Tuesday, September 3, 2013

August 31, 2013 was the lovely wedding day of Shelly and Jeff at the Cardinal Club in the Wells Fargo building that used to be Wachovia. They held the ceremony on the 28th floor in the area in front of floor to ceiling windows overlooking downtown Raleigh at the foot of the beautiful spiral staircase that leads up to the mezzanine level. Quite elegant and unique. When Dave and I arrived we greeted Jeff who was ready to get the show on the road and met his son Matthew and set up my sound system. Yikes, my battery was running low and the back up battery also proved to be low. Thankfully I carry back ups for my back up! So we were fine and now I have a new pack of batteries ready for the next wedding!
Then it was upstairs to find the lovely cake by Cinda's Creative Cakes. Gorgeous as usual!
The English Garden provided the very colorful floral arrangements. Purple was the predominant color scheme.
When it was time to start, my dear friend and colleague, Ross Merle our DJ, directed the processional. Ross is like that, ready to jump in and do whatever is needed. We did not have a rehearsal and I knew I could count on him to help with the ceremony. He is a wonderful DJ too--his main job at weddings--but I can always count on him to do whatever needs doing! His lovely wife, Alice, played the piano for the ceremony and cocktail hour. Sorry Dave did not get a picture of her. Dave is not as "well trained" as my usual assistant, Marty, who was on vacation!! But I am so grateful he would come with me and take pictures for this blog. Matthew and I entered first followed by Jeff who escorted in his mother, Marcella. Waiting in the wings is Shelly's mother, Barbara, escorted in by her son, Chip.
We are waiting for the bridesmaids and the bride here. There was a long pause and I never did find out why.
Ross is giving some kind of instruction here to Caitlin, Jeff's daughter, and Kim, Shelly's friend and Maid of Honor.
They each entered and it was time for the bride and her dad, Bill. 
Shelly is just beaming! 
We began with a warm welcome to everyone, paid tribute to their parents, remembered those who were with us in spirit, and then recognized Jeff's children, Matthew and Caitlin, who stood up with their father. Shelly and Jeff's kids made sweet vows to each other and I think a few tears slipped out at that point.  
Shelly and Jeff discovered each other on line 4 years ago when for her birthday Shelly thought she would try something new to mark the milestone. She joined eHarmony. Shelly, being a woman of confidence and unwillingness to settle for less than she wanted, specifically stated that the man of her dreams would have to learn to love her dogs. Jeff, having been on the site for a while and had not found the woman of his dreams, spotted Shelly's profile among his "matches" and thought that since she was pretty, sounded intelligent and sincere he would check her out--dogs or no dogs! Jeff was Shelly's third date through the matching service and the only one to make it to a second date which was very memorable--rollerblading at Lake Pine in Apex followed by dinner at Jeff's house. It is a funny story and a bit long to tell here (the room was filled with laughter as I told it during the ceremony!) but I will just say that Shelly was new to rollerblading and had not mastered the ability to stop. Despite making a plan just in case she needed to stop, somehow Shelly got ahead of Jeff and he watched in helpless terror as she crashed at Dead Man's Curve and thankfully only ended up with a few bruises and a black eye giving him the opportunity to display his home nursing skills as well as his cooking skills. Needless to say, they bonded and have been together ever since, traveling the world together, buying a house together, and Jeff admitted that he really has come to love Shelly's two dogs, Simon and Sally.
They made their promises to each other by reading them from my book. 
Then they exchanged their rings. 
At last, the pronouncement of marriage! 
Jeff really laid that kiss on Shelly! 
Enjoying the first moments of wedding bliss and taking in the cheers of their friends and family! 
Ahhh.....I can see the happiness on their faces and the relaxation pour over them now that the deed is done and it was time to party!
Shelly and Jeff, you are both resilient and resourceful and I know you are going to enjoy wedded bliss and easily overcome any obstacles that life throws your way. As I said at the ceremony "We pray your love increases and overflows beyond anything you can yet imagine!"
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