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.

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