Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I met with Noah and Amber in May of 2013 to plan their wedding ceremony on January 4, 2014 at Caffe Luna. With the help of family and friends, they planned the whole wedding pretty much themselves. Amber is very focused and on task so I had the first draft of their wedding ceremony by early November. In the meantime, they individually answered a questionnaire for me so that I could put together a synopsis of their story to be incorporated into their ceremony. They gave me lots of good material with some humorous remarks that really reflected their personalities. 
Amber and her two bridesmaids, Emily and Misty, and probably her mother, Nancy, holding it here, helped her make this gorgeous brooch bouquet. Yes, it weighed about 10 pounds but it is a work of art and a legacy. 
They thoughtfully created a "memory" table with candles and signage with the names of their loved ones who have passed on.
They did something a little different here that was very clever! They asked each guest to sign their name on their birthdate on this 2014 calendar in lieu of a guest book. There was a metal tree with clips on which those that brought cards could hang them. 
Noah is a volunteer fireman, hence this cute wedding cake of the fireman climbing up to the damsel! It was baked by a friend, Amy Clifton.
This wedding was at 11:30 AM on a Saturday morning. The restaurant doors were open at 10:30 and I have never been in a wedding where so many guests were there early. Really! I think they were anticipating problems parking but luckily there were no parades or festivals going on this day. It is almost time to begin so we are all huddled in the back of the room to get lined up. I went in first and, at the request of Amber and Noah, made the "unplugged" announcement for the guests to put away their cell phones and cameras and truly be present with the couple during the ceremony. Barbara Gautier, the woman holding the piece of paper, is our very excellent wedding director and referred the couple to me. Thank you, Barbara! On the right you can barely see their DJ, Eric Byrd, getting ready to begin the first processional music.
After the announcement, the processional music began and Clay, father of the groom, escorted in Nancy, grandmother of the bride. Then Clay stepped forward to join me as his son's best man.
Ryan, our Groomsman, escorted in Noah's stepmother, Diane, then joined Clay and me.
Next Noah, our groom, escorted in his mother.  I think he was joking with her all the way down the aisle. Took his mind off being nervous so it was a good thing!
Andre, father of the bride, escorts Nancy, mother of the bride then returned to bring in Amber. 
Amber is a beautiful woman and a stunningly beautiful bride. Her dress was simply elegant and perfect for her. 
And so we begin the ceremony. Noah was calm as a cucumber whereas at the rehearsal the day before, he was soooo fidgety. I've been told that I have a calming presence and it evidently worked. He told me he had not taken any anti-anxiety medicine for fear of it zoning him out. He was fully present!
Their story came after the prayer and tribute to the parents. Although they have known of each other since middle school, they did not connect until 2011 and flirted with each other via texting. It was at a July 4th party that year that the sparks really began to fly and they have been inseparable ever since.
They bought a house together and have worked hard fixing it up, going on dates to dinner and the movies, and spending time with their "dog-ter" Hazel.
"A year after that 4th of July party, Noah proposed while on a trip to the beach. He had the ring in his pocket and spent the day looking for the perfect time and place to pop the question but it was getting late and getting dark so he bent down on one knee of the balcony of their room and said to Amber "Marry me." Her reply was "Shut up!" He asked her again and added "I'm serious. My knee is killing me!" She finally said yes and started planning this wedding!" 
I asked Noah and Amber in confidence what they loved about each other, why they wanted to marry each other and what they were looking forward to in marriage.
I believe this is where I was telling Noah what Amber told me that "she knew she wanted to marry you when you took her camping for the first time in her life.  You were so kind to let her use the only sleeping bag and helped her adapt to 'wild life' living!" 
"Amber, Noah told me that he knew he wanted you in his life forever when you threw that surprise birthday party for him. He was completely surprised and realized how important you are to him."
They said their "I do's" and then it was time to exchange rings. 
"I place this ring on your finger, and my heart in your hand. I have no greater gift." 
"By the love that has brought you here today and by the vows you have exchanged in the presence of your family and friends, it is my honor to now pronounce you husband and wife! May your life be a great adventure! Noah, you may kiss your wife!"
And he did! 
Noah looked over at my book either to see what was next, or to make sure I introduced them as Mr. and Mrs., or I don't know what!
Beginning their new life together! 
In the VIP room in the back of the restaurant where we gathered before and after the ceremony (it was way too cold to hang out outside that day) Amber's bridesmaids and her mother worked for about 15 minutes figuring out how to bustle up her gorgeous dress even though they had practiced it once before. There were little loops and buttons that had to be fastened in just the right order but they finally got it!
Amber and Noah, you're the best! So happy for you! I know you will have a great life together. Do call on me when you have children and we will bless them in another sweet ceremony!
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