Category: Weddings

Amber & James at Athletic Lab

Amber and James are a very sweet couple, with a sweet story! They first met at the Athletic Lab gym in Cary and had their first date at Brio. They chose to walk down memory lane by having their ceremony at Athletic Lab (yes, in a gym!) and their reception at Brio. I love it!

I also loved how they had this chalkboard sign when guests entered, showing their love story and giving guests insight as to why they chose these locations.

Photos by Maya Anna Photography

As we began the ceremony, Amber had a very special surprise waiting for her. She did not think her mom was able to make it from New York for the ceremony, but at the last minute she was able to fly in the night before. Friends kept her hidden away until Amber started her walk down the aisle with her daughter. Even the groom did not know! We were at the front already and he said incredulously, “Is that Amber’s MOM?” It was great! So then Amber walked with her sweet baby girl and her mom. It was beautiful.

Amber and James chose to include a sand ceremony. Their last names are White and Gold, so they chose white and gold sand. Perfect! Also, in a very cool twist on the traditional sand ceremony, they gave each guest one of these tiny bottles of sand. During the ceremony I passed the main vessel through the guests with the help of Gabe (pictured left) and each person was able to add their sand, as a show of support for this new union.

Photos (1st and 3rd) by Maya Anna Photography

After that, the couple added their own sand to make this beautiful blend.

Photo (right) by Maya Anna Photography

Following the ceremony, two close friends signed their license while the couple took pictures around the gym.

Some more fun shots by Maya Anna Photography

DSC_0103

Congratulations Amber and James! Best Wishes!

Blog signature

Adam & Marina’s Interfaith Backyard Ceremony

Adam and Marina were married at a private residence in North Raleigh on March 26th. The home was of a family friend, and the owner told me it wasn’t the first wedding to take place there! The couple they bought the home from had actually held their daughter’s wedding on the same deck. As you can see, it is the perfect set up for an intimate ceremony overlooking the pond.

When I arrived for a short rehearsal on the Thursday before the wedding, the home owner and Adam’s mother were busy planting pots of white flowers for occasion. I thought that was a lovely touch!

Photos by Maya Anna Photography

The weather had been calling for rain all day, and the sky was looking a little iffy just before ceremony start time. We hurried and got everyone in the seats as it was just starting to drizzle when we walked out onto the deck! Fortunately, the drizzle stopped and held off for the rest of the ceremony just as our radiant bride arrived.

Photo (right) by Maya Anna Photography

Adam’s family is Jewish and Marina’s is Christian, so this was an Interfaith ceremony. We included a wine ceremony and used the goblet from Adam’s Barmitzvah. That was a very sweet addition thought of by Adam’s mother, Carol.

Photos by Maya Anna Photography

And of course a breaking of the glass was also included! This is one of my most favorite wedding traditions. There are many explanations out there as to the symbolism of the breaking of the glass. The one I use most often in ceremonies is that just as the glass has been fundamentally changed and cannot go back to how it was, so have the lives of the couple.

Photos by Maya Anna Photography

Thank you, Marina and Adam, for letting me share in your special day! Best wishes!

Blog signature

 

Henginey & Cesar Backyard Ceremony

I’m blogging a little out of order today! Let’s skip ahead from Kristy & Dylan’s backyard ceremony in March to Henginey & Cesar’s backyard ceremony in April! Both couples were blessed with gorgeous weather for their day.

IMG_0427The sky was blue, sun was shining, and there was a cool spring breeze! The patch of bloomed azaleas in the back yard was the perfect back drop for this intimate at-home ceremony.

Henginey’s sister did much of the planning and decorating and found much of her inspiration on Pinterest. I loved the details!

IMG_0428

The couple chose the Elegant Elopement package because the ceremony was short notice… about two weeks. And they had just a handful of family there. This is the perfect scenario for the elopement package. They chose one of the Christian non-denominational ceremony options that is about 5-6 minutes long. It includes all of the traditional ceremony elements like exchanging rings, saying vows, and of course the “I dos!”

13006681_10153372713841851_6793686727047763557_n

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you know that I love when moms sign the license! And they love it too! Cesar and Henginey let their moms do the honors.

IMG_0430

Then it was time to celebrate and eat cake! Mmmmm look at that cake!

Congratulations Henginey & Cesar! The bride’s sister was kind enough to leave this comment for me on facebook: “Thank you to all to all the ladies who recommended Katherine Edwards. She was absolutely wonderful. We were all so pleased with her patience and beautiful words… My sister and brother in law were so happy with how comfortable she made them feel during the ceremony… Thanks a million!”

Congratulations you two!

Blog signature

 

Kristy & Dylan Backyard Ceremony

Last week’s elopement ceremony took place at a private residence in Raleigh. I did find it very appropriate though, that the road name was White Chapel Way!

