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Mary and Mark have a Heartfelt Wedding at Bass Lake Park and Retreat Center in Holly Springs

Mary and Mark are truly a happy, loving couple. They have their own, unique approach to life and it shows in everything they do. Case in point; their wedding on a small budget that still sparkled with love and originality. They are proof - yet again - that it doesn’t take a huge budget to have a sweet and memorable wedding.

They chose the serene setting of Bass Lake Park and Retreat Center in Holly Springs, NC. One of my all-time favorite outdoor settings, this charming building, with its cheery entrance, has a small conference room for receptions and a full outdoor deck with a partial roof for shaded weddings. It really is quite special for smaller weddings. 

The wedding color scheme included shades of blue, and to that end, you could see fun blue touches everywhere.

Because family is so important to Mary and Mark, they wanted to honor many of their family members. Mary’s bouquet was made of silk flowers, some of which had been in the wedding bouquet of Mary’s mother. To remember their grandparents who could not be with us, they placed yellow flowers on the benches where their grandparents would have been seated for the wedding. This is always such a touching gesture and one that is much appreciated by those who have known and loved the persons being so honored.

The pewter goblet you see above, sitting beside the honoring flowers, is from their Cup of Life Ceremony. Mary and Mark shared a drink from the Cup of Life to indicate they will share all that Life brings to them. This is an ancient ceremony of commitment, seen down through history in every culture, and it is a perfect symbolism for those starting out in marriage.

Something unique they wanted to include was prayer stones held by the guests as they offered their silent prayers and best wishes for the blessing of the wedding rings. Their guests took a stone from a container upon entering the ceremony and when it came time to bless the rings, the guests were asked to hold their stones to their hearts as they prayed. At the end of the ceremony, the guests placed the stones into a glass jar that Mary and Mark would take home after the wedding. What a wonderful, powerful keepsake!

The large, engraved stone you see above is their Oathing Stone. It was an idea of Mary’s that they have this engraved stone as a special keepsake and Mark carried this stone in his pocked through the ceremony. When it came time to bless their rings, they held the Oathing Stone together for the prayer. Very touching.

Notice the embroidered tablecloth on the Oathing Stone and prayer stones table above and the antique cake topper in the photo below. This cake topper began its family heirloom journey in 1940 on the wedding cake of Marys grandparents and has been used in many weddings since then. The loved ones of Mary and Mark were included in so many sweet, silent ways and I enjoyed seeing every one of them.  (Read more on the cake topper lineage in the update below, sent to me by Mary’s Aunt Susan.)

Mary and Mark, it was such a joy to help you put together your rich, loving wedding and to be a part of your beautiful wedding day. Love is so powerful in your lives and it is sure to touch everyone you meet.

Update 11-4-12 - Mary’s Aunt sent me an email about the heritage of the cake topper above and it is even more special than I had imagined;

“Hi Barbara, this is Susan Tipton, Mary's aunt. Thanks for a beautiful ceremony. I thought I would tell you about the bride and groom cake topper. It sat on my parent's wedding cake in 1940. Then mine in 1966, Elizabeth's [Mary’s mom] in 1973 (I think), then since the satin dress was detoriating, it sat beside Meghan's in 1997, then at my parent's 60th anniversary in 2000, the year before they died. And finally to Mary's. We are hoping it will last until Meredith gets married ... which will be a LONG time!”


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