Tuesday, October 25, 2011

David and Cary Marry at Carol's Garden Inn in Durham

Cary is the mother of a darling two year old boy named Nicholas.  She fell in love with the father of a precocious six year old daughter named, Desiree.  And they began the joyful and challenging journey to creating a combined family.  At their wedding we were not only celebrating their love for each other and their marriage, but the family they created together.

Nicholas isn't in this picture.  

While we were taking pictures he was entranced by the fish pond.

It was a rainy day and we were all grateful for the tent.  Just one of those days when the rain is off and on, just messy enough to feel damp.  But inside the tent was cozy for the ceremony and the reception.  Hallelujah!

Thanks to Katie and Sam of SK Roberts Photography for most of these pictures.  The ones without their logo are from my DROID.  They're also the ones that are more out of focus.

I'd never been to Carol's Garden Inn before.  It's a find, a lovely B and B and garden just east of downtown Durham.   

Desiree and her grandmother, David's mother, Tammy are hurrying to get out of the rain and to the tent and the beginning of the processional.

Clifton and Burke of the band Melonbelly provided great music for the ceremony and the reception!

 David and Cary wanted to incorporate their children into the ceremony and we did so with a tree planting.  They would nurture their marriage just as they nurtured this tree.  Cary and David watered the tree with one pitcher with their names on it, Nicholas and Desiree then watered the tree each with their own pitcher.

I was amazed by the amount of space inside the tent.  It fit 60 people easily.

Sweet Memories Bakery baked their cake.  Look closely and you'll see the groom has a fishing rod with a fish dangling from it.

All they needed was some shelter from the rain.  The cooler air was a God send.  Thanks too to The Picnic Basket who catered their reception.  They were so professional in creating a beautiful space, even with all that rain around.
What a joyful way to end a reception.

I received this wonderful note from Cary's mother:
'Dear Robin,
Thank you so much for being a part of Cary and David's wedding.  The ceremony was just perfect - it really captured the spirit of their lives and commitment.  We all appreciated your calm guidance at the rehearsal and your flexibility in dealing with the weather and the involvement of children.  ... Best to you in the future, Nell....'

I wish them much joy.  They have close and loving family and friends.  That's a huge help when you're raising kids.  And I wish them many many years of loving.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Jason and Heather at Sisters' Garden in Raleigh

Luckily September offers some cooler days and Jason and Heather had one of them. In lots of respects.  Their wedding went perfectly.  Thanks to Wake Forest Portrait Shoppe for their fabulous photos.  Staff member Marc Dabagian at Sisters' Garden is a real pro and a huge help, and their DJ Mel Manning who I've worked with often, was excellent as always.  Julie Liles created beautiful floral designs! Whew!  It's a treat to know you can count on good professionals.

The ceremony site before the ceremony.  On the table are the vases for a sand ceremony.

Their reception site all pristine before the wedding.

The first moments of happily married!

Ashley of Wake Forest Portrait Shoppe taking after ceremony photos.

Making use of the wonderful architecture to get a great kissing shot.

Sweet Memories made their beautiful cake!

Heather and Jason had been dating since Aug 29, 2009 when their mutual friend Ashley introduced them.  They became engaged on Heather's birthday on September 29th, 2010, and they were married  on September 10th of this year.  September is a good month for them.

They honeymooned in Key West and I bet they had a fabulous time.  I wish them all the best.  They were a delightful couple with a lot of joy and a generous nature!  I was honored to share this special time with them.

Evan and Brittain at The Fish Pond in Duke Gardens

I married Evan and Brittain on Labor Day weekend at the newly landscaped Duke Garden Fish Pond.  It was a lovely wedding for a lovely couple and I'm so glad the site was spectacular for them, too.  

First, Thank you to Elizabeth K Photography for these wonderful photographs.  And she was a joy to work with.  Arioso Strings played for their wedding, too, and as always did a wonderful job.  

They planned their ceremony well so it went off without a hitch.  But then they had a well organized rehearsal, an essential for a large wedding party like this, but these folks were also very helpful in managing all the details.  In Duke Gardens on a hot day at the pergola and the fish pond it's handy to have a cell phone to help the bride stay where it's cool until just before it's time for her to enter.

There ceremony was even visited by the Great Blue Heron that is so often seen at Duke Gardens.  We even has some sight seers in the background.

Britain and Even wanted a warm and tender ceremony that was personal to them and that's just what we planned.  They wanted a wonderful quote from Antoine St. Exupery, 'Here is my secret.  It is very simple:  Only with the hart can one see rightly.  What is essential is invisible to the eye.'

We also had the beautiful words of Dante, from 'The Divine Comedy' and a poem by Maya Angelou.  And they spoke their own vows to each other before we joyfully pronounced them married.

Thanks to all their friends for all their help.  

Sugarland is responsible for this gorgeous cake!  I'm amazed by the detail.
Evan and Brittain took time to have some beautiful pictures in the garden before going to The Cotton Room for lots of dancing and celebration.

