (smaller and flesh colored - and now fixed!) but this was a big help.

Thank you to David Kuhn of Kuhn's Photography for these wonderful photos. If there is a hazy one or two they're the ones from my Droid. It acts mysteriously every once in a while. Thank you to Allison Vidana, the wonderful staff member at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary who took my Droid photos and helped with every other aspect of the rehearsal and wedding! Even from my Droid pictures you can see what a lovely ceremony it was.

Erin and Brad chose 'Marry Me' by Train as their processional. It was great to see their fun personalities show up all through their ceremony. They also showed up in the wonderful purple/fuchsia, what is that color?, that the men had in their ties, and the women had in their dresses.

In Erin and Brad's ceremony we had the words, 'Through the challenges you will face, you can rest assured that your love and commitment for one another make you an unbeatable team.' And they seem just that.

Erin and Brad chose to do a sand ceremony as part of their wedding, having their parents pour the first layer of sand representing the heritage of their family, as well as the love, relationship, and history that their families have given them. This formed the foundation of their marriage and a base for Brad and Erin to go forward.

Then Erin and Brad poured their individual containers of purple and green sand into the container uniting their lives inextricably. We added our hope that they would add sand from the various places they visit as a married couple emphasizing that their bond of love will increase with the experiences they share and value together. (I then asked the groomsmen to hold the empty glass containers fearing they'd blow off the table.)

I had fun pronouncing them married. They both have a loving considerate nature, and from meeting their families I can see where they get it. I'm delighted for them and wish them a lifetime of happiness.

The Flower Cupboard of Cary provided Erin's and her attendants' flowers, The Cupcake Shoppe in Raleigh provided her cupcakes, and Mike Morse of Morse Entertainment was their DJ who valiantly worked with me to manage the sound.

It was a wonderful occasion! And may their days be good and long upon the earth!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Damien and Nicole Wed on April 1st at The Weathervane in Chapel Hill

I loved meeting with Damien and Nicole and being a part of their wedding. They're two very different people who thoroughly enjoy and love each other and each others' uniqueness. They moved up from South Carolina and decided to have their wedding here and I'm glad they did.

They were delighted to find The Weathervane at A Southern Season in Chapel Hill.

It has a fabulous patio for their intimate wedding and would do the catering with fabulous food plus the flowers (there is a picture a little further down of Nicole's attendants with their really distinctive bouquets,) and their cake. Here are some more pictures to better show you the patio space.

Nicole and Damien loved that The 'one stop shopping' of The Weathervane would make their planning so much easier. And A Southern Season does everything well and elegantly. They're a well respected Chapel Hill institution. Thanks so so much to Sarah Mackiewicz who is the Special Events Coordinator at The Weathervane. She was fabulous in making sure everything went well through all the last minute adjustments we had to do for the strong winds that day. The Weathervane is a newer venue in the area and they are doing a wonderful job.

Liesl Cowley of Myrtle Beach, SC, and Liesl Diesel Photo took these fabulous pictures. It wasn't an easy venue to photograph!

Damien and Nicole are both lovely considerate people who asked me in the ceremony to first thank all those people who gave them the gift of coming to their wedding. We said: 'Let us appreciate our surroundings, our connection with each other, and our connection with loved ones unable to be with us today physically but who are nonetheless with us in spirit and memory.'
They've known each other for fourteen years, and the last six years have been growing their love.

Nicole and Damien chose the wisdom of Madeleine L'Engle in 'The Irrational Season' which speaks of the moment when a decision must be made whether to take the risk to love deeply, which comes with no guarantees. Many people think this is a rejection of freedom but it really demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom. To create a love that is participation and not possession. If you'd like the full reading, let me know. It's beautiful and it's in my wedding book.

They affirmed their desire to marry, creating a marriage that is participation not possession, forging a shared life, accepting the risk that come with this commitment, moving into their future with an open hear and shared hopes, promising to love together for a lifetime. At their request, I wrote this portion of their vows to match the reading. I love it and will keep it. It's very powerful and speak to love where we each honor the bless the freedom of the other knowing that this is the path of loving partnership.

They chose the wonderful poetry of Pablo Neruda and then had several friends stand and each read three or four lines from Taylor Mali's 'Falling in Love is Like Owning A Dog.' Every one loved it.

