Sunday, June 1, 2014

In January of 2013, Ashley and Craig contacted me about their wedding at Rose Hill Plantation on May 24, 2014--well over a year ahead. Wise couple to be planning early so they can get their preferred vendors. They loved the idea of collaborating with me to create a unique personalized ceremony so we got to work!
The wedding day was glorious. You could not have asked for a prettier, more comfortable day in this beautiful setting of acres and acres of land.
When the guests arrived they were asked to thumbprint and sign this colorful tree!
Their photographer, Cara with F8 Photo Studio, and I have worked together many times and she knew I could pin on boutonnieres securely. So when it came time to pin the flowers on the groomsmen, she asked me to do the honors. I was happy to do so. In case you don't know how: boutonnieres go on the left lapel. Take the pin and from underneath the lapels, horizontally push the pin through the fabric, through the stem, then back through the lapel hiding the head and the sharp end of the pin underneath the lapel. And, by the way, boutonnieres and those pocket handkerchiefs that come with rentals should not be worn together. One or the other, and the boutonnieres look best.
While I was pinning on the flowers, Marty was at Nathan Hall where the reception would be. Lenny Fritts, our DJ, had set up pretty purple up-lighting around the dance floor to surprise the couple. How sweet of him! Just like Lenny to do that!
 Simply Cakes provided this gorgeous wedding cake! I love the topper!
 The rest of the reception hall....Rose Hill does their own catering, in case you didn't know. 
 On the way back to the main house, Marty spotted one of the swans and got this nice shot. 
The back porch which overlooks the gazebo and lake. You can see Lenny up there setting up his sound system. Also videoing the wedding was Jonathan, better known as "Kaz" with F9 In Motion. He tied in his microphone to Lenny's system for sound.
The English Garden provided the pretty floral arrangements on the gazebo and the jars of colorful flowers hanging on the chairs flanking the aisle.
 Purple and yellow was the color scheme and reflected in the sand they poured during the ceremony. 
After the grandmothers and grandfathers processed down the aisle, Lenny cues the parents of the groom, Roger and Beth, to enter.
 Mother of the groom, Lisa, was escorted in by her son, Brandon, and he circled back to get in line.
 Then it was time for Craig and me to enter and take our places up front. 
 Christina and Brandon
 Liz and Chris
 Michelle and Eric (brother and sister of the groom)
 Jennifer (aunt and Matron of Honor of the bride) and Daniel
 Katherine and Jason
Craig's little cousin, Reece, did a fine job of bringing the pillow with the rings (fake ones) down the aisle and standing with the groomsmen the whole time.
Then it was time for Daniela, Ashley's little cousin, to make her entrance. She stopped at the top of the aisle and threw all the flower petals out then she threw up both her hands not knowing what to do next. A helpful person overseeing her convinced her to walk the rest of the way down the aisle and stand with the bridesmaids. She was adorable.
 Here comes the beautiful beaming Bride! 
I told her father at our rehearsal that he needed to grow a few more gray hairs so he would look less like Ashley's brother and more like her father!
 A kiss before he transferred her hand over to the groom. 
 And here we go. Note that Reece is fascinated watching something in the water. Hmmm, wonder what? 
I guess Daniela did not know what to do with the empty basket but she gets some help from her aunt, our Matron of Honor.
We enjoyed a reading of "What is Love" written by Susan Schutz, read by Ashley's Godmother, Felicia. Here are the words:


Love is the strongest feeling known
An all-encompassing passion
An extreme strength
An overwhelming excitement
Love is trying not to hurt the other person
Trying not to change the other person
Trying not to dominate the other person
Trying not to deceive the other person
Love is understanding each other
Listening to each other
Supporting each other
Having fun with each other.
Love is not an excuse to stop growing
Not an excuse to stop making yourself better
Not an excuse to lessen one’s goals
Not an excuse to take the other person for granted 
Love is being completely honest with each other 
Finding dreams to share
Working towards common goals
Sharing responsibilities equally
Everyone in the world wants to love
Love is not a feeling to be taken lightly
Love is a feeling to be cherished, nurtured and cared for
Love is the reason for life. 
Telling their story was fun and evoked some good laughs! They met in a bowling alley in Greensboro in 2010 and their lives changed forever. They were instantly attracted to each other and soon were inseparable. Craig proposed on September 23, 2012 so it was a rather long engagement during which Ashley started Physician's Assistant school in Greenville and only two weeks before the wedding, Craig got his degree in Raleigh. So, the wedding was a twofold celebration, their marriage and living together in the same city again!
 After the story and revealing what they love about each other, the battery in my microphone bit the dust. I was not aware of it and neither was the couple but Lenny quickly retrieved the reader's microphone and brought it to me to finish the rest of the ceremony! Great save, Lenny! THANK YOU!
 The sand ceremony followed their vows and rings.
Because I had to hold the mic in one hand and my book in the other, I was unable to place my hand on theirs to make the pronouncement of marriage but that is what I am saying in this photo.
The kiss! 
 Aaahhh! Married at last! Time to celebrate! 
 Ashley and Craig, your meticulous planning paid off with a wonderful wedding. I know you are going to be so happy together and I wish you the best of life and love!

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