My First Official Wedding


A year has gone by; the planning is finished; the wedding is now over. I never knew how fast one year could really fly by, until I started counting down to their wedding, Nikki & James!

To start off, let me tell you a little about this couple. Nikki and James are two of the kindest, most laid-back, and fun-loving people I know. They enjoy hanging out with friends, playing kick-ball, and drinking beer. They are almost always smiling or laughing, and so are their friends. So, as you can imagine, planning and being part of this wedding was TONS of fun!

It all started with the engagement shoot. Nikki & James asked my Fiance, Ryan, to be their photographer for the wedding, and so of course I gladly assisted him with their engagement shoot. They wanted a really relaxed shoot that would portray how they actually appear as a couple. This was a piece of cake! We did a few of them wearing their college t-shirts, walking their dogs, and loving on one another. And then we did some fun stuff; Nikki had purchased chalk and attempted to find a chalk board. They wanted to write their wedding date on the boards and use these for a Save the Date card. However, since she couldn’t find a chalkboard last-minute, we had to improvise:

Throughout the rest of the year, Nikki and I met periodically to discuss what all she needed to get done and when. Whenever she needed anything, Nikki would email me and ask. Helping with little things like finding a party bus, finding a chair/table rental company, getting quotes from caterers, and just reminding her to pay deposits helped me to really understand the role of a wedding coordinator.


Adorable Flower Girl

My favorite part of this particular rehearsal had to be coaxing the adorable flower girl down the aisle.

Thankfully, Nikki & James gave me the authority the run the rehearsal. Overall, it went really well. The wedding party was huge, so there were a lot of people to deal with just counting the 16 of them. (That’s not even including the bride and groom.) But even with a huge party, a few sets of grandparents, parents, the flower girl running around, and even the musicians, I still managed to hold everyone’s attention and get the processional practiced twice.
While it was surprising to me that such a huge group was so willing to listen, apparently it didn’t faze anyone else. We got a good rehearsal in, and were at the hotel for the rehearsal dinner by only 7:10 p.m. (Just late enough to say it was fashionably.)

June 2nd, 2012 The Wedding Day

As soon as I got to the chapel, Tara one of the bride’s co-workers and friends, was already on the spot multitasking. The front three pews of the chapel had been reserved for family, as instructed, and guests were already arriving.
The bride and her bridesmaids pulled up in their party bus, almost immediately after I arrived, and started piling in to the designated room to wait.

St. Mary’s Chapel

Once 5:00 p.m. came around, everyone was seated and the wedding began! The musicians Megan Garrity (vocals) and her Husband James Garrity (acoustic guitar) performed Heavenly Day by Patty Griffith. If you have not heard this song before, I strongly suggest you click on that link and listen. To simply describe it as beautiful, does not even do this song justice. And Megan Garrity’s amazing voice absolutely filled the entire chapel.

It was a beautiful and short ceremony, but since I was still technically “on the clock” I had to make sure to focus on the task ahead, even while dodging my fiance, as he took pictures in the back of the church.

After the wedding, we rushed over to the reception site; The NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Tara and I ran around like crazy setting up centerpieces, the cake & present table, the sign-in table, and somehow managed to have the 3rd floor of that museum looking ready for a wedding reception within 30 minutes or less. It seemed impossible that we would achieve such a feat at the time, especially since the security was letting guests up when they were asked not to, but the place looked amazing in the end.

Welcome Mr. & Mrs. James Gieszelmann!

When the wedding party arrived, the DJ blasted “Party Rock Anthem” -LMFAO, as per request of the Bride & Groom, and they danced into the museum in style.

Into the Mystic

My favorite photo of the night, however, is of their first dance. When James & Nikki booked their reception site, the one thing that James was most excited about was the concept of “dancing with dinosaurs”. That is, whenever the museum hosts a wedding reception, the dance floor and DJ are always located in the room with the giant dinosaur bones. It was truly a breathtaking scene. They danced to “Into the Mystic” By Van Morrison and this is what it looked like:

The happily married couple is now vacationing in Hawaii for two weeks!! I am insanely jealous and ready to relax myself.

Wedding Day- Nikki & James

After a year of planning and preparation, the big day has finally arrived! My good friends, and first set of clients, are getting married today. Their wedding will take place at St. Mary’s Chapel located at St. Mary’s School on Hillsborough, in downtown Raleigh, NC.

The church is absolutely beautiful with high ceilings, stained glass windows, and an absolutely breathtaking courtyard full of hydrangeas, roses and a water fountain; It’s the perfect spot for an early spring wedding in North Carolina.

We had the rehearsal last night at St. Mary’s and the dinner immediately following at the Double Tree down the road.

The wedding itself is tonight a 5:00 p.m. and the reception is being held at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.