Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Outdoor Family Wedding in North Carolina

Like many couples today, Katie and Michael were planning their wedding when they realized everything was ‘snowballing’. (Wedding planning can get out of control very easily). Katie and Michael decided that it would be in their best interests to save their money and have a small family wedding. And here’s the best part… they decided to have their wedding at our retreat center…

Here comes the bride...
Just look at Michael’s face.

Katie’s mother escorted her and offered blessings on behalf of her family. It was a touching moment when she lifted the veil. It was time!

I can't help it... I'm a romantic and just have to include a photo of the kiss.

And Katie, the 'stress-free' bride

After some family photos, we headed inside to celebrate..

Michael's father made a wonderful toast!

And .....I received this in an email today..
'Our wedding day was perfect!!
We couldn't be happier with how well everything went.'

Life is Good!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Married at Max Patch, Hot Springs North Carolina

I'm always up for an adventure! And what an adventure I had on September 13th.

Since Barbara and John wanted to get married at sunrise on Max Patch I spent the night in Hot Springs.  I love visiting the area and always try to find time to visit the spa, soaking in the mineral springs hot tubs..

Even though Max Patch is not far from Hot Springs.. It is quite an interesting drive. Don't let the 5 miles fool you.. Remember, you're in NC mountains. I allowed 45 minutes for the trip and it took every minute of it. There are several miles of winding, gravel roads..

I met Barbara and John in the parking lot. I knew they would be easy to recognize because the would have their two canine children with them. After introductions, and grabbing their backpacks we headed to the top. Their dogs have visited here often and were ready to 'run free'. So after being unleashed, they vanished..
After reaching the top, I understood why they were in such a hurry... Photos do not begin to show the beauty of this place. Everytime I've been in Hot Springs I've wanted to hike to the top but never had time. Barbara came here many years ago, when she needed a little time alone. She brought a blanket and a book ready to spend a peaceful day alone in nature. She was so relaxed that she fell asleep and left with quite a sunburn..

If you're not familiar with the area, the Appalachian Trail runs right through the town of Hot Springs and passes across Max Patch. If you want to meet some interesting people, just spend some time 'hanging out' in Hot Springs.

When we made it to the top, a short walk really... we discovered that Sophie and Honey Bear had decided to take a short cut back to the parking lot.. Since they were the honored guests, we could not start without them. After some time, and a bit of 'calling' they made their way back up. Being good 'parents' John and Barbara had brought water for them. And... they were certainly well behaved during the ceremony.
Well.... now it's time to tell you about Barbara and John.... What a lovely couple and such an honor to be part of their wedding day. Like so many couples, I only met them a few minutes before their wedding but felt like we were old friends. We had communicated for months through emails so we had already developed a relationship.
Now... here's the interesting part about this couple.
They have been together for 33 years... Yes, 33 years and now they are husband and wife.
They were prepared... Not only did they bring water for Sophie and Honey Bear they had champagne tucked away in their backpack. On top of Max Patch we toasted to another 33 years together.
One of their witnesses, Lori, is a well known wildlife photographer so I'm sure they have some wonderful photos. Lori is also the owner of the lovely cabin, where they stayed for their honeymoon, Wiley's Place.
And here they are, walking down the mountain, hand in hand. No need to wish these two happiness. After 33 years they already have it!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

First Love, Second Chance

No doubt Vickie and Mike will remember their wedding day. Life gives us interesting stories and what a story these two have...

A long time ago these two people met and something special happened. What started as a casual meeting as teenagers has turned into a love story that books are written about.

She was 15 and he was 18... madly in love...but it was not yet their time. They had journeys to make and lessons to learn.

But one day a simple birthday card changed everything. It was their time... And life will never be the same.

Two rings... one love.

An announcement to the world of the feelings long held. Promises made long ago, in the sacred spaces of their hearts.

I usually like to include a photo of 'the' kiss. Not so, with this couple. This photo was after the kiss, when they looked at each other for the first time as husband and wife. The waiting was over, this was the beginning of always.