Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Laurie and Ricky Wed at the Doubletree Hotel In Raleigh

 Laurie and Ricky and their daughter Autumn were a joy.  This was a long anticipated celebration of their being a family as well as their wedding.  They almost lost their daughter to illness and the close group of friends who had stood by them during this time were their wedding party.  Laurie and Ricky had been together for three years and known each other for seven or eight years.  They had stood by each other through trials and troubles and now all that was over, and it was time to celebrate.  
The Doubletree Hotel in Raleigh was the perfect place for their small intimate wedding where all the well loved young children could run around a little and still be contained.  Laurie loves that Ricky know how to make her laugh, and their mutual sense of humor was a delight to see as they flowed with the unexpected happenings of having children in the ceremony can bring.
Autumn is a cutie and much loved.  To honor their commitment to her and to their family, they had a sand ceremony, and helped her with the pouring of her sand.
 We also honored their parents in the ceremony and we had a moment of silence for Ricky's father and their grandparents who were there in spirit and in love.  This was a family affair in so many ways.  Ricky's mother, Deb, helped to make the bouquets and boutonnieres, and Marissa Mezzacappa made the cupcakes and cake.
 Thanks to Dee Shaupe and her husband for these lovely photographs.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Michelle and Don Have a Glorious Sunny Wedding at Crenshaw Hall

 It was so much fun marrying Michelle and Don!  Don liked to joke and being in formal attire and standing up in front of everyone was not how he felt most relaxed.  He and Michelle wanted a simple, elegant ceremony with nothing fancy.  We were so blessed to have such a gorgeous day in mid-October.  I'm glad because it was a day Don and Michelle had looked forward to for a long time.  Michelle and Don worked together at the same place, then Don went into the army, and afterward they worked together, too.  They have known each other for seven years.   I was so pleased that after the ceremony Don told me that he actually had a good time.  Thank you to Gil and Christy Rosado of RGB Photography for these wonderful photos.   Crenshaw Hall  and Christy, their coordinator there, were wonderful to work with, too.
Bradley Junell or Raleigh Event DJ was their DJ for the ceremony, too.  I love working with Brad.  His work is always perfect, he always knows the plan, and he has backups if you need them.  One especially sweet touch that Don and Michelle had was their music.  They had the DJ play 'What a Wonderful World' for the grandmothers to enter, 'Here Comes the Sun' for the mothers to enter, 'A Thousand Years' for the wedding party, and "Make you Feel My Love' for Michelle to enter.  And 'Good Life' by One Republic, and 'Don't Stop Believing' by Vitamin String Quartet for the recessional.  Each piece seemed especially appropriate, fun, and considered.
The music set the tone and their wedding was a joy throughout.  And Michelle told me later that I was right when I said that it would go really fast.
Their florist was James May at the Harris Teeter in Wake Forest.  I've seen him get lovely reviews from other brides, and I'm so glad he is so good..  It was an especially lovely wedding,  to which I give all the credit to the Michelle and Don.  They are delightful in their exuberance and let themselves have a really good time!  I wish them both a lifetime of happiness!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kris and Sarah Marry in a Beautiful Outdoor Ceremony at Home with Just Family Attending

 It was a beautiful early Fall day when I arrived at Kris's and Sarah's home to officiate their intimate family wedding.  They wanted a unique ceremony, centered on their love and had contacted me partly because they liked the Spiritual Ceremony that I have on my website.  Both sets of parents were laid back and just wanted to be there.  And this, with the inclusion of a few more family members, is what they created.

