Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Eric and Heidi Have a Fabulous NC Wedding at Rock Quarry Farm

 This summer I had the delight to marry Heidi and Eric at Rock Quarry Farm B and B in Chapel Hill.  We had done all our planning from out of town but I got to meet them a year earlier when we decided that I would officiate their ceremony.  This venue was just right for them, and of course Camille, is a terrific hostess who makes everyone feel at home.
The processional was the title song from Juno, 'All I Want is You' by Barry Louis Polisar, that I just couldn't help but post on my Facebook page.  It makes me smile everytime I hear it, which is good on a stressful day. It was played to perfection by Miles, a great musician and Camille's son.   Here  is a youtube link for it:

In the ceremony we told a little about how they met:  'We have a professor in their graduate school program to thank for their blossoming love; a professor that was so boring that Heidi and Eric sat in the back of the room and looked over cookbooks, planning the meals that they would enjoy together, that gave them the unexpected room to grow their friendship that before too long kindled into love.'

During their ceremony two of their friends sang a song they wrote about marriage called 'Marriage is Good.'  That's what we're all smiling about in the top picture above.  We all loved the song and I asked them to publish the words.  These friends, a married couple, have two small children, one in her arms, and one by his knees, so you got the clear impression that they knew what they were talking about.

Thanks so much to Melissa Tuck, of Melissa Tuck Photography, who was our fabulous photographer for the day.  She was very generous, a joy to work with, and got wonderful pictures.  Check out her blog of the wedding, too, because it shows so many more of the charming and personal touches that Eric and Heidi had.  Here it is:

They had other wonderful wedding professionals you'll want to hear about:

Their Florist was Periwinkle Farms, Cathy Jones and Mike Perry 1061 White Cross Chapel Hill.  Since I couldn't find a link, here is their phone number:  919.933.6189.   Their cupcakes were by Daisy Cakes.  Their catering was by Crooks CornerCatering, Paul Covington, in Chapel Hill, and their musicians were BigFat Gap

They seemed to find the best of NC for all their vendors and to show NC off to their families and friends.

They are both very conscious, intelligent loving people who are much loved by their family and friends.  They also are concerned about the planet which is always lovely to see in a wedding.

Heidi wore her mother's wedding dress, refitted just a little to modernize it.  It was perfect.  Here is Eric telling her how beautiful she is.  
They had a Celtic Handfasting Ritual as part of their wedding using a cord they wove themselves.  In this ritual we bound their hands in marriage and literally 'tied the knot.'
What a great kiss.  I often have to tell couples not to kiss too fast.  No worries here.  Then they recessed to 'Celebration' by Kool and The Gang.
 Heidi's thank you hug was all I needed to make my day.  Their wedding was a joy.  And they went on their honeymoon to Iceland.  Since they now live in Phoenix, I wondered if they were missing the cold and so getting a really good dose.
 Their wedding party was in full array, the men natty each in their own way, the women charming in all these spring colors.  
When they got back from their honeymoon I got this lovely note:  'Hi Robin!
I just wanted to thank you again so much for such a perfect wedding ceremony! We thoroughly enjoyed the entire creative process and just loved having you officiate our wedding. We have gotten so many comments about how personal and meaningful the ceremony was, and how great you were. I really appreciate how you were able to slow everything down so we could soak in every second.... What an amazing memory.'

I feel better knowing that the stewardship of the planet passes on to people like them.  They add to the sum of goodness in the world.  It was a blessing to marry them.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pat and Beth Wed With Huge Smiles at The Community Church in Chapel Hill

I had the delight of marrying Pat and Beth earlier this month at The Community Church of Chapel Hill, Unitarian Universalist.  This was a special occasion in many ways.  First, this is one of the two churches I served as a minister. It was a while ago, 1995-2000, but it still feels like home.  Next Beth and Pat are two very wonderful people with very loving families and friends and it was a treat to celebrate their love.  Of course, I wish I could have made it legal, too and if NC ever does make that possible, I will sign their license with great joy.

Thanks to Kara Johnson, our professional photographer at Kara Johnson Photography for these wonderful photos.  She has a gift of really bringing the day to life.

Beth's mother created the bouquets, and the cake was provided by Guglhupf Bakery and the catering by Mediterranean Deli in Chapel Hill, known as Med Deli to locals.  Yummmm.  Emily, their friend, played the piano during the ceremony.  And thanks to The Community Church sound production volunteers for all the help with the microphones.  They really do a good job.

