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TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING MAGIC LET YOUR WEDDING MATCH YOUR STYLE

TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING MAGIC LET YOUR WEDDING MATCH YOUR STYLE
TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING MAGIC LET YOUR WEDDING MATCH YOUR STYLE. Tisha and Anupam honored both their religious backgrounds by designing a beautifully blended Hindu-Christian ceremony.

CONTACT REVEREND BARBARA LODGE

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CONTACT REVEREND BARBARA LODGE....919-942-2808....email.rev.lodge@ncweddingminister.com....www.ncweddingminister.com
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CELEBRATING THE HEART AND CREATIVITY IN WEDDINGS

Welcome! This site is a tribute to my many wedding couples who have created unique and beautiful surroundings for their weddings. Their creativity and ingenuity reflected their personalities and together we have often created new ways to modernize old traditions.

If you are looking for a minister for your wedding in the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC, contact me for a free consultation. Together we can create a ceremony that reflects your love, your personality and your dreams for your future.

To visit or return to my website - www.ncweddingminister.com

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Julie and Evan share a magical wedding in the Raleigh Rose Garden - May 30, 2009

The Raleigh Rose Garden sits in a quiet little ravine behind the Raleigh Little Theater and contains literally thousands of roses. It is a wonderful place for a wedding, especially when the roses are in bloom - and the roses were in beautiful full bloom for Julie and and Evan’s wedding.

We had magical elements for the wedding that day; two absolutely adorable Flower Girls with huge blue eyes, wearing fairy wings and carrying wands. Each entered with a little dog on flower-strewn leashes and each dog was wearing fairy wings of their own. Our handsome young Ring Bearer carried the rings on a pillow with a large blue rose that matched the color of the fairy wings and dog leashes.



Evan’s last name begins with M and he and Julie were privileged to enter and leave their wedding ceremony on a monogrammed runner, lovingly made by the Maid of Honor. It was the first time I had ever seen that done. What a thoughtful gift it was and one that it is sure to become a family heirloom.

Making sure the music was perfect and we were all in sync to it was our DJ, Stephen Scott, of Show Pro Events. It was the first time I have worked with Stephen and I will be looking forward to our working together again. He came to the rehearsal and was very helpful there and also for the wedding. He is a real professional who loves his work and it shows. He has a big, infectious grin and you could tell he was enjoying himself. It’s always fun to work with people who love what they do.

The photographer for the day was Carolyn Scott (no relation to DJ Stephen) of Carolyn Scott Photography. She moved here recently from Pennsylvania and hopes to find a good home here in the south. There was a beautiful wedding portrait of Julie, taken by Carolyn, and it was displayed on the table with the Unity Candle. You couldn’t help but notice it because of Julie’s eyes. Julie has big eyes to begin with, but that portrait made them the focal point of the pose and it was magnificent. Here is a photo of it, taken from Carolyn’s Blog at her website;



Despite the heat of the day, by the time the evening wedding started there were longer shadows coming into the ravine, cooling things off, and a slight breeze started up right as we came down the aisle. It was a welcome touch to a truly beautiful day. The magical elements were indeed there for us for the wedding. Must have been those fairies.



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Jen and Brad marry in Duke Gardens of Durham - May 30, 2009


Amid sunshine and flowers, Jen and Brad exchanged vows on the steps of the famous pergola in Duke Gardens. Brad was smiling from ear to ear the whole time, pretty much as he looks here in this photo. He was a very happy man to be marrying Jen at last and it was touching to see how happy they were to be together - and how happy their families and friends were for them.

The Garden looked especially beautiful that day. There seemed to be an extra sparkle in the air and all the flowers were showing off their colors. The wisteria vines around the pergola were full of bright green leaves that made a beautiful frame for the wedding and picked up the color of the Bridesmaid dresses and the sash on Jen’s dress.