Thanks to Holly Czuba of Holly Czuba Photography for her wonderful photographs.  This shot of Kris watching Sarah process around the corner of the house was a treat.  She was radiant and his face was filled with love for her.  She had been preceded by his two nieces who were the flower girls.  At 3 and 5 years of age they seemed to have that slight bewilderment of not quite knowing what to do, and everyone else loving their spontaneity    Sarah's sister, Kate, played the flute for her processional accompanied by a piano recording made by Sarah's mother, Barbara.  It was a lovely gift of music.
Kris and Sarah have been friends for 13 years and have been dating for 5 years.  She had lived out of the country two years before they dates and then when she moved to Raleigh they began dating.  Being married on their deck was a blessing for their home and perfect for them and their love of nature.  They cherish the life that they have created together, Sarah loving Kris's patience and thoughtfulness, Kris loving Sarah's way of helping him live more in the moment. Together they encourage each other to grow in heart and spirit.  This is a wonderful gift of their love.
They had a Ring Warming as part of their ceremony. In this ritual we pass their rings through the hands of their guests so that each guest can add a silent blessing into the rings before the couple offer their rings to each other.  They chose a small mason jar to hold their rings.
I love this ritual because it also gives the couple a chance to pause and notice the love coming their way from their guests.  A wedding goes so quickly and in the pause, they can appreciate the moment for all the joy it holds.
In this wonderful family picture you see our flower girls in purple and the delightful family they all create together.
Kris and Sarah live in a house that I love.  It's called a California Ranch I'm told and it is open with spacious rooms and very clean lines.  They held their reception family lunch in their dining room and living room and the family fit just fine.
Of course, there was dessert!  Cupcakes from Bitsy Bakes.  I'm a fan just by looking at them.  As an icing fan, ample icing is a must.  And they are decorated so well!
Kris and Sarah have a casual moment by their front door after the ceremony.  I love to see them laugh like this.  We ended their ceremony with the blessing, 'May you dare to dream dreams not yet dreamt.  Play together, laugh together, walk together for a lifetime.'

Thanks to Daniel's Florist for their vibrant fall flowers which were perfect as a contrast to all the green of nature, and thanks to Irregardless Cafe who catered their wedding lunch.  I come across their name often and always hear good things about them.
 I hope Sarah's and Kris's lives are filled with joy.  It was a pleasure being a part of their lives for even this short time.  Sarah emailed her thanks with, 'Thank you so much for officiating our ceremony.  It was exactly as we'd imagined it to be!'  I love hearing that, and I'm delighted that I could help make it happen.  I send the much love.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pete and Alyssa have a Sweet Wedding Ceremony in J. C. Raulston Arboretum's White Garden

Alyssa is an art teacher and has a lovely personal style and flair. She signs her emails now:, 'artist, art teacher, wife of pete, do-gooder, day-dreamer'.   I thoroughly enjoyed seeing that come to life in her and Pete's wedding.  Pete and Alyssa met in college but didn't know each other then.  Then a couple of years after she graduated they met again at a concert with mutual friends and have now been together almost four years.  They cherish that they are good friends, equals, encouraging each other, accepting each other, and respecting each other's kindness, openness, consideration, and commitment to their future.  It was a joy to celebrate their deep love for each other.  Thank you to Sabrina Duffy of Sabrina Duffy Photography for these lovely photos!
 The White Garden in J. C. Raulston Arboretum is the perfect place for a small wedding with lots of good possibilities for out door photographs.  Pete and Alyssa's wedding was the first wedding I had done there that also had their reception in the garden on the rooftop terrace.  They and their friends did all the decorations and it was so perfect for the arboretum, simple, joyful, green!
 Pete and Alyssa chose a classic Celtic Handfasting Ceremony to honor the ties they were creating with each other in their marriage.  I tied their hands together, tying another knot with each promise they made to share their laughter and joy, to encourage each other's dreams and aspirations, and to treat each other with respect and kindness. 
 Then they exchanged rings as symbols of the ties that had just made and the promises they had given.
 Theirs was a tender, sweet ceremony and it fit them perfectly.  They are thoughtful considerate people, generous and kind, much loved by everyone there.
I got this very special note from them after their ceremony:   'Thank you again for everything you've done for Pete and I. I know that sounds like such a blanket statement, but please believe me when I say that we were so beyond happy with having you for our day. We are so excited to be married with a wedding we almost didn't think could be so great. It almost makes me emotional to look back and be able to say that we had such a perfect ceremony. You were so wonderful and we're very appreciative.'
To give credit to the other wonderful local professionals who made their wedding such a success:  Whole Foods in Raleigh did their flowers and their cake, Laura Zeiger at Neomonde Deli provided the catering.

