Saturday, February 28, 2009

For Charles and Melissa

...Fairy Tales Do Come True

A bride, a groom, two loving families, 120 friends and a Cinderella setting--their Fairy Tale came true Friday evening at the newest wedding venue on the north side.
Fairy Tale Manor in Frisco hosted its first wedding ceremony as Melissa and Charles became husband and wife following a three year romance and a romantic proposal last October.

Fairy Tale Manor is the new endeavor for Tom and Laura Parker, a couple well known to those of us at LoveNotes, most notably because of Laura's role as a professional photographer with Fairy Tale Photography. Are you sensing a theme here? Consumate professionals, they are both pouring tremendous energy and planning into the venue and it shows in the changes to the decor, attention to detail and goal-oriented staff (big shout out to Autumn!).

The bride chose chocolate and light blue for her colors that extended from flowers, to chair covers, to bridesmaid dresses and even the groomsmen's vests and ties. The wedding party included family members, close friends and college room mates.

The ceremony went smoothly with Gary Lankford of
Heavy G Productions at the sound controls. He's a professional DJ, MC and party leader. Gary handled music for the ceremony as well as the reception--he even played some Lynyrd Skynyrd for me (I'm an old rock 'n' roller), but he has every possible genre of music in his library, and he knows how to keep a party going.

Thanks to
Laura Parker. for sending me the pictures. And as always, my gratitude goes to the newlyweds, for letting me be part of their special day. Charles and Melissa made a memory for me, a Fairy Tale memory, and this one came true.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Alyssa daughter-in-law turns thirty-something

Ian and Alyssa actually knew each other in high school primarily because Ian was friends with Alyssa's brother, Chris. While Ian was a sophomore, Lyss was a senior. They were acquainted, but that was it. Some years later, however, when Lyss was a student at the University of South Carolina (in Columbia, SC), Ian and Chris moved there to be interns in a church youth program. Acquaintances become friends, friendship sometimes becomes romance, and when Ian said "will you", she said " yes". God truly blessed us, and blessed our son, when he brought Alyssa into our lives.

Interestingly, some years ago, before Ian and Lyss were even dating, I worked in our church youth ministry with Lyssa's mother, Jan. One day we were talking about our respective children and we both wondered out loud, wouldn't it be great if Ian and Lyss got together--they would make such beautiful babies. Well, I'll let you be the judge of that outcome as you look at the pictures. If you'd like to see more of Liam and the Family Byrd in Albuquerque, click Here

God is good. He blessed us with Alyssa. Happy Birthday to the woman who makes our son so happy! !


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Association of Certified Wedding Planners

...or, the cream always rises to the top

The American Association of Certified Wedding Planners is a purpose driven organization that continually emphasizes training and experience to those seeking to excel in the wedding & hospitality business. To learn more about this group click Here

Today, three of us from LoveNotes (including founder Rev. Marty Younkin and his wife Carol) were honored by being asked to present a program to the current class of those seeking the CWP designation. The session was held at the Magnolia Hotel downtown. For today's program, we were asked to talk about certain special touches and ethnic/cultural practices during a wedding ceremony, primarily the Bible/Coins/Lasso for Hispanic weddings; the Huppah, Kiddush cup and glass breaking for Jewish ceremonies; and the wonderfully historic practice of jumping the broom for African-American weddings.

Looking around the room was somewhat like looking at a Who's-Who of wedding planners. Shari Johns (who invited us to speak), Wendy Kidd, Karen Radford, and Alison Fuld along with another two dozen or so made us welcome and graciously invited us to share lunch afterwards.

In the photo above are, left to right, Karen Radford, Laura DeBow, Trudy Baade, Marsha Ballard French, Shari Johns, Kimberly Sutton, and Micki Novak, all of whom are among the leadership in the AACWP.

Here's my point: this group is dedicated to providing couples with the experience of a lifetime when it comes to the wedding ceremony and reception. They're the specialists, the go-to people. When I walk into a rehearsal or ceremony and see one of these folks, I mentally relax a few notches as I know that the bride and groom are in good hands and things will go as planned.

