Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wedding at Crooked Oak Mountain Inn - Asheville

It's been a while since I officiated a wedding at Crooked Oak Mountain Inn and I was excited about seeing Bear and Patti, the innkeepers.

The location is perfect. One minute you're in downtown Asheville and then suddenly you're away from the traffic and hustle/bustle and enter a magical place. You can just tell from these photos that this place emits love.

When I arrived, after a hug and kiss on the cheek, Bear parked my car for me. Such a gentleman... he did remark about my Midnight Milky Way wrapper in the floorboard. (A girl's gotta do something while she's driving down the road.... ) He confessed that he 'approved' of my choice. I just can't tell you how nice Bear and Patti are! They are so friendly and happy. You feel like you are visiting family and it's always a joy to officiate a wedding at their inn.

I met Daniel, the groom, as soon as I arrived. He immediately commented on how happy he was to have his wedding at this location. He and Cindy wanted to get married at a Bed and Breakfast and had a list of several they visited. He said the Crooked Oak Mountain Inn, well Bear and Patti to be exact, was the only one that would even consider what they wanted. He said the other places were not even interested in talking with them about their plans. Too bad for them... they missed being part of a wonderful wedding celebration!

Cindy contacted me many months ago. And it was a good thing... she wanted to marry on October 10th. 10/10/10. I would love to know just how many couples were married on this day. I guess the next big one will be 11/11/11. If you considering this day, I suggest you start planning now!

Because of the ages of their sons, Cindy and Daniel (being wise parents) wanted a fairly short ceremony and they wanted something to include their sons. They decided a family unity sand ceremony would be perfect. They took each son, individually, to choose a container and color of sand. Wouldn't you know it! Both boys picked the same container and same color of sand.
Also, being wise parents, they had a 'practice' about a week before the wedding.

There is one other thing I want to say about their wedding. Smash cake! Have you heard of this? The cake is made of hardened chocolate. There is a small hammer and you 'smash' the cake. The inside is filled with wonderful chocolate truffles. Heaven for a chocoholic and what the boys were most excited about. This cake was prepared by The Chocolate Fetish in Asheville. My camera battery 'died' before the smashing but Cindy has assured me that she will send photos soon..
And she did...
And here's the 'smashed' cake.. yummy

There will never be a dull moment for this family!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Beautiful Fall Wedding in NC

Couples have been asking me if the leaves have started ‘turning’. This may seem like a strange term, ‘turning’. But if you’ve ever been to the mountains in the fall you know exactly what I’m talking about. I guess the correct question would be, ‘Have the leaves started changing colors?’.

Anyway, the answer is yes… I was at Boone on Saturday and I can say first hand, ‘the leaves have started turning'.
By searching the internet Darby and David found a seven bedroom/seven bath estate that was the perfect location for their small family wedding. The estate was completely private and… beautiful. I’m sure on a clear night you could see a bazillion stars.
Hopefully, when they return from their honeymoon in Hawaii they will send me a few photos of their wedding. I snapped this photo while waiting for the witnesses to sign the marriage license.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wedding at Belmont Estate - Promises Kept

I am so very happy to be updating my blog with photos from the wedding I officiated yesterday.

In April 2009 there was a promise of engagement before the end of the year if North Carolina won the NCAA tournament. Well, I must say the man is good for his word. Kris proposed, Ally said yes... and the rest is history.

What a wonderful wedding celebration! I have known Allyson since she was in middle school and have known Kris for several years now. It was truly an honor to be part of their wedding celebration.

Officiating the wedding of a friend can be emotional. This was one such wedding. As soon as Kris saw Allyson, I heard him 'sniffle'. I was not about to look at him so I looked at her sister, the matron of honor. She was crying. As I looked down the line of bridesmaids, every one of them was crying... Now to look at the moms. Tears there as well... But such happy tears! I took a deep breath. I knew my voice could not crack! 'We are gathered here in the presence of God to celebrate the marriage of ......'

Their ceremony was very touching. Each had written their own wedding vows. And not something they found in a book or over the internet. Very special words written just for each other. I was told that even the DJ was crying!

Allyson wanted to recognize her Irish heritage so we incorporated a handfasting in their ceremony. She selected a plaid fabric and after rings were exchanged we 'tied the knot'. Then she and Kris repeated Irish wedding vows in unison.
We swear by peace and love to stand.
Heart to heart and hand in hand.
Mark, O God, and hear us now,
Confirming this our sacred vow;
Here is my hand to hold with you,
to bind us for life so that I’ll grow old with you.
Having fun taking photos!

And I have to include this one. They had a 'sweetheart' table for the reception. They actually thought they would be able to eat without interruptions. Needless to say that didn't work...

And yet another photo. When I officiate a wedding I don't normally stay until the end of the reception.

A few of the guys, (maybe my son-in-law - actually both of them...) slipped away to 'decorate' the car. There was an orange traffic cone sitting on top.. Well just look at the picture. What you can't see is that someone (CT) decided to decorate the car with CheezeWhiz. Now have you ever heard of that!

This car was decorated inside and out..I'm not sure it will ever be the same...

It took a lot of planning, and a few dollars. Photos like this say it all. It was their dream wedding. I wish many, many years of happiness for these two. I love you, Allyson and Kris! It was a wonderful wedding...    What God has joined together, let no one put asunder..


Friday, October 1, 2010

Wedding at The Grand Bohemian - Asheville

I’ve married several couples who spent their honeymoon at the Grand Bohemian in Asheville. When Dee contacted me about officiating her wedding, I was excited about having the opportunity to check it out for myself.

The Grand Bohemian is a lovely facility and truly ‘Grand’.. The Bohemian is actually two separate buildings on opposite sides of the street. I will admit I had a little difficulty finding the entrance to the parking garage…but that’s just me..

Dee and Eric traveled to Asheville for their destination wedding. Because of this we were not able to meet ahead of time, which is no problem, really. Everything can be planned with phone calls and email. I met Eric and his best man, Reginald, when I arrived at the Grand Bohemian. We discussed final details of the wedding and then I headed over to the ceremony site to get things ready.. Although the weather was not a problem, Dee and Eric chose to have their wedding ceremony on the covered terrace.

I was able to meet Dee while she was waiting for her ‘cue’. Some of the guests were running late so we delayed the ceremony a few minutes. Anyway, as I was walking away she asked if I would give Eric a message. I was expecting something sweet, perhaps a ‘secret’ message. Was I surprised… She told me to tell Eric, ‘Don’t lock your knees!’. Now this is good advice, just not what I imagined…

There are many unity ceremonies that can be included in your wedding, candles, sand, wine, water….. Dee and Eric chose to incorporate the Unity Cross. If you’re not familiar with this, there is a wooden base.

The man places an empty cross on the base and then the woman places a delicate cross inside, thus ‘completing’ the man. Dee and Eric inserted a peg on each side to hold the crosses in place. I placed the final peg, ‘Those whom God have joined together, let no one separate’. Several guests told me they were especially touched by this part of the ceremony.

I’m hoping to receive a few photos from Dee and Eric. Here are a few that I was able to capture.

Here’s the smiling groom… I don’t think he stopped smiling all night.

I was sitting near the door so I snapped this photo as they were introduced, once again, as ‘husband and wife’.

And here they are on the dance floor. I’m sure the photographer was tired at the end of the evening. She was everywhere and didn’t miss a thing!

Hopefully, I’ll have more photos to add at a later date.