Saturday, July 13, 2013

Like many good love stories, Denise and David's began at college, Rice University in Texas, to be specific. Denise had grown up in Venezuela and David in Louisiana. They met each other at freshman orientation but it took them almost 3 years to connect romantically despite the fact that they both sort of had secret crushes on each other, David from the very beginning! When Denise went to Madrid for a semester of her junior year abroad they skyped for hours. When she returned, David surprised her with a chocolate chip pancake brunch and a viewing of Gone With the Wind and she was hooked. They graduated and eventually ended up in North Carolina while David pursued a graduate degree in Math. About a year later, David popped the big question and they began planning their wedding for June 29, 2013. I met them in September of 2012 when they booked me as their officiant. They also decided it would be a good idea to take my Marriage Optimization course to make sure they were best prepared for a successful, satisfying and happy marriage. Then I got to really get to know this delightful couple.
The King's Daughters Inn in Durham, right across from Duke campus, has a juliet balcony and when Marty and I arrived, Denise and David were meeting for the first time on their wedding day on the balcony. It was almost like a "first look" except that David was blindfolded! It was a great photo op that was probably staged by their photographers from Suggs Photography. Tre Bella provide the flowers.
Inside I met with Chelsey Morrison who owns Gather Together Event Planning. Her assistant Katherine Hollander was assisting her. We were running through the processional since I was not present at the rehearsal.
Denise loves coconut and David loves chocolate! These yummy cakes were baked by Hayes-Barton Cafe. They also had pies baked by Scratch Bakery. Durham Catering provided the meal so I know it was delicious!
The lovely dining room was all set up for the sit-down reception for about 70 guests.
Each napkin had a different photo of our couple.
 Almost time to start! 
Denise's sister, Christine, was her Maid of Honor. David's friend, Colin, was his Best Man.
Sophia and Nicholas were ready to walk down the aisle and be done with their duties! Nicholas was a blur of activity that day!
Denise's father came all the way from Spain to walk her down the aisle! What a beautiful bridal gown! 
And so we began, illuminated by the filtered sunlight streaming in the windows.
Of course everyone, including the couple enjoyed hearing their story and the special paragraphs they had for each other telling what they loved about each other.
"Do you, Denise, vow to give David the best of yourself, to work together and not against each other in all the challenges that life presents? Do you promise........"
"I give you this ring and pledge to love you today, tomorrow and always." 
Then we had the "cup of wine" ceremony where they each drank 3 times from the same glass.
In the Christian Orthodox tradition of circling, Denise and David walked around me three times signifying their oath to preserve their marriage bond forever. The circle symbolizes eternity and the triple circling honors the Holy Spirit.
We closed with the words of First Corinthians about love then I pronounced them husband and wife!
Happy couple! Denise and David, your love and sweetness for each other will bring much happiness and peace in your lives! Thank you for giving me the honor of joining you in marriage.
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