Andy and Julie were married last month at the Page-Walker House in Cary. Also known as the Page-Walker Hotel or the Page-Walker Arts and History Center. It was built in 1868 as a railroad hotel and it sits right next to the tracks near downtown Cary. It has an interesting history and now many interesting uses – including weddings!
I met with Andy, Julie, and Julie’s daughter Lauren after a wedding on Easter afternoon to do a quick rehearsal. It was a little rainy and cold, but it gave us a chance to talk through the logistics of the day.
These big beautiful trees were in bloom around the garden. They looked kind of like Cherry Blossoms, but I’m not sure what they were.
The day of their wedding started out rainy as well, but fortunately by the time the ceremony started we had nothing but blue skies and big pretty white clouds!
Andy and Julie chose to include a sand ceremony ritual, so that Lauren could be part of the wedding. She was also the flower girl!
I often get asked by couples doing a sand ceremony what kind of table they need. This is a perfect example of using something simple that you already have. This little white folding table is just right and adding a bow on each side made it wedding-ready. Definitely look around your house or ask a friend or family member if you can borrow something before you buy a new table.
After the ceremony guests were off to celebrate with a reception in the gallery! I thought this was a great set up with the buffet line and bar in the hallway leading into the gallery. I have also seen the reception set up in the courtyard outside (very first pic in the post).
And I had to share a picture of their cute favors: “Mint to Be!” and beautiful wedding cake.
On the previous Sunday when we rehearsed we talked about the possibility of moving the ceremony inside, just in case of rain. This large room is on the third floor of the Page-Walker House and with a nice fireplace at the front of the room, it would convert nicely into a back-up ceremony space. The capacity is only 60 though, so really just an option for smaller weddings.
Congratulations Andy & Julie! Your wedding day was beautiful and I’m wishing you all the best!
“I absolutely loved working with Katherine! It was not a difficult decision to choose her to be our officiant. She was always very quick to respond to any e-mails I sent her and helped tremendously with certain ideas that I wanted to incorporate into the ceremony. I felt extremely comfortable with her and would choose her a thousand times over to marry us!” ~K&K, November 2015
“There are not enough words in the dictionary to thank Katherine for everything that she did for us. I am speechless. It was everything I could ever have hoped for and more. We had a change of officiant at the last minute and we are SO lucky that Katherine was put in our lives at the right place and the right time. We got so many compliments on the ceremony during the reception and the whole Sunday following our wedding that we spent with our family. Everyone was beyond impressed, especially after learning about the short notice. I had comments on every single piece of it… from the unplugged statement to the “taking it all in” piece at the end. While we worked with a ton of amazing vendors for our wedding, there is not a single vendor that I would give a stronger recommendation to than Katherine. She truly made our wedding day unbelievable. Don’t think twice before you book her services… you won’t regret it.” S&R, October 2015
“Katherine Edwards was such a pleasure to work with. We met her at a local coffee shop, and right off the bat she was warm, friendly, and we felt like we had known her forever. She is professional, responsive, and accommodating to all of our requests. We wanted repeat-after-me vows and a simple yet sweet ceremony, and the options she provided us with were easily customizable with lots of beautiful options. Our ceremony was 13 minutes long from start to finish, and our guests complimented the beautiful ceremony all night long. Katherine was easily one of our favorite vendors to work with, and I would highly reccomend her to anyone getting married in NC!” K&C, October 2015
“Let me first start off by saying that Katherine was absolutely amazing! She is highly professional and helped us create a completely personalized ceremony. We were able to change everything from the welcome to our vows and so much more. With her help, we were able to incorporate our personalities and style into each aspect. She made all of our guests feel welcome into our ceremony as my husband and I come from different religious and spiritual backgrounds. After the amazing experience wirh Katherine, we wouldn’t have wanted anyone else performing our ceremony! I highly recommend her to all of my recently engaged friends!” M&R, January 2015
“I can not say enough about Katherine Edwards…She was nothing short of perfect. She was prompt…responsive…affordable…organized…creative…prepared…an absolute dream to work with and that’s saying a lot since most of my experiences during this journey from single to married have left a lot to be desired. I would recommend her to absolutely anybody…She is easy to talk to and you’ll feel like she’s a friend by the end. If you are in an interracial relationship like I am (my husband is white and I’m black) it’s especially important to pick someone who will make both sides feel welcome and comfortable and she did just that. You will not regret hiring her.” S&C, December 2014
“Katherine was the perfect officiate for our wedding. Rob and I met with several officiates and when we met Katherine we knew we no longer had to look any further. She was professional, personable and clicked with us immediately. She is highly organized and helped us through the process of helping us with our ceremony. She performed a beautiful ceremony for us and we felt like we’ve know her for years. I would highly recommend Katherine without any hesitation.” R&K, December 2014
