Saturday, November 2, 2013

Before they met each other, Mandi and Chris were both disillusioned with life when, after years of academic success, they started their "adult" lives with a series of personal and professional setbacks. Luckily for them, or shall we just say it was all part of the universe lining up their stars, they both wound up in Raleigh and found each other when they both needed a friend. They had both taken "temporary" jobs until their real career paths were manifested (which has since come to be!). Chris was assigned to the team that Mandi was temporarily was helping out with. Her boss had told her that when she hired Chris she thought Mandi would really like him because he was her type--smart and cute! She was evidently right because four years later, they became husband and wife on October 20, 2013 at Caffe Luna
The main room of this wonderful restaurant that hosts so many fun and casual weddings was prepared with the pretty wreaths with fall leaves on them and an arch up front also bedecked with the pretty fall colors.
See how they used the wreaths for centerpieces encircling a hurricane glass covered candle?
Each table had a photo of the couple gracing it! Their photographer was Jimmy McDonald of Jimmy McDonald Photography from Rockingham, Chris' hometown.
The Sweet Spot Bakery made and presented these festive cupcakes! (I am not familiar with this bakery and could not find a website for them.)
Gordon with Anything Music was our DJ and he and Denita, our cue go-between, were discussing the cues for the processional. Gordon's set up was in the adjoining room and he did not have direct vision of our director.
This is Jo, our honorary wedding director who got the wedding party all lined up and cued them in.  Before we stared the processional the couple had asked me to make the following announcement: "Christopher and Mandi invite you to be truly present at this special time. Please turn off your cell phones and put down your cameras. The photographer will capture how this moment looks. I encourage you all to capture how it feels with your hearts, without the distraction of technology!" 
After the parents and wedding party processed in, it was time for the bride and her father, Randy.
We paid special tribute to their parents who have both maintained intact marriages--shining examples of love, commitment and enduring friendships. 
Mandi and Chris's feelings for each other were reflected in special paragraphs they had each helped me develop in secret, hearing for the first time at their ceremony. 
They made their vows to each other and then exchanged rings. 
After the rings, they placed love letters they had written to each other and sealed into a special box which held a bottle of wine, the same label they shared the night they got engaged. They are to open the box, share the wine and read their letters to each other on their first anniversary. 
Chris and Mandi, congratulations! What a fabulous wedding. I loved the brilliant colors and am honored to have joined you in marriage. I wish you much success not only in your marriage but also in your careers that have come to fruition!
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