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There is a saying around these parts… “If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes!” In this case, the span of 7 days meant the difference between snow and ice on the ground with lows in the 20s to thunderstorms, tornado warnings, and highs in the upper 60s! So even though it may feel like I married Amy and Scott a season ago, it was just last week. On Valentine’s Day, in fact!

I first “met” Amy through an email in which she was asking for advice about smaller venues that would accommodate an intimate mostly-family wedding and on relatively short notice. And as is usually the case, there was a budget to stick to! For these situations I always recommend checking with the Parks and Recreation department in the town where you are getting married. Raleigh Parks and Rec in particular has some absolutely fantastic venues at very affordable rental rates. One of these is St. Mark’s Chapel in Mordecai Park in downtown Raleigh.

Valentines Day Snow 2

This beautiful little chapel can accommodate up to 55 people, needs minimal decorations, and rents for only $100 per hour if you are a Raleigh resident. When you rent the chapel, you also get the little building next door for the bridal party to get ready. Amy really lucked out, as there was a last minute Valentine’s Day cancellation, so this beauty of a venue was hers for the taking!

When I arrived on the scene last Friday, Scott and Amy had just done their “first peek!” and were taking their formals. Their photographer was none other than Amber of Maya Ana Photography. Amber offers some outrageously good photography deals to my couples having small weddings. Check them out here!

Valentines Day Snow

I loved the intimate feeling inside of the chapel, and Amy did a beautiful job setting the mood with lots of (battery operated!) votive candles on the altar. The ceremony itself was the “Completely Custom” package, meaning it was written especially for Amy and Scott to reflect their personalities, their love story, and include their children in a special sand ceremony. Amy and Scott also chose to write their own vows. I think the best part of the ceremony was when Amy surprised Scott with a song! After she finished reading her vows, I led into the song with: “Victor Hugo once said, ‘Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to remain silent.’ With that in mind, Amy would like to share a special song for Scott…” Amy and Scott are musicians and music is a passion for both of them. It was really the perfect, special gift for Amy to share during the ceremony. I love those personal touches!

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