I wish them many many happy years together.  They have begun their marriage in much love surrounded by those who love them.  What better beginning can there be.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kat and Austin Marry at Pine Lake Pavilion and We Celebrate The Family They Create With Aidan

 Kat and Austin planned their wedding carefully and well in advance and it was lucky they did so.  They got one of the last coveted opportunities to have their wedding at the gorgeous Pine Lake Pavilion which has since closed its doors.  Austin and Kat were so much fun to work with.  They have much to celebrate and joyfully took the opportunity to do so.  They delight in their love and in their son Aidan and everyone at their wedding did so, too.  I'm so glad the these wonderful images by photographer Lindsey Laughlin and her husband Todd, of Lindsey Laughlin Photography capture the beauty of the day and of them so well..

Who could ask for a lovelier setting.  And thank you to our stellar coordinator Jennifer Ball, of Knot Your Average Events.  As always she is the consummate professional, and fun, too.
At the beginning of the ceremony we had a gentle breeze accompanied by falling leaves that seemed to be the very heavens celebrating with us.  Austin and Kat were high school sweethearts and have grown up much since then.  But still cherish that early time and the ten years since then when they were more than boyfriend and girlfriend but there was no word for their unique connection.  Their friends termed them penguins, who mate for life, and yet haven't gone through the rituals.  The poem, 'I Want To Be Your Personal Penguin' seemed to fit them perfectly and they read it to each other.  We all loved it! 
After we had a ring warming, with each guest holding and blessing their rings on the way to Austin and Kat's hands, adding a silent blessing on their rings, we honored the family they create with Austin, and then had a sand ceremony with sand for Aidan in a plastic container while Kat and Austin had glass containers. (good thinking)  Aidan was intrigued.  I love it when parents know to make their child's experience no-worries.

Then I joyfully pronounced them married and offered a blessing upon their marriage.  
 Their florists were Layli Hibbard and Kristal Cloer of Farm & Filigree.  The rich fall colors were vibrant against the expansive green lawn.  In our blessing we wished for them love - a love that brings out the best in them as they bring out the best in each other.  And we wished for them joy, a joy that makes them laugh out loud. A joy that lights their eyes and fills their souls - a joy that shouts to the world of their happiness with each other.  All this and more we wished for them on all the days of their marriage.  

Austin and Kat are sweet genuine, generous, loving people.  I loved sharing this most important day with them and wish for them many many joyful years of loving each other and Aidan.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Kal and Emily Have an Elegant Ceremony at The Umstead

I loved getting to know Kal and Emily.  They have been together more than 6 years, (I think it's up to 7 by now).  They met when he was her RA her freshman year at UNC.  They started out as friends and this is a wonderful foundation on which to build a marriage.  They have so much in common and also each have a twinkle in their eyes for all the ways they are different.  There is much to celebrate in their ceremony.  One thing too is the touch of class that is apparent in their wedding.   A special thanks to Blue Box Photography for these great photos!
Gotta love the bow tie! In their opening words I said, 'And so, building on over six years of learning, loving and creating, Kal and Emily are here today to take their relationship a step higher and to strengthen their bond even further as they join together in marriage.'
Emily is from Venezuela and she and Kal chose 'Sonnet XII' by Pablo Neruda for part of their ceremony.  It was perfect for them.  Part of their vows say, 'I take you as my partner, loving and respecting the amazing person that you are, and the person you will become.'  These words, too, seem to fit them seamlessly.
As they exchanged rings, the said, 'Accept this ring as a symbol of my everlasting love and devotion for all the years ahead.'
I pronounced them married with these words, 'My the joy of love, the grace of God, and strength of spirit be at the heart of the life you share together.'    
I feel so blessed to have such wonderful couples, like Kal and Emily, in my life. Couples with a genuine desire to grow in love, understanding and joy all their lives.  And from them I find hope for the planet, which will thrive based upon our commitment to loving relationships in all aspects of our lives.
The Umstead Hotel and Spa is a lovely outdoor venue and their staff is always very efficient and professional.  Kal and Emily's flowers were stunning, too.  They were provided by Brides and Bouquets in Cary.  Their musicians were from Arioso Strings, who are always flawless, too,