“Katherine was awesome to work with and very helpful” T&J, October 2014
“What a treat it was to work with Katherine, from the first meeting to the big hug after the ceremony. Katherine is warm, professional, personable and felt like a match for us right away. Her website sold me initially – the amount of information she provides about not only her services, but getting married in North Carolina, is incredibly helpful. We were also drawn to her openness and the variety of ceremonies she offered. We chose a package where we pieced together our ceremony from text options she provided. She sent a great document of options ranging from very religious to very not religious, with a great mix in between. We were able to create a ceremony that was truly our own using Katherine’s material. She was so easy to work with over email, offering helpful suggestions, providing drafts, and responding so quickly. On the wedding day, she nailed the ceremony. What a beautiful presenter and officiant she is – her calm and friendly energy put me right at ease on the big day! Without rushing us at all, she finished our rooftop ceremony and pronounced us married about 4 seconds before it started raining.
We also hired Katherine to coordinate our rehearsal the night before- with 10 attendants, parents and ourselves, it was SO nice to hand over the responsibility of directing! Katherine quickly and efficiently ran through everything with us and by the end, everyone felt confident in their roles and cues. She took care of filing our marriage certificate and sent us a follow up email with tracking number on Monday morning.
Working with Katherine was one of the best decisions we made in the wedding planning process. I would (and will) recommend her to absolutely any couple looking for an officiant. Katherine is the type of person that I imagine can connect with the widest variety of people. She is so flexible, transparent, genuine, professional and knowledgable. Our wedding would not have been the same without her!” K&J, October 2014
“Katherine made our wedding ceremony so personal and so special. Upon meeting her, we both knew that she was perfect for us. She took extra time to get to know both of us and her wording of the ceremony was excellent and so meaningful! Our guests were also very impressed with her. Thanks to her, the ceremony went very smoothly and she helped to capture the atmosphere that we wanted. She also helped us with finding the perfect musicians and venue! Thank you Katherine!” C&G, October 2014
“I wish I could give Katherine higher reviews! I met her online as I started planning my out of state wedding sometime last year. I had no idea where to start or what to do and she swooped in and made everything alright. A couple months ago my fiance and I talked about changing the date because of an employment opportunity. We lost Katherine as our officiant as the date was filled very quickly. When we decided to change the date back, and realized we could no longer have her marry us, i was devastated. She was the only person for the job! I felt like the person that was going to marry us, had to connect with us. Beings how we were out of state, I looked for another officiant and Katherine helped me. But no one compared! We decided to change the date to the next day so Katherine could be that person! When I met Katherine in person for the first time at the wedding, I felt like I had known her for years. After all, we had been emailing atleast weekly for the past year or so!! If you’re looking for someone with a good sense of humor, professionalism, and knowledge about weddings she is definitely the person you need to hire. I could not be happier with her services. I truly felt like I made a friend in Katherine! She made our wedding perfect! Thank you so much for all of your help, Katherine!” JL, September 2014
“There needs to be a higher rating than 5 on here. Katherine was/is awesome! She made the process so simple, easy, and most importantly stress free! Her vow/ceremony selections are beautifully written and her flexibility to provide a customized experience for you and your fiancee’s needs is impeccable. She is as hands on or off as you want her to be and she will truly make your day even more special than it already is but she also provides a warm heartfelt atmosphere as you can truly tell she cares about you and making your day memorable and exactly how you want it to be. Out of all the chaos of wedding planning her positivity and flexibility made the officiant and vow/ceremony selection one of the most fun and easiest tasks to mark off our list. Thank you Katherine for making our wedding day (9-13-14) amazing!” JH, September 2014
“We absolutely LOVED Katherine Edwards! She was so personable and flexible with our schedules. She did a wonderful job with officiating our wedding and the wording of the ceremony was beautiful! I would recommend her to anyone who is looking for an officiant for their wedding that adds a classy personal touch :)” EJ, August 2014
“Katherine was a joy to work with and she made our day a special one. She was very responsive to every email and on time (early) to each meeting, rehearsal and wedding! She was very professional and easy to work with! We received so many compliments on the service she gave! Katherine is truly a wonderful officiant and we will definitely use/recommend her in the future!” NC, August 2014
“After a very frustrating search for an officiant, we were so relieved, delighted, and fortunate that we found Rev. Katherine Edwards.
