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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Andy & Julie at the Page-Walker House

Andy and Julie were married last month at the Page-Walker House in Cary. Also known as the Page-Walker Hotel or the Page-Walker Arts and History Center. It was built in 1868 as a railroad hotel and it sits right next to the tracks near downtown Cary. It has an interesting history and now many interesting uses – including weddings!

I met with Andy, Julie, and Julie’s daughter Lauren after a wedding on Easter afternoon to do a quick rehearsal. It was a little rainy and cold, but it gave us a chance to talk through the logistics of the day.

These big beautiful trees were in bloom around the garden. They looked kind of like Cherry Blossoms, but I’m not sure what they were.

The day of their wedding started out rainy as well, but fortunately by the time the ceremony started we had nothing but blue skies and big pretty white clouds!

Andy and Julie chose to include a sand ceremony ritual, so that Lauren could be part of the wedding. She was also the flower girl!

I often get asked by couples doing a sand ceremony what kind of table they need. This is a perfect example of using something simple that you already have. This little white folding table is just right and adding a bow on each side made it wedding-ready. Definitely look around your house or ask a friend or family member if you can borrow something before you buy a new table.

After the ceremony guests were off to celebrate with a reception in the gallery! I thought this was a great set up with the buffet line and bar in the hallway leading into the gallery. I have also seen the reception set up in the courtyard outside (very first pic in the post).

And I had to share a picture of their cute favors: “Mint to Be!” and beautiful wedding cake.

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On the previous Sunday when we rehearsed we talked about the possibility of moving the ceremony inside, just in case of rain. This large room is on the third floor of the Page-Walker House and with a nice fireplace at the front of the room, it would convert nicely into a back-up ceremony space. The capacity is only 60 though, so really just an option for smaller weddings.

Congratulations Andy & Julie! Your wedding day was beautiful and I’m wishing you all the best!

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Amber & James at Athletic Lab

Amber and James are a very sweet couple, with a sweet story! They first met at the Athletic Lab gym in Cary and had their first date at Brio. They chose to walk down memory lane by having their ceremony at Athletic Lab (yes, in a gym!) and their reception at Brio. I love it!

I also loved how they had this chalkboard sign when guests entered, showing their love story and giving guests insight as to why they chose these locations.

Photos by Maya Anna Photography

As we began the ceremony, Amber had a very special surprise waiting for her. She did not think her mom was able to make it from New York for the ceremony, but at the last minute she was able to fly in the night before. Friends kept her hidden away until Amber started her walk down the aisle with her daughter. Even the groom did not know! We were at the front already and he said incredulously, “Is that Amber’s MOM?” It was great! So then Amber walked with her sweet baby girl and her mom. It was beautiful.

Amber and James chose to include a sand ceremony. Their last names are White and Gold, so they chose white and gold sand. Perfect! Also, in a very cool twist on the traditional sand ceremony, they gave each guest one of these tiny bottles of sand. During the ceremony I passed the main vessel through the guests with the help of Gabe (pictured left) and each person was able to add their sand, as a show of support for this new union.

Photos (1st and 3rd) by Maya Anna Photography

After that, the couple added their own sand to make this beautiful blend.

Photo (right) by Maya Anna Photography

Following the ceremony, two close friends signed their license while the couple took pictures around the gym.

Some more fun shots by Maya Anna Photography

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Congratulations Amber and James! Best Wishes!

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“Neon Coral” Backyard Ceremony in Apex

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On May 23rd I had the pleasure of marrying Stacie & Brian in a gorgeous backyard ceremony in Apex. Their color scheme was one I had not seen before and when I asked Stacie about it, she called the color “Neon Coral!” Gorgeous!

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I was so happy to be working with Amber at Maya Ana Photography again for this ceremony. She is so talented, reasonably priced, and easy to work with! All of the photos in this post are from Amber. Make sure you check out her website here! And check out the small wedding photography special just for my couples, featured on my packages page! (scroll to bottom)

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Stacie and her mother really did an amazing job transforming the back yard of Stacie’s mother’s home in Apex into a beautiful wedding wonderland. Everything was gorgeous!

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We had a little laugh during the ceremony! During the Declaration of Intent the traditional answer is “I do!” Well, Brian’s answer was… “Sure!” Hey, it’s still legally binding! Haha!

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Stacie & Brian chose to include a sand ceremony in their wedding so that they could include all three of their children in the ceremony. I love that! Sand ceremonies, handfastings, and “family vows” are some of the best ways to include children in your ceremony.

Collage2Congratulations Stacie & Brian! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special day and best wishes for many happy years together!

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Lavender Affair at the Preston Woodall House

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I just loved this couple! Amy and Rod were so fun from the first time we met. I usually ask couples a few questions to help me get to know them… how did you meet, how long have you been engaged, etc… When Amy told me they had been dating for 9 years, I understood why she was getting a little impatient for a ring. When I asked her if the proposal was a surprise or if she saw it coming, she said it was a total surprise. Rod laughed and said… “See, that’s how you do it. Wait until they’ve given up, then it’s a surprise!” LOL!

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The fun continued as we met on May 16th for their rehearsal at the Preston Woodall House, an historic Bed & Breakfast located in downtown Benson. It was my first time at this venue and I was so impressed. It is laid out perfectly for weddings, with a small dining room available for luncheons, rehearsal dinners, or showers. There is a beautiful enclosed lawn for the ceremony and a large ballroom for the wedding reception. Just perfect!

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I had such a great time at this wedding getting to know Amy and Rod’s families. Rod’s aunt served as the wedding director and did a fabulous job. At the rehearsal I said, “You’ve done this before, haven’t you?” And she admitted that she had, for many friends and family members! Amy’s mom was very sweet as well and just gushed about how amazing the Preston Woodall House is, especially that the rental includes the entire weekend so there is no feeling rushed!

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Here I am with Rod and his best man just before the ceremony was set to start. Rod got a lot of ribbing from the groomsmen about his freedom being taken away and the “old ball and chain.” I loved Rod’s response… he said, “YOU may feel that way about marriage, but I can’t wait!” Before the wedding Amy had gotten a mani/pedi and got the letter “H” (her new last name) painted on her toes. That little gesture meant a lot of Rod. It was very sweet.

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The couple chose to include a sand ceremony with “foundation sand.” The officiant pours the foundation sand as a symbol of the journey that the couple has taken to get where they are today.

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This was also my first time working with Hilary at H.A. Pearce Photography. She was a pleasure to work with and little did we know we would run into each other at another wedding the very next weekend!

Thank you Amy & Rod for allowing me to be a part of your special day! Amy was kind enough to leave this review for me on Wedding Wire:

“Katherine was simply amazing! My husband and I wanted a ceremony that would work for both of us. He wanted religious and I wanted something nondenominational. Katherine worked with us to help develop a ceremony that would allow us to have a little bit of both. She stayed in touch with us throughout the planning and was always incredibly quick to respond to emails and phone calls. Katherine is also reasonably priced. Everyone who attended my wedding kept asking me where I found Katherine because they were so impressed with her. She not only spent time with my husband and I but also spent time speaking with family members as well. The ceremony was beautiful and Katherine was 100% helpful throughout! I couldn’t imagine my ceremony being any more perfect. She was quick to send in out marriage license, we were married on a Saturday and I had my official marriage license in my hand by Wednesday! I HIGHLY recommend Katherine! She is sweet, patient, and genuinely cares about the people she is working with. ”

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