Friday, June 15, 2012

Jeff and Dana Marry at Her Sister's House in Wake Forest

 Dana and Jeff married in a sweet Sunday afternoon ceremony at her sister's house in Wake Forest.  Dana didn't want any of the typical bridal traditions so it was casual and easy going.  Everyone had drinks and hors d'oeuvres before the ceremony, then were called to the back patio by the pool for the ceremony.
 A real joy for me was reading Dana's journal entries about her growing love and awareness of the depth and power of her relationship with Jeff.  She is a wonderful writer and that she let her words be known by her friends and family was a gift to us all.

Kaia, Dana's daughter is the young girl in the grey dress, a beautiful dress that her grandmother made for her, was Dana's attendant.  The other two children are Dana's nieces, who were also delighted to be part of the center of attention.
 As they exchanged rings they said, "With this ring, I promise my love to you."
 We blessed their marriage with these words, "As together you build a new life and a new home, may that home be bright with the laughter of children and of many friends; may it be a haven from the tension of our times and a wellspring of strength; and in all the world may it be the one place you most want to be."
 I so respected that they framed their ceremony with just what was important to them, including only family and close friends into this intimate ceremony.  They spent about an hour visiting with friends and family after the ceremony and then all of them went to a restaurant called Tuscan Blu In Raleigh for their reception, most of them piling into a huge limousine parked outside the house.

They were a treat to know and to celebrate!  I wish them lots and lots of love. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Angie and Dallas Marry in The Elegant Charm of Chateau Bellevie

 Angie and Dallas were a delight.  Angie is a planner and so scheduled her May wedding a year in advance and she and Dallas had the ceremony ready months in advance.  When I met her very lively and very wonderful children (ages 25,23,22, and 17) I knew why.  She is a busy lady!

They both are and both have wonderful senses of humor that help them navigate their lives and their friendship.  They had a long distance relationship for their first year and have been together 5 years.  In their ceremony we wrote:  'From those first moments of meeting, and feeling their world made brighter, they have been growing their love, learning to see the world through each other's perspective, learning the embrace the new family they create together.

Their wedding was a delight.  Chateau Bellevie in Fuquay Varina is such a sumptuous location, and Marie and Roxanne are wonderful professionals to work with.  I must also compliment Robert Filcsik of Robert Filcsik Photography who provided these stunning pictures,  And Damien Maass of  Damien Maass DJ Services who was an excellent DJ for the ceremony and the reception.  Swank Cake provided their cake.  

When we talked about what Dallas loves about Angie, one thing we mentioned is that he loves her sometimes naughty sense of humor.  She does have a great twinkle in her eye, and this comment brought a laugh and acknowledgement from all their friends, too.

They recessed to the strains of the  'Bittersweet Symphony' that sounded really celebratory to me.  I wonder how they found this sweet selection.

Robert used all the elegant charm of this setting to create photographs of them that are classic and timeless.  Enjoy them!

I'll miss her giggle whenever we talked and Dallas' knowing smile.  They and their families were a delight in my life.  I send them much love for many more wonderful adventures together.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jerry and Brenda Marry On Their 20th Anniversary

There is a sweet little park in northern Orange and Durham counties called Little River Regional Park.  You only really know about it if you live nearby.  It has wonderful hiking trails and is a gem tucked into the rural surroundings.  For Jerry and Brenda it was their home turf.  And since I live in Hillsborough, my husband and I hiked the trails often.  Relishing the fact that they weren't heavily traveled.

Brenda and Jerry decided to marry there, with just their closest family in attendance.  Family flew in from Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, California, Minnesota, and Kentucky.  And since there were only about 15 guests, each couple came from another locale.  It was a family gathering honoring their love, both their twenty years together and the beginning of their marriage.

They have a friend who as a videographer and a friend who as a photographer so we were all set.

We held their ceremony in one of the shelter areas in the park.  Little did we know that seventy-five Durham elementary school children would be on a field trip at that same time at the other shelter.  They didn't know either.  So their teachers asked the children to play quietly during the ceremony and all you heard was their playful exuberance as a delightful background murmur during the ceremony.

Brenda's father escorted her into the ceremony.

At the top of the shelter I ask them, 'Do you enter into this union as equals, and of your own free will?'  After they said, 'I do,'  I said, 'Then let all know that you enter together in marriage as willing and equal partners.'

As they exchanged rings they said, 'With this ring, I give you my promise to honor you, to be faithful to you, and to share my love and my life with you in all ways, always.'
Brenda was radiant and beautiful, her joy lighting up her whole face as she looked at Jerry. 