We had met and emailed with others, but Katherine was the most responsive, friendliest, and most flexible. Her fee was very reasonable and she was completely upfront with us from the beginning on the cost. She even has the fees directly on her website, which for me was a relief.
Katherine was supportive of every choice we made. She cheered us on as we planned and calmed me when I started to get anxious before the big day. She was so helpful when I had questions on the mechanics of the ceremony and the layout and requirements. From the moment she arrived on the day of, I was relieved to know that she was there to guide us through.
Katherine is passionate about weddings as joyful celebrations and really makes you feel more at ease.
She is a very caring, warm person who takes her job as an officiant seriously, while still maintaining her personable disposition. I would recommend her without hesitation to anyone planning their wedding.” MH, August 2014
“I knew from the moment that I saw your smiling face, sitting inside that coffee shop, that you were a perfect match for us. Your sincerity and warmth during the ceremony will be a lifelong memory to the both of us. Thank you so much for everything!” JP, August 2014
“Katherine was wonderful to work with and could not have done a better job with our ceremony. Everyone commented on how beautiful and personal it was. Many of our guest thought we had known her for quite some time because everything said fit us so well.” KB, July 2014
“We were very pleased with Katherine. She was very professional, efficient and accommodating. Her relaxed and pleasant demeanor helped to ease my wedding jitters. She made the ceremony special and I can not thank her enough!” RB, July 2014
“She was a wonderful officiant! I am very pleased with her service and we had a beautiful wedding!” LS, July 2014
“Katherine is amazing. She was so supportive of & accommodating to what we wanted our ceremony to be like. She was sensitive to our situation/any needs that we had, & just made us feel so comfortable! I loved how she allowed us options to personalize everything to our taste. I really can’t say enough about how wonderful she is! HIGHLY RECCOMENED!” KM, July 2014
“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.” AH, May 2014
“Katherine is the most wonderful officiant a bride and groom could ask for!! With 10 days until our wedding and our previous officiant bailing we found Katherine here and lucky for us she was available! We quickly met with her and she won us over immediately. She is so personable and genuine. She is totally open to doing the ceremony however you want but will give options and feedback if you need/want it. She is punctual both in person and via email and is always professional. She answered any question we had prior to, the day of, and even after the wedding. Our wedding day would not have been the same without Katherine as our officiant. We are both so happy that things worked out as they did and she was the one to share our day. Book Katherine today!! :)” -KM, April 2014
“Katherine did an amazing job!! She was able to work with us on a short notice and was willing to do whatever we requested to make our day perfect!!” -NB, March 2014
“We loved Katherine! Our service was amazing! She was so sweet and nice! She was very respectful to everything we asked!! I would definitely recommend her!!” -LL, March 2014
“Katherine was great from the very first email all the way thru the wedding. With her help we managed to get everything done in just a few days which was good since we only had about two weeks from the time we decided on the wedding date.She was always quick to reply. She is very personable and professional.” -S&L, February 2014
“Thank you for being so incredible. I actually find myself sad that it’s done, and one of the main reasons is that we are done communicating about the wedding. I hope we don’t lose touch.” -AJ, February 2014
“Katherine Edwards was the best officiant we could have ever imagined for our wedding!!! She was very professional but yet so down to earth and personal. She wasn’t just the officiant she became part of our wedding as if she was part of our families!!! We would recommend Katherine to any couple!!!! Thank you Katherine!!!” -PT, January 2014
“We wanted to keep our ceremony low-key but yet special, Katherine did exactly that! She was responsive, listened to what we wanted and worked with us to make sure everything was just what we wanted. She did a beautiful job at the ceremony! We would highly recommend her and feel lucky that we got her to do ours!” -MH, December 2013