IMG_9697

Some of the prettiest wedding spaces I see are backyard ceremonies. Some people hear “backyard” and cringe at the thought of lawn chairs and picnic blankets (although that in itself could be quite lovely if you’re going for a “summer casual” atmosphere!). But I’m telling you, with the right vision a backyard can be utterly transformed into a beautiful wedding space.

IMG_9688

Take for example, the scene that greeted me when I walked onto the back deck at Kristy & Dylan’s wedding. What an elegant, intimate set up for a post-ceremony dinner.

I arrived just in time to see their “first look” from the deck. The stepping stones made such a sweet backdrop for the pictures.

IMG_9687

The sunroom was the perfect size for a small ceremony and the floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides afforded a fantastic view of the woods and the pond behind the house. You can see the guitar on the left there on the bench. Kristy’s brother played for her entrance, which was so sweet!

Kristy & Dylan included a “rock wishing” ceremony, which consists of guests taking a stone as they enter the ceremony area, and then making a silent wish, prayer, or blessing for the couple while holding the stone. At the conclusion of the ceremony, guests followed the happy couple down to the water to throw (or skip! I saw some impressive ones!) their stones into the pond. This is one of my favorite ceremony rituals that can be done at any body of water. Use shells at the beach, or pennies in a fountain!

IMG_9684

Their moms signed the license, which is always a special job for them to do!

Professional photos were taken by Alycat Photo & Video Services for photography. I look forward to seeing those!

Blog signature

Maggie & Matt at All Saint’s Chapel

I am going to make a much more concerted effort to keep up with blogging this wedding season. And what better couple to start with than Maggie and Matt who were married at All Saint’s Chapel on March 5th!

All Saint’s Chapel is a truly beautiful venue in downtown Raleigh on East Street. They hold open houses regularly, so check out their website to find out when the next one is.

IMG_9437

I’m a new instagram user (@Ceremoniesbykatherine) so this was my first time actually using a couple’s hashtag on social media. I know, I know…. get with the times! I will admit it was fun searching by the hashtag a few days after the wedding to see guest’s pictures.

IMG_9429

Matt and Maggie had an unplugged ceremony, which I am always on board with! In addition to this sign (right by the programs, so no one could miss it!) I made a statement before the ceremony started asking guests to please put their phones and cameras away.

IMG_9441

How adorable is the bridal suite downstairs inside All Saint’s? I couldn’t help but snap this springy pic!

Flowers were done by Brides and Bouquets and they were stunning. The colors were mint, peach, and gold, which was a really lovely combination.

The altar was especially lovely with the floating candles in the hurricane vases. Matt and Maggie chose to include the wine box ceremony, so I made sure the letters, box, and wine were up front and ready to go for us.

IMG_9447

I always like to snap a picture of their witnesses signing the licenses and send it to the couple later. Many times the photographer is already busy with group shots and can’t get a picture of this moment. Matt and Maggie had their Maid of Honor and Best Man sign for them.

IMG_9452

I had to get a shot of the ladies following the ceremony to show off their beautiful color scheme. I hope I see more of this mint, peach, and gold combo this spring!

IMG_9449

I will leave you with this view of the chapel from the balcony. Thanks for Orangerie Events for their coordination, Forage + Film for photography, and Anything Music for the music and mic!

Blog signature

New! Custom Vow Artwork

I am so excited to reveal that I have partnered with local watercolor artist Stephanie R Williams, Artist to gift each one of my “Completely Custom” couples with a beautiful piece of frame-able art featuring their wedding vows. Photos from the ceremony will be used as the inspiration, so each piece is completely custom and unique.

I used Samantha & Robert, my last “Completely Custom” couple of 2015 as my guinea pigs. Below you can see both the finished product and the beautiful images from A.J. Dunlap Photography that were used as inspiration. Samantha & Rob were married at The Oaks at Salem in Apex, NC.

Also arriving in the package with the art piece is a keepsake copy of the ceremony, printed on 67lb acid-free card stock so you can relive the words of your ceremony any time!

For any of my previous couples who are interested in ordering one of these beautiful pieces, contact Stephanie directly for a discounted rate: 919-772-7345 or Artsmarty47@gmail.com.

Creative Guest Books!

Gone are the days when the guestbook for every wedding you attend is a silky white book with a fancy silver pen, filled with blank pages with plain lines. No! There are so many awesome, creative ways to record the loved ones who witnessed your special day, and to capture their best wishes and advice!

