Category: Autumn

Lake Johnson Woodland Center { Siarra + Aaron } Raleigh, NC

Siarra and Aaron were married at the brand new Thomas G. Crowder Woodland Center at Lake Johnson in Raleigh on the first day of October. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful celebration!

Vendor Team

Venue: Thomas G. Crowder Woodland Center
Photographer: Three Region
Catering: Belgian Waffle Crafters, Event Espresso Catering, Flying Biscuit Cafe
Music: Linville Creek Bluegrass
Photos in this post are my own unless captioned otherwise

The Details

Siarra and Aaron need to write a book on how to throw the perfect brunch wedding! Not a single detail was missed…

Lovely set up in the largest room of the woodland center, complete with big windows looking out into the forest.

Yes, that is a donut wall, coffee bar, juice station, biscuit bar, and there was a waffle station too! What else could you want for brunch?!

They also had this lovely set up outside with games on the tables for guests to play, as well as rocking chairs with blankets for relaxing.

And nothing says Autumn woodland wedding like having a bluegrass band for entertainment!

The ceremony

Siarra and Aaron wanted to keep their Woodland Center ceremony simple, since they knew we would be outdoors and guests would be standing. Simple, however, does not mean boring or cookie cutter! These two wrote their own vows to each other, which were heartfelt, sweet, and funny.

Image of couple in the woods at the Lake Johnson Woodland Center in Raleigh, NC
Photo by Three Region Photography

Siarra comes from a Quaker background and had all of their guests sign a beautiful symbolic Quaker Marriage Certificate.

“Aaron and Siarra ask that you join them in signing their Quaker marriage certificate as witnesses of their love and friendship through life, and their vows taken today.”

Image of couple recessing from their ceremony at the Thomas G Crowder Woodland Center in Raleigh, NC
Image by Three Region Photography

And perhaps my favorite part, as Siarra and Aaron recessed into the woods, their guests threw colorful little paper airplanes!

Wedding Wire Review

Big thank you to Siarra & Aaron for leaving a review on Wedding Wire!

“Katherine was amazing at our wedding and not only did she create a beautiful ceremony for us, but she really helped us along the way as well. She knew we were clueless! From guiding us through the process of applying for our wedding certificate (and reminding us to apply), to a great guide in changing my name. Katherine was even a source of support when I ran into issues with my venue. We were instantly comfortable with her from the moment we met with her. Very responsive to our questions, professional, and I would highly recommend!!”

The Bradford Wedding { Sarah + Chad } New Hill, NC

Sarah and Chad were married at The Bradford in New Hill, NC on Labor Day weekend. It was a beautiful, warm day filled with love and many thoughtful details.

The Vendor Team

Venue: The Bradford
Photographer: Rose Trail Images
Coordination: Carolina Fete
Florals: Bushel & Peck Weddings
DJ: Island Sound
Catering: Rocky Top
Cake: Ashley Cakes
Video: Martin Photography & Video
Hair & Makeup: The Makeup Culture

Image of outdoor ceremony set up at The Bradford wedding venue in New Hill, NC
Photo by Rose Trail Images

 

The Details

Oh goodness, it is hard to pick which pictures to share here without going into overload! There were so many thoughtful, beautiful details at this wedding.

Photo by Rose Trail Images
Photo by Rose Trail Images
Photos by Rose Trail Images

Can you tell I really enjoyed the florals by Bushel & Peck Designs?

The Ceremony

Photo by Rose Trail Images

This photo of Chad as he sees Sarah for the first time is priceless!

Photo by Rose Trail Images

And then he can’t take his eyes off of her!

Photo by Rose Trail Images

Sarah and Chad chose to include a handwashing ceremony, which was quite meaningful.

Sarah and Chad, today you start your life together anew as a married couple. And as with any new endeavor, it is best to start with a clean slate. You come acknowledging that neither you nor the person you are marrying is perfect, but yet you two are perfect for each other. As you wash your hands together, you are washing away your past failures and mistakes, putting problems big and small behind you. May this cleanse more importantly represent a complete and utter forgiveness of yourselves and of each other. Recognize that all you have gone through up to this moment has been necessary for you to stand here with the depth and capacity to love one another as deeply as you do. Thus, from here forward, you are beginning your marriage and lives together anew.

Photo by Rose Trail Images
Photo by Rose Trail Images

The hand washing ceremony symbolizes a clean beginning for the couple as they enter this new union, free of past failures or mistakes. For that reason, it took place early, and was followed by the couple’s personal vows and then the ring exchange.

Photo by Rose Trail Images

These two were excited to be pronounced as Mr. & Mrs. for the first time!

