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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
I 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).
Along 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.
Continuing 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!
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!
Jessica & Matt were married at Extraordinary Ventures in September of 2014. Jessica made these hilarious mad lib cards for their guests to fill out!
I 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.
Jenn 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!
Kelly 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!
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.
I 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!
Another 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!
Have you ever looked at the logo on CeremoniesByKatherine.com and wondered where it came from, or what it means? My guess is no! I’ve only had one bride ever comment on it and she had read the blurb at the bottom of my “About Katherine” page. So here’s the story…
I sat down one day in early 2013 to start putting together my business… I would need a logo, a website, some client intake forms, business cards, etc… My first two brides had hired me without all of that, but I knew the investment in a professional “package” would be worth it.
Some of you may know that my undergraduate degree is in Graphic Design. While I knew by the end of my junior year that it wasn’t my calling to work in Graphic Design professionally, the skills I gained in those 4 years (and those that came naturally!) have been a huge asset in every job I’ve had. That is no different for this one!
The real difference this time was that I no longer had access to any fancy design software… no Photoshop, no InDesign… not even Publisher! ***GASP!*** (don’t worry, I’ve since upgraded!) I was literally staring at a blank page in Word thinking, “Ok, what can I do with the keys on my keyboard?”
One of the first things they taught us in my design classes was to NEVER go with your first idea. Surely the first idea was cliche and overdone because it was the first thing that popped into your head. We were taught to push harder and deeper for that real winning idea.
Well, call me a rule breaker.
The very first thing I typed out looked something like this…
I thought it was cute, but knew it needed work and wasn’t 100% sold on it. I mean, it WAS my first idea. And what did it even mean? I decided to look it up and see. Obviously I knew what a heart symbolized… love and all that gooey goodness that we celebrate at weddings, but what about the braces? Then I found this definition:
To connect two lines of music to be played simultaneously.
WOW. I had my logo. First idea or not. What an absolutely perfect metaphor for marriage. So that ^ became this:
I feel like there was some Divine inspiration working in my favor that day. Almost 3 years later and I still love my simple little logo as much as I did the day I created it.
I am SUPER EXCITED to announce that the Edwards family will be welcoming a sweet baby boy in June 2015! For this reason, I am not taking requests for wedding dates between April and October of this year. However, during those months I will still be “open for business” and meeting with and booking couples with wedding dates outside of April-October 2015. (For all those who wondered why I was only booking 6 months in advance for the last year and a half…. this is why! hehe)
Is this your first time here? Start at the Welcome Page!
On May 23rd I had the pleasure of marrying Stacie & Brian in a gorgeous backyard ceremony in Apex. Their color scheme was one I had not seen before and when I asked Stacie about it, she called the color “Neon Coral!” Gorgeous!
I was so happy to be working with Amber at Maya Ana Photography again for this ceremony. She is so talented, reasonably priced, and easy to work with! All of the photos in this post are from Amber. Make sure you check out her website here! And check out the small wedding photography special just for my couples, featured on my packages page! (scroll to bottom)
Stacie and her mother really did an amazing job transforming the back yard of Stacie’s mother’s home in Apex into a beautiful wedding wonderland. Everything was gorgeous!
We had a little laugh during the ceremony! During the Declaration of Intent the traditional answer is “I do!” Well, Brian’s answer was… “Sure!” Hey, it’s still legally binding! Haha!
Stacie & Brian chose to include a sand ceremony in their wedding so that they could include all three of their children in the ceremony. I love that! Sand ceremonies, handfastings, and “family vows” are some of the best ways to include children in your ceremony.
Congratulations Stacie & Brian! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special day and best wishes for many happy years together!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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 🙂