Friday, June 24, 2011

Adam and Jessie Have A Wonderful Wedding at The Cardinal Club


This is a picture to go in the album!

Adam and Jessie's wedding at the Cardinal Club in downtown Raleigh was wonderful on so many levels.  First of all they were a joy to work with - thoughtful, considerate of each other and others, and helpful in making sure all the professionals knew their vision and their desires.  Then their families were a treat to meet and get to know even a little bit.  

Adam and Jessie had met through mutual friends several years ago and the reconnected over the phone and found their friendship quickly kindled into love.  They can't wait to get home to each other in the evenings, and it shows.  They create an 'us' that is welcoming and kind, and that didn't let all the details of their ceremony interfere with the joy they felt in who they are - a couple that are simply happy sitting on the couch together, being silent together or playing with their two dogs.

They are both close to their families.  That shows, too.  Jessie's father passed away years ago and he was sorely missed, and was honored by a color guard of Raleigh police.  One of the gentlemen told me that he owed Jessie's father a lot in the time they served together and that this was one way he could begin to repay the kindness he had received.

In their ceremony, set against a window overlooking Raleigh from the 28th floor of the Wachovia Building on Fayetteville St in downtown Raleigh, you get a sense of all the friends there to celebrate with them.

There were wonderful professionals who helped make Adam and Jessie's wedding wonderful.  Thanks to Richie and Jamie Staggs of JAGG Photography for these fabulous pictures  (my dear friend, Rev. Barbara Lodge married them).  Thanks to Dogwood Tree Floral Designs for the flowers and decorations, to Sweet Memories Bakery  for their wedding cake, .....

to Cardinal Club Catering for their food, to Arioso Strings for their fabulous accompaniment for the ceremony ....

and to Joe Bunn DJ Company for what looked from the pictures to be an incredible reception.

And a special thanks to Shelly Rhem at the Cardinal Club for her fabulous direction and coordination.

Check out these wonderful shots that Richie and Jamie took that require a setting of a big city.

This next one is in front of the Wachovia Building.  I really enjoyed all these women having fun in the room getting ready before the ceremony.  Lots of laughs and much camaraderie.

Their first dance as a married couple.....

Here Adam and Jessie are leaving their reception to the light and celebration of sparklers.  What a great idea.  And in the city there's no fire hazard to fear.

JAGG Photography shared their pictures generously and Jessie and Adam did too.  I hope they give you ideas for your ceremony.  Theirs was certainly memorable and not only to them.  It was a joy to marry such a loving grounded generous spirited couple.  Their poem, read by Jessica's Aunt Betsy, titled 'Sooner or Later' says it all.  Here's a little bit:  'Sooner of later we begin to understand that love is more than verses on valentines, and romance int he movies.  We begin to know that love is here and now, real and true, the most important thing in our lives.'  And indeed it is.

Jessie wrote a generous review of my services, and I appreciate the acknowledgement,because for I and for all the other wedding professionals at their wedding professional there that day, it is a labor of love.

'Robin is FABULOUS! She responded to all of our emails the same day (and we had a lot!), and she was super helpful answering questions from ceremony order to how to handle overly dramatic grandmothers. We felt completely comfortable with Robin, and we loved how she guided us in writing our ceremony but really let us do as little or as much as we wanted. Her e-book of readings had tons of different ceremony styles and prayers and orders, and she had very thorough forms and schedules for us to fill out (which no doubt helped our day go as smoothly as it did)! We highly recommend having Robin conduct your rehearsal too! We had a huge wedding party, but she had total control and we left the rehearsal feeling totally confident about the next day. She didn't mind taking questions from anyone. And our ceremony was absolutely perfect. Many of our guests have commented on how much they liked her and how great and intimate our ceremony was. Robin really makes sure that the ceremony is about the two of you, and we were able to completely block out everyone else. We REALLY enjoyed working with Robin over the last year, and we believe that we made a lifelong friend, as well as spiritual guide, in Robin. Thank you, Robin!!!'

And thank you, Jessie and Adam!
Many blessings to you and I'll be delighted if our paths cross again.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dan and Alex Marry to The Sound of Steel Drums! A Wonderful Occasion

Thank you to Mark Riedy of MegaHertz Studios for these great photos.  He had them available for Dan and Alex who sent them to us the very next day.  It was such a treat to have them right there to keep the sparkle of their wedding going.

Dan and Alex are a delight.  They've been together 6 years and are friends who love to share the adventures of life together.  This was quite a celebration at her father's home in downtown Raleigh on the evening of June 11th, luckily right before the storms blew through.  

Both of her parents walked Alex around the back of the house to enter into the back garden.

Here Dan's daughter Kelly is reading from 'The Velveteen Rabbit' by Margery Williams Bianco.

Inside, after the ceremony, everyone gathered for cake and a champagne toast.

