Monday, February 24, 2014

Merab and Justin met when they were both law students at UNC School of Law. They were friends and study buddies first then the relationship deepened into love. After 4 years together, they decided to marry. With the help of their wedding planner, Katie Dunn with La Fete, they put together a very unique wedding that was elegant yet cozy. Merab contacted me in mid-January to see if I could officiate for them on February 15, 2014 and I was able to coordinate their wedding with another one before theirs only a few blocks away. Synchronicity at work! 
Not normally a wedding venue, Mandolin, a restaurant in Raleigh in the Hayes Barton neighborhood near the corner of Fairview and Oberlin, was transformed for the event.
The space has been home to many different restaurants through the years but evidently Mandolin has successfully blossomed into quite the Southern culinary experience with international influence thanks to its owner and chef, Sean Fowler, who previously was chef at Fearrington. The decor is minimal but elegant and organic.  There is a small private dining room that could be used for smaller weddings too.
When the guests had all arrived and taken their seats at the tables and the parents seated in front, Justin and I entered and waited for the bride.
Merab was escorted in by her father, Don, from the side. (It was tight quarters, no aisles, and not much room for Marty to maneuver around for photos.)
 Their parents.....
The couple wanted a short but meaningful ceremony which we developed via email with their input for their story.
 And of course, laughter at a wedding is always good! 
 Now they are husband and wife! 
Justin and Merab, what a delightful couple you are. You knew exactly what you wanted and made it happen. I am honored to have been part of your lovely wedding and getting the two of you married. I wish you all the best always!
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