Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jill and Phil met in 2010. Like many good love stories they met in a bar--Edwards Mill Bar and Grill to be specific. They quickly discovered they had a mutual love of British comedy and were movie aficionados although their taste in movies differs. In fact, Jill believes that Phil drags her to some movies just to see her reaction! And so the story goes.....  I met with Jill and Phil in August to plan their wedding ceremony scheduled for December 30, 2012 at the lovely Highgrove Estate in Fuquay-Varina. 
So, when my assistant, Marty, her twin sister Mary who was visiting from Florida, and I arrived that day, it was quite sunny but temps were in the 40s. 
They were hoping the weather would be nice enough to have their wedding outside in the portico where we usually have the ceremony at Highgrove but, as Jill put it, Mother Nature did not cooperate.
So the ceremony was inside the dining room from which we normally process out to the portico. Ann Eberle with Highgrove was in charge and they moved the very long table out and put in about 70 chairs. It was tight but cozy. When Ann is in charge, I know everything will be handled efficiently.
Meanwhile the garden ballroom was all decked out for the reception. Their colors were dark gray, cranberry and lime. Jill's family is from New York and so several of the vendors were from there as well. The florist was Linda McKinney and the photographers were Ellen and Mark Dunbar with Auntie El's Video and Photography in Canastota NY. Each table represented a special date in the couple's relationship. They had their own labels for their wine--Jill is such a wonderful detail person and her wedding was a wonderful opportunity to incorporate her special touches and I know she loved every minute of planning!
Sweet Memories did their cake. Importing a wedding cake from New York would be quite a challenge so they went local for this vendor! This simple yet elegant cake reflects Jill's good taste. See Phil's little airplane cake topper that was yet to be placed on top when this photo was taken. Phil is into airplanes and I saw some wedding favors in the shapes of airplanes too.
And so it was time to begin. The groom, best man, maid of honor, flower girl and I processed in after the mothers were seated, then it was time for Jill and her father to come down the aisle which was a bit of a squeeze as you can see! Jill loves to sew and so of course she made her own elegant wedding gown which had a short jacket I am sure she intended to keep her toasty if we had been able to be outdoors.
Christopher Anderson Reed of Blue Jeans Music provided the lovely music for the ceremony. He plays beautifully and accompanied the two soloists as well.
Jill's father transferred her hand into Phil's hand and we began. You can see that the sunlight is streaming in from the side, so much so that when Jill faced Phil, it was right in her eyes but it soon sank lower as you can see in subsequent photos.
Jill's niece, Grace Ann, sang Simple Gifts. She has the sweetest voice!
After the solo, I launched into their story. The guests were very attentive and loved hearing how the couple met, fell in love and what they adore about each other. I had fun telling them too!
Of course it was filled with lots of humor!
They read their vows to each other from my book then exchanged rings.
This photo above courtesy of their photographers who were so kind to send this to me. 
Jill's brother-in-law, Howard, graced us with an operatic serenade, Winmung by  Schumann. His incredible voice literally filled the room and was exquisite!
Jill's niece, Chloe, follows the bride and groom out. She was moving quickly so the photo is a blur!
The guests were invited to go to the ballroom and enjoy refreshments and then I joined the wedding party in the parlor. They were all commenting on how much they enjoyed the ceremony and how personal it was, and wanting to know how the couple found me (Highgrove referred them to me). Father of the bride, Jack, told me he really liked the ceremony. Chloe is showing me her cute red shoes! Jill's sister, Ann, was her matron of honor. Phil's brother, Stephen, was the best man. 
Jill promptly sent me a thank you note two days after the wedding: "Thank you for the beautiful ceremony you performed for our December 30th wedding. Our family and friends were surprised by the uniqueness of our ceremony. Phil and I will treasure the memories of our ceremony for years to come. I would also like to thank you for "poufing out" the pocket squares on Phil and Stephen's tuxedos. The pocket squares threw them for a curve." (It is not uncommon for the men in the wedding party to not know what to do with the handkerchiefs that come with their tuxes. Just like pinning on the boutonnieres, I have learned how to arrange the handkerchiefs into a point that shows above the pocket and frequently need to do this before the ceremony!)

Jill and Phil, I loved your wedding and had so much fun delivering the words we put together for your ceremony. I especially loved that your guests were so responsive to the humor and were not too shy to laugh. (From time to time I will do a wedding and the guests are afraid to laugh and I will remind them that this wedding is a celebration service, not a church worship service!) Thank you for sharing your lives with me and giving me such good material to work with for your story and secret paragraphs.  I wish you all the best in life and do call on me if you need me in the future!!

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