They wrote them own vows and didn't show them to each other. I loved how their vows seemed just like them. Then I brought them to the ceremony printed large in my wedding book so that they could continue to hold hands, while I held the vows for them to speak to each other. They also took part in the Celtic Hand fasting Ritual before I got to playfully say: 'Damien you may kiss your bride, and Nicole you may kiss your groom."

The only challenge was the wind. I hope it didn't limit the guests ability to hear the ceremony. Luckily is was a small venue so people were close by.

The wind was a challenge for my microphone and, as you can see, Nicole's veil. Also our trellis had fallen before the ceremony. It was really windy.

Luckily everyone was right there for the reception. They told me that DJ Chuck Hedrick,, from Charlotte and Rock Hill was wonderful and their dinner was in the dining room right off the patio.

After they got back from their honeymoon I got this great note from Nicole: 'Hi Robin, Thank you again for being a part of our wedding. You received so many compliments from our guests, who were all convinced we've known you for years because of how personal our ceremony was, how well we seemed to know you and get along with you, and the sense of connection that you built during the ceremony. They also just loved your delivery, the pauses, your infectious smile, everything! "

I love to pause during the ceremony - not too long so that it loses it's rhythm and flow but enough so that the couple and guests can drink in the moment and savor it. I am glad to know that others appreciate this, too.

I do feel like I know Nicole and Damien in a very small but very special way. I wish them all the best in the world and know that they'll have a wonderful life together.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Phillip and Jenny came all the way from Portland Oregon to wed at Bay 7 on March 5th

Phillip and Jenny flew in the week of their wedding so I had only spoken to them by phone. We seemed to hit if off immediately. They have easy going and playful spirits which served them well planning a wedding long distance. But when I met their families I understood why. They are all joyful spirits.
Jenny and Phillip wanted their ceremony on the upstairs balcony of Bay 7 at the American Tobacco Campus. With seating for 120 guests that made it a very long narrow space (about 4 chairs on either side of a row) but it worked with the use of sound amplification. Thanks to DJ Steven Feinberg of Event Pros for all the help in figuring out our sound options. Their reception was held in the big open space of the downstairs of Bay 7. I'd never officiated a ceremony at the upstairs of Bay 7 before - only downstairs, so I was curious to see how this worked. Phillip and Jenny had the cocktail hour in the reception area and had their reception set up ahead of time and didn't have to convert the big room at all. Floral Dimensions in Durham provided these wonderful wild flowers for the tables and the bouquets for Jenny and Phillip's two sisters who were her attendants.

Square Rabbit Catering make their cake, and Simply Delicious catered their reception dinner and it was lovely. Thanks to Lisha Myers of Lisha Myers Photography for these great pictures.

I loved their very real words of their opening as we invited guests to hear Jenny and Phillip as they promise to face the future together as husband and wife, accepting whatever may be ahead through the years to come. They chose the words 'Nothing is easier than saying words of love and commitment, and nothing is harder than living them day by day. What you promise today must be renewed and re-decided tomorrow.

At the end of this ceremony, you will be husband and wife - but you must still decide each and every day stretching out before you that you want to be married.'
We went on to describe what real love is, and these very grounded words fit this couple who are best friends, sharing their adventures side by side and standing by each other in the hard times. They chose the poetry of Pablo Neruda as the wisdom about love and marriage to reflect their joy in their love for each other and we introduced their very beautiful pronouncement with 'We recognize and respect the covenant you have made. It is not the officiant standing before you that makes this marriage real, but the honesty and sincerity of what you have said and done before your families and friends.'
I enjoyed seeing all the joy of childhood friendships that greeted Phillip and Jenny after their ceremony. In fact I saw an old family friend of my sisters and learned of the ways my and Jenny and Phillip's lives had only one degree of separation. Then I wished them many blessings and left them to their partying.

I got this note from Jenny just 2 weeks later:
'Well, we are finally settling back in to normal life. Although, I came home with a nasty cold and am still recovering! ... I just wanted to reach out and say THANK YOU again for everything!! We pulled you in last minute and you were still able to make it so special for us. Everyone loved your ceremony and we will certainly never forget it.' It was a treat to hear from them - though I was sorry to hear about the cold.