Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Weddingmoon at RiverMist

June 21st, Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year…. Laurie and Dave chose this day for their wedding day. And what a special day it was…

It was great seeing Laurie and Dave again. They had driven from Columbia when we were in the middle of updating our 'honeymoon' cabin. I told them to use their imagination; things would look much differently the next time they visited. And so it was… (I think they were impressed by all the work that we had done.)

They arrived at the cabin on Sunday but we didn’t see them until yesterday around 5:00. I really wanted to say ‘hello’ but knew this was their special time and didn’t want to intrude..

Although their wedding took place by the river, they wanted a few photos by the stream at our main cabin. Was it ever hot! Check out their wedding attire! Laurie and Dave did not want to wear something traditional and their choice was perfect! The dress and shirt were custom made by a seamstress in Florida.

After a few photos they returned to the rental cabin to prepare for their 7:00 wedding. When I arrived, the dock was covered with white fabric and various colors of rose petals were sprinkled around. (And since it is summer, they were wise enough to include some citronella candles!)

We began their ceremony by asking for the blessings of all creation to be with us on their wedding day. After a few words about their relationship and the meaning of marriage it was time for the handfasting. There are many variations of this ritual and they chose my favorite, which uses various colors of ribbons. As each promise was made, a ribbon was tied around their hands. After their ‘hands and hearts were bound’ they made personal promises to each other. The ribbons were loosened and they exchanged beautiful Celtic wedding bands.

We closed with the Apache Blessing. And then the KISS! It was obvious that kissing was nothing new to them…After a few more photos, we headed inside for the cake cutting and champagne toast. (the air conditioning felt wonderful) As you would expect from Laurie and Dave, their wedding cake was also unique, chocolate cheesecake with fresh strawberries and blueberries, homemade by a friend in Columbia. Yummy!

We left the happy couple, drinking champagne and kissing….

Monday, June 21, 2010

Renewal of Marriage Vows

June 17th… 10 years ago, Steve and Stephanie promised to love, honor and cherish each other. This year, on their anniversary, they wanted to re-commit to each other and renew the promises made on their wedding day. Lucky for me, they chose RiverMist as the location.

I enjoyed working with them and planned a very special ceremony. We began with a Hand Washing which gave them the opportunity to forgive themselves and each other of past mistakes. This allowed them to begin their 11th year of marriage with a ‘clean slate’.

Rather than making ‘repeat after me’ promises, Steve and Stephanie wanted to make personal promises to each other. To be honest, with the sound of the creek I could not hear exactly what they were saying to each other. But from the looks on their faces I was sure they were saying exactly the right words.
As part of the ceremony, they were to touch each other’s wedding bands, symbolically giving them to each other. Steve had a different idea… He had contacted me by email, letting me in on his ‘little’ secret. He had purchased a beautiful anniversary ring that was to be a surprise. And was Stephanie ever surprised! I’m not sure that she heard the rest of the ceremony.

To conclude the ceremony Steve and Stephanie once again lit the unity candle that was used at the wedding ceremony.
After spending some time here, they headed back to Asheville to celebrate with a romantic dinner and a few days of relaxation before heading back home to Michigan.

Wishing them many, many more years of happiness together…

Monday, June 14, 2010

Unique Wedding in North Carolina

I'm sure Sharon and Jeff will remember how 'warm' it was on their wedding day... We've had some summer time weather lately and this past weekend was no exception. Can't imagine what July and August will be like.

For their ceremony we included a wine unity ceremony. She poured a Riesling and he poured a Blueberry wine.

By sharing the combined wine, Sharon and Jeff promise to share life together, the bitter and the sweet.

I wish for the newly married couple all the sweetness that life has to offer....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Short Notice Wedding in North Carolina - Lisa and Todd

The internet is very interesting... It can take information around the world in a flash or it can connect you with a next door neighbor. Todd and Lisa aren't exactly 'next door' neighbors but pretty close, living within a few miles of our retreat center. Like so many couples, Todd found my information through a google search.

Wedding planning was becoming stressful and he and Lisa really wanted to 'be married'. They wanted to marry quickly yet have a meaningful Christian ceremony. With only a few weeks planning we were able to have the wedding they desired.

The first photo Guy took was of the thermometer. 100 degrees... Definitely a wedding memory.

Todd and Lisa arrived in separate cars. He had seen the back of her dress but she was adamant that he not see the front. It was a very special moment as he lifted her veil.

It was very windy on Sunday, not a good day for an outdoor unity candle ceremony. I suggested that we move that part of the ceremony indoors. And they agreed the symbolism would be more meaningful if the unity candle stayed lit!

And..... I had a surprise for the newly married couple. Lisa had mentioned that she would like to share a cupcake after their wedding. I want 'my' weddings to be perfect so of course they had to have cupcakes! I laughed as Todd grabbed the last two on his way out the door.

