Thursday, April 17, 2014

Shawn and Lindsay Marry Amid Great Joy at Prestonwood Country Club

 This Fall it was a real joy to marry Lindsay and Shawn.  They had a fabulous time and so did everyone else - all of us delighted for them.  They had guests that came from  from the East Coast, the West Coast, The North, Canada, even Ireland to share their wedding day with them.   
And just think.  It all started when Autumn, Lindsay’s sister,  who really loves pizza, especially, Checker’s pizza, went there with Lindsay.  And it was there that she met Shawn.  And that, as the expression goes, 'is all she wrote.'  Lindsay and Shawn had their wedding at Prestonwood Country Club, a spacious and elegant setting perfect. 
And they had these excellent professionals and just great people helping make their day perfect:  Dara Blakeley of Dara Blakeley Photography took these wonderful photographs, Sally Oakley was their wedding planner and, Randy Bennett from Joe Bunn DJ Company did both their ceremony and reception music and Watered Garden did their amazing floral arrangements.  
In their ceremony I asked each of them (of course, with the words 'wife' and 'husband'): 'The person who stands by your side is about to become your spouse. They will look to you for gentleness, for support, for understanding, for encouragement, and for protection. You must never take them  for granted, but be continually sensitive to their needs. Your life and love will be their greatest source of joy. So I ask you, will you have this person to be your lawfully wedded spouse? Will you love and cherish them? Will you always uphold her and encourage them? Will you be loyal to them, and true? Will you honor them all their days, and be respectful of them, and will you promise to always bestow upon them your heart’s deepest devotion?'    And of course they said, 'Yes'.
They wanted all their guests to know that their love is unwavering and everlasting.
 And very playful!
 They told me that 'they are so grateful and appreciative of each other for the unconditional love that they give each other. They are grateful for the support that they provide to each other through the good times and the hard times.'  It is the good times that buoy us up and it is the hard times that refine us and define us, and like jewels, help us shine.  This couple has the glow that comes from a mature seasoned love and I am so delighted for them.
 I received this lovely note from Lindsay after their ceremony:  'Hi Robin, Thank you so much for a wonderful ceremony. Everyone has been talking about how much they LOVED you and how special you made the ceremony. THANK YOU. ... It was so wonderful to work with you. You made it such a wonderful and delightful ceremony. We couldn't have asked for anything better. Thank you :)'  And I thank them, too, and send them both many many blessings and know that they will have a love that continues to deepen through all their years. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Will and Ashley Marry in a Joyful Ceremony at Prestonwood Country Club

Early last fall I had the pleasure of marrying Will and Ashley at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary.  It was a treat to get to know them over the year we planned their ceremony.  They are both easy going fun loving people so had a lot of nervous anticipation for their elegant ceremony.  But it went off without a hitch, or with a hitch, pun intended, and everyone loved seeing them thoroughly enjoy their ceremony.  And the professionals that helped their day go so smoothly were excellent.  Tracy Adams of Adams and Events was stellar as always,  Jessica Arden of Jessica Arden Photography was their fabulous photographer, and Watered Garden created their gorgeous bouquets.
This is some of what we said in their ceremony to honor their love:  'They feel so blessed to have found each other.  They knew immediately that in each other, they had found someone special, someone to share all of life’s adventures, large and small. 
They can envision nothing finer than sharing all that is to come – travels, having and raising children, Celebrating holidays with you, their family and friends, supporting each other in career advances, laughing a lot, crying together when times are rough , and  growing old together, sitting on rocking chairs at the beach or in the mountains. 

Today they celebrate with you how blessed they feel to have found each other, how grateful they are that their love is strong and keeps growing.'
When Will surprised Ashley and proposed at The Fearrington House and she said, ‘Yes’, they were honoring the strong foundation of love and friendship they had built.   They are best friends, respecting each other’s unique perspectives and rhythms, able to talk about anything and find understanding and acceptance.  Ashley loving Will’s cheesy jokes, and Will loving Ashley’s cooking.  And they were surrounded by their family and friends who also love Will's cheesy jokes and Ashley's style and who danced all evening helped by a great DJ from Island Sound.  They also did the video for them.  And Island Sound is also always great.

