Sealed with a kiss!

Sealed with a kiss!
Laura & Chris' Wedding at JCRaulston Arboretum

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Sweet Private Wedding for Eva and Janos in My Wedding Garden!

Eva and Janos were going to get married at the courthouse but had second thoughts about the impersonality of it and called me. I was happy to make arrangements to join them in marriage in my wedding garden on Monday November 24th, 2014. Their 4 legged furry child, Otu, joined in the nuptials! He was so well behaved.
 Eva and Janos are both originally from Hungary, Janos more recently than Eva.
Otu is wearing a bit of ivy wrapped around his collar for this special occasion!
Before I gave them their rings, I asked them to join left hands and Eva was laughing at herself because she did not get it right at first! And, that is very common too!
 Talking about the symbolism of the rings.
I happily pronounced them married! 
 They were so happy! 
 Otu had his eye on that pinecone and now he is going for it! 
Congratulations on your marriage, Eva and Janos! I am so happy that you called me and I had the privilege of joining you in marriage. I wish you all the best always!
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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Erin and Rob's Fabulous and Fun Wedding at Bay 7!

Erin and her mother, Patty, came to see me on May 6th about officiating Erin's wedding to Rob on November 15th, 2014 at Bay 7. Erin and Rob live in the Bay Area of California but Erin grew up in North Carolina and her family lives in Durham. She was home visiting her family and making arrangements for her wedding vendors. They liked the officiant services I offered because the ceremony we co-create can be exactly what they want. So we signed the contract, reserved their wedding and rehearsal on my calendar and we began developing the ceremony over the summer.
Looks like Erin and Rob love to dance and do so frequently and their wedding day was no exception! 
My buddy, Steve Stowe, with Joe Bunn DJ Company was on hand when we arrived. We got my mic hooked into his sound system and did a sound check. Always love working with Steve! Of course the music and sound were perfect. 
The ceremony was held in the upper loft area of Bay 7 which is managed by Angus Barn. Ashley Whittington with Angus Barn was their wedding director. (Ashley and I have worked together at weddings at The Pavilions at Angus Barn and I love working with her.) She and the bridesmaids are rehearsing where they will stand during the ceremony. We had a rehearsal the day before but at a different location. You will see that there are no side aisles for a photographer to get closer to the front so the photos on this blog taken with my little point and shoot camera are from the back of the guests and for the most part blurry due to long shutter opening and motion.
A view of the lower level from the loft shows the reception area following the ceremony. 
A very spacious space. Bay 7 is located on the American Tobacco campus in Durham. Of course Angus Barn was providing the delicious food they are famous for! The menu was spectacular!
The wedding cake was by Madd Hatter Bake Shop. The florals by Tre Bella Flowers, the photographers were Cole and Ashley with Blest Studios, and the videographer and photobooth were operated by Kelly with Blue Box Weddings
After the parents and wedding party entered, our two ring bearers and the flower girl entered. 
Then our beautiful bride and her father made their entrance!
Making it down the aisle flanked by their guests! 
And so looking over the heads of our guests, the ceremony has begun and here we are giving tribute to their parents whose marriages have stood the test of time. A sweet surprise for them and usually brings tears to the mothers' eyes.
Getting to tell their love story here. Destiny brought Rob and Erin together a few years ago. She was working for  theTampa Bay Rays in Florida when Rob was hired by the Rays. He kept stopping by her office frequently to talk and his persistence finally paid off!  Erin began paying attention to Rob and they soon discovered just how much they had in common, fell in love, and it just seemed natural to be together. Eventually Rob changed jobs and they relocated to California where Erin's yoga career has blossomed.
Erin, here is what Rob told me he loves about you and why he wants to spend the rest of his life with you. Rob, among many other things, Erin loves you "arms past infinity!"
They made their vows to each other.
Then placed their rings on each other's finger.
I know, the photo is really blurry, but I had to put in the one of the pronouncement of marriage!
At last! 
Stopping to pose for a picture for their photographer so Marty got one too! 
Erin and Rob, what a wonderful wedding! I know you will have a wonderful marriage because you are so right for each other and are so committed to your relationship and to each other. It was my pleasure to work with you! And I do feel like I have known you for many years, not just since May!

Erin, many thanks for your kind words on

"Kayelily gave the best wedding ceremony I've ever heard! Granted it was for my wedding, but I can assure you she will do the same for your wedding. Kayelily made a specific ceremony that honored and shared our love story to our guests. She crafted this amazing service that met our exact needs from religion, to our family, to the love my husband and I share, to the pure joy of the wedding day. She knew exactly what to do, say, organize, etc. Even her outfit for the wedding was coordinated with my colors. Kayelily also had this soft, loving, kind way of delivering the ceremony where you felt she has been your friend your entire life. As if she has known your story and now sharing it with the world. Every aspect was special and I couldn't have asked for a better ceremony."

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After 25 Years Together, Michael and James Make Their Marriage Legal!!

