Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Errol and Ksenia @ Hall and Gardens at Landmark in Garner

It was a hot day!  Luckily Ksenia and Errol looked not only cool but lovely and gracious the whole time.  I was impressed.  They had planned their wedding for a year at the Hall and Gardens at Landmark in Garner.  It is a gorgeous location.  

The only drawbacks of this location I noticed are that there is a lot of traffic noise at the gazebo, which is the location in the gardens closest to the street  (Luckily we had my amplifier and microphone).

Also the Hall and Gardens at Landmark don't have a coordinator that works with the couple on the wedding day.  I was told by the staff that they rent the space and if something is needed the couple has to ask.   Luckily again there was nothing needed for this easy going couple and this small intimate wedding of about 60 guests..

Arioso Strings played for the ceremony adding elegance and calm to the evening and setting just the right tone.  You can see Arioso Strings Review Blog of the event at this link.  Thanks too to Mary Page Block, the head of Arioso Strings who is also a wonderful photographer.  While the wedding is going on, if she has time and a good shot, she'll might get a fabulous photograph.  

And they had wonderful music for their processional.  The theme from the Last of the Mohicans move was what Errol entered to and 'All I Ask of You' was for the wedding party to enter on, and Ksenais entered on the arm of Errol's father to  "My Heart Will Go On.'

Lisa Brown from Bella Rose Photography and her assistant got fabulous shots and were working hard in the heat and the limited access to the wedding location to get wonderful shots.  I can't recommend her professionalism highly enough.  Thanks, Lisa!  Here she is taking a picture of Ksenia and her flower girl.

Thanks to Mary Page Block for this shot, too.  It was a treat to be with Ksenia and Errol and their families at such an important moment, and it was a treat to be working with such wonderful professionals.  All together, it becomes a labor of love  - no matter how hot it is.

Errol has a deployment in Afghanistan soon.  My prayers go with him, and my hopes and blessings to with both Errol and Ksenia for a wonderful life together.

Jeremy and Amina @ The Cotton Club

 Amina and Jeremy planned their wedding with lots of love and lots of flair.  They drew upon their love of New Orleans and their time spent there to make a festival for the eyes and the ears that celebrated their love.  It was a joy to be a part of.

And The Cotton Room was the perfect blank slate for them to make festive.  First, thanks to Iris and Light Photography for the wonderful photos that included me in them.  The rest, of lesser quality, I took with my DROID because I just wanted you to see the imaginative touches they added.  The Cotton Room is so versatile, I just love to show off the possibilities.  Sorry these pictures are so dark!

Here is Iris and Light taking a picture after the wedding in that wonderful Cotton Room light.  

At each place setting there was a bottle of Cajun Hot Sauce!

Thanks, too to DJ Steven Feinberg who is always a joy to work with, 

Tre Bella Florist who did all of the flowers for Jeremy and Amina's wedding, and Whole Foods who baked their cake.  It was a wonderful event in honor of a truly delightful couple.

Before the wedding, they asked guests to write a wish, hope or blessing onto a colored strip of paper and add it onto the big glorious paper chain they would then have for the reception.

They also had this poem with their pictures.  

When I met with Jeremy and Amina we hit it off immediately because we both loved Berkeley, CA where Amina did her undergrad work and loved New Orleans where Jeremy is from.  They met in New Orleans at Tulane in 2009 at Art for Art's Sake and told me it felt like fate since they felt an immediate attraction.  They told me that they were both fine with being on their own and that they felt that, with this awareness, they enhance and enrich each others lives.

I loved their sense of ease with each other and their support of each other.  They also told me that they prioritize their relationship and always feel that they are there for each other.  It showed on their wedding day.  This was their second wedding day since they were married in a Moslem ceremony in April.

They definitely wanted a spiritual ceremony and to honor their grandmothers in the ceremony.
They drew upon all their cultural influences but the start.

Their ceremony music was eclectic and fun.  Parents were seated to Bach's 'Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring.'  I entered, followed by the groom's attendants and Jeremy and his parents to Otis Redding's 'Amen'  (I LOVED IT!).  Amina's attendants and flower girls (see their great picture below) entered to 'The Way I Am' by Ingrid Michelson, and Amina entered to 'Chapel of Love' by The Dixie Cups.  Everyone was having fun before they even got down the aisle.

We drew upon the wisdom of Kahlil Gibran on marriage from 'The Prophet' and they participated in the Hand Ceremony.  

It was only fitting that they should recess to 'Viva La Vida' by Cold Play.  I have a feeling that their life will be just as festive as their wedding.  This is a couple who know how to have fun.  I wish them all the happiness in the world.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gary and Rosemary Wed at The King's Daughters Inn

Rosemary and Gary contacted me just one month before their ceremony.  They were planning a courthouse ceremony but then decided that they wanted their ceremony with their families at The King's Daughters Inn in Durham where their reception would be held.

