Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weddings at Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock is one of my favorite locations for outdoor weddings. The park has several locations to choose from and can accommodate any size wedding.

The Meadows provides a lovely grassy, private area for the ceremony and a covered pavilion for the reception. And in case it happens to rain, the ceremony could be moved inside the pavilion.

I did not have my camera for Suzan and John’s wedding. I wish I could show you how beautifully they had the pavilion decorated. Their theme was ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ and their wedding cake was unbelievable..

I have asked if they will send me a few photos. In the meantime, Jeff, the Groups Sales Manager for the park brought his camera. He was kind enough to share these photos.

And of course, The Rock, is always a popular spot. Rose and Kevin, along with family and friends, traveled from Texas to have their wedding at ‘on top of the rock’. I ran into several showers on the way to the park and was afraid that the weather might be a problem. As you can see it was very foggy when I arrived. Luckily the fog lifted and the temperature was perfect for a normally hot July day.

Rose and Kevin are a fun couple and their wedding just proved this. I never did find out the ‘true’ story but here are the versions I heard.. Kevin and his groomsmen were dressed in sports coats and khaki dress pants. Well…. not exactly. Kevin was wearing jeans. It seems that his pants did not make the trip from Texas. And the ‘other’ story was that he ‘spilled something’ on his pants. Anyway… the groom was wearing jeans. Everyone kept waiting to see the expression on Rose’s face when she realized what he was wearing.

Rose, knowing Kevin, took it in stride and did not seem too surprised! She even improvised with her vows and promised to love him, even with the jeans.. And.. in the group photo you don't even see the jeans.

Again, I didn’t have my camera but did take a few photos with my Samsung Eternity. Not quite as good but after all it is a phone, not a camera…

As you can see, there are a few steps to the top. Something to keep in mind. If your guests have physical limitations there are other options. There's an overlook at the base of the rock. Problem solved.

The other location at Chimney Rock is Hickory Nut Falls.. No photos now, but I have a wedding there next weekend and will post some photos later.

I just received this note from Rose:
We loved the wedding so much, I perticually like telling people that the first thing you said to me was that I had my hands full. Thank you for being such a wonderful part of it. You really help to bring my vision to life. The honeymoon was fantastic, we hiked for about 35 miles and even were able to fit a horseback ride in. Here are some pictures we took, certainly no beauty contest, but that's us. Thanks again! Rose and Kevin

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weddingmoon - Wedding and Honeymoon at the Same Location

Alisha had contacted me months ago, wanting information about our wedding packages. Like many couples, she was working with a limited budget. She wanted an outdoor location that could accommodate about 12 – 15 guests. The solution was to have her wedding, reception and honeymoon all at the same location.

Our riverfront cabin is the perfect location for small family weddings. The covered porch is a great place for guests to gather and enjoy visiting with each other.

Since their wedding took place during the afternoon, Alisha and Ken wanted to include a small reception. I arranged for a two tiered wedding cake, sparkling juice, and several trays of hors d'oeuvres in addition to a bridal bouquet and boutonniere.

We started their ceremony by lighting a memorial candle for Ken's father, whose photo was placed on our altar.

When it was time to light their unity candle, they used the flame from the memorial candle, bringing the past into the future. Again.. outside unity candle. And it stayed lit.

Don't they look happy??

Bubbles are always a nice touch..

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Romantic Private Wedding in North Carolina

I meet some of the best people in the world… and from around the world.. Flint traveled from NC and Caroline traveled from Virginia to have their private wedding at our retreat center. Although Caroline has been in the states over 10 years, she still has her wonderful British accent.

Flint and Caroline arrived Sunday afternoon. They settled in our rental cabin and made preparations for their wedding. At the appointed time, my husband, Guy, our neighbor Glenn and I arrived at the cabin. Flint was setting up his video camera using a mini-tripod.

As part of their ceremony, we include a sand unity ceremony, using black and white sand.. The dock overlooking the river is a perfect spot for a small wedding.

While we were making arrangements for their wedding Flint mentioned that he collected Dr. Pepper memorabilia and wondered if it was ok to have Dr. Pepper for their wedding toast. Well of course it was ok! It was their wedding and everything was planned around what they wanted. (one reason many couples choose a private ceremony, it’s always and only about them)

We did pour the Dr. Pepper into champagne flutes so they could have a 'traditional' toast.