Michael called me one day a few weeks ago to see if I could marry him and his partner. Of course! (This would be the first LEGAL same-sex wedding for me to officiate so I was thrilled. I have done many "holy unions" and commitment ceremonies for same-gender couples and always regretted that those partnerships were not recognized by the State.) Shall we meet and talk about where and when and what you want in your ceremony? Yes, we want to see your garden and talk about our ceremony. They came to see me on November the 8th and liked the garden so we set the date of November 22nd at 3:00 for their wedding day. We discussed what they wanted in their ceremony and I sent them a proposed ceremony to edit. The big day arrived and they came bearing a beautiful spray of fall flowers to hang on the arbor. Mel had told them to say Hi to me and so I knew that they had gotten the flowers from Dogwood Tree Floral Designs! Thanks, Mel!
The day was a bit nippy but bright and sunny. Flanked by their siblings and their spouses and a friend of James' from work who was taking photos, we began. Not only was the occasion special for Michael and James, it was landmark day for all three of us standing up front.
After a welcome to our guests we remembered James' parents who are no longer living and Michael's mother who was unable to make the trip from Kentucky.
 James got a little teary-eyed at this point and so I dabbed the tears from his cheeks. 
James and Michael met 25 years ago and have been together ever since. Their relationship has stood the test of time. Theirs is not just a relationship, it is the intertwining of their two life stories. They are individuals yet their souls intermingle and continuously draw them together into the dance of companionship. 
These rings are symbols of the unbroken circle of love......
 "With this ring I marry you and pledge my heart to you..."
"James and Michael, by the love that has brought you here today, by the vows you have exchanged, and by the integrity of your commitment, I now pronounce you equal partners joined in marriage!"
 I don't know if this was before or after the kiss! (It was a very brief kiss!) Hey, guys, it's legal now!!
 We are married!! Let it sink in! 
 James and Michael with James' sister Betty.
 James' brother Stephan signs the marriage license.
 Michael's sister Patty signs as the other witness.
 Congratulations, James and Michael! I am so happy for you! I wish you the best of everything! 
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What a Fabulous Wedding for Phyllis and George!

Phyllis and George are such a delightful couple. I am so glad they found each other and then found me to officiate their wedding. They were having trouble finding a rabbi to marry them and decided to go with me and we were all really happy about that. I was available on November 22nd, 2014 and that turned out to be a perfect date for them. They had thought they might have their wedding in my garden or in a private room in a restaurant but finally decided to have it at their home in Cary which really worked out best for all.
A photo of Phyllis and her sweet rescue chihuahua, Romeo ("Romey" for short). Then on the right, a photo of our couple dancing. I think they are probably excellent dancers.
Kind of looks like they might start dancing here!
 Yes, we will have the ceremony in front of the fireplace. Is that okay with you?
Yes, but I am worried that if you try to break the glass on the carpet, it might be too soft for the glass to break. 
Oh, says George. I can fix that, whereas he proceeds to go get a board--looked like a shelf-- and places it between their feet onto which I would place the lightbulb which was tucked inside a sock (clever!).
 Are we ready?
 Surrounded by their children and spouses and a couple of neighbors, they were ready!
When I arrived for their wedding, George told me that their neighbors, Don and Delores wanted to speak with me privately. Oh my! They confided they wanted to surprise the couple with two readings. Being that my contract is with the couple, I don't usually allow any surprises from others in the ceremony. But I liked theirs a lot and knew Phyllis and George would too, so gave the okay. Delores read a poem "Touched by an Angel" by Maya Angelou.
Don is reaching for his reading which is a poem he wrote as if it was Romey, Phyllis' dog, writing it to Phyllis. 

At first I smelled him on your clothes...A stranger's scent upon my nose.
One day you came in very late and announced you had a date.
How sad for me, my life was doomed...No more walks or being groomed.
And then a knock upon the door...My life would change forever more.
And just as all my senses ceased...I heard the jingle of a leash!
Those worried days are in my past...with dog years time goes very fast.
And now you say that you will wed...I've just one question 'bout the bed.
I understand he's yours to keep, but where oh where now will he sleep?
He cares for us and now we are three...Happiness for you and me!
George and Phyllis, Romey too...My doggy dreams have all come true! 

 We all loved it! 
And so to continue with the was an interfaith ceremony. Phyllis is Jewish and George hails from the Christian Science school of thought. So we included a reading by Mary Baker Eddy from her "Science and Health Key to the Scriptures" on Marriage. We then had the cup of wine and seven blessings in the Jewish tradition.
 Phyllis drinks first.
 Then George....
 They exchanged vows then rings.......
I made the pronouncement of marriage then I placed the lightbulb at George's feet after explaining the meaning of the breaking of the glass, asked him to break the glass......
 Which he did with great gusto and a very loud stomp as we shouted Mazel tov! 
 A sweet kiss to seal the deal! 
 So happy to