And they may have arrived in separate cars... but they left in one. Off to begin their marriage with a little time alone...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Getting Married in North Carolina

June has always been a very popular month for weddings. This year is no different.. I was honored to have Beth and Randy travel to North Carolina for a June 1st wedding.

What a great way to start the month!

They wanted to do a fun picture after the wedding. A big 'High Five' to the new Mr. and Mrs....

Today (6/11) I received this wonderful email:
Victoria - Thank you SOOOOO MUCH for everything ... you and Guy made our wedding day absolutely perfect! Everything about it ... and everyone is so happy to see the amazing pics to get a glimpse into what it was like. I've even made a couple photo books for us and our parents.

We loved everything about our trip ... the wedding and time spent with you at RiverMist, the B&B we stayed at in Asheville, hiking at Dupont Forest, going out on a paddle boat on a lake, exploring Asheville and eating the most amazing meals ever. Perfect way to start our marriage ... which feels fantastic so far. We are slowly getting used to saying husband and wife (I still giggle every time I say husband:) and am working on the name change. We got the marriage licenses - thanks for sending that in so quickly.
We will definitely keep in touch ... and I've already sent your info to the daughter of a friend of my Dad's who's mom saw the pics and wanted to know more:) Hopefully we can send more great couples your way!
It was such a joy meeting you and so special and absolutely perfect to share our special day with you. Take good care and have a wonderful summer! Hugs, Beth and Randy

And to keep the month going, Amy and Tom arrived the next day for their North Carolina wedding.
We have such a fun time with the great couples who choose to get married at our retreat center. For most, they come here because they want to 'be married' without all of the stress of 'getting married'.

Take a look at this beautiful cross. Amy had asked if there was some way we could use it in the ceremony. Tom had made it for their dear friend, Eleanor, who sleeps with it at night. They were guarding it carefully until it could be returned to Eleanor.

And here's Glenn, our retired neighbor, who is kind enough to serve as a witness. Don't know what I would do without him!

Today (June 14th) I received this email:
Good morning Victoria,
Everyday last week you were on my mind. Sorry I did not write sooner. Everyone has been so happy to hear our news.They have loved all of the pictures. I want to thank you for everything. Tom and I have said over and over again that we would not change one thing about that day. So, thank you again for making it so special. Tom and I enjoyed spending that time with you and Guy and appreciate the way you opened your home and hearts to us. We will keep in touch and please know that I do think of you often. Thanks again! Amy

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Private outdoor wedding in North Carolina - Rita-Marie and Paul Married

It's always exciting to finally meet the couples I have been working with. Many come from out of state and it's just not possible to meet ahead of time.

Rita is in graduate school at Chapel Hill and Paul... Well, that's a different story. He's in graduate school in Arizona. Thank goodness for the internet... Holidays and summers are spent in North Carolina.

Rita contacted me originally but then her mother called and asked that I provide flowers, a cake/sparkling cider reception and a cheese and cracker travel basket.

Rita emailed a photo of a bouquet she liked. Our local florist created this colorful bouquet.

Rita's friend made this beautiful headpiece. The photo does not do it justice...

Paul and Rita wanted to incorporate a handfasting in their ceremony. They decided to use a piece of white fabric and have it embroidered later, marking significant points of their marriage. A continual reminder of their journey together. Their parents were very touched by the ceremony.
Rita and Paul said the cake was much more elaborate than they expected. We removed the top layer and carefully packed it. Hopefully, it made the trip back to Chapel Hill. I told them if it didn't, it would be fine to freeze a couple of slices to share on their first anniversary.

A very happy couple.
I just love getting thank you notes... Look what arrived in my inbox this morning...
Hello Victoria, Whew! What a wonderful ceremony! I can not thank you enough for all the kind time and thought you put into our wedding ceremony at RiverMist. The location was perfect! In fact, it was more gorgeous and beautiful than pictures are able to capture. I loved the sound of the stream and your home was beautiful inside and out! You and your husband were very welcoming, which was a huge relief, since we were unable to meet before the ceremony. Even small weddings take alot of planning, yet I felt completely calm until you asked if we were ready to start. All of a sudden, I noticed the people watching and the camera and felt overwhelmed and shy! The relief of finally getting married in a way we loved, no longer worrying about details, we were able to relax. I had to keep myself from crying all during the ceremony! The reception was certainly a nice way to relax and breathe. That being said, an especially huge thank you to your husband, Guy, for capturing beautiful pictures with us smiling that my family and I can cherish. My ceremony and pictures were certainly everything I hoped for and more. Plus, the cake was delicious and made it home to Chapel Hill, along with my flowers! Many, many thanks!!!   Take care, Rita and Paul