I'm glad for them.  While I honor a courthouse ceremony has it's own sweetness, it is really short. And in some places the building isn't very festive or welcoming.  The King's Daughters Inn is a wonderful place for a small intimate ceremony.  The above picture was taken by Samantha, one of the staff members there during the ceremony.  The living room is in soft greens and neutrals and proved just the right size for their small group of about 25 people.  The group would get larger that evening for the reception.

Gary and Rosemary were moving up from Florida to New York but their families lived here.  They wanted a simple, warm, spiritual ceremony that honored their love for each other and it was a delight to created that with them.

Here's just one picture after the ceremony in the sun room at the inn.  This room is perfect for those ceremonies where there are only 5 or 6 people.  The light is amazing.  Here's a picture of just the room.

The inn is so lovely, and the staff so great, that I want to show it off to you.  Here's the living room before the guests arrived.  

We used an IPOD for the music, Bea at Floral Dimensions created Rosemary's flowers, and Bonnie at Miel Bon Bons in Carrboro created their cake. Terri at The Catering Company in Chapel Hill provided the food.  (I married Terri and her husband, Dave, years ago.  I love these connections.)  Their friends were their photographer and videographer.  I took these pictures.

In less than a month they created a lovely ceremony and reception.
By now they're just really getting settled in NYC.  I send them love and best wishes, and my hopes that they really enjoy all the adventures that NYC has to offer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Erik and Iris Marry on Memorial Day Weekend

Erik and Iris had an unusual wedding time, 12:30 on Memorial Day to be held at The Durham Marriott Hotel.  And I was so glad.  The day was young and everyone was fresh and ready to party.  Their ceremony was really lovely - honoring both their Jewish and Christian faiths and traditions.  In their ceremony was said, 'Love is a quality of spirit and an attitude of the emotions, but a marriage is a life's work, a spiritual art form.'  Erik and Iris have worked on their relationship to make it really work.  I laud them for prioritizing who they are together.  It shows in their respect and care for each other.

I loved getting to know them before the ceremony.  As very different people, they complement each other well and have a playful and straightforward way of letting you know who they are.  Iris helped everyone stay on task during the rehearsal and I loved that they all came to the rehearsal in Hawaiian garb because the rehearsal dinner was to be a BBQ.  It lent a light touch to the very large and very grand ballroom at the Durham Marriott where the ceremony was held.

You see a chuppah in the background on a raised platform.  It was wonderfully lit with twinkle lights giving it an ethereal touch.  Perfect for this large room.  Here's another couple of angles so you can see it better.

Here's a view of the large room for the ceremony before the ceremony so you can really see how wonderfully the raised lit chuppah helped everyone see better.

The photo below is one I took. Now you see why we needed a professional!

Especially for the kiss!  They had planned their wedding and navigated the wedding stress like troopers.  Now it was all paying off.  I could tell that they were really having fun at their ceremony.

Thanks to our wonderful photographer, Mark Schueler Photography- for all these photographs.  It can't have been easy getting these amazing photograph of their wedding.

Here is my picture of Mark doing his photographic magic.

Caleb, 6 years old was the ring bearer, and Madison, 7 years old was the flower girl in a dress just like Iris's.  They are cousins of Erik's and as you can see are thoroughly enjoying the festivities.

The large hall was just wide enough to accommodate pictures of the wedding party.

I wish them so many blessings.  I loved working with them.  Her fun excited style was well balanced by his laid back humorous, but still very interested style.  I wish them a lifetime of happiness!

Iris's flowers were created by Flowers by Gary, and their DJ was Mike Morse Entertainment.  Their videographer was Amazing Videos and their ceremony music was by Sarah Busman on the flute and Laura Byrne, playing the harp.-

Goeff and Liz and Champagne at The Raleigh Rose Garden

The very warm evening of June 19th, Geoff and Liz married at The Raleigh Rose Garden.  They wisely scheduled their wedding for 7PM and then had their reception under a large tent at the other end of the Rose Garden.  I loved how cool they dressed and how easy they made it for themselves.  They're a couple very much in love with each other, their beautiful daughter, Samantha, and their families.  It made it a very joyful occasion.

They put the small house at the end of the garden to good use with champagne and cold water ready for guests.  Their ceremony included a champagne toast at end end so we wanted everyone to be prepared.

The Rose Garden looked magnificent.  Everything was in bloom.  

The Snyder Trio, always elegant, professional and playing to perfection was a joy to work with.  They played 'Midsummer Nights Dream' for the seating of the families, 'Pachelbel's Canon in D' for the attendants entrance and 'Kiss of Life' for the bride's entrance.  

Liz and Geoff met on a friend's back porch and they've been together ever since.  They love the expression 'Every pot has it's lid,' because Liz feels that she has found the lid for her pot in Geoff.  They're a perfect fit.  As part of the ceremony I had the honor to read love poetry written by Geoff's grandfather to his grandmother.  It's lovely still.