Photo by Rose Trail Images

Everyone should try to get a group photo of all of their guests, and The Bradford is one of the best places to do this, since there is a balcony off the second floor where the photography can go to capture it!

Review

Thank you Sarah and Chad for leaving this kind review on Wedding Wire!

Image of Katherine Edwards, Interfaith Wedding Officiant and the bride and groom
Photo by Rose Trail Images

“Katherine did an exceptional job! She was well organized and detailed (e.g., contacted us via email regularly, provided a detailed script for our review, provided directions on name change as well as obtaining official marriage licenses). She was very receptive to our changes and was always accommodating to our needs.”

You can check out the feature on this week (to see even more gorgeous pics!) over at Bustld. 

Also, the highlight reel from Martin Photography & Video is available here. 

Willow Pond Farmstead – Coats, NC

Is this your first time here? Start at the Welcome Page!

I interrupt your regularly scheduled ceremony recaps to bring you a visit to a (new-to-me!) wedding venue in Coats, NC. I just learned of the Willow Pond Farmstead last week and the owners, Nancy and Rick, were kind enough to invite me out for a visit!

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While Nancy and Rick have lived on the property since 1990, they didn’t host their first wedding until 2000. Even then, they were just doing it for a friend and had no intentions of becoming a wedding venue. One thing led to another and they now host weddings on weekends in May and October every year in order to support their work raising rare breeds of livestock and farm animals. Yes, you heard right… only May and October! That means opportunities are limited and there is only one weekend left for 2015… May 8-10th (Mother’s Day weekend). So if you are as in love with this little gem as I am, jump on this opportunity!

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This spot in front of the “Y Barn” is a popular one for ceremonies since the deck offers a kind of stage for the couple and bridal party while guests are seated on the lawn. Another great thing about Willow Pond Farmstead is that they provide chairs and tables for up to 150 people! (My little iphone picture does NOT do it justice… make sure you check out pictures on their site from previous ceremonies.)

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This is the serene view of “Lake Fran” and the geese from the deck of the Y Barn. The pond is affectionately named Lake Fran after the hurricane in 1996 that took down more than 350 trees on the property and allowed them to build the lake. Timber from the fallen trees was used to build many of the structures on the property, including the “W Barn” where reception dinners usually take place.

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This shot is of the side of the “W Barn” where guests often have cocktails before dinner and dancing. There are also two adorable apartments upstairs in the barn (one for the bride and one for the groom!) that each have balconies overlooking the pond.

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Brides getting married at Willow Pond Farmstead have the opportunity to arrive in style in one of the two Model T Ford’s on the property that have been restored by Rick! How neat!

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I just loved everything about this venue, but some highlights are:

  • Rentals are for the whole weekend, no being rushed out before the next wedding
  • Couples can bring in their own caterers, florists, bakers, music, etc…
  • Hay rides are offered during receptions – at no extra charge!
  • Chairs and tables are available on site – at no extra charge!
  • The Model T’s are available – at no extra charge!
  • (Are you seeing a trend?) One fee covers everything so there are no surprises!
  • Lots of twinkly white lights already hung in both barns… love that.

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I had such a lovely time meeting Nancy and Rick and was so impressed with this beautiful venue. I am honored to be on their preferred vendor list and hope I will be spending a lot of time there!

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An Autumn Backyard Wedding + Ring Warming Ceremony

Is this your first time here? Start at the Welcome page!

I love an autumn wedding! I was married in October and took the seasonal theme as far as I could with oranges, browns, and yellows… pumpkins, hay bails, and burlap… caramel apples, barbeque pork, and s’mores around a campfire. You get the idea!

On Saturday, October 5th, 2013 I was fortunate enough to officiate a beautiful autumn wedding in the high country of North Carolina. There is no better place to be in the fall, is there? Lindsay and Evan chose to have their ceremony and reception in Evan’s parent’s beautifully landscaped backyard. A covered deck was finished just for the event, and Evan’s mother, Porsha, used reclaimed objects from an old family barn, as well as accents of wicker, burlap, and mason jars to completely transform the area.

Lindsay wedding collage

The couple chose to incorporate a beautiful, intimate tradition into their wedding called a ring warming ceremony (or, “warming of the rings”). In a ring warming ceremony, the officiant lets guests know at the beginning of the ceremony that the rings are making their way through the assembled guests. Guests are asked to hold the rings for a moment, say a silent wish, prayer, or blessing for the couple, and pass the rings to the next guest. The rings make their way to the front and are brought forward when the officiant asks for them. It is a beautiful way to involve all of your guests in your ceremony!

Ring Warming

A few options for ring warming wording:

Option 1 from The Wedding Gurus

Option 2 includes logistics

Option 3 with a family twist + video link

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