Jen and Brad’s friend, Tyrel, played acoustic guitar for the ceremony and another friend, Hope, sang, “It Feels Like Home.” Hope has an incredibly beautiful voice and it sent chills down my spine as I listened to her sing. It turns out she sings professionally, lives locally and can be hired for weddings, so if you are looking for a wonderful vocalist for your wedding, be sure to contact Hope Powell. She does not yet have a website, but if you click this link you can find all her contact information on my website under “Musicians.”

Children will always steal the show and adorable little Hannah, the Flower Girl, was no exception. What a beautiful child and only 2 years old. She made it down the aisle alone and over to her mother, who was one of the Bridesmaids. Someone coaxed her a little bit with a lollipop (a clever and effective idea) but Hannah was fine even without it.

The photographers for the day were Poiema Photography, a trio of very friendly ladies. Armed with cameras, heart and kindness - not to mention skill - Casey Chappell, Angey Price and Kristin Cook were all taking some really beautiful shots. It’s a nice idea to have three photographers on staff for an event like this because they can spread out and be all over the place at once, getting more perspectives and covering more territory for the final results. Can’t wait to see the photos when they are online!

Jen and Brad worked hard to put together a special wedding and they certainly accomplished their goal. There was a lot of love and friendship and caring, and isn’t that what weddings are supposed to be all about.

Jen and Brad, with so much love and support in abundance, you are sure to be very happy together as husband and wife.


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Beth and Jason set sail on the USS Happily Ever After at Bass Lake Retreat - Holly Springs



Beth and Jason, being unique and adventurous, decided that the perfect place for them to go after they recessed out the aisle was to get into a rowboat for their own champagne toast and some private time together. Now, as the ceremony was to be held on a raised platform over a lake, a rowboat was not a problem. But a wedding dress in a rowboat?! And heels?!! Yikes! But Jason’s eyes were sparkling when he said it so I knew it was going to happen - and happen with style. And that it did, as the guests watched from the railing above.

For their celebration, Beth and Jason wanted the framework of the wedding traditions - but with some fun and unexpected twists. My first inkling of how things were going to be different was when I first met with them and Beth told me her bridal attendants were all going to have titles. But there wouldn’t be a Maid of Honor or a Flower Girl and in fact the Ring Bearer was actually going to be a teenage girl. Her title was going to be “Little Miss Bling.” (I was hooked right then and there!) The Flower Girl was going to be the “Princess of Petals” and another little girl who was carrying in the vows to be read during the ceremony was to be “The Keeper of the Vows.” (Wow- this was going to be TONS of fun!)

Beth then explained that the Bridesmaids were all the “girls that give me strength” and their titles were going to describe what they were “made” of instead of them just being a “maid.” (Clever.) So here’s her list;
Made of Awesome (her sister in the Maid of Honor role)
Made of Friendship
Made of Music
Made of Sweetness
Made of Courage (this Brides-made is a police woman)

Jason told me that while he did not have individual titles for his Groomsmen, they were in fact the “guys that got my back” and for that reason they were all equally important to him. And I could definitely see this was true at the rehearsal and on the wedding day. Strong friendships all around.


And check out the shoe attire for after the wedding;


On hand to make the music jump and keep the soundtrack for the event going strong was the ever fun and efficient DJ Richie of RJ Entertainment. Richie and I have worked together only a few times, but I can tell you he is a consummate professional. He encourages his clients to choose music that reflects them and their style and Beth and Jason did exactly that. Listening to all the tunes they had chosen I couldn’t believe my ears. Even Bob Dylan?! Yeah! It was an eclectic mix - but then I should have expected that with Beth and Jason. Here’s a photo of DJ Richie, and the shadow in the foreground is me taking his picture. Yes, I know. Pretty klutzy. But luckily they didn’t hire me as their photographer.

Who they did hire for their photographer, though, was the husband and wife team of Erin and Joshua DeFisher. I had not met them before but they obviously work well together and from the shots I saw them taking, I can’t wait to see the rehearsal and wedding photos! Their company is J & E Photography and I went to look at their website after I got home from the rehearsal. Nice work. Based on what I saw, Beth and Jason are sure to be very pleased with the results and hopefully Erin and Josh will remember to send me some photos to post here.