The picture below is Liz's father signing the marriage license after the ceremony.

Thank you so much to Jerry Reed Photography for these fabulous photographs.  He was so kind in sharing them with me and us.  Lake Boone Florist was Liz and Geoff's florist, Not Just Cakes created their cake, The 'Q' Shack did their catering and Davis Messina Band was their band for their reception.  It's always nice to be able to laud such wonderful wedding professionals!

Geoff and Liz are easy and warm and loving people who cherished having their friends and family with them to share their love.  Theirs was a simple, loving, sentimental wedding.  Just what they wanted.  I wish them all the best!

Ross and Beth Light Up The Day at The Brier Creek County Club

I loved Beth and Ross's wedding.  They are such a wonderful couple, playful, kind, considerate.  And that showed so much on the day of their wedding when there was a problem and their wedding coordinator didn't show up.  I will always be indebted to their DJ, Lenny Fritts because, between us, we filled in the gap and everything went smoothly, and there were about 7 attendants on each side as well as formal seating of Ross and Beth's parents.  Lenny Fritts was wonderful!

This is a picture I took of Ross's father's formal wear.  It's not the tartan plaid for their Scottish clan but it came close.  And indeed he looked debonair!  This is the only picture I took.  These other pictures were taken by our wonderful photographer, Leah Charbonneau Photography! Thank you, Leah!  Also, all Beth and Ross's flowers were by Tre Bella Florist.

It was a very hot Memorial Day weekend but The Brier Creek Country Club is a wonderful setting for looking cool when it's not.  Beth and Ross created a wonderful ceremony that was personal and warm.  I loved their Declaration of Intentions and offer it to you:

Ross, do you take Beth to be your wife,
Knowing in your heart that she will always be your friend,
Your partner in life, your one true love.
On this special day, do you give to her
In the presence of your friends and families
Your promise to stay faithfully by her side as her husband
In sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow
As well as through the good times and the bad.

Do you promise to love her without reservation, to honor and respect
To provide for her needs the best that you can
To protect her from harm
To comfort her in times of distress
To grow with her in mind and spirit
To always be open and honest with her
And to cherish her as long as you both shall live?

Answer: I do.

In the Preface to their Vows we wove what was important to them in saying, 

'You are each marrying your best friend.  To give yourself in love to the person you have set your heart upon is a great moment in life.  Your lives and doubly enhanced in the sharing of them.  You appreciate the goofy playful side of each other, and love the daily life you share together, the simple pleasures shared with each other and your families.'

Then they spoke their own vows making us all laugh as they vowed to love in each in spite of supporting different football teams and other personal quips.  Amid all the lovely formality, theirs was a fun playful wedding that represented them perfectly.  As Beth goes back to teaching this fall and Ross begins law school, I wish them all my best for a wonderful life!

When they got back from their honeymoon, I got this note:
Robin, We just wanted you to know that we both truly appreciate you. Everyone still talks about our ceremony and you. Our wedding would not have been the same without you in it! THANK YOU!!

I thank them, too.  They were a delight.

Dresses From Paris or Why I'm So Long Overdue in My Blogposts

I got to spend some wonderful time this summer traveling.  Amsterdam and Paris in late June and early July, Oakland, CA  in late July to visit my daughter, then camping in Brevard, NC in early August.  All places where the weather was noticeably cooler than NC.  Yay!  Each place is absolutely wonderful in its own way. 

Now I'm back and wanting to catch up with my blogs for all the wonderful couples I married over the summer when I was in town. But first, here are some fun photos I took while in Paris.

First, some snapshots through store windows of wedding gowns.  Eye candy.  Not high fashion but what the style is.

We were in Paris just days before Fashion Week so some museums were setting up special displays for the visiting fashionistas.  We got some photos of gowns of the past and a surprise Teddy Bear coat.

Then, we happened upon a wedding couple at the Seine with their photographer.  

I hope you enjoy these photos.  They were certainly fun to take.

First, my shots through store windows.....

Oh - I want to include of our favorite photos taken from the top of the Sacre Coeur Cathedral in Montmartre.  The graffiti, 'Love is us' on the right with the kissing couple in the foreground, and the Eiffel Tower in the background seemed to us to be quintessential Paris.

Here is the exhibit of gowns at the Grand Trianon Palace at Versailles.

I wish this were more in focus, but I just couldn't leave it out.  It's too much fun.

This is a teddy bear coat at a gallery preparing for Fashion Week.  Faux fur at it's best.

And here is our wedding couple at the bridge over the Seine.

 And looking back over the bridge.  We just happened to be walking just as they were leaving.  But I'd wanted to see a wedding couple while in Paris and the Universe obliged.

Paris is truly a beautiful city.  If anyone wants to hear more about the trip, just let me know.