Lane and Josh planned to have 25 to 30 guests for their wedding on 8/30/08 at 11:00 in the morning and they chose the lovely White Garden at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. The setting was very lush and green. It was warm and quite humid that morning and despite having slathered myself with bug repellent, a mosquito had a nice lunch on my elbow during the ceremony and you can see in the photo as the couple recess, I am scratching my poor elbow! A guitarist and flutist provided the music and the gazebo was the backdrop for the ceremony. The guests assembled and when the bride arrived, escorted in by both her parents, the ceremony began with a welcome to all and a wedding prayer. Although the couple did not want a religious ceremony, Lane wanted to pay tribute to her Jewish heritage by including a more contemporary version of the Seven Blessings as written by Rabbi Lerner and it was a nice touch for their wedding ceremony. The introduction to the blessings is: "In Jewish tradition, the bride and groom receive seven wedding blessings. Seven is considered a mystical number. The Kabbalists, the Jewish mystics, believed there are seven spheres of the soul and seven heavens. Josh and Lane, as I recite these blessings, we pray that you will enter into each other’s souls." The seven blessings were followed by the vows and the exchange of rings. I made the requisite pronouncement of marriage and invited them to share their first kiss as husband and wife. We closed with a blessing and introduction of the newlywed couple to their guests. It was then time for pictures and the photographer was a bride that I married a few years ago in my own wedding garden! I did not recognize Jessica Yakamna, did not even know she was a photographer at all, until she reminded me that I had officiated her wedding! Then I remembered! (See her in the photo with the bride and me.) Small world. I just never know where and when I will run into couples I have married but it is always fun to see them again. Josh and Lane, congratulations on your marriage and I hope to see you again somewhere soon!