You can tell so much about a couple by how they treat each other and what they see when they look at each other.  This couple has a history of adventure and life shared.  They gave each guest a jar of homemade strawberry jam.  It is just an example of the abundance of the love they share.  I know I'll thoroughly enjoy the jam they gave me, and will think of them and their love with each bite.

It was a pleasure to share this special time with them.  I wish them many many more years of loving.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Will and Margot Wed With Great Joy at The Angus Barn Pavilions

 Will and Margot were a joy in my life.  I got to spend some time with them which made their wedding at The Angus Barn Pavilions in Raleigh even sweeter for me.  They're a great couple, considerate of each other, clear communicators, with a good perspective and joyful spirits.  We created a ceremony that focused on their love and their love for their families.  They've been together over 7 years and are both close to their siblings and their parents.   They chose Billy Joel's lyrics 'Just The Way You Are' as part of their ceremony and the Irish Wedding Blessing.  Both fit them perfectly.

Classical guitarist Scott Neibauer with Arioso Strings offered lovely renditions of Bach's 'Prelude from Suite 1,'  Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy,' and the Beatles' 'Here Comes The Sun' as their processional music.
I loved the words we chose to say about their marriage:  "For Margot and Will, marriage is a commitment to life - to be the best that two people can find and bring out in each other.  It offers opportunities for sharing and growth that no other human relationship can equal, a joining that is promised for a lifetime.'

Will proposed in Pittsburgh at the top on the incline overlooking the city.  It was a rainy day and both families were in the covered shelter in the know about why he and Margot were outside alone in the gusting wind, even though the proposal was a surprise to Margot.  Will planned it well and it was just right for them.  You can see their faces light up when they talk about it.

Jason Dail was their excellent photographer, their florist was Cornelia Vick, the band was White Chocolate from East Coast Entertainment and their videographer was Philip McInnis from Twenty-One Films, LLC.  I loved crediting good professionals.  They make it all come together smoothly.  Special thanks goes to Ashley Whittington with Angus Barn for her fabulous coordination.  I've worked with Ashley before and she is gracious, professional and thorough.  

They have a Basset Hound named Buddy and a couple of nutty cats.  They know how to create a home and a life full of love.  

They brought love into my life and I send it right back to them.  May their life be blessed.  They're the kind of folks who pass it on to others.

When they got back from their honeymoon I got the following pictures that friends had taken and this sweet note: 

'Will and I could not be more pleased with how everything went on Saturday. You were amazing (and everybody else thinks so as well), and everything went so well. The sound problem was only a minor glitch and I think we all handled it very well. I cannot believe we didn't have any planes fly over! How amazing is that?!
I have attached a few pictures from the reception. It was a blast and I want to do it all again! I will be sure to send you Jason's pictures once they are available.
I am glad you enjoyed our video of pictures; it was really important to us to have as much of a personal feel to the wedding as possible. I think we did a great job of it :)
Thank you again for EVERYTHING. You have been amazing to us and are surely someone we will never forget.'

Their first dance...

Their wedding party...
 Margot playing the guitar.  Will's nickname for her is Big Red.
 Margot beaming at the reception.  Of couse they were beaming all day.
 Margot and her mother.
They both have dear families.  There was lots of love and caring at their wedding.  It was a joy to be a part of!  Blessed Be!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Katherine and Greg Don't Let the Rain Dampen Their Wedding

Katherine and Greg had planned so thoroughly and carefully for their wedding at The Barn at Valhalla in Chapel Hill that it almost seemed impossible for storms to thunder through on their wedding day.  But they did.  And it was with this that I got to see just how resilient and gracious they are, how wonderful their friends and family are when you need them, how great their photographer was, and how flexible the Barn at Valhalla is as a venue.

I arrived just as the decision was being made to move the wedding from the beautifully decorated deck to the covered deck adjacent to the barn itself.  This new deck was narrower, all the chairs needed to be moved, and if there were willing hands, decorations needed to be moved, too.  And there were willing hands.  Lots of them.  Under Greg's amazing calm with questions being thrown at him left and right, it all got done.  Even to the gentle removal of a black snake who decided that the deck was a much more desirable place to hang out than the wet ground.

The Elegant Ensembles musicians were also wonderfully flexible as they set up at the back of the deck and we figured out all new cues.  They also played beautifully!  