“Katherine Edwards directed the rehearsal in an organized, professional manner. It was well thought out and planned and one of the most efficient rehearsals I have ever experienced. She also performed the service professionally but made it personal and sweet. I was extremely impressed with her services.” ~JG, October 2013
“Thank you so much Katherine! You did a great job from beginning to end! I really appreciated that you listened to us and incorporated everything that we had asked for. You were also very accommodating to our schedule. Our ceremony was beautiful and I am so happy that you were apart of it!” -GB, October 2013
I get excited for pretty much every inquiry I get, but I get EXTRA excited when the wedding will be held at a venue I haven’t been to before. That is really such a fun part of this job, getting to see all these really unique, beautiful places all over NC! So when Cory and Robert contacted me about their ceremony and told me their wedding would be held at Montague Lake, I was intrigued! Only a short 15-minute drive from me and I hadn’t even heard of it!
Now that I have seen the venue, I can tell you they found a real hidden gem. Located on Penny Road, just minutes from Raleigh, Cary, Garner, or Fuquay-Varina, it couldn’t be more convenient.
The property is sitting right on the lake and boasts a dreamy bridge (perfect for pictures!), a dock over the water with lots of benches, a play ground for kids, a covered shelter with electricity, bathrooms, and a small kitchen. The area around the shelter has a deck and is well-shaded.
You can see there was more than enough space for Cory and Robert’s 70ish guests to be seated, and really I think you could comfortably fit 120 or so.
There were lots of lovely, simple decorations. And look at that spread! Catering was done by Neomonde!
I’m not sure if this was built specifically with weddings in mind, but it sure does seem that way with this little deck that juts out right in the center of the shelter. It was perfect for Cory, Robert, and I to stand flanked by 5 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen. We did a quick run-through with the bridal party about an hour before the ceremony, since we didn’t have a formal rehearsal. I joked with Cory and Robert’s photographer that she should take up wedding coordinating as well. She was very helpful getting everyone where they needed to be at the right time!
Cory and Robert chose a “Sweet & Simple” ceremony and included the increasingly-popular wine box ceremony. They chose to open the box on their 5th anniversary.
The couple and bridal party took pictures while their witnesses signed the license. They chose to have their moms sign the license, which is always such a sweet touch!
This was the first ceremony I did with my new sound set up and I was SO happy with how it performed compared to my last system. Much less sensitive – I had NO feedback at all – and robust sound. I stuck around for a little while so that a friend could sing the bride and groom into the reception with a special song, and so that some younger guests to give a toast. The music for the ceremony was played through it via bluetooth and a guest’s cell phone and that worked great too.
Cory & Robert left this sweet review for me on Wedding Wire: “Katherine is wonderful! My husband and I are an extremely busy couple who put together a wedding in just over 2 months. We went into planning the ceremony with very little knowledge of what to do/expect going into it. Katherine walked us through everything and helped with planning and organizing the ceremony. She brought up things I wouldn’t have even thought of on my own and helped us pull together a beautiful, elegant ceremony. Most of my guests have told me how great the ceremony was and how Katherine’s words were just perfect for our ceremony. I really don’t know what we would have done without her! I highly recommend Katherine to any couple looking for an officiant, whether you have an outline of what you want to say/do, or you have no idea how to put together a wedding 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!
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 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. ”
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!
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.
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.
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!