The videographer, Rob Johnson of R E Johnson Productions, was an active man with a clever and practical front harness that kept his camera steady and ready - and he was fun to watch in action. He was so agile he could dart and sprint like a cat to catch the action and the videos he and his assistant, Mary Lou Bell, (who had her camera stationary on a tripod) put together are sure to be lots of fun. Wish I could be a fly on the wall while they are being watched.

The wedding and reception were held at Bass Lake Retreat in Holly Springs. This is a wonderful location for a wedding as it sits at the edge of - and extends a bit above - the water of Bass Lake. It also has a nice room for a reception, can hold a fairly good sized group inside and out, and as the day retreats and the water gets still, it takes on a serenity that just can’t be beat.

Serving up the food for the evening was the catering company, Lip Service, owned by Chef John Gilreath. Beth and the chef are long-time friends and she and her sister often help out when needed, so you can be sure that Chef John was going all out for Beth and Jason‘s wedding feast. Lip Service can be reached by phone at 919-859-8100.

Another chef in her own right was Granny Kay and she provided
all the sweet goodies. No small feat, that. I had more than one person tell me I hadn’t lived until I had tasted Granny Kay’s this or that item so I’m sure there was nothing left by the time everyone went home.

Beth and Jason did so many fun and unique things for their wedding and as I write this post, they are honeymooning in Greece. Sounds like a perfect place for a couple with such a strong zest for life!



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Jennifer and Trey marry at a Carolina Blue ceremony in Chapel Hill - May 24, 2009


Jennifer and Trey met online 10 years ago when they were in ninth grade and they have been together ever since. Their lives have taken many interesting twists and turns since then and have finally brought them to UNC to complete their educations. He is currently a first year med student and she is in research with a planned direction into pharmacy. 

After 10 years together they know each other very well, so it came as no surprise that together they would work to find a way around Trey’s deep and abiding dislike of most things “wedding.” They also shared a desire to approach marriage from a modern perspective, leaving old stereotypical ideas behind. This was so strong in them that they were only willing to include a few of the traditional things one normally finds in weddings. They even wrote their own ceremony - and what a beautiful ceremony it was. It reflected their personalities and their choices and with their friend and Groomsman, Kevin, admirably performing their unique musical selections on guitar and vocals, their desire to create a wedding that was different from the norm was absolutely achieved. This wedding was all about being true to yourself and Jennifer and Trey accomplished that wonderfully. 

Because UNC is such a large part of their lives and the lives of their friends in the bridal party, Carolina Blue was the color of the day. Jennifer’s bouquet was a blue hydrangea blossom, the Bridesmaids wore Carolina Blue dresses and the Groom and Groomsmen were all sporting Carolina Blue ties. A nice look for the day.


The small, intimate ceremony took place under the pergola in the lovely Strowd Rose Garden in Tar Heel country’s, Chapel Hill. The roses were in full bloom in a riot of color and although I did not see a single blue rose among them, I don’t think anyone minded.  

















There was much love and camaraderie and there were so many friend and family cameras that they had their own paparazzi! It was a great day, great fun and it touched my heart to be a part of such a special wedding. 

Jennifer and Trey, you should always stay true to yourselves for in that truth lies your best future.




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Anann and Peter marry at her parents’ home in Carrboro - May 23, 2009

Anann is Canadian, raised in America. Peter is Danish. They met in Buenos Aires, currently live in Copenhagen and came to Carrboro to marry at her mother’s friendly and welcoming southern home. What a fun and interesting life they must lead!

The lovely wedding dress was designed by Anann, a jewelry designer by trade, and it was made for her by her Maid of Honor. Simple elegance with a touch of the unexpected is a great combination here. The detail on the skirt was striking in its simplicity and reminded me of butterflies flitting around in a garden. The little accenting pieces of cloth were attached to the dress in such a way that they remained free to move as Anann moved, or even as a breeze might catch them. Hopefully you can see it in these photos for it was a beautiful effect. 
I love the veiled hat and it looked wonderful on Anann. This look is starting to make a comeback after decades of neglect and I am happy to see this ultra feminine style beginning to make its return. I suspect we will start to see it more and more in the next few years and it makes perfect sense that a fashion-forward designer would decide to use it for herself.

