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!
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!
Kristina and Adam were married all the way back on Leap Day!
Adam’s mother Jody first contacted me about marrying he and Kristina. One of her first questions in our initial phone call was, “Will you wear a black eye patch?” They were planning to have an Avengers themed wedding and I would be playing the part of Nick Fury. How fun!
Their event took place at Brick & Mortar events in CLAYTON. Not to be confused with Brick & Mortar Grill in ANGIER. I found this out the hard way on the day of their rehearsal and for the first time in three years I was late to a wedding-related event! Ack! Thankfully Kristina was sweet as could be on the phone when we figured out why I wasn’t seeing anyone… I believe her exact quote was, “It’s fine, I’m not a bridezilla!”
The venue is really beautiful with one wall of windows, the others of exposed brick, and all this pre-lit tule hanging and draped means you don’t really have to do much decorating. Adam’s dad built this cross as the backdrop for the ceremony!
They did such an awesome job with the details… from the invitation asking guests to wear all black, to the favors and the cupcakes!
The subject of unplugged ceremonies comes up in all of my meetings now, as often couples would like me to make the statement asking guests to put away their camera and phones. Kristina and Adam went a step farther than I had seen before, asking guests to please refrain from posting pictures to social media until they had a chance to first. I think this will eventually become common wedding etiquette!
Each member of the bridal party wore black (except the bride!) and accessorized according to their Avenger’s color. The bridesmaid bouquets were then used to supplement the table centerpieces. Smart!
This is a better picture of the whole bridal party. You can see the bride carried Thor’s hammer instead of a bouquet. One of my favorite moments in the ceremony was when Kristina effortlessly handed the hammer off to her maid of honor, who promptly dropped it to the ground as if it was SO heavy!
When I was brainstorming with Kristina and Adam about which ceremony ritual they would like to include, Kristina suggested a unity candle ceremony, but that included all of their guests. I LOVED the idea and added this wording:
“A strong marriage needs the support of a community. As the flame symbolizing Kristina and Adam’s love spreads throughout the room, please take a moment to say a silent wish, prayer, or blessing for the couple. The warm glow from these combined flames represents your promise, as friends and family of the bride and groom, to support them in their marriage, loving them, and encouraging their love for each other.”
Photos by Marcia Wakelyn
After we paused and waited for everyone’s candle to be lit, I said the closing prayer with the ending line, “Lord, help them to keep lit the torch of love that they now share, so that they may pass on that love to all of their family and friends. Now and forevermore, Amen.” Then I blew out my candle and bridal party and guests followed. This quickly became one of my most favorite ceremony rituals.
Photos by Marcia Wakelyn
Kristina and Adam left this lovely review for me on Wedding Wire:
“Katherine is so professional, knowledgeable, and so easy to talk to. I was so nervous trying to find the right officiant, but she eased my mind so well. She was able to work with my crazy schedule before the wedding. She thinks of great ideas, and didn’t think any of mine were odd. I had an avengers themed wedding, and she thought of great ideas to go with it. I don’t know of any other officiant that would wear an eye patch to your wedding. 🙂 Thanks Katherine!!”
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.
The 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!
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!”
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.
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!”
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 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!
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!
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!
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 🙂
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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. ”
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!
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!
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!