Below are some favorites from weddings over the last few years. It should be quite obvious by the bad quality of most of these photos that I was the photographer. However, professional photos have been credited!

etsy fall tree guestbookI love any guestbook option that allows you to display it in your home later. These two autumn-themed love bird prints are perfect for fall weddings. These are from Natalie & Michael’s October 2014 wedding at 1705 Prime (left) and Jessica & David’s September 2014 wedding at the Rand Bryan House (right).

balloon guestbookAlong the same lines is the adorable VW bug with balloons art print from Molly & Daren’s “summer casual” wedding at Spruce Pine Lodge in August of 2014. The sky is the limit with these prints! This particular one is from miriamgarber on Etsy. Photography by Britney Kearns.

hanging leavesContinuing the autumn theme, Katie and Carl used individual die cut leaves for their guest book at the Het Landhuis in January of 2015. As guests completed their leaf, it was hung on the branches above. I wish I had a picture of the finished product!

Collage

Samantha and Rob were married in October 2015 at The Oaks at Salem. They had guests sign these quilt squares. Samantha told me they had guests sign individual squares rather than an entire finished quilt so that it could be “edited” before putting it together. They could rearrange notes (or omit some, if needed!) So smart!

mad libsJessica & Matt were married at Extraordinary Ventures in September of 2014. Jessica made these hilarious mad lib cards for their guests to fill out!

paddle guestbookI wish I got to do more beach weddings! Robbie & Ginny were married in October 2013 on the beach in front of the Carolina Beach Marriot. Their guests signed an oar that they now display in their home. Photography by Holly Czuba.

ThumbprintsJenn and Ken were married on the shores of Lake Gaston at a waterfront home in September of 2014. I loved how they honored their best man and matron of honor with these photo collages. And I also loved their adorable tree canvas with an ink pad for guests to add their finger prints!

TraditionalKelly and Josh tied the knot at Solas in October of 2014. They did go the more traditional route with a guest book, but you can see how they had pictures from throughout their relationship printed right into the book. I love how they took tradition and personalized it!

Vintage postcard guest book This one is mine! My husband and I were married in October of 2011 and decided to have guests fill out a vintage postcard with their well wishes or advice. We then took our favorites and created this display to hang in our home.

Well wishesI love theme weddings! This Star Trek wedding from September 2014 was spectacular and I love how the couple had guests fill out individual cards with well wishes and drop them in this box to read later. How fun!

wooden heartsAnother option for display in your home… Kim & Matt were married on private property in Selma in April of 2014. The little white tray on the left in this picture is filled with wooden hearts for guests to sign. The couple then added them to the framed wooden tree you see in the picture. So creative!

Outdoor Ceremony at The Page-Walker Arts & History Center

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

On Sunday, May 18th I had the pleasure of marrying Tasnim and Melida at the Page-Walker Arts & History Center located in Cary. Originally built as a railroad hotel in 1868, it is now owned by the Town of Cary Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources. It currently contains a heritage museum, art exhibits, meeting rooms, and of course, rental space for weddings and special events!

photo 2(5)

In this shot you can see the Page-Walker Center on the left and the beautiful green lawn with patio and pergola that is perfect for outdoor weddings.

photo 3(4)

Here is a better look at the ceremony space. It is beautiful on its own, but also provides a nice base for couples wishing to add their own decorations. This was my first wedding working with Violinist, David Binanay (if you look closely you can spot him in this pic!). David is super talented and I’ve been lucky enough to work with him again since this first meeting. Make sure you check out his website here.

photo 1(5)

This is the view from the couple’s perspective! I loved that Melida and Tasnim added just a few pots of gerbera daisies to bring a spring-y feeling to the patio. What had been a very warm weekend cooled down a bit with the cloud cover and I think everyone appreciated it!

photo 4(4)

Following the ceremony, the witnesses headed over to the reception area to sign the marriage license. This is such a beautiful and intimate little outdoor space for a reception!

The couple sent this nice note following the wedding day:

“Thank you so very much for such a nicely done wedding ceremony. Many mentioned that how nicely you performed the ceremony. We highly appreciate you help in this regard. All the best, Melida and Tasnim.”

And funny enough, I was at a wedding the following weekend when one of the servers yelled, “Hey! You married my mom last weekend!” Small world! It was Melida’s daughter 🙂

Blog signature

Lavender Affair at the Preston Woodall House

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

I just loved this couple! Amy and Rod were so fun from the first time we met. I usually ask couples a few questions to help me get to know them… how did you meet, how long have you been engaged, etc… When Amy told me they had been dating for 9 years, I understood why she was getting a little impatient for a ring. When I asked her if the proposal was a surprise or if she saw it coming, she said it was a total surprise. Rod laughed and said… “See, that’s how you do it. Wait until they’ve given up, then it’s a surprise!” LOL!