The wedding took place in the front yard of Anann’s parents’ home with lush greenery everywhere. In the area where we stood there were two urns of elaborate spring flowers on each side of us and hanging from the tree between them were the most clever flower arrangements I had ever seen. Suspended from branches were small, antique bottles of many shapes and each contained a flower of varying colors and types. It made for a charming and colorful backdrop and it was just stunning. Simple beauty showcased again in an unexpected way. 






So here in North Carolina, within a garden setting of floating flowers and lush, green plants, Anann in her “butterfly” dress and Peter in his grey suit without a tie (that had just the right sense of casual refinement), said their vows among friends and family from all over the world. It was wonderful to be a part of it.

There are sure to be many adventures ahead for Anann and Peter around all the corners of the world and I have no doubt they will enjoy every one!


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Courtney and David celebrate their wedding with a song at 1705 Prime in Raleigh - May 23, 2009

It was a beautiful, crisp spring morning as Courtney and David said their vows on the front lawn and veranda of 1705 Prime, a great location for a wedding in Raleigh. Courtney and David both profess a very strong Christian faith and David plays in a Christian band that travels to churches throughout the state. Because God is at the core of their lives, they wanted God be very much at the center of their ceremony and festivities. It was so nice to see how important this was to them and we had a lovely ceremony that reflected this. We also incorporated a Unity Candle and - what a wonderful treat - Courtney and David sang a duet right before their vows. Their friend and Groomsman, Lucas, accompanied them on keyboard. It was a very touching moment and I’m sure everyone who was there will never forget it.

Red was in abundance everywhere; in the Bridesmaid dresses, the bouquets, the sash on Courtney’s dress, the table decorations and even in the cascading sash on their wedding cake, provided beautifully and caringly by Cinda of Cinda’s Creative Cakes. David told me that strawberries are Courtney’s favorite fruit (which explains the red) and that while they were dating they used to feed each other chocolate covered strawberries. (How romantic!) Their elegant wedding cake took its style and decoration from this romantic part of their history and had chocolate covered strawberries festooned down the sides. The very clever and adorable cake topper was a pair of Bride and Groom strawberries appropriately dressed in dark and white chocolate. You could tell a lot of heart went into the design of this cake and I tip my hat to Cinda for all the care and obvious attention to detail she took to create it.


The music for the day was provided by Island Sound, a DJ company well-renowned for creating a lively party. Allen and Peter were on hand for the day to keep things going well and that they did - in spades. They were very professional and knew just how to make everything flow perfectly while the guests shared the good times of the celebration. Having a great DJ does make a world of difference.

Their photographer was Jim Colman of Jim Colman Photography. He and I had recently worked together and it was great to see him again. I love watching him work and try to see what it is he is seeing when he moves everyone “just so.” I have seen him photograph a bride through the beveled glass of doors and have been amazed at all the unique ways he has used to photograph wedding couples. Guess that’s what makes him such a professional! He sent me some photos of myself at the wedding and I have included the one above that captures the happy spirit of the ceremony and the day. Thanks, Jim!

The flowers were provided by Janice Cutler of North Raleigh Florist. In keeping with the color scheme, everything was red and white, but she also cleverly put pearls into the flowers of Courtney’s bouquet, setting off the red of the roses beautifully. Such a simple little thing with such a big impact.

It was a beautiful day for the celebration of a beautiful love. Courtney and David, I know that with God at the center of your love and your lives, you will have a wonderful life together as you build up your treasures in Heaven.







