Saturday, July 31, 2010

Steph & Greg Are Married

A glorious day for a wedding, and you don't have to be an ex-President's daughter to have a very special wedding. You only need to come to the Hawthorne Hotel, where we treat every couple as "royalty".

If you have been following this wedding blog for the past year, you already know about Steph and Greg. Today was their wedding day, and I took a lot of photos (with their permission) to document the special day on our blog.

Here are a few photos to get you started. I will be posting more over the coming weeks.

Many of our couples choose to have photos taken in the Gazebo located on Salem Common, right next to the Hawthorne Hotel. While the photos are being shot, we send over a server, with hors d'oeuvres and pitchers of water (no alcohol is allowed there) so that the wedding party is well taken care of while they are having their photos (and sometimes video) taken.

That is the case with these photos.

I hope these photos are helpful to you. Stay tuned.


Friday, July 30, 2010

The Wedding Rehearsal

As we continue to follow Steph's wedding, we thought you might like to see some shots of the rehearsal. We are always able to find ways to do rehearsals, despite what is going on in the hotel. Tonight there was a wedding reception in the Ballroom, so Liz took the group up to the second floor to rehearse.

Liz is very serious about making sure that weddings go perfectly, so she is all over the rehearsals.

But she is able to make sure everyone has a bit of fun at the same time.

I hope you enjoy this "behind the scenes peek at what we do.


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Can You Say Prada?

Prada Pre-Fall 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The ALL-IMPORTANT Detail Meeting

Here you see Steph meeting with her Wedding Planner, Christine Turner (seated) and her Wedding Coordinator, Liz Dube. The Detail Meeting is a kind of hand-off from the Planner to the Coordinator, and this meeting is probably the most important part of the entire preparatory process of holding a wedding here.

One of the things that our customers tell us over and over again is how smoothly everything runs at a wedding or other event that they might host or attend at the Hawthorne Hotel. We think that the reason for that is the DETAIL meetings that we have with our clients ahead of time.

We adore Steph, who is getting married here this weekend, in part because she is such a sweet, nice person, and also because she is super-organized, which makes the Detail Meeting go very smoothly.

Christine Turner is going through the boxes of things that we are going to handle for Steph this weekend, from favors, to menu cards, to special glasses for their toast, to table numbers and so on.

Since Steph found our hotel an appealing site, in part because of our use of social media, she also agreed to let me document her wedding from start to finish on our blog. Thanks, Steph!

I hope you enjoy learning more about weddings at the historic Hawthorne Hotel, where our building is graciously-old, but our ideas about how to run our business are definitely on the forefront.


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Friday, July 23, 2010

Lusting again

And this time it's for the glorious Ann Demeulemeester.
I mean, just look at that.
I will lust for ever and ever.

On another note, literally, I'm still enthused by Guiseppe Verdi's Aida performance at the Arena Di Verona last night. Beautiful. Opera live is an incredible experience.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Pavilions at Angus Barn Hosts Wedding of Heather and Mike!

The photos above show where Heather and Mike's wedding ceremony was supposed to be and where we had our rehearsal! But, because of the rain, it was moved inside the pavilion. Nevertheless, they were bound to have a wonderful wedding ceremony no matter where on the property of the Pavilions at Angus Barn. The Pavilions at Angus Barn is one of the newest and most prestigious wedding venues in the Raleigh area. The facility is most impressive and this was my first wedding there. I had been to the grounds and taken photos and put up a blog post about it in early 2009 and was so thrilled when Heather and Mike contacted me back in August of 2009 to officiate their wedding on July 17, 2010.

Heather and Mike's wedding was special for another reason too. Heather's sister, Carrie, and my daughter, Andrea, worked together and that is how they came to know about me and hire me for their wedding officiant. I did not meet Heather and Mike face to face until months after they mailed me the contract and check.
When Dave and I arrived at 5:00 on the day of the wedding, it was raining. We had come from another wedding in Hillsborough, see next post, where it had been pouring rain and were wondering what decision had been made for this wedding. We were quite sure it would be moved indoors.
 The interior of the pavilion had already been set up with 100 chairs and the arbor all decorated with flowers. It was situated in front of the double sided fireplace and the lights from the trees and the candles softly illuminated the area. It was beautiful! Thank you, Kelly and Wendy (Angus Barn staff in charge of the wedding), for taking care of all the details!
Shortly after I got my theater microphone plugged into the DJ's sound system, Molly Olah, founder of  North Carolina Classical Wedding Music, and her two fellow musicians arrived. Molly is in the center. They provided heavenly music for the ceremony while the DJ, a family member from Plymouth MA provided the music for the reception.
DJ Gene and I chatting about weddings on Cape Cod where my niece officiates weddings and I have done a couple up there too for my niece's daughter and son.
Here is one table setting and another in the back ground.
The cute little place cards were held by corks!
Heather and Mike had found some smooth polished stones for each guest to take, write their name on it with a silver marker, hold the stone during the ceremony infusing it with their blessings for the couple then deposit it into the glass vase to the left after the ceremony. The glass vase of stones will be a keepsake to be displayed in their home of all the people and blessings from their wedding.
When all the guests had arrived and been seated by our groomsmen who did such a fabulous job (I am proud of you guys for not letting anyone sit in the back row!), I entered and took my place. I was followed by Mike escorting his two mothers, Susan and Kate.
Not a real good photo but this is the father and mother of the bride, Doug and Mary, entering. Doug circled around to do his duty bringing in the bride.
Next in were Jenny and Gabe. That is Tina Loebach, our photographer in the background catching the action as they entered.
Corey escorts Julie in. 
Angela enters with Bryan. She is one of the Maids of Honor. 
And now Carrie, Heather's sister, enters with our best man, Kyle. 
Madison and Jake enter. You can barely see Jake but he is following behind with the ring pillow. They are Mike's niece and nephew. Madison did a thorough job of sprinkling the petals. I could tell she was an experienced flower girl!
Time for our beautiful bride and proud papa. 
And the ceremony began. Take a look at that huge fan rotating slowly above the guests. And, that nice carpet runner! That substantial runner is what I like to see at a wedding! 
Here we are paying tribute to their wonderful parents. 
Carrie is reading her sweet vows to Mike from my book as I follow along with my finger so she can look up and not lose her place. 
Time for the big pronouncement of marriage. Someone else on the front row is taking a picture too! 
The photo of the kiss was just too dark to salvage but as you can imagine, it was a good one. They had been practicing! 
Whoa! I can't explain this photo but I sure do like it! Sorry Mike got cut off but Heather is grinning from ear to ear! 
Doug and Mary, Heather's parents, recess out. They are so happy about this marriage! Carrie, you are next! 
Mike's two moms, Sue and Kate, exit together. They were so touched by the ceremony! 
I just dropped my stone into the vase! I had it in my pocket during the ceremony.
It was only slightly misting when we exited for photos on the terrace outside the pavilion. The lighting is perfect. Mike and Heather, it was a pleasure working with you and I am honored to have officiated your wonderful wedding. I am sure I will be hearing about you from Carrie! All the best to you both!