Thursday, April 7, 2011

Melissa and Jeff's wedding day, Sunday April 3, 2011, at Duke Gardens amphitheater turned out to be a beautiful day although the forecast the week prior looked pretty gloomy and I know Mary Page Block of Arioso Strings was worried about the weather too. Stringed instruments can be ruined if exposed to damp weather. We all breathed a sigh of relief when the weather turned out so nice. 
When Marty and I arrived for the wedding, the musicians were getting set up and the florist, Becky with Tre Bella, had put out the simple but elegant florals for the ceremony. There were pussy willow branches in one container and in the other containers were white flowers and floating candles with rocks in the bottom. The least little breeze can topple top heavy floral arrangements so these were perfect. The amphitheater had undergone quite a transformation since I was there last fall. Gone was the small redwood gazebo. The entire area behind the amphitheater had been turned into a beautiful garden with pathways.  The water lilies had not been added to the pond though--maybe it was too early. Still, it was a gorgeous setting for a wedding. 
This was the third wedding in a row that Arioso Strings provided the ceremony music for my weddings! The first was a duet of guitar and violin, then a solo violinist, and this wedding featured a string trio composed of Mary Page Block, David Oh, and Rebecca Carlson.  Mary, the founder and owner of Arioso Strings, brings her camera to snap some pictures for her blog
Inside the Doris Duke Center the tables were set for the reception and Cinda's Creative Cakes had been there and set up this gorgeous cake. The icing really looks like fabric! Steve Stowe with Joe Bunn DJ Company was there setting up his equipment to provide the music for the reception. 
When it was time to begin, Katie Dunn of La Fete, lined us all up, waved to the musicians to begin the processional music then cued us all in. Melissa and Jeff live in California and planned this wedding from afar. In fact, I met them for the first time face to face at the rehearsal. I was so happy that they hired Katie to be their "day of director." She did a great job of keeping everything organized and flowing along with the help of her sister, Rebecca Dunn. Thanks, Katie and Rebecca!
 At last it was time for our beautiful bride to enter with her father.
 All the guests were standing for the birde's arrival.
You can see that the sun was behind us lighting up Melissa's veil like angel wings! The poor guests were looking directly into the sun until it dipped a bit lower during the ceremony.
Melissa teared up a bit during the ceremony and I handed her a hankie, then her maid of honor handed her a tissue, and Jeff was in charge of keeping them in his pocket and retrieving them as needed. Jeff, you did a good job!  Instead of having their story in the ceremony, they opted to have me read a moving original poem entitled "The Wedding Prayer" written by Melissa's childhood pastor in Chicago, Rev. Charles Emery.
Robin Lin was their photographer. She is getting a good shot here of the couple recessing. She has posted a fabulous photo of the couple after the wedding on her blog. See it HERE!
They look so happy that they are finally married after many years together. They met their first year of law school at Duke in 2006 and wanted to marry here for sentimental reasons. Jeff's family traveled to North Caronlina from Canada and Melissa's from Illinois. Their guests came from all over the country.
Congratulations and best wishes, Jeff and Melissa!

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