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Feathers-n-Pearls Blog is a fun journey through planning a wedding

When I meet with couples to put together the framework for their ceremonies, they bring in the things they would like to include from either the resource materials I provide them or from anywhere, really, that they find something they like. Melissa and Alan have a wedding coming up very soon and when we got together recently to create the framework for their ceremony, I learned of the wedding blog she has been keeping for over a year. She calls it Feathers-n-Pearls (great name!) and it is her wedding planning journey, told with humor, creativity and TONS of useful and unexpected information. All brides - previous and upcoming - will see themselves in the pages of her posts and will smile with her as she begins her quest for the perfect wedding for she and Alan. (And based on yesterday’s post (5/28/09), it looks like Alan has been doing some great planning of his own. Nice job, Alan!) You are sure to enjoy the reading and find a lot of useful information for your own wedding planning.

All the photos here are by April Sirit, their engagement and wedding photographer. April’s company is Evoke Photography and although based in Raleigh, NC, she travels to locations all over the world to photograph her clients. My goodness, she is good! Lots of edgy looks and modern style with a nod to the traditional.



These photos jumped out at me the most from Melissa’s blog - but it was hard to only choose a few!! April has a great style and seemed to catch the different sides of Melissa and Alan perfectly.

June 12, 2009 is almost here and I can’t wait to be a part of what is sure to be a very special wedding day!
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Update: Their wedding was WONDERFUL! Here’s a link to the post I wrote about it.
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Katie and Charlie Helms marry May 16, 2009 at Five Oaks in Durham


Katie and Charlie are a fun and determined couple. You can see it in their faces and in everything they do. When I first met them, they were both extremely busy and Katie was finishing her last year of Pharmacy School. Her graduation was scheduled for one week before their wedding date but she was still determined to put together their wedding no matter what. With so much on her plate, not only did she pass all her finals, but she and Charlie still found time to put together their very special wedding.

Katie’s mom called it “a family affair” and Katie said it was a “DIT” (Do It Together) wedding. Charlie’s sister did a reading for the ceremony. All the women in the family did the baking of the cupcake wedding cake and the creation of the floral decorations. Katie made the bouquets herself and Katie’s mom even made the lace overlay wedding dress and veil. They must have had so much fun making memories together as they worked to prepare for this wedding!


The wedding was held in the expansive side lawn of the Five Oaks Clubhouse, with clear blue skies and a lovely pond as a backdrop. To make it even more perfect, the bridesmaid dresses seemed to match the color of the landscape - how did they do that?!

The beautiful floral decorations for the wedding were created by the mothers of the bride and groom and what a wonderful job they did! So very talented. It was a magical setting for a fun and magical day.

The music for the ceremony was provided by some of Charlie’s friends who are members of The Big Fat Gap Band, a local bluegrass band - and what fun music they played. Bluegrass lends its own personality to every environment and it was just perfect for Katie and Charlie’s wedding day celebration.

This family affair wedding was also surrounded by auspicious omens. Right before the ceremony began, a rain shower came up and caused a few minute delay. But as soon as it had passed, the bright sun and blue skies returned and everything had a fresh, clean sparkle to it. Rain means abundance. Then, as we began the ceremony, two Canadian geese flew right over us, honking, and one dropped a feather that fell to the ground behind Charlie. Canadian geese mate for life. Katie later picked up the feather and added it to her bouquet. It is clear that for this marriage there is going to be much love, abundance and enduring commitment on their horizon.

Katie and Charlie, you are going to have a wonderful life together!

This fun photo from the reception was taken by their great photographer, Steve Dill, of Steve Dill Photographic Designs.
For more photos from this fun-filled day, check out Steve’s blog at his website. You can tell he thoroughly got into the revelry of the day!










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Carol and Mike marry May 16, 2009 under a wisteria canopy at historic Duke Gardens in Durham



Carol and Mike wanted a wedding that was informal and fun, to match a day that was to be about sharing their love with their family and friends. Their children were to escort them in and their grandchildren were to be their Flower Girls and Ring Bearers - and how adorable they all looked!

Being scientists at Duke University, and Carol also a professor there, they naturally chose Duke Gardens for their setting and held their ceremony under the wisteria canopy of the pergola, a famous Duke Gardens landmark. The ancient wisteria vines are so old they have woven together over the years and are becoming a part of the structure of the pergola itself. It is beautiful to see. The green of their leaves above and around us provided a beautiful, private setting for the ceremony and with the soft guitar music provided by their friend, Kevin, we had our own secret garden under there.