Alex and Dan didn't want idealistic words in their ceremony, just wanting to honor the respect,equality, and how they cherish the love they have formed.  In their vows they spoke of loving each other when they're together and when they're apart, when life is peaceful and when it's disordered, in times of leisure and in times of work.  Their vows continued, at the end, with them promising to honor each other's dreams and help them fulfill them.  Their vows fit them and their love for each other.

Mickey Mills, their steel drum musician who is listed with Sea Sound Studio,created a wonderful atmosphere.

Alex sent me these kinds words after her wedding:

'Thank you so much for all of your help and support! You were awesome from our first meeting to the declaration of our vows. Your positive energy was very stabilizing during the rehersal and actual wedding day. 

Dan and I enjoyed your book so much, going through and having help verbalizing our feelings for each other and our goals in commitment to each other in a unique and personal way made our ceremony so unique and intimate. Its more difficult than we expected putting into words what we wanted our of our marriage, and your book was perfect for choosing the words we were searching for. 

We plan on looking back at our vows from time to time to remember the goals we have set for each other. All of our friends requested a copy as well they loved them so much! On the night of the rehersal you reminded everyone to slow down and enjoy, especially Dan and me. This was crucial, also during the ceremony I loved how you paused during our vows and after readings to give us and our friends a moment to soak everything in. It was magical and better than I could have ever imagined.' 

I loved being a part of their lives and I wish them a life full of many many blessings and adventures.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nick and Nicky Marry at The JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh on May 22

Sometimes weddings are so busy that I can only get a few moments for pictures.  These are all mine,except for the ones with me in it.  Those are from photographer, Visions in Bloom Photography.  They're not local but came down from Pennsylvania for Nick and Nicky's wedding because they're family friends.  Thank you for these wonderful shots!

Nick and Nicky were a delight to work with.  They had a definite vision for their wedding, and they were busy people, with Nick finishing up a PhD program just before the wedding happened.  And the JC Raulston Arboretum was a versatile, and lovely venue for them.

With their names so similar, I immediately felt a kinship with them,  Ruben and my names equally similar and distracting to people we meet.  They chose wonderful and unique music for their ceremony:  'Gymnopedie' for the seating of the parents, 'Dawn, Stars, and Butterflies, for the processional and 'Humming Chorus' for the bridal processional.  It set the mood for everyone knowing that this would be a unique wedding of two individuals.

Here is our photographer taking photos after the wedding just away from the ceremony site in the shade and with a leafy backdrop.

This is who she was photographing,  Nicky's mother and her attendants.

 Notice, too, Nicky's flowers.  I don't know that I've ever seen a more striking bridal bouquet before. They were designed for her by the The Blossom Shop.

Keith Ward, our DJ operated an IPOD for the ceremony which was great because everything had to be brought in to this garden site.  I've often done ceremonies at the gazebo before, and had done smaller ceremonies in this location but never seating for 80 plus people.  It worked well however.  Yay!  He was also the DJ for their reception at The Red Room just down the street.

Here is the ceremony site as if you're standing where they were married.

Here is the ceremony site facing the arch they were married in front of.

 They have a move across country waiting for them now.  I wish them all the best in their new life and new adventures.

May 22nd Vinnie and Cara Wed at Caffé Luna in Raleigh

I met Vinnie and Cara last fall and knew then that I'd love doing their ceremony.  They had been together 8 years at that time, having met at ECU when they were both students.  They were friends for the first couple of years and their friendship had blossomed into a lasting love.  They had promised themselves that their partner would be their best friend.

About 80 guests of close friends and family celebrated with them at the Caffé Luna.  What was most important to them was that there be an atmosphere of love and to thank their supportive family and friends.

These first two photos show how this small long room was set up for their ceremony, first looking from the ceremony site back into the room, then from the room to the ceremony site. Their reception would be in the room to the right.  It accommodated the number well but I was glad I brought my sound system.  We needed it.  

The above shots of the caffé were mine.  All the other photos (the great ones) are by our photographer, the wonderful Melissa Stallings of Melissa Stallings Photography.  Thanks, Melissa!  Below is the room where their reception was held.

When they exchanges rings, they offered these words to each other, 'With this ring, I pledge my love to you.  May it remind you that I am with you wherever you go, and that you are with me in all my thoughts and actions.'

A wonderful this about this venue is that it's located in downtown Raleigh right near so much great architecture.  I don't know where Melissa got this shot but I love it.

I loved being a part of their celebration of love.  As I pronounced them wed I added, 'May the spirit of love that lives in and around all of us fill your hearts and bless your lives.'  And I add now for many many years to come.

