Sunday, June 29, 2014

Did you know that Highgrove Estates was once the home of a prominent dentist in Fuquay-Varina? When two entrepreneurs Maria and Vicky bought the estate about 10 to 12 years ago it had deteriorated quite a bit because of standing vacant for some years. They transformed the property into one of the prettiest and most elegant wedding venues in the Triangle. Maria built Chateau Bellevie on the adjacent property and a few years later, she and Vicky split the property into two separate venues. Now Vicky is the owner of Highgrove and Maria, Chateau Bellevie.
The old siding was removed and the original clapboard underneath was restored. The landscaping is now matured and in its glory. Unfortunately we lost the big oak tree in front from which they hung a porch swing this past year, a spot for many wonderful photos of brides and grooms. I started officiating weddings there as soon as they opened and have had the joy of watching them develop the venue--the lovely terrace with a lovely roof to shade it, the marvelous garden ballroom, the pergola where 99% of the weddings take place, and so on! We wedding vendors are so grateful for wonderful venues like Highgrove for weddings!
Jamie and Aaron had a large monogram combining their initials to hang on the front door!
The staff at Flowers on Broad Street were busy perfecting the altar area. This is the first time I have seen a candle candelabra hung there and the sweet little dresser filled with candles, flowers and photos.
 The little brown bag there holds the glass to be broken during the ceremony. 
 What a beautiful backdrop for a wedding! 
Bright flowers in clear plastic bags were hung on the chairs.  All the better in case they fall onto the bricks. No broken glass!
Victor, our DJ with All Events DJ, provided the prelude and processional music up until the entrance of the bride. The bride's aunt then played "Here Comes the Bride" on the flute. Sorry we did not get a photo of the aunt.
A peek inside the garden ballroom revealed the pretty table settings and flowers. When Jamie told me that the color scheme was mint/aqua and coral I had no idea how pretty and striking this color combination would be. It really popped. Even the groom and groomsmen's bow ties were custom made of mint and coral checks for the wedding.
Highgrove does their own catering and the menu looks superb!
Sweet Memories fashioned this pretty cake! 
 How thoughtful for a towel to wipe the bride and groom's faces after feeding each other cake! 
 The Mr. and Mrs. table! 
 Nice touches! 
The latest trend in guest books! 
Okay. It is 5:30, all the guests are seated and it is time to begin. I went in first to anchor the altar space while the others joined me one by one.
 The sun was right in my eyes, which is usually the case this time of day. 
Aaron had the honor of escorting his lovely mother, Nancy, into the ceremony. Most mothers of the groom just love this sweet touch. His father had escorted his grandmother in earlier.
The groomsmen then entered followed by the pretty array of bridesmaids. Our Junior Bridesmaid, Elizabeth, went first. That is Abby Coleman at the doorway directing the wedding. At Highgrove, couples are assigned wedding directors that handle the whole day.
This pretty bridesmaid is Sarah whom I married to her husband Justin two years ago. Jamie and Aaron were at Sarah and Justin's wedding and knew they want me to officiate theirs.
We are awaiting the bride. Aaron had told me before the wedding started that direct sunlight can sometime trigger sneezing--3 sneezes to be exact. So I was keeping my eye on him! It did not happen!
For some reason I never found out, the bride was delayed coming in so we are waiting patiently. You can see Tara Parker, our photographer, kneeling down front ready to get a great shot of Jamie. 
And just as a random cloud covered the sun, here they come! Jamie was escorted in by her stepdad, Scott, who was so honored to do so! 

 Welcoming everyone and thanking them for coming.
 Then a prayer......
 Blessing of the parents here and the sun came out from behind the cloud again!
And now their love story which began nearly 6 years ago when they met. It took them almost a year of dancing around each other to discover they really were meant for each other. Aaron's mom and his friend Jon like to take credit for throwing them together hoping they would connect! We laughed a lot at this point as the story continued on into the proposal on February 16, 2013 in the mountains of NC.
 Then they got to hear what each one told me in private that they loved about each other.
 They read from my book the vows they had chosen.
 Then the ring exchange.
As part of the closing blessing, I had them look around at their guests and feel the love surrounding them.
 I put the glass to be broken at Aaron's feet and made the pronouncement of marriage.
 Aaron stomped the glass, we all shouted Mazeltov and I invited them to kiss!
 And they begin their new journey as husband and wife!
Had to have a photo with Justin and Sarah! You guys look great--and very happy! Congrats on your new house!
The newlyweds with Jamie's mother, Debbie, and her stepdad, Scott. Debbie and Scott live in Georgia where I am from. One of the bridesmaids--Aaron's cousin--is getting married in Atlanta next year and needs an officiant and approached me to do it. Since I don't travel quite that far for a wedding, I was happy to refer them to my friend and colleague, Rev. Judy McNichols, who lives near Athens that I have mentored to do weddings like I do! She is really good!
Hey, what a fabulous wedding! You were wonderful to work with, Jamie and Aaron. I appreciate your creativity and attention to detail. I know you will be very happy together!

To contact me:
Or leave a comment below!


Popular Posts