The colors for the bridal couple and the attendants were white, ivory and khaki and these blended in beautifully with the garden setting. This was the first time I had ever seen a bride wear slacks and Carol looked wonderful in her flowing, chiffon slacks and beautiful lace overblouse. Topping it off was a stylish spring hat that doubled as her “something borrowed” and set the style for the Flower Girls, who all wore hats as well. 

I don’t think Mike’s big grin ever left his face the whole time. Everything felt warm and inviting, modern and old fashioned mixed together, and fit in perfectly with what Carol and Mike had envisioned. I wish them and their family all the best and know they will be very happy together.


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Bridal Bouquets That Reflect Your Style




In March 2009, before I was writing this blog, I was asked to be the minister for Crystal and Ben’s wedding. They wanted their wedding to be different from the norm and Crystal even went so far as to not want flowers for her wedding like everyone else.

So what to do about a bouquet and boutonnieres? Why, make them out of candy, of course! The bouquet and boutonnieres were so unusual that I am sure their guests commented all night long about how clever they were. And how nice for Crystal and Ben that they had the courage of their convictions to take such a unique and unexpected approach.

The point here is to make your wedding flowers (as well as your whole wedding) be reflective of who you are and what is important to you. Have fun with your special day and make it even more special by designing your flowers (or anything else) with mementos that will have a special meaning for you.

I recently came across a blog post on this very topic from Kate Foster, a wedding planner in Raleigh, NC.  She has a very nice blog with all kinds of creative ideas for weddings and wedding decorations and you can read her bridal bouquet post here.

Happy creating!
___

photos by Page Dunlap of Cirba Photography


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Beth and Christian Sed marry May 9, 2009 at Highgrove Estate in Fuquay-Varina



For Beth and Christian, laughter is indeed the best medicine. They share the same quirky sense of humor and the same fun-loving approach to the world. With twinkling eyes and smiling hearts, they seem perfect for each other. Their life together is going to be a lot of fun because they crack each other up so much.

Big smiles were everywhere that day, especially when it came to lacing up the back of Beth’s incredibly beautiful dress. With wedding gowns you sometimes wonder what in the world the designers were thinking when they added so many tiny, almost invisible hooks and eyes - and in this case, long laces for the back. Beth’s mother, her mother-in-law to be and the Bridesmaids were all called in to help in the task of lacing up the back of her dress. It was fun to watch them all make suggestions as to how best to go about this and to come up with a beautiful finish in the end.

The colors for the wedding were black and ivory and the guests took that to heart. Everyone looked so elegant. Christian looked especially handsome in his ivory tux, flanked by his Groomsmen in black. And so did the little Ring Bearer, Landon, who was ready to be done with all this wedding stuff, but he went through it like a trouper anyway.




The wedding took place at The Highgrove Estate in Fuquay-Varina and everything was handled beautifully. Highgrove is a lovely location for a wedding, with beautiful, well-kept grounds, a great house for gathering the guests and a huge ballroom tent with elegant chandeliers. They have a staff of very good wedding coordinators and Angela Wright was the person in charge for
this wedding. Everything she did was efficient and effective and she got us off to a great on-time start. With all the things going on around her, this was no small feat. So hats off to you, Angela!

The beautiful wedding cake, provided by Lynn Loomis, of Lynn’s Traditions, showed off the black and ivory color scheme to great effect. It was simple, modern and elegant and it fit the feel of the evening perfectly. Lynn is one of my favorite bakers and her cakes always taste the way a wedding cake should - moist and fresh and just delicious! Whenever I hear that a bride and groom have chosen her to make their cake, I know they are going to be very happy with the results.