As part of their pre-wedding preparations, two wedding bears appeared on the reception table. Aren’t they too cute??
On their way out, Flint and Caroline stopped by our cabin to pick up their photo CD. Caroline will be living in Virginia a while longer, unless she is released from her contract. But… soon they will be together permanently.

After chatting a little, they ‘hit the road’, traveling back to Flint’s home town for an ice cream social so the community could meet his beautiful bride… Hope they had lots of Dr. Pepper...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Family Wedding in North Carolina

Holly and David had wanted to get married for quite a while. They decided that the perfect time would be while they were visiting with family in North Carolina.

Even though we were not able to meet ahead of time, I felt as if I had known this family for quite a while. In one of her earlier emails Holly sent me a few photos. It was obvious they were very happy and enjoyed spending time together.
Holly and David wanted to include a sand ceremony but since they were traveling they did not have time to shop for the supplies. I had everything we needed, including basic colors. I wasn't sure how blue and purple would blend but as you can tell from the photos, it was beautiful.
 As with many couples, it was very important to create a ceremony that included the children. Holly was adamant that the ceremony unite the entire family. After their promises to each other, Holly and David made promises to their children. After the promises were made, David gave each of the children a rose quartz heart as a physical reminder of their promises. (I keep these on hand for such occasions)
Holly and David had to check out the water.

Their children were not old enough to serve as actual witnesses, however, they were certainly old enough to sign the keepsake certificate.. always a nice touch.

Everyone left, happy and ready to enjoy more time exploring North Carolina.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lake Lure Wedding at Rumbling Bald

I love what I do! I travel to the most beautiful places and meet the most wonderful people…

Chimney Rock and Lake Lure offer many beautiful wedding locations. From a simple elopement to a venue that can accommodate several hundred guests. If you’re thinking of getting married in this area, I will be happy to offer suggestions..

Jessica and Charles chose Rumbling Bald. And it was a great choice! Their wedding was planned to take place at the lakefront gazebo.

I was a little concerned when I arrived; there were dark clouds and thunder in the distance. My husband, Guy, went with me to help set up my sound system. I can do this by myself but it’s always nice to have a little help. And…. since he was with me he took a few photos.

The lakefront patio is a beautiful spot for a reception. As you can see, there are beautiful mountain views surrounding the patio.

The staff at Rumbling Bald is very attentive to detail and they were busy making sure everything was perfect.
It was so hot on Saturday but the patio area provided shade for the guests, who waited until the last minute to take their seats.

This also works well for a rain site. Something that needs to be considered when planning an outside wedding.

We were able to take a few photos of the pre-wedding photography.

Candid shots are always the best.

Jessica and Charles, Jessie and Chuck to their friends and family, seemed to hear every word of their ceremony and whispered a few ‘secret’ words of their own.

As a tribute to their ancestry, we ended the ceremony with a Scottish Wedding Prayer. A BIG kiss and a new Mr. and Mrs….

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wedding at Mast Farm Inn

Each and every wedding is a special occasion. Small or large, they are all wonderful, particularly if they are ‘exactly’ what the couple wanted. For Julia and Kelly, their wedding at Mast Farm Inn was exactly what they wanted.

I always know things are good when I arrive and everyone is laughing.

Their ceremony was as unique as their love...and it was obvious that Julia and Kelly share a love of literature. It's not every day that I'm asked to quote Aristophanes (Plato’s Symposium) ‘For if we are friends of God and are at peace with him we shall find our own true loves.’

Julia’s mother told me that these two were suited for each other and insisted that I had never married a couple more in love. Julia and Kelly realized early on that their love was special. After only a week, Julia told her sister that she was going to marry Kelly.

What a fun wedding! The ceremony was very sacred and obviously written for and by people who love literature. Julia’s mother offered two readings that were selected by Julia. Then we concluded their ceremony with a benediction using a portion of Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata, “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence……..'
One of the highlights of the wedding celebration was a dance performed by Julia's mother and sister. I asked if they wanted me to videotape it with my small 'pocket camcorder'. They said that some things are left best to memory. It took a while to find the perfect location, with nice flat ground. Here's a sample of their choreographed routine… These guys were prepared, even had an iPod with a tiny speaker...

The music must have motivated Julia and Kelly because they decided to have their 'first' dance in the flower garden as well. Julia's sister just happened to have 'Chapel of Love' on her iPod so the newlyweds took advantage of a few minutes to dance in the rain. It was just a little sprinkle but it's always romantic to dance in the rain…

After cake and champagne, it was time for Fuji to join the wedding party. As I was leaving, everyone was headed to the pond so Fuji could have a little swim..