Matt and Alli Light up the Day at the Horace Williams House

Alli and Matt wanted a small wedding and the Horace Williams House in Chapel Hill provided the perfect venue for the 50 plus guests of friends and family.  I've done lots of ceremonies there over the years and it adapts well to many needs.  ( I even did a ceremony years ago under the branches of the Magnolia tree on their yard.  We all climbed into the little cave created by the massive branches, about 9 of us, and felt that we were in a chapter from Tolkein's 'The Lord of The Ring' trilogy.)

Matt and Alli chose the front porch of the house in the sunshine, and it was a gorgeous day.  Almost everyone had traveled to NC to be with them.  They're both in, or have been in science programs at UNC so Chapel Hill is their home now.  They met in 2004 at a summer internship together.

Alli and Matt both have a dry easy low key wit They connected over cooking and their shared senses of humor so decided to have a quote from Julia Child's 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' because, as Julia says, 'Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.'

I also loved their music choices and their musician.  Local classical guitarist, Matthew Kanon was wonderful, and he played 'Grow Old With Me' by John Lennon for the processional and 'Here Comes The Sun' by The Beatles for the recessional.

They had their cocktail hour at the Horace Williams House ...


and then everyone walked downtown, or rode, to The Franklin Hotel for the reception with Greg Ramsey from Joe Bunn DJ Company and I'm sure a wonderful cake by Sugarland Bakery in Chapel Hill.  Alli's and her attendant's flowers were made by Charles House at University Florist.

Carisa Chee was their fabulous photographer. .Here's the link to the slideshow of 9 of her pictures for Matt and Alli's wedding on  Enjoy.

I loved having Matt and Alli in my life for that short time.  They are easy low stress people.  They even had their photos taken before the ceremony so they could relax and enjoy their guests after the ceremony.  Their ceremony was a sweet moment on a lovely NC spring day.  I'm so glad I was there with them.  I wish them many many blessings!

Len and Kristy Marry at Pine Lake Pavilion on May 21st

Len and Kristy are such fun people.  It was a treat to marry them.  This is one of the weddings there I thought it would be good for me to have a box to stand on.  Kristy and Len are both tall and make a really handsome couple.  

I felt really short which doesn't usually happen to me.  Luckily I had a microphone and could speak from between them.

It was a fabulous May day.  Just before the real NC summer heat hit.  Kristy and Len have known each other for over 10 years and had lots of years commuting in a long distance relationship.  They love their 2 horses, their 3 dogs and their 10 acres.  And they had a wonderful group of friends and family to celebrate with them.

They also had Jennifer Ball of Pine Lake Pavilion (in the white shirt) to make sure their day went smoothly.  And she is a master at that.  I always love working with her.

 Thanks too to their photographer, 2and3 Photography, Thad and Sarah Lawrence.  All the good pictures on this blogpost are theirs.  Mine are the dark or blurry ones.

And their DJ Allen Smith of SPIN.

They were all a joy to work with.  Also their florist was Flowers by Gary who has impeccable taste and always does stunning work.  Their cake was by Delicious bakery in Greensboro.  You'll see a picture of that, too.

Pine Lake Pavilion is about 5 minutes drive off I-40/I-85 at the Mebane Oaks exit, the same exit as the new Tanger outlet mall.  You feel like you're out in the country and you are but it's accessible, cultivated, quiet, and very beautiful.  And it accommodates a large wedding gathering if you have one.  Besides, the lake is beautiful.

This is my picture looking out  to the ceremony site in the distance from the entrance to the reception tent.  Same day.  Different camera.

The acreage around Pine Lake Pavilion has all sorts of wonderful spots for pictures.  Here are some special ones that Thad and Sarah took of Kristy and Len.


Len and Kristy also love country music and I had the joy of having it in the processional with the song, 'One Woman' by the Randy Rogers Band.

In this blog, you get to see how really lovely Pine Lake Pavilion is, and how it's perfect if you want a horse and carriage entrance.  

And exit.

It was a perfect day for it. 
Len and Kristy had special words of thanks for their parents, and then their friend Kim offered James Dillet Freeman's 'Blessing for a Marriage.'  They wrote their own vows and sent them to me separately before the ceremony so that I could carry them in for them.  Then in their exchange of rings we noted that the wedding ring is word on the third finger because of an ancient Greek belief that a vein from that finger connected directly to the heart, thus symbolizing the depth and sincerity of love.


 At the beginning of the ceremony, Len and Kristy's mothers added a little bit of red and white sand to the bottom of the sand ceremony vase, to symbolize the life and love given to Kristy and Len by their mothers, then Len and Kristy poured their sand, indicating that they are no longer two, but one, never to be separated from one another.


 They are joyful playful people and I loved seeing this picture of them receiving all the accolades from their friends.

We ended the blessing upon their marriage with the words, 'Go now in great happiness.'  And I have no doubts that they did.

Here is the reception tent set up for their reception.  Once again it's my picture that is dark.


And this is their delightfully playful cake by Delicious Bakery in Greensboro.


I wish them a lifetime of happiness.  And I trust they'll have it.