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Kaitlin and Mark marry at E. Carroll Joyner Park in Wake Forest

Kaitlin and Mark met because of their dogs. His is a great Dane who comes up to my chin (!) and hers is a boxer mix who is no slouch in the size department, either. They are great dogs and I was definitely enjoying being around them. The four of them make a really cute family unit.

Because the dogs brought them together, it was important to Kaitlin and Mark that the dogs be with us for the ceremony - so we all walked from the house over to the chosen location in the park, with the dogs chomping at the bit to be let off the leashes.

Kaitlin, who had to have unexpected emergency surgery just 3 days prior to the wedding (!) was determined to make sure things went off as planned, regardless. She was quite the trouper walking such a distance in that summer heat, but she was a radiant bride all the same. Mark was watching out for her and it was sweet to see.

They wanted to be married with only their parents and dogs in attendance and had put together a lovely ceremony that included special elements from all their parents. His mom did a hand ceremony, his father said a prayer, her mother read from the Scriptures and I provided the vows and the pronouncement of marriage. Couldn’t have been simpler - or more touching. Exactly what they wanted. And the dogs stayed right beside us as the ceremony progressed.

The location chosen was the new E. Carroll Joyner park right across the street from their home in Wake Forest. What a nice park! It is apparently an old homestead with a restored barn and other buildings, plus a log cabin, sitting in an old pecan grove. It has been beautifully restored and landscaped and its quiet serenity was perfect for the ceremony. (I’d love to know how old those pecan trees are. They are huge.)

On hand to take the photographs was Abbie Cooke of Chariot Creative. Her husband, Jason, was her “roadie” for the day and helped with her equipment and also the dogs. (Very thoughtful, Jason.) Abbie is growing her photography business and watching her work it is obvious she has a good eye and will be very successful. Her photos of the wedding are sure to be terrific.

Kaitlin and Mark, it was a true joy to be a part of your beautiful wedding and to share in all the love that was surrounding you from your parents and your dogs. You are sure to have a wonderful life ahead of you. Thanks for inviting me to be a part of your special day.


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It's great to hear stories of local couples!