Thursday, May 16, 2013

Grant and Meagan Marry in a Beautiful Ceremony at Haywood Hall

 Grant and Meagan's wedding at Haywood Hall on May 4th was a joy.  I was so glad that everything went perfectly.  Last time I had officiated at Haywood Hall, the noise from a Harley Davidson convention two blocks away was something we all had to block out.  On Megan and Grant's wedding day, only two crows flying by attracted a little notice.  I love it when wildlife adds their blessing to the occasion.  It was a moment of unplanned natural exuberance.

Meagan and Grant both went to UNC and got engaged in New York City when Grant arranged for goth groups of parents to fly up to surprise her.  On their first date they met at the Old Well on UNC campus.  They had lived in the same dorm at UNC but had never met then.
 Meagan and Grant sent me these photographs just days after their wedding.  It was so kind of then to think of me.  Their day was perfect as it should be.
 Thanks so much to their photographer, Libby McGowan for letting me share these pictures with you.  She was a generous and easy going photographer all day adding just the right touch of attention.  I can understand why Meagan and Grant chose her.
 Grant and Meagan are both close to their families and it was indeed a family affair.  Their musicians were Gran'ts cousins and Meagan's bouquet was created by one of these same cousins with a little help from their friends.
They chose to share a letter from John Steinbeck with their guests and words from A. A. Milne, two of my favorite authors.  I thank them for bringing these rich words of love to my attention and possibly to other couples.
They chose classic vows of promise and commitment to offer each other which seemed to suit them so well.  We ended their ceremony with this benediction:  'My God bless you and keep you.  Congratulations?  Go in peace.'  And they did, to the music of Handel's Hornpipe on the violin, played by their now joined family.

I was delighted to receive this note from Meagan and Grant with the above pictures:  

'Hi Reverend Robin, 

Grant and I cannot even begin to thank you for the truly beautiful ceremony last Saturday night. Everything went just wonderfully - from the vows to the readings that truly had special meaning to us to those crows who were up above us 'cawing' - it was all just so much more special than I ever could have imagined. ..... I can't even tell you how many of our own friends and family have raved to us about how wonderful they thought you were.'

Their joy is contagious.  It was a delight to share.  I wish them many many years of joy and love.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Christmas Wedding in Duke Chapel for David and Rachel

I loved marrying David and Rachel.  And I apologize for being so late in posting their wedding on my blog.  It was a beautiful December at noon in Duke Chapel resplendent in all the decorations for Christmas.  Everyone but Rachel's family had come from out of town and Rachel and David were showing them the best of the area.  Their reception would be at The Carolina Inn.  

They wanted a focus on what marriage means to them and how they intend to use the power of their marriage in their lives to serve others.  Rachel was just beginning her residency in medical school so they are putting the strength and love of who they are together to work in their lives already.
Thanks to photographer Theo Milo of Theo Milo Photography for these wonderful pictures.  Lyn Graves of Fresh Affairs created her bouquet, and Dr. Monica Rossman, was the organist for Duke Chapel that day.  Blanche Williams of Duke Chapel is always a superb director for the event.
David and Rachel created a ceremony from both their backgrounds rich with Christmas hymns with words they crafted from examples I sent them.  They declared for them that 'Marriage is a vote of confidence, a commitment between two people that can only be fulfilled through their own loyalty and diligence.'  I so respect their intentional commitment!
Even their wedding program added a unique and thoughtful touch of elegance.
It's a custom to sign the ledger with your name, adding your marriage to all those who have been married in the chapel throughout the years.  
 Duke Chapel provides so many opportunities for great photographs!
 I thank the Divine for bringing this lovely couple into my life.  Theirs is a marriage that will strengthen their lives so that they will continue to be able to touch others in love and kindness. 
I wish them many many blessings!  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chris and Katie, Nathan and Tiffany, Matt and Erica, and Scott and Meredith Light Up This April

This has been a busy spring and I haven't had the time to write a blog about the wonderful couples I  married in April.  I love writing a blog about each couple if I can.  A blog about a ceremony brings back the joy I've felt with a couple as they begin their marriage with the love and support of their families and friends.  I'm very happily married and I love helping launch their marriage in a way that celebrates their love.

However the other side of our journey of life has required attention from me this spring.  My 91 year old mother-in-law has entered hospice.  I am reminded how time passes oh so quickly.

A quote  by Andre Maurois speaks to this:  'A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.'    I wish each of these beautiful couples below many long and rich conversations.

In early April I got to marry Katie and Chris at the NC Botanical Gardens.  We are lucky that the rain had stopped the day before and the day was cool.  They had their reception inside at the large banquet room but in a private corner of the gardens they held there ceremony for about 100 people.  Chris graduated this May so there were many joys to celebrate.  They wrote their own vows  and had a unity candle to honor their joining.  It was a sweet and loving ceremony.
 I officiated Nathan and Tiffany's ceremony at The Cotton Room in downtown Durham.  I've done many ceremonies there and Michelle Aldred and her staff at Triangle Catering are always great.  May 2012 was their 6 years anniversary.  Nathan proposed at the Old Well all decked out with lights with a 100 yard extension cord and a generator that a friend had provided.  He pretended it was a photo shoot so it was a surprise to Tiffany.  They are a fun loving couple who are grounded and solid in their love.  I wish them much joy.

 I married Matt and Erica at the Bryan Courtyard of the Carolina Inn.  A favorite place for me.  And now that they have finished their remodeling, they have much easier parking and the courtyard is still the same lovely classic wedding site it always has been.    They met in Seville, Spain during their Junior year abroad for UNC and began dating the fall of their senior year.  They've known each other for eleven years and had a long distance relationship for 4 of those years.  They're delighted to now be in one place together.  We offered an Irish Wedding Blessing in honor of Matt's heritage and welcomed Erica's family who came from Peru to share this day with them.  They are both generous spirited people who have large loving families.  I was so glad to be with them to celebrate their love.
 I had the joy of marrying Scott and Meredith at The Sutherland in an elegant ceremony in mid April.  Thank you to Ashlee, owner of The Sutherland, for her wonderful coordination of the event. Their ceremony music was provided by Save the Date musicians with a saxophone and guitar duet.  It was very unique.  Scott's 90 year old mother was there.  Both sets of their parents were still married so we honored that between the two couples they had more than 70 years of wisdom about love and marriage that still inspires Meredith and Scott.  In our prayer of blessing for their marriage I said, 'May the love that warms our hearts today and the love that flows between Scott and Meredith always be strong.  God grant them the inner gifts of trust, compassion. forgiveness, and truth that they may live and grow together in love and peace.  Amen.'
Some couples I marry request that I don't blog about them.  So I will just wish them many many blessings.  For some couples I never get pictures.  I send love to Elizabeth and Bruce, Alex and Kim, Tom and Carol, Christina and Eric, and Jean and Santiago, who I also wed this month, one couple in the backyard of their new home, one in the pergola at Duke Gardens, one in the Stone Chapel in Wake Forest, one at Spruce Pine Lodge, and one in my living room.

May they all find happiness in their love for each other.  May their love bring out the best in them as they bring our the best in each other.  May they have love that lasts a lifetime!