Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tatiana and Roger have the sweetest love story! Tatiana grew up in Russia and Roger in Sweden but they met here in the U.S. When I met them October 14th, I found them so delightful and I knew I would enjoy working with them to put their story into words for their ceremony. And I certainly did. They both gave me great examples of their love and what they love about each other. Really, theirs is a match made in heaven and since they have each been married before, they knew when they met they had finally found "the one." They first met last January on line and met in person a few weeks later in February. Both were charmed by the other and it did not take them long to become a couple and decide to marry. So they set the date for November 17, 2012 at The Umstead Hotel and Spa. They knew that the weather could be iffy in November but they really wanted to have the ceremony outside in the lovely garden there. When I first arrived, Roger, Tatiana and many of their guests were outside making the decision. The temperature was 57 degrees and there was only a little breeze. The guests were warmly dressed and were fine with being outside. The Unity Candle set-up was protected by hurricane glass as well as the candelabras, so it was a go!
Although some of the foliage has fallen for the season, the colorful trees in the background brighten up the dark green of the pines and the ever blooming knock-out roses give the sparkle of red. 
Carrie Cassidy, Director of Catering with The Umstead, and I go over the logistics for lighting the Unity Candle while Kelley Ann Ward, the new Social Catering Manager in training with The Umstead, listens in. Kelley Ann is filling the position formerly held by Ami Wheeler which involves handling weddings at this elegant venue. Welcome, Kelley Ann!  I look forward to doing many weddings with you!
Marty went to the Sycamore Room where the reception would take place to get a shot of the cake by Sweet Memories Bakery. Kelly Odom Florist provided the beautiful flowers. The bride's bouquet was simply stunning! 
Roger and Tatiana are very fond of Spanish guitar and Flamenco dancing (one of the many things they have in common) and so they hired Alex Gorodezky from the Ukraine and Vadim Kolpakov from Russia, a guitar duo, to provide the music for the ceremony. Although they are both accomplished classical guitarists and instructors, they too have a fondness for jazz and Spanish guitar music. They played all the way through the ceremony too which is very unusual. But, since The Umstead provides a sound system for all outdoor ceremonies, everyone could hear me.  
When all the guests had arrived, we began. Roger and I walked in first.
Then Tatiana's daughter, Maria, entered down the aisle.
Tatiana was escorted in by long-time friend, David. That is Jess Levin, photographing them as they go. I have worked with Jess for many years. Today he brought a second shooter, Cindy.
We began with a warm welcome for their guests--about 25 people--their closest friends and family that could come. Roger's parents are in Sweden and Tatiana's in Russia and they could not make the trip.
 They included a lovely passage for Maria.
Then I read a poem they both loved--"To my Friend" by Roy Croft--followed by their story which their guests got a big kick out of. They leaned in toward each other once or twice prompting me to say "no kissing yet!" There was lots of sweet humor and everyone there really appreciated it. Their paragraphs to each other were so loving and romantic.
They said their ring vows to each other as they exchanged rings. Then we began the Unity Candle ceremony.
Since neither of their mothers could be with us, Roger and Tatiana chose the version of the Unity Candle ceremony where they lit their own flames from the candelabra candle. Then they brought their flames together to form one flame to light the central Unity Candle.
We were so happy that none of the flames were blown out by the breeze that was blowing.
 Finally the pronouncement of marriage.......
It's okay to kiss now! 
I am retrieving Tatiana's bouquet from Maria for Tatiana so I can announce them as husband and wife to everyone:
 I know it is a blurry picture, but you get the gist! 
 Beautiful, beautiful wedding! 
The couple and their guests headed inside for the reception and a group shot. Marty snapped this one right before and we departed for home. Congratulations, Tatiana and Roger. I know you are so happy and soaking in the wedded bliss! I wish you all the best!

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