Kelly & Forest at the Stockroom 230

Kelly & Forest’s original plan for their ceremony was to have it at Umstead Park in Raleigh and have their reception at the Stockroom 230 downtown after. The rain back up plan would be to hold everything at the Stockroom and a few weeks prior to the ceremony they decided to just go ahead and do that. That ended up being a really good decision, as it was raining most of the afternoon!

Secretly, I was kind of happy about that because I have done ceremonies at Umstead Park in the past, but the Stockroom was one of those venues I hadn’t seen yet and I really wanted to check it out! It is a really neat industrial-looking space with exposed brick, wood floors, and beam ceilings. There is plenty of room for both ceremony and reception, and a little landing area that’s perfect for cocktail hour.

Another neat feature at the Stockroom is the Glass Box on the top floor of the same building that can be rented as well. It can be used for smaller events, bridal luncheons, showers, or as a changing area for the bride and her ‘maids. That is what Kelly did!

There were lots of lovely details throughout their ceremony and reception spaces, but I particularly loved the chalk wall! The bridesmaids walked in to the Etta James version of, “I Want a Sunday Kind of Love,” so this was really perfect. Plus, it was a Sunday! The chalk wall was done by AB Chalk Designs.

Kelly and Forest included some really cool elements in their ceremony, including a presentation of roses to Kelly’s mother, a sand ceremony, and a shell wishing with a twist. Since we weren’t at the beach to toss the stones into the water, guests instead collected them in a large glass vessel that the couple could display in their home!

Kelly & Forest’s best man and maid of honor signed the license following the ceremony while guests mingled for cocktail hour.

Floral The Wedding Woman
Coordination Harmony Weddings and Events.
DJ Vox DJ Company
Photography Shaun King

The couple was kind enough to leave this review for me on Wedding Wire:

“Katherine did the best job for our wedding! She was so easy to work with and so helpful in planning and answering all our questions. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding officiant on their big day. She had the best attitude and all our guests commented how great of a job she did. Thanks again Katherine for everything!”

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Tracy & Robert at Pullen Park

I am so very lucky to work with some really great couples. I connect with so many of “my” couples on a personal level and their excitement for the wedding and love for each other are contagious!! Imagine being so lucky, getting to experience that kind of joy almost every single weekend! That being said, some weddings just hit me a little deeper. And Tracy and Robert’s ceremony at Pullen Park was one of them.

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When we met back in February, these two knew what they wanted… something sweet and simple, an intimate ceremony with mostly family, and something that would include their 5 children from previous marriages.

It was a beautiful April afternoon when we gathered at the gazebo in Pullen Park Lake for their ceremony. I arrived early and helped hang some decorations and set up the sand ceremony. If you are trying to count all the vials in that picture I will help you out – there are 8! One for the bride and groom, one for me to pour “foundation sand,” and one for each of the 5 kids. Sand ceremonies are an awesome choice for including kids in the ceremony. It is such a visual representation of the blending of the families, and I think most kids like getting their own color of sand!

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They chose a pretty coral color for their theme and Robert surprised Tracy by renting a tux with coordinating vest. She thought he would be wearing a suit (and he had actually joked he was going to wear shorts and a t-shirt… men!). They didn’t see each other before the ceremony, so after Tracy made her entrance over the bridge it was sweet to see her reaction to Robert!

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Shortly after the ceremony began I saw one of their 9 year-old twins start crying tears of happiness. Now, I tear up in ceremonies pretty often. I’m an emotional person and like I said, I get wrapped up in the all the happiness and joy! But this was more than that. I was fighting back tears as I could feel the love so strongly between not just the bride and groom, but from all of their children, and their family and friends that were there to share the moment. It was truly beautiful!

After the ceremony their two witnesses signed the license, while the couple and family did their formal photos. My favorite of the pictures I took that day was the moment below with the 4 youngest kids (Robert’s oldest is grown and married) watching the ducks in the lake. These kids have gone from great friends to brother and sisters, and that is a very special gift their parents have given them!

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Robert & Tracy I am wishing you all the love and joy this world has to offer as you begin your journey as a new family!
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Esther & Isaiah at the WRAL Azalea Gardens

Esther & Isaiah were married on a beautiful day at the end of April at the WRAL Azalea Gardens in Raleigh. The gardens are a beautiful spot for a spring wedding, as most of the flowers are in bloom and the tall pine trees provide enough shade to keep things cool. I was grateful for the especially cool afternoon they had!

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The gardens were hopping that day, full of family portrait photographers and lots of prom-going teens getting their pictures made! Fortunately, WRAL puts out these signs at every possible entrance to the ceremony space to make sure people are respectful.

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I loved their turquoise and coral beach theme! Everything was coordinated so well, no doubt with thanks to her planner, Katina Lucas of Visions of Elegance! The sand ceremony they chose to include in the ceremony was the perfect ritual to go with the beach theme.

Another sweet detail that was too cute not to mention… Isaiah and his groomsmen wore their shades until the moment Esther got to the top of the aisle. Then they whipped them off in unison to admire her beauty! I love it!

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The following photos from the ceremony were taken by Annette at Martha Smith Tillery Photography.