But I'm getting a little ahead of myself by starting with their kiss.  Both Beth and Pat's fathers walked them down the aisle.
An aisle made even more lovely by this small child playing in it. I'm so glad Kara got that picture so Beth and Pat can enjoy that moment, too.
This picture shows how lovely this sanctuary is.  And couples who are not members can rent it for their ceremony.  This picture is taken from the choir loft.
The next several pictures are also from the choir loft.

This picture was taken when their community all cheered their support for Beth and Pat and the marriage they are creating.

Friends read e. e. cummings poem, 'i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart), and an excerpt from Anne Morrow Lindbergh's book, 'The Gift from The Sea.'

They chose beautiful vows:  'to affirm the relationship we have been building together, and in the presence of our family and friends, I promise to commit my love to you; to explore life with you; to honor your individuality; to find compromise in conflict; to support you through life’s changes; and to nurture and strengthen the love between us, on this and every day, for the rest of our years.
In 2008 they began growing their love. They describe the adventure of growing their love as the sweetest most joyful experience of their lives.  It was my joy to be with them when they deepened their commitment to each other by joining together in marriage.  I wish them many blessings and from the Apache Wedding Prayer, 'may their years be good and long upon the earth.'

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dominic and Laura Marry at Falls Lake

Dominic and Laura did all their planning from England so I met them for the first time at their wedding.  Their families were busy making the Rolling View Community Building at Falls Lake into a lovely celebratory space.  I've done 3 or 4 weddings at this little location and have always hoped that more couples marry here.  It is a really sweet venue with the beach right outside the door.  And lots of parking.  It just has one room but it also has a kitchen and a fire place, so can adjust to lots of needs.  And it fixes up beautifully.
They're both Brits but Dominic and his family have been in North Carolina for many years.  When Dominic had moved back to England he found and met Laura.  Her family came to NC for the wedding and it was just a family affair.
They're a wonderful couple.  I'm so glad that I got to be a small part of their lives, and to witness and experience their love for their families and their families' love for them..

They sent me this wonderful note:  'Dear Robin,
We made it home to England and now it's back to school and back to work- but what a summer!
So many happy memories were made during our time in America, and the highlight of course was our wonderful wedding. We can't thank you enough, for your part in our day. We can't imagine anybody doing such a wonderful job as you did, you truly let us have the wedding ceremony exactly as we wanted.
Just as you said, our license arrived on the Tuesday after the big day (tues 8/21). Such a quick process! ( things do not happen this quick in England!)
The day after our wedding my parents flew off to New York, before returning home, and Dominic and I travelled to the Outer Banks for a short honeymoon. On our return, we had a final week in Raleigh enjoying spending time with Dominic's parents, before heading home ourselves. We really didn't want to leave!
I have attached a few photos for you to select for your blog, we had so many from various cameras, it was hard to choose! But I think these sum up the day... Simple, Joyful, Family, Love.  Thanks again Robin, we couldn't have done it without you! All of our best wishes, Dominic and Laura.'

Friday, September 21, 2012

Matt and Ashley Marry at The Barclay Villa With Much Joy

Matt and Ashley are planners and that's good.  You could see the result in their beautiful wedding that not only celebrated their love and their marriage but the family they create with Riley.

Thanks to Justin Cook Photography, our wonderful professional photographer for these images.  He was so good at capturing their fun personalities and their joy.  I had never been to Barclay Villa before.  It's an hour and 20 minutes from my home so I rarely travel that far.  I was glad to experience it.  It's wonderfully elegant inside and out, as these pictures showcase.  It was just the atmosphere that Matt and Ashley wanted.  They also wanted to honor their family who had passed on and have a special ceremony with Riley.  

Ashley and Matt booked me for only the ceremony, not the rehearsal, which is only possible in a venue like that with professionals who will see to every aspect of the rehearsal, and do it flawlessly.  (Thank you, Cindy, staff member at the villa.)
Matt and Ashley did all the flowers themselves.  Kudos to them.