I got a wonderful note from Ashley when they got back from their honeymoon, 'Thank you for being a part of our special day.  We are so happy that we were able to work with you! You truly made our day and ceremony unforgettable.  Our trip was wonderful and it has been amazing being married!'   I'm so happy for them and I imagine, these almost eight months later, they are still delighted being married.  I love being married after 15 years with my husband.  It makes what I do even more joyful.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Kristen and Brandon and Their Kids Celebrate at Beltline Station in Durham

I took a winter hibernation break from writing about ceremonies to ensure that I was fresh for couples in the new year.  Then I realized that there were some 2013 weddings yet to honor. 

Brandon and Kristen were a joy to marry.  Not only are they dedicated to each other, they are equally dedicated to all the children in their loving combined family.   Thank you to Heather Swanner of Heather Swanner Photography for letting me use her fabulous pictures.  And a special thank you to Nicole Conder of Premier Party Planners for all her assistance in making their day special.
And the Belt Line Station in downtown Durham was a perfect place for them to celebrate their marriage. They delighted that we were here in this old train station for their wedding.  Beltline Station was the station for the Lynchberg, VA to Durham NC run.  Brandon is from  NC and Kristen is from VA, making this an auspicious place for their joining together in marriage.
It was a joy to tell their family and friends how much they love each other.  In the ceremony I had the pleasure of saying:  'Kristen was first attracted to Brandon’s gentle spirit. She loves his calm and patience, especially with their kids!  He is very funny, witty, musically talented and very smart.  Brandon loves how Kristen is so easy being herself as well as how kind, smart, and understanding she is.   They share the same sense of humor and make each other laugh constantly.

A poet writes that love at its best is friendship caught fire.  Kristen and Brandon met under difficult circumstances and supported each other as friends during the hardest of times.  Their friendship strengthened and deepened.  They became best friends and fell in love.  They are still best friends, still in love, encouraging each other to go for their dreams, supporting each other at all times.

Together with their children they have created a life they cherish.  Each person able to be themselves fully, finding a partner in crime for all of life’s adventures, trusting each other with their hearts, looking forward to all of the steps of each child learning who they are in the world of adulthood, grateful each day for the love they share.' 

Their ceremony was filled with family love.  After Kristen's father walked her down the aisle, I asked him:  'The loving relationship between a parent and their child, no matter how old the child is, is cherished like no other.  In the love is interwoven protection, guidance, support and caring.  So I ask Kristen’s father, as he escorts her down this aisle on her wedding day:  Who presents this woman to be married to this man?

(He responds:  Her mother and I do.)  Then I asked their combined kids:  'As Kristen begins this new journey with Brandon, she wants to also acknowledge her profound love for all five of their children.   Her life could not have reached this day of such joy without these five additional loved ones who have helped to make her into the person she is.  So I ask Carter, Hayden, Jack, Ali and Jake. Who gives this woman to be married to this man?  (All five children say, we do.”)'
Their daughters Ali and Hayden sang for their ceremony.  What a treat!
Kristen’s ring has special significance, doubly powerful on their wedding day.   The ring that Brandon placed on Kristen’s finger is her grandmother’s anniversary band that Kristen received when her grandmother passed away.  Their wedding day was also her grandmother’s birthday!

Much play was had after the ceremony, too.  The architectural highlights of this venue make it a unique, funky, and extraordinary space with lots of opportunities for fun.
We said the following in their ceremony and it really fits them:  'Kristen and Brandon have found in one another someone who cares deeply about honesty, integrity, loyalty, kindness and caring.  These values nurture and inform their love, and they guide all aspects of their lives.'

I wish them all the joy in the world and I have no doubts they are loving being married and being an official family.    There were lots of other professionals who made their day special:  Beltline Station created all their gorgeous bouquets.  Simply Cakes made their cupcakes and Triangle Catering - Belt Line handled their catering, their DJ was Garrett Lamm of Touch of Class DJs.   Many blessings to Brandon, Kristen and their kids, and many thanks to all the other professionals for whom their wedding was a labor of love.

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.