You’ve gotta love that dip at the end! LOL… my face says it all!

The couple was kind enough to leave this review for me on Wedding Wire:

“Katherine was great!!! She made the wedding ceremony process easy. She was helpful in answering all of our questions and terrific including all of our ceremony choices. I would definitely recommend her to anyone needing officiant services.”

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Nancy & Renee in Raleigh

Renee and Nancy were married on Cinco de Mayo! May 5th of this year was their 18th anniversary.

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They came up from South Carolina and tied the knot in an intimate elopement ceremony at their niece and nephew’s house in Raleigh. Congratulations you two!

The couple was kind enough to leave this review for me on Wedding Wire:

“Katherine made this process extremely easy. She did a great job with the ceremony. We couldn’t have asked for things to go any better. We highly recommend her.”

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Jason and Sarah in Raleigh

Jason and Sarah were married in a sweet, intimate, elopement ceremony at Jason’s parents’ home in Raleigh in early May.

The original plan had been to have the ceremony out on the back deck. I admit that would have been pretty amazing, as it was a large, beautiful deck hidden among a thick grove of trees. However, mother nature had other plans that day as it was absolutely pouring when I arrived!

The back up plan was this charming set up in the living room. I loved how everything coordinated with the purple and white. The monogrammed cake and matching napkins were some of those little details that show how special a wedding is, no matter how small the guest count!

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The couple chose a short, non-religious ceremony that they felt represented their relationship well. I know their parents were a little concerned that there would be no mention of God, but Jason’s mother came to me with tears in her eyes after the ceremony. She told me she didn’t know a non-religious ceremony could be so beautiful!

Because there was no bridal party, the couple just had two close friends in attendance to sign the marriage license following the ceremony. This is almost always seen as an honor by those who are asked, so consider that when choosing!

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Jennifer & Michael at the Raleigh Rose Garden

Jennifer & Michael were married on a cool May morning at the Raleigh Rose Garden. If you aren’t familiar, the garden is located behind Raleigh Little Theatre’s stage and amphitheatre. It is a beautiful spot and the roses were in full bloom!

There are a few pretty spots in the Garden for a ceremony, but Jennifer and Michael chose right in front of the fountain with the pergola in back.

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Jennifer’s dad built these benches and brought them in for the ceremony!

This couple was low key and easy to work with and wanted just a short and simple ceremony. They did add a really unique reading that I loved. “Description of an arch” from Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks:

“The arch is nothing else than a force originated by two weaknesses, for the arch in buildings is composed of two segments of a circle, each of which being very weak in itself tends to fall; but as each opposes this tendency in the other, the two weaknesses combine to form one strength.

As the arch is a composite force it remains in equilibrium because the thrust is equal from both sides; and if one of the segments weighs more than the other the stability is lost, because the greater pressure will outweigh the lesser.”

Following the ceremony they had their moms sign the license. Love that!

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Whenever the guest count is on the smaller side for a wedding, I recommend getting one big group shot with everyone. I was happy to take this one for Jennifer & Michael!

The couple and their guests headed to a reception lunch at The Pit in downtown Raleigh, then they took off for their honeymoon!

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Chelsea & Alex in Holly Springs

Chelsea and Alex were married back in May at a beautiful private residence in Holly Springs. We had the rehearsal the night before and their photographers, Into the Sun Photography, were at the rehearsal to do lighting checks and see the space, so we got some fun pictures from that!

It rained on the evening of the rehearsal and all forecasts for Saturday pointed to rain, rain, and more RAIN! Lucky for us, this is what it looked like on the wedding day…

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Perfection! Our back up plan of the reception tent was totally unnecessary. Chelsea and Alex put a lot of work into the details of their day and I enjoyed walking around and snapping pics before the ceremony.

Chelsea is a horse lover (there were even references to how much time she spends at the barn in Alex’s vows!), so these horseshoe favors were fitting!

Chelsea’s mom told me she searched high and low for a “cake tent” to keep the bugs off the cake in the hours leading up to cake-cutting time. When she had no luck she made her own, using tulle and coat hangers! I thought it was brilliant!

The following images from the ceremony are by Into the Sun Photography.

Chelsea and Alex included a handfasting in their ceremony, which is probably my favorite ritual. It is based in Celtic and Scandinavian tradition and is where we get the term, “tying the knot.” The couple chose cords of ivory and blue to represent clean beginnings and fidelity and trust.

Following the ceremony, Chelsea’s best man and maid of honor signed the license to make it legal!

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Alex and Chelsea were kind enough to leave this review on Wedding Wire:

“There’s a reason Katherine has 67 5-star reviews! We set up two meetings with potential officiants and canceled the 2nd one immediately upon talking to Katherine. She’s organized, flexible, and a great writer and speaker. Planning a wedding can be stressful and difficult, but thanks to Katherine the rehearsal and ceremony were easy to put together!”

They also left this review on Google:

“We’re very happy about how well our ceremony went, and that was in large part thanks to Katherine. By the day of, we were stressed and tired and nervous, and she was calm and organized and thoughtful. For preparation, for the rehearsal, and for the wedding itself, Katherine was fantastic and we highly recommend her!”

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