Whatever you do… make your wedding about you, what you want and what makes you happy…

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wedding at The Inn at Millstone, Cashiers, North Carolina

I knew the day was going to be great after receiving the following email:
Rev Hutchins! We can't believe that it has already been a year. Joe and I spoke earlier, (he is presently still in Iraq), and went back on the day of our wedding. Nothing could have been more perfect than RiverMist. We said our vows over the phone again and read the poems and prayers. You made July 17, 2009 our special day. Your husband Guy, gave us the memories thru all the pictures that he took, that sealed our special moment. With love in our hearts and tears in our eyes, I want to once again thank you and your husband for a dream come true. May God continue to bless you and Guy for all the happiness that you bring to others.
Joyce & Joe (July 17, 2009)

And the day kept getting better… At 8:30 I left home and headed for Cashiers. It’s a bit of a drive (about 2 ½ hrs each way) but the area is so beautiful, it’s well worth the drive.. And I was in for a real treat.. Kelly had called on Wednesday, wanting to know if there was any way possible I could officiate her wedding. The original plan was to get married at the magistrate’s office immediately after getting their marriage license. However, this was not what she wanted for her wedding day memory.

Kelly traveled from Texas, and John traveled from Louisiana to spend a little time with Kelly’s parents at their vacation home. They had already planned on having a gourmet lunch at The Inn at Millstone. After talking with the staff, they decide to marry on the property and then enjoy a three-course meal.

Goodness… what a beautiful location.. There is a great view of Whiteside Mountain. But then, the views are beautiful in every direction.

Their family was very happy to hear about the change in plans and surrounded them with love and good wishes…Kelly’s niece was the flower girl and her nephew, Conner, was the ring bearer. They did a great job and were very happy to be part of the wedding.

After hugs and more photos, I headed back down the mountain.

My day was just starting… I had yet another wedding on Saturday but first I had an important stop to make. There was a birthday celebration for our neighbor, Glenn, who serves as one of our witnesses.

more later…..

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Internet: Couples Find Each Other and a Wedding Minister

We all see the advertisements on television, ‘meet your perfect mate’ through one of the numerous on-line dating services. If you’re reading my blog, most likely you have already found the love of your life. And it’s quite possible you connected through eHarmony, or one of the numerous web sites..

Many couples tell me they met this way and probably there are many more who are little hesitant to talk about how they met. During the last few weeks I had the honor of marrying two couples who met on-line. They couldn’t have been happier or more suited for each other. And ….they said ‘by all means tell our story’.

Ralph and Dawn Marie emailed and talked for hours on the phone before she even knew what he looked like. She said the photo he had posted was very small and she kept asking him to send her a larger photo. When she received a full size photo she got more and more excited as she watched each feature appear on her computer screen. She finally had a face to go with the person she had already fallen in love with.

These two have so much in common, both are sports enthusiasts and have been active in organized sports most of their lives. Although they have many things in common, it is their religious beliefs that is most treasured. They wanted a ceremony that placed God in the center of their marriage.

Ralph called a few weeks ago and requested information about getting married at our retreat center. He said it all sounded good and he would be in touch. Well… he did call again. He and Dawn and just gotten their marriage license and he wanted to know how quickly they could get married. I said, ‘what about today?’ …

All of my ceremonies are individually prepared even, short-notice weddings… He and Dawn had not had time to shop for wedding bands so I had a little surprise for them. Instead of exchanging rings, I gave each of them a gemstone heart to exchange while saying, ‘ I give you my heart. I have no greater gift to give’…They were very touched…

And now to another couple who met on-line in a different way. Jason and Susan met while tending the crops in Farmville, a real-time farm simulation game available on Facebook. According to the NY Times 20 million people check into Farmville daily to buy, plant and harvest crops. So out of 20 million people, Jason and Susan connected. And in an interesting way. Susan was communicating with Jason’s aunt and because of her last name (which is a bit unusual), Susan asked if she knew Jason. The rest is history.

Jason traveled from Texas, Susan traveled from the eastern part of North Carolina. They met at Jason’s aunt and uncle’s house in Asheville. After spending a few days there, (there was mention of a dice game they played until the wee hours of the morning...) the four of them came to RiverMist for a lovely outdoor wedding. Jason had written the most beautiful wedding vows and I think Susan fell in love with him all over again…After a few more days in NC, they were headed to Texas so Jason could finished his military obligation.

I forgot to ask if they were going to combine farms…