Here you can get a good view of Brittain's wonderful flowers designed for her by Tre Bella Florist.  It was a joy to marry Evan and Brittian with the love and support of their families and friends.  I wish them many many years of joy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Luan and Lusally Marry With Much Joy and Laughter

When I met Luan and Lusally, they told me that they were easy going and that their wedding would be lots of fun.  They knew they wanted a blend of Chinese and Western customs but didn't know what that would look like.  As we talked it became more clear but I never really understood the real out loud joy and joking and kidding that would accompany their ceremony, as well as the seriousness and honoring of their families and friends.  You can tell a lot by these pictures.

I thank Chantel Smith and Maisha Wright from Events in a Box for bringing Luan and Lusally to me.  They were great, organizing all the details to perfection.

I loved being a part of their wedding and I have huge thanks to Tesh Parekh of IWP Photography.  He was just the right person for capturing the vitality of their ceremony.  See more pictures at his blog entry for their wedding.  It's great and can give us all ideas for creating and really fun loving reception.

Their ceremony was held at The Indigo Hotel in Durham; the reception in the ballroom and the wedding in the foyer.  It was just the right size for this group of about 50 guests and even had the perfect location for their tea ceremony.  After I introduced the day and it's purpose, I introduced each elder in the families who would come forward to be offered tea by the couple.  People had come from many countries to be with them and I practiced how to say the Chinese and Vietnamese names for awhile beforehand.  

The laughs were already happening even before Lusally even entered the room.

I love the way that Lusally isn't bound by the white wedding dress tradition, which by the way only started with Queen Victoria because a white dress could only be worn by the very rich and she wanted to showcase the lace of the country.  Lusally's flowers were ???

Here are Luan and Lusally offering tea to Luan's mother.

And here to Lusally's father, who had come from Venezuela for the ceremony.  Lusally was raised in Venezuela and amazingly she speaks Spanish, Chinese and English all perfectly.  Her father is a great joker who had us all laughing.

In the ceremony, the couple was also given the traditional Chinese custom of a red envelope with a cash gift.

Then we began the western part of the ceremony which included the 'I do' part where I ask Lusally and Luan if they are here to marry, in body, mind and spirit. In the spirit of joy and playfulness they had fun with this part, too.

In a rare serious moment they exchanged their vows and rings.

I pronounced them married to great shouts and calls both fun and funny.

Their cake was an unique as they are.  

These games at the reception look like so much fun.  You'll have to ask Chantal about them.

Their photographer, Tesh, got some wonderful images like this one.

They're a delightful couple, who work hard at their work and enjoy great play whenever possible. I loved the twinkle in their eyes when they talked about themselves and growing their love.  They bring vitality to everything they do.  I wish them many many happy years together.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Marcie and Dan at Delightful Inspirations

Dan and Marcie were a delight to marry and now to have as Facebook friends.  I loved their upbeat generous natures, even after we needed to move their wedding indoors.  We'd been able to have the rehearsal outside but on the wedding day, the rain was minutes away.  It was a disappointment, but everyone rose to the occasion.  

Thanks to Suzanne Brewer from B Real Photography for these photographs.  Marcie and Dan's florist was Kelly Odom Flowers in Raleigh, and their musicians were Aural Solace.  You can contact them at 919-537.8101 or Lspir@nc.rr.com.  I've worked with them at Haywood Hall also and they're wonderful string musicians.

Marcie and Dan wanted their wedding to include Jewish customs and Italian customs focusing on the uniqueness of the cultures and their families.  They have many threads of different faith traditions in their families and wanted to respect them all.  We opened their ceremony with these words:

'We are gathered here in the presence of God and of this company to join in marriage Daniel and Marcie, and to bear witness to the transforming power of love.  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 Marcie and Daniel are undertaking here.  In acknowledgment of this sacred purpose and of the power of this occasion, I invite you now to offer up our own blessings and prayers for Marcie and Dan and their new life together…. (a moment of silence.)  Thank you for honoring the special occasion with a moment of prayer.'

We also brought out some of their delight in their love in their ceremony with some personal touches:

'You’ve created a life together that you share and treasure: watching Packer games now that Marcie knows whats going on, playing boccie ball together without breaking teeth, sharing dinner and evenings with friends, or walking Mayday.  In your life together, you learn from each other, have patience for each other and love the shared understanding you create that is larger than either of you would have achieved alone.'

The above picture is a great one of Dan.  He has just stomped on the glass which honored both their faith traditions.  In the Italian wedding custom the number of pieces the glass break into represents the number of happy years the couple will enjoy together.  In the Jewish tradition it has many meanings.  Daniel chose for it to symbolize that just as this glass is forever changed, so too are their lives changed now that they are a married couple.

I love the way that Delightful Inspirations can  morph to accommodate an outside wedding that has to come inside.  This is the second time it's happened to a couple I've married there and both times the staff handled the change masterfully.  

They decided to have the wedding pictures of the two of them before the ceremony.  This would relieve some of their tension so they could relax more for the ceremony.  And they seemed to have a great time. 

Oooh - and I loved their cake and took this picture myself and now can't see where I noted who created it for them.  If you especially like it, I can email them to ask.

I send them lots of love and I know that even with the busyness of grad school, Marcie and Dan are finding time to have fun - the essence of keeping a marriage strong.  Blessings to this wonderful couple for many many years of happiness.