The full moon that rose during the reception was an auspicious omen for a long and happy life together - so Beth and Christian, may your days be filled with all the grand things Life is sure to hold in store.
___

Other vendors on hand to make the day a success were;

Photographer - Jessica Yakamna
Photographer, top post photo - Bill Loomis
DJ - Brian Darocha, of Complete Music
Florist - Leslie Ivey


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Hannah and Steven Allison marry May 2, 2009 at Governor’s Club in Chapel Hill




The weather man had been predicting rain that never came for days and we were all worried that we would have to do a rain dance to have a nice day for the wedding. But the day grew beautiful and remained so into the evening. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day to celebrate the relationship of this lovely couple.

Hannah and Steven are both pharmacists so of course they wanted this to be included somehow in the festivities. In the end, they decided to place a mortar and pestle atop the beautiful wedding cake, designed with much attention to detail by Gregory Bingham, of The Art of Cake. This was the first time I had ever seen a cake designed by Gregory, who calls himself a “sugar artist,” and he definitely is. Steven told me that he and Hannah had worked with Gregory to create the design of the cake so it would look like a garden trellis full of red roses to accent the Bridesmaid dresses, with the mortar and pestle at the top containing even more red roses. It was the most elaborate cake I have ever seen and it must have taken Gregory forever to make it.

Brian Mullins, of Brian Mulllins Photography, was on hand to photograph the day and one of my many favorites of his photos is included in this post. Brian definitely has an eye and a patient and thoughtful manner and the photos he posted on his blog from the wedding reflect this in the touching, human moments he captured as well as the splendor of the day.

The wedding took place on the scenic back terrace of the beautiful Governor’s Club. Overlooking the lush, bright green of the fairway, the elegant floral arrangements provided by The English Garden were all that were needed to accent the beautiful stonework of the terrace. The reception was inside the ballroom with more incredible floral arrangements on the tables... and with Joe Bunn DJ Company taking care of the music, the evening promised to be a very special celebration for Hannah and Steven, the new Mr. and Mrs. Allison.

Hannah and Steven, may your life together be just what the doctor ordered!


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Kathryn and Mark marry May 2, 2009 at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill

So would the rain hold off or not? That was the big question through the day, but in the end, it was perfect weather for this lovely interfaith ceremony in the intimate Bryan Courtyard of The Carolina Inn.

I had not met Kathryn and Mark before their rehearsal, although we did correspond before then to put together the framework for the wonderful ceremony they had written themselves. Being a Jewish-Christian relationship and wedding, it was very important to them that they honor and incorporate both traditions and blend them into a beautiful celebration of both. To that end, I co-officiated the ceremony with my friend and colleague, Rabbi Andrew Ettin. It turned out that he had known the groom and his family years before when they were all at the same Temple when the groom was in grade school! Mark’s family had long since moved away, but Life had brought everyone back together again for this very special day. It must have been fun for them to reminisce.

The wedding directing was in the very capable hands of Cara Zuehlke of A Southern Soiree and her assistant, Stephanie Cisko. Cara is a joy to work with and things always go smoothly. This wedding presented her with an unusual challenge and she found a very clever solution; the chuppa as designed was not working out well so she creatively wound the cloth of the chuppa into the branches of the tree in front of which the ceremony would take place. Mixed in with that were flower pomanders of varying sizes and voilà - you have one of the most beautiful chuppas I have ever seen. As soon as I have a photo of it I will add it here. 

And speaking of photos, the photographers for the day were the talented husband and wife team, James and Meredith Walters, of Walters and Walters. I have worked with them before, quite recently, and loved watching them work. They have such unique ideas for capturing the special and touching moments of their clients and I am looking forward to seeing their photos of the wedding when they are available. 

It is always illuminating when a couple write their own ceremony for in the words they write you find the depth of what’s important to them. For Mark and Kathryn Sweet, what’s important to them is that they love each other and continue to honor the different traditions they bring together. The breaking of the glass at the end of their ceremony symbolized for them “the breaking down of barriers between people of different cultures and faiths. May the day soon arrive when all people live together as one.”  Amen.

Kathryn and Mark, I hope all your dreams come true!


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For any readers who would like to contact me;
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