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.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Scott and Sarah Have a Unique, Joyful and Playful Wedding at Seeds Educational Garden in Durham

Many thanks to Sarah's sister Carla of Carla Duran Photography for these great pictures.  You will immediately see why I just had to write a blog about Scott and Sarah's wedding.  I am so impressed, too, that they planned this all so well to everyone's enjoyment.  

They wanted a relaxed informal ceremony with a rustic earthy tone held in Seeds Educational Garden in Durham.  The reception would be held in the outdoor classroom.  Here are some pictures of Seeds.  I'd never been there before and I doubt if anyone else had the creative thought of using it for their wedding.  But it worked wonderfully. 
Below are the guests during the ceremony gathered around the gazebo.
And here is the outdoor classroom.
At 11:11 in the morning a bagpiper piped the wedding party into the gazebo at the center, Scott and Sarah at the end of the line.  Their friend Amy welcomed everyone and led us through Om three times to center into the moment.
Their friend Cristian translated the ceremony, paragraph by paragraph, into Spanish, too.  He had the cutest children and it was wonderful that we had two languages of celebration.

Then they had me tell a lovely story about two very different trees, a Cottonwood and a Sycamore who have different rhythms of blooming and shedding leaves and honor, support and care each other in their difference, during their times of being bare and vulnerable.

The story ended with, 'It is from these two trees that I learned what it is to truly honor and love one another and to honor the timing of everyone and everything.  My Dear Friends, my Dear Companions, the greatest bloom is surely coming and when it does, it will be the most beautiful bloom in the forever of forevers.'

And so, too, with Scott and Sarah.  They chose to perform Saptha Padhi, one element of a Hindu wedding ceremony, as their vows.  Saptha Padhi translates as 'seven steps', which are taken by the bride and groom as the seven promises they make to each other are recited.  It is a lovely ritual.  And of course, we ended with a kiss!
During the picture taking there were opportunities for face painting, you can see that Sarah and Scott had fun with this, too, and for adding soil to the tree that would be planted by Scott and Sarah in the tree planting ceremony later during the reception.

 And of course there is always time for cake made by Guglhupf Bakery also in Durham.
 In the tree planting ceremony everyone adds some soil to the pot, just like they nurture the ground of their friendship with Sarah and Scott.  As they added their soil, they added a blessing for Sarah and Scott and their marriage.
 Then Scott and Sarah finish the planting.

While we planned the tree planting ceremony together, since they did it as part of their reception, I wasn't there to see it.  I love how it turned out.  And it is a fig tree they planted.  Since I love fresh figs, there can be no better tree in my mind for this ritual for them.  May they have many many happy years of fig preserves and many other blessings, too!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Shawn and Regan Find the Bright Spot in the Day for Their Wedding

This was the weather that greeted us at Snipes Farm on the mid-August day of Shawn and Regan's wedding.  The one thing that Regan really wanted was to be married outside.  So we all put our hopes and prayers together and watched as the clouds darkened, wondering if it was possible.  And amazingly, and joyfully, it cleared up enough, for long enough.
There is a wonderful huge tree near the bottom of the meadow at Snipes Farm that is a long treasured spot to hold a ceremony.  The tree seems to offer strength and roots and a center to the ceremony.  I loved how Shawn and his men looked dapper on this warm day, eschewing formality for comfort.
Shawn teared up when he saw Regan enter.  They are a delightful couple, cherishing each other, delighting in finding each other, relishing their love.
They met when Regan visited NC from CA to see cousins.  It was love at first sight and a hard parting but it didn't take long for Regan to come back for good. 
Thanks to our photographer Dana Dillahunt of Dana Dillahunt Photography from Greensboro for these wonderful images.  She captured the feel of the day and the love that surrounded Regan and Shawn beautifully.

 Their cake was designed by Lori at Simply Cakes.  And it was uniquely them.
 I've always loved how Snipes Farm can transform into such an elegant setting.  The yellows, Chinese lanterns and the twinkle lights were a perfect contrast to the stormy day.
 Regan and Shawn closed a love lock as part of their ceremony. Regan's mother bought the lock in Florence Italy when she heard of the custom of putting a lock on the Ponte Vecchio bridge and throwing the key into the Arno River so that you are destined to return to Florence.  For Regan and Shawn, their love lock means that they have given each other the key to their heart - for good and forever.

In our blessing I said, 'May the love that warms our hearts today and the love that flows between Shawn and Regan always be strong.'  They may not have had a sunny day but the strength of their love did seem to chase the clouds away. 

Here is a 5 minute clip of the video of their wedding.  Enjoy!  And thank you Adam Coker, from Authentic Explosure.

 I loved having Shawn and Regan in my life and wish them many many blessings! 

James and Lila Wed on a Beautiful September Sunday

On September 22nd we had a glorious Sunday.  On this weekend all the Sunday weddings were blessed with beautiful clear cool weather because the front had moved through the previous day and all the Saturday outdoor afternoon weddings were rained out.  Lila and James were blessed to have a Sunday wedding.  This was pretty crucial for them as you will soon learn.

We held the ceremony at Starlight Meadow in Burlington.  Jeremy and Sarah, the owners of Starlight Meadow, are great to work with.  They are comfortable with work to keep everyone else on an easygoing everything-working-fine keel, too.  I thank them so much for this.  It really works.  James and Lila are easy going, too, so this was a perfect venue for them.  They wanted a simple ceremony with a hand-fasting that would use the family tartan.  You can see the tartan in the picture of the ceremony above.  And then their Red-Tail Hawk would fly down to present the rings to the Best Man.  This was a real treat and the she performed her role perfectly.  Here is a short video clip thanks to their videographer, Armin Goetsch of Happy Tear Videos.
Next, much thanks to Liz Grogan of Liz Grogan Photography for sharing her pictures of their ceremony.  And of course thanks to James and Lila for giving permission to me to write a blog about their ceremony.
 James also requested a short ceremony.  In formal wear in the heat is never a joy for men.  Formal wear just doesn't breathe!  I assured James that they could have a lovely meaningful ceremony that wasn't long.  That's one of the reasons I create a script with a couple.  That way they know that all their desires for their ceremony will be honored.  
I am a bird person.  And I wonder if my name being Robin has anything to do with it.  We have a Senegal parrot and three parakeets that we love and we seek out bird watching opportunities on all our vacations.  So I was delighted to be able to share some time with this lovely bird.   James wisely had her at the ceremony site easily an hour or two before the wedding so she could get used to what was happening.  And I understand that she spent some time with guests after the ceremony, too.  She was rewarded with some chicken neck for preforming so well.  I could have watched her again and again.

Russell Meadows, of Russell Meadows Floral and Nature Farm, provided the flowers for their ceremony.  The gazebo never looked lovelier.  Once again an instance where the person's name matches their calling.  I love it when that happens and it seems to always bode well. 
 Lila and James had the starlit meadow for evening pictures and brought their own light with them.  They beamed in all their pictures.  It's easy to see why.
 For their processional they chose the Johnny Cash recording of 'Rose of My Heart.'  It fit them perfectly.
Thanks, too, to Maxie B Cakes in Greensboro who provided their cake, and Above and Beyond catering.  The food looked amazing.  And Bernard Goetsch of BG Photography was there as well capturing more wonderful shots that I hope to see soon, too.   

James and Lila were a joy to have in my life.  They were playful, joyful, and excellent communicators.  And now I'll always think of them and their love when I see a Red-Tail Hawk!  I wish them many many blessings!