HAP_8650

The fun continued as we met on May 16th for their rehearsal at the Preston Woodall House, an historic Bed & Breakfast located in downtown Benson. It was my first time at this venue and I was so impressed. It is laid out perfectly for weddings, with a small dining room available for luncheons, rehearsal dinners, or showers. There is a beautiful enclosed lawn for the ceremony and a large ballroom for the wedding reception. Just perfect!

photo 5(4)

Collage

I had such a great time at this wedding getting to know Amy and Rod’s families. Rod’s aunt served as the wedding director and did a fabulous job. At the rehearsal I said, “You’ve done this before, haven’t you?” And she admitted that she had, for many friends and family members! Amy’s mom was very sweet as well and just gushed about how amazing the Preston Woodall House is, especially that the rental includes the entire weekend so there is no feeling rushed!

AEW_1814-3268030281-O

Here I am with Rod and his best man just before the ceremony was set to start. Rod got a lot of ribbing from the groomsmen about his freedom being taken away and the “old ball and chain.” I loved Rod’s response… he said, “YOU may feel that way about marriage, but I can’t wait!” Before the wedding Amy had gotten a mani/pedi and got the letter “H” (her new last name) painted on her toes. That little gesture meant a lot of Rod. It was very sweet.

IMG_0144-3268364036-O

 

photo 5(3)

The couple chose to include a sand ceremony with “foundation sand.” The officiant pours the foundation sand as a symbol of the journey that the couple has taken to get where they are today.

HAP_8569

This was also my first time working with Hilary at H.A. Pearce Photography. She was a pleasure to work with and little did we know we would run into each other at another wedding the very next weekend!

Thank you Amy & Rod for allowing me to be a part of your special day! Amy was kind enough to leave this review for me on Wedding Wire:

“Katherine was simply amazing! My husband and I wanted a ceremony that would work for both of us. He wanted religious and I wanted something nondenominational. Katherine worked with us to help develop a ceremony that would allow us to have a little bit of both. She stayed in touch with us throughout the planning and was always incredibly quick to respond to emails and phone calls. Katherine is also reasonably priced. Everyone who attended my wedding kept asking me where I found Katherine because they were so impressed with her. She not only spent time with my husband and I but also spent time speaking with family members as well. The ceremony was beautiful and Katherine was 100% helpful throughout! I couldn’t imagine my ceremony being any more perfect. She was quick to send in out marriage license, we were married on a Saturday and I had my official marriage license in my hand by Wednesday! I HIGHLY recommend Katherine! She is sweet, patient, and genuinely cares about the people she is working with. ”

Blog signature

Backyards & Burlap!

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

One of the fun parts of this job is getting to see wedding trends as they are unfolding. I start to see more and and more of something until it is obvious that it is becoming “the thing!” to have or do at your wedding. Two trends that were very apparent in the spring of 2014 were backyards and burlap! I saw so many backyard ceremonies that were just so beautifully done! And Megan & Wade’s ceremony was no exception!

photo 1(2)

The couple chose the backyard of Wade’s parents in Raleigh for their big day. A small grassy patch was the perfect spot for the ceremony, while a spacious deck and pool area left plenty of room for the reception. It was evident that Wade’s parents had put a lot of work into making their home and yard “wedding ready!” Everything was beautiful.

There are a lot of benefits to having a backyard wedding. The most obvious is, of course, the savings! Wedding venues usually aren’t cheap, even if they are specific to just the ceremony or just the reception. One major benefit most couples don’t even think about is TIME. Sweet, precious time. When you have the ceremony and/or reception at your home or that of a loved one, there are no timelines to stick to or deadlines to get out by. This is a dream-come-true for a DIYer who has lots of projects to complete or needs lots of time to setup. This one thing can lead to a lower-stress wedding day.

And of course, we can’t forget the burlap! I’m seeing burlap all over the place and I love it! It can be used in so many ways, from a warm autumn-y rustic feel like Lindsay & Evan’s October wedding to a fun spring-y feel like Crystal & Brad’s April ceremony. Megan and Wade incorporated it with lace and lots of ivory and white accents that gave a very nice “summer rustic” feel.

photo 4(1)

 

The ceremony itself was very short and sweet! Neither Megan or Wade were thrilled about standing up in front of a crowd or having to speak, so we kept it to the basics and did not include any readings or additional rituals. When it was all over and the witnesses were signing the license, I asked Megan if it felt like it was over in the blink of an eye. She laughed and said yes, but that it was a good thing!

I could tell this was going to be a fun reception from all the conversations I overheard. LOTS of old friends seeing each other again for the first time in years. I loved all the hugging and shrieks of surprise and excitement when people saw each other.

Collage

Megan was kind enough to leave this review for me on Wedding Wire:

“I had Katherine officiate my wedding on 5/17/14. She was amazing.
I live in a different state than my wedding and it was no problem for Katherine to help me over emails and video chats! She responded quickly to everything I needed. She has great guidelines but lets you have the exact ceremony you dreamed of. She was very professional.

Katherine was very helpful at one of the most stressful times in a persons life. I would recommend her to anyone!”

Thank you, Megan and Wade! I SO enjoyed being a part of your wedding day. Congratulations!

Blog signature