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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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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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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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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Adam & Marina’s Interfaith Backyard Ceremony

Adam and Marina were married at a private residence in North Raleigh on March 26th. The home was of a family friend, and the owner told me it wasn’t the first wedding to take place there! The couple they bought the home from had actually held their daughter’s wedding on the same deck. As you can see, it is the perfect set up for an intimate ceremony overlooking the pond.

When I arrived for a short rehearsal on the Thursday before the wedding, the home owner and Adam’s mother were busy planting pots of white flowers for occasion. I thought that was a lovely touch!

Photos by Maya Anna Photography

The weather had been calling for rain all day, and the sky was looking a little iffy just before ceremony start time. We hurried and got everyone in the seats as it was just starting to drizzle when we walked out onto the deck! Fortunately, the drizzle stopped and held off for the rest of the ceremony just as our radiant bride arrived.

Photo (right) by Maya Anna Photography

Adam’s family is Jewish and Marina’s is Christian, so this was an Interfaith ceremony. We included a wine ceremony and used the goblet from Adam’s Barmitzvah. That was a very sweet addition thought of by Adam’s mother, Carol.

Photos by Maya Anna Photography

And of course a breaking of the glass was also included! This is one of my most favorite wedding traditions. There are many explanations out there as to the symbolism of the breaking of the glass. The one I use most often in ceremonies is that just as the glass has been fundamentally changed and cannot go back to how it was, so have the lives of the couple.

Photos by Maya Anna Photography

Thank you, Marina and Adam, for letting me share in your special day! Best wishes!

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