Thursday, June 5, 2014

When Candace and Greg met in October of 2012 they knew almost instantly that they were meant for each other. The more they saw each other the more they realized that they were two peas in a pod. It did not take Greg, a canine rescue aficionado, long to change Candace into a "crazy dog lady" who wanted to adopt 3 more. At last count, they have 6. Last June I met with them to plan their wedding ceremony. They are unique individuals who wanted their ceremony to reflect their uniqueness. They chose WRAL Azalea Gardens for their ceremony site because Candace wanted to walk down the aisle barefooted and wiggle her toes in the grass. They chose Nina's Ristorante for their reception site.  It is the best Italian food in Raleigh in my opinion but then I may be biased. (I have known Nina since 2004 when I officiated the wedding of her daughter, Ann Marie, to Sean. Then I conducted baby blessing ceremonies for her two granddaughters a few years later. So, we are just about family!)
Sunday May 25, 2014 was a beautiful day for a wedding! After parking, this is the lovely view past the knockout roses down into the garden.
The guests are arriving and getting seated. 
Candace was hiding out behind the brick wall behind the garden and Greg was not allowed to look around the wall. I am standing guard! Yeah!
The Kickin' Grass trio found a spot of grass in the shade and began playing their upbeat and festive music.
All the parents and stepparents were seated. Then Greg and his groomsmen and I entered. It was tempting to take off my shoes and walk in the grass. It was thick and lush.
Candace had a best man and a maid of honor. This is Presley her best man. 
This is Elizabeth, our maid of honor. Notice she is barefoot. 
So we are all gathered and ready for the bride to enter. 
Candace chose not to be escorted down the aisle. 
When she reached the back row of chairs, Greg began walking toward her and they came the rest of the aisle together to get married.
Their photographer was Nicole Hanner seen here zeroing in on a good shot.
I stepped out from behind the couple to welcome everyone and thank their parents. Then I launched in on their entertaining love story. Greg had to wipe a few tears for Candace!
They wrote vows for each other and read from my book.
They chose not to exchange rings. Candace's engagement ring was a one of a kind ring designed by the couple. Greg did not want to wear a ring so he had Candace's initial tattooed on his ring finger.
I have just asked Candace and Greg to turn and gaze around them as their friends and families honor them on their wedding day.
A closing blessing for the couple.
The declaration of marriage! 
Still kissing! 
Candace and Greg, what a joy you are to work with. I love your independent free-thinking style and individuality! I wish you joy beyond what you can even imagine!
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