We performed a Celtic Handfasting Ceremony for Matt and Ashley.  Then we customized the sand ceremony to include Riley in a special way and so that Matt said vows to Riley and that Matt and Ashley gave Riley a family medallion as a part of the ceremony.  I'm so glad the photographer got such wonderful pictures of the moment.
Now you can see how lovely the wedding garden is.  And the day was gorgeous and not too hot.  A gift to NC in early September.
After the ceremony everyone relaxed a lot more!  Justin has a quirky sense of humor which made it easy for everyone to smile and relax.
The main staircase at the villa.  What an entrance!
She'll never live this one down.
Their first dance, of course.  I love this aerial view for photographs.
The Villa at night.  Now you can see how lovely it is, too.  And quiet.  I've officiated at other lovely venues where lawn mowers or radios, or even Harley conventions created lots of distracting noise.  This is out in the country and was joyfully quiet.
 I'm so delighted for Matt and Ashley.  They found me because I had married friends of theirs Laura and Matt, in 2007.  It's so much fun when life weaves in weddings from the past and I can hear that couples I've married are doing well.

Thanks to all the other great professionals who ensured that Ashley and Matt had the perfect wedding.  Joe Bunn, of Joe Bunn DJ, and Not Just Cakes in Raleigh for their cake.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jordynn and Ryon Marry at The King's Daughters Inn

In July, I was go glad that Jordynn and Ryon decided to marry indoors.  They were, too.  They both looked cool and relaxed at this sweet intimate ceremony for only family and close friends.   Since they were joining families from two cultures they had elements of both cultures in their ceremony.  

They're a delightful couple.  They seemed so calm and easy going that they were able to just concentrate on each other and drink in the power of this moment.  I love it when a couple can be present at their ceremony because they let go of the nervousness and know that nothing can go wrong in such a moment of love.

While the ceremony was in the format and style of a western ceremony, they served tea to their parents in the ceremony.  While they served the tea, their friend read the section 'On Children' from Kahlil Gibran's wonderful book 'The Prophet.'

Their friend offered this lovely poem from Marge Piercy's book, "The Art of Blessing the Day"
The day I forget to write
the day I forget to feed the cat
the day I forget to love you
the day I forget your name
and then my own.
Until then I will not cease
this spinning pattern: part weave
of skeins of soft wool to keep
us warm, to clothe our too open
flesh, to decorate us –
and part dance, through woods
where roots trip me, a dance
through meadows of rabbit holes
and old ribs of plowing hidden
under thick grass.
Until then I will whirl
through my ragged days.
Like a spindle, like a dreydl
I will turn in the center
of my intricate weave
spelling your name in my dance
in my weaving, in my work,
your hidden name which
is simply, finally,

Then they exchanged vows and rings, with the lovely classic sentence, ' I give you this ring a pledge of my love ....and as a symbol of our unity.'

They created a unique ceremony blending a wine ceremony with a red string ceremony customary in China.  According to Chinese legend, our fates regarding marriage partners are determined by the Old Man Under the Moon, who uses red string to link the feet of boys and girls who are destined to become marriage partners. This ensures that they will ultimately meet. This explains the popular saying, “Those whom fate binds together will find each other though separated by a thousand miles.”
This was such a lovely ceremony that another couple where one member of the couple is Chinese requested this same ceremony in their wedding.

They had wonderful professionals helping to make their wedding special.  Their photographer was friend, Christopher Chao.  Their florist was Victoria Park Florist, in Chapel Hill.  Their cake was from Miel Bon Bons in Carrboro, their catering was by Extravagant Fare, in Durham, and their musicians were from Big Woods Music and their DJ was Bill Smith from Bill Smith's Magic of Music.

I loved being a part of their wedding.  It was a privilege to see our world growing smaller in distance and yet larger in love before my eyes.

Rob and Jocelyn Marry at Elodie Farms in Rougemont

I had the pleasure of marrying Jocelyn and Rob on May 19 at Elodie Farms which is a comfortable, quiet, lovely laid back goat farm and B and B setting in Rougemont.  It's not far from Durham, though so check it out.  It's such a peaceful yet festive atmosphere, I just love to go there.  Rob and Jocelyn were married on the lawn until an arch.  I'd only married folks on the steps to the house before.  This provided another beautiful setting.

Thank you to Jason Arthurs, our wonderful professional photographer, for his wonderful photographs.  Jocelyn created her own bouquets from hyacinths.  Whole Food provided their cake, Smokey Dave's barbecue catered their reception and Swift Creek was the Blue Grass band that played for their reception which began with their recessional, 'May The Circle Be Unbroken.'  It was a beautiful late spring day, even cool for NC, and the band started the very relaxed joyful outdoor reception.

Rob and Jocelyn had an especially unique and lovely Declarations of Intentions section of their ceremony:     Bind me as a seal upon thine arm, As a seal upon thine heart; For love is as strong as death, Mightier than the grave. The darts of love are darts of fire, furious flames; Many waters cannot quench love, Nor floods devour it.’ 

Marriage is not a condition to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly, but with due reverence, and a sense of ultimate concern for the welfare of each person involved, and with a spirit that transcends the bonds of the past. Now is it with such an intention that you both come here to celebrate your marriage? [Both together: "It is."]

We also created a wonderful and very personal thanks to their parents:
'I invite the parents of Rob and Jocelyn to stand.  Jocelyn and Rob have special words of appreciation for you.  Between you, both sets of parents have 72 years of good marriage as a guide for Rob and Jocelyn’s lives.  And Rob’s grandparents have been married for 64 years.  These are powerful examples of love that grows and matures in marriage.  Jocelyn and Rob are grateful for your love and appreciate all you’ve done for them.  Without your love and unstinting support, they wouldn’t be who they are, and they wouldn’t be here today. Thank you.  Please be seated.'

A friend read Mysteries, Yes” by Mary Oliver:

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

And we wrote a special blessing for their marriage that also included a Blessing for the banquet that would take place for their reception.  

Jocelyn and Rob, we celebrate your marriage and offer blessings that your love, joy and friendship is renewed daily.  May you continue to turn to each other, appreciate each other, and grow together in the dynamic process that life offers us.  May the flow of your love help brighten the face of the earth. May the source of all love touch and bless us and grace our lives.

We thank you, God, for bringing together this beautiful and wonderful company of family and friends to share your wedding and your upcoming wedding banquet together.  May you begin your future as one family, blessed in the abundance of your love for them, and the love they have for you.  We thank you for the food (abundance) that has been brought and prepared for this day.   May it nurture us in body and in spirit, so that we may live your love all the days of our lives.  Amen.

I loved taking their ideas and framing them into words that expressed all the love they share.  They are a grounded mature loving couple.  They make my heart smile.

I so appreciated their Thank You note to me:
Hi Robin,  Rob and I are so appreciative of how special you made our wedding day. We've gotten our photos back from our photographer and are glad to attach two here for your blog and other purposes.   Thank you for your advice and for all of the time that you put into making our ceremony meaningful.  All the best,  Jocelyn

Ryan and Kasey Marry at The Friends Meeting House in Greensboro

Late this spring I married Ryan and Kasey at the Friends Meeting House in Greensboro.  This post has been long in coming since I traveled most of the summer, except for weekends when I was marrying wonderful couples like Kasey and Ryan.  So now I have the opportunity to catch up on celebrating these couples in yet another way.

I got to  know Ryan and Kasey before their wedding so it was a special delight to be the one marrying them.  They are both clear communicators and strong individuals who appreciate the intelligence and the strength in each other.  Kasey had a clear vision of the aesthetics for the ceremony and they both had definite opinions about what should or shouldn't be expressed in the ceremony.  I love that in a couple because it helps me create the ceremony that is just right for them.
Thanks to their photographer, Hugh Latham, Jr. who is a freelance photographer that can be found through the NC Photography Group for these pictures.  He got some wonderful shots.
The Quaker First Friends Meeting House at 2100 West Friendly Avenue opened their doors to the couple, who were not members, and also provided their pianist.  It was a beautiful classic setting and their coordinator was very helpful.
They are close to their combined family and friends and had a unity candle in which the whole family participated, passing the light from each family member to their mothers who lit the individual candles.  While this was happening Ave Maria was being played on the organ.  It was a unique and lovely ritual.

Kasey and Ryan are also close to their friends and partied well after the ceremony, too at their reception at George K's Banquet Hall in Greensboro.
Their exquisite floral arrangements were provided by Plants and Answers in Greensboro.

I love this picture.  Ryan and I are waiting to enter the ceremony.  He is just this personable with a twinkle in his eye in person.  I know they'll have a wonderful life, full or great laughter, lively discussions and adventures.  I wish them all the best!