All came into focus - even with our finding a place for Julia Wade, of Julia Wade Photography our truly amazing photographer to sit so that she would have a line of sight during the ceremony.  Then..... as our Matron of Honor was entering down the stairs during the processional we discover that the black snake has rejoined us on the deck on the railing right behind the wedding party.  In full view of everyone.  Gratefully, our sexton gently moved him to the ground, about 15 feet below the deck again, (see below) and our snake got the message that time.  Whew! And we were all very appreciative.

Then the celebration began in earnest with the entrance of Katherine and her father.  

In their ceremony we spoke of how marriage is a conscious choice every moment, each day, to know that love takes many forms requiring us to grow as individuals and partner, growing in compassion, understanding and joy.  Greg and  Katherine were growing right before my eyes, letting go of the disappointment of the wedding they had envisioned, celebrating the unique wedding they were having, and cherishing every moment.

As a couple they love to share new experiences and have embraced bicycle riding, swing dancing and were soon to leave on their honeymoon to Europe.  We spoke of how the world awaits them and in this moment I saw that they would embrace it, and their life together.

Julie Liles of Julie Liles Floral Event Design created Katherine's gorgeous bouquet.  Little did they know that it would add such a joyful splash of color against the soft greys of the rainy day.

Their whole wedding had wonderful color to it and I understand that the reception was a rousing and jubilant success with dancing inside the Barn and eating outside catered by Tom Meyer of Q-Shack in Raleigh.

Cinda of Cinda's Creative Cakes created this masterpiece.  She does such beautiful work.

Thank you Julia Wade for these beautiful shots.

When they got back from their honeymoon I got this wonderful note from them:
'Greg and I want to send you a huge thank you for being a part of our wedding ceremony. We received many compliments on our ceremony, on the pace, on the intimate feeling, and we owe it all to you. Our 'guest book' pages had a place for people to describe and draw a picture of their favorite part of the evening - and many people wrote that the ceremony was their favorite. the re-giving of the engagement ring and the wine box were also popular, and of course, so was the snake!! In the face of pouring rain, and cramped, last minute ceremony space, and our snake visitor, we could not have asked for a better officiant to handle the situation. We simply can't thank you enough!! '

It was a delight to marry them.  I wish them many many blessings.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Nick and Lora - What a Joyful Wedding

 Lora and Nicholas married at the pergola at Duke Gardens on May 19th.  They planned it all way from Wilmington and created an amazing ceremony.  Then, after pictures, they are their families and guests celebrated at The Stockroom in downtown Raleigh.  
Thank you to Megan Gielow of Lime Green Photography for these wonderful photographs.  And thanks to harpist Marilyn Weinard of Carolina Harp for her wonderful renditions of the 'Hornpipe', 'Dreams of Spring,' and 'All You Need is Love'  on the harp.

While we'd only planned by phone, Lora and Nick let their personality shine in our conversations.  They'd known each other for 10 years, dating a little in high school and never forgetting.   But only finding each other later and really getting serious in 2005.  Still very much in love, now was the perfect time to marry.

Nick and Lora were so thoughtful of their guests and I so appreciated it.  It was a hot muggy NC summer day.  The hottest we have had so far this year, and this water was a gift to all.  I had to include a picture, it was so refreshing!

I also have to laud their common sense.  Notice how the attendants aren't wearing their suit jackets.  Much more comfortable.  And don't they look sharp.

Lora's father walked her up the steps from the direction of the fish pond with lots of bystanders just watching.  As I remember it was family day at the gardens besides being a pretty day so it was even more crowded.

Lora and Nick wrote their own vows and we all smiled at their playful, loving, and tender words.

She vowed to trust him, he vowed to be worthy of her trust, she vowed to always appreciate the little things, he vowed to leave her unexpected notes to make her smile.  She vowed to kiss him goodnight.  He vowed to kiss her each morning.  And there was more that I won't tell you now but that are equally endearing from a couple who know each other very well.

Please take a moment to look at all of Megan's photographs.  Not only does she capture this very loving couple in their element, but she shows how Duke Gardens is at it's best when embracing love.

Catering Works was Lora's florist with this fragrant rose bouquet.

And this picture really fits them.  I'm glad they have that one to remember to lavish love upon each other all their lives.

Here is the sweet note that I got from them after they returned from their honeymoon:  'Robin-
The wedding was so perfect, and you played such a wonderful role in that. You have such a sweet smile and disposition and it reflected throughout the ceremony.  Our guests had wonderful comments about you and the ceremony in general. The reception was gorgeous as well, and went so smoothly. We just got back from Disney and had a great time. ..... Will be in touch soon, but thank you once more.    -The Calos'

They were a delight in my life.  I feel so blessed in the couples I meet and marry.  What a joy!