I appreciate being asked to attend these sessions. Brides should appreciate that there are those who care enough about a wedding ceremony to spend hours and hours in a classroom to get the training so they can create that magic, fairytale wedding that couples dream about.


UPDATE: At the time I wrote the above post I didn't know that the AACWP had just given LoveNotesWeddings their 2009 "Favorite Vendor" award. It's a great honor, and it's also humbling to know that this distinction was given by the professionals in the wedding industry. We appreciate the trust, but we also know we have to earn it each time we walk into an event.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Enchanted Memories

...created for Karim & Patty.

Sitting just a few blocks off Hwy 67 in Duncanville is one of those sparkling gems that more people need to know about. Enchanted Memories On The Hill is a wedding and reception venue that was designed and built to be just what it is. Opened about six years ago, it is owned and operated by Earnest and JoDee Wilson. Interestingly, the very first wedding rehearsal in the facility was for Earnest and JoDee and I had the priviledge of conducting that rehearsal. The building sits amidst lush vegetation and is perhaps best known for it's peaceful back garden and gazebo, the site of many wedding ceremonies. JoDee serves as wedding coordinator, along with the many staff members attentive to every single detail.
Patty and Karim elected the inviting chapel inside as the site for their ceremony. Patty chose pink for the Valentine's Day wedding, so that her bridesmaids were attired in pastels and hot pinks. The bride's sister was matron of honor and her niece was one of the bridesmaids. Fortunately, a couple of pink ties hang in my closet so I was able to coordinate with the chosen colors.

DJ duties for the evening were handled by Ken Savage , a veteran of CBS radio, not to mention that he has his own 8 piece band where he can show off his years of experience as a rock & blues guitarist. If you ever get the chance to see Ken Savage and the Best Kept Secret, do it--the horn section alone will blow you away!

My thanks to Robbin, who provided me the pictures taken during the ceremony. Check out the pic of me holding the flower girl--I think she had more fun than any of us during the ceremony; and look closely at the ceremony picture--one of the ring bearers decided to take a little siesta during the ceremony. He got up just in time for the recessional.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Molly and Greg

..tie the knot at Arlington Hall at Lee Park

Arlington Hall at Lee Park is steeped in Dallas history, sitting at the corner of Lemmon Avenue and Turtle Creek Boulevard. It's one of those places many Dallasites have driven past many times and perhaps wondered what the big stone and marble building is on that hill. It's one of those wonderfully elegant southern mansions now used for weddings and other events. Lee Park dates back to 1903, with Arlington Hall added in 1939. A complete restoration of the structure was completed about 5 years ago. Marissa Ritter(an event planner I've known for about five years) and her staff are consistently excellent in the level of service and quality of food. Click the red link above to see more.

This past weekend Molly & Greg exchanged vows in the beautifully restored main ballroom. Both bride and groom alternated between smiles and tears as about 100 family and friends looked on. Sage green, cream and light pink were the bride's colors as seen in flowers, decorations and bridesmaid dresses.

A special note should be made about the musicians for the ceremony and dinner music. Forte Strings is a group of talented string players that I see often. Their playlist runs from the usual classical pieces you hear at weddings, to Lennon-McCartney tunes, and even to more recent pop hits. They handle it all with ease. Sharon Hawkins is also one of the few musicians who actually attends wedding rehearsals. They are absolute professionals and a joy to work with. You can learn about about Forte Strings by clicking here.

Handling photography duties were not one, not two, but three ladies from Bella Bee Photography. I appreciate them allowing me to use the photos shot during the ceremony. With three of them snapping, it's unlikely that any good shot was missed; and yet, they were so unobtrusive, we hardly knew they were there during the ceremony. Fortunately, the ceremony was completed in time to take outdoor pictures just before the sun went down, so the lighting was soft and beautiful. I think photographers refer to that period as "the magic hour".

I'm grateful to Molly and Greg for allowing me to officiate their ceremony. It was tender yet fun at the same time. I only wish that Molly could have seen the look on Greg's face as she turned the corner and headed down the aisle with her proud father.