Nick and Beth Marry on a Stormy Saturday at The Hudson Manor

 This is the first time I officiated a ceremony at Hudson Manor.  It's really too far from my home but Nick and Beth had attended a ceremony of their friends that I have officiated and asked me to be a part of their wedding and they're such delightful people, I couldn't refuse.  On a questionnaire they tested 97% compatible and that shone all through the day.  We all watched with dismay as a huge story approached from the west and about a half hour before the ceremony is started to pour.  Luckily the manor has a lovely covered patio perfect for ceremonies.  And blessedly Beth and Nick concentrated on their love for each other and the love that was shown to them by their family and friends..   Thank you to Blue Box Photography for all these wonderful images!
We all delighted in all the water references during the ceremony and when thunder roared right when I pronounced them married and said, 'Those whom God has joined let no one put asunder.'  But it all started, in the ceremony that is, with Beth's lovely tears of joy.
 They love eating the great meals Beth cooks, playing board games and just lounging on the sofa together.  As long as they are together, they're happy.  They have found and created a home in each other's heart.
 Nick proposed to Beth on what she calls their 'Best Weekend Ever in New York City.'   When they wed, they said, 'With this ring I thee wed and join my life to yours. May it remind you that I am with you in spirit wherever you may go.'
Their reds and blues sparkled against the whites of the manor and the rainy day.  Fresh Affairs was responsible for all these lovely floral arrangements.  As a part of their wedding Beth and Nick gave each person a rock and asked them to write a blessing or a wish for them on the rock.  They had silver and gold pens with which to write what called to you.  It created a lovely and lasting weight of support and love blessing their marriage.  I'm glad that mine is a part of the collection.  I wish them much joy in the years ahead.

Michael and Sara Marry At Brier Creek Country Club on a Lovely September Day

Sara and Michael wanted a comfortable, casual, rustic ceremony.  They wanted traditional elements for their ceremony, too, so that it would be comfortable and meaningful for their families as well as for them.  They succeeded on all counts.  Their wedding party was made up of easy going people who complemented their generous quiet nature and were close to them.  Sara's uncle from New York, Tom Kightlinger, a professional DJ, was their DJ for both the wedding and the reception, and he did a fabulous job.   It was definitely a fun celebration that everyone enjoyed.

Thank you to Sally Siko of Silvercord Event Photography / Creative Imagery Services for her superb photographs so you can really how just how wonderful this occasion was.

 Brier Creek Country Club has a lovely outdoor setting for a wedding which looks over the golf course, and the addition of the yellow daisies created a joyful, playful effect. The drapes looked diaphanous blowing in the breeze which added to the whimsy and charm of the setting as well as offering privacy and showcasing Michael and Sara and their wedding party against white instead of green..
Part of their ceremony says, 'Enter your marriage confident in the love and trust you have already created between you.... Keep you love alive with your openness to each other and your enthusiasm for each other."  I so believe those words.  I'm delighted that they chose them.
Sara and Michael chose lovely classic vows: "I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.  I will love you and honor you all the days of my life"  that seemed to fit them and the clear thoughtfulness and consideration they have for each other.
It is with joy that I pronounced them husband and wife, saying then, 'May your way be blessed, may wisdom's light shine upon you, and may your journey bring you peace.'  And then I invited Michael to kiss his bride.
I think they had just as much fun with this kiss!  I encourage them to practicing their kissing skills all their lives.  You can never get enough practice!
Michael and Sara have a comfortable, playful, vibrant love.  I wish them many many years of happiness and joy!  
To give credit for their wonderful flowers we laud Jo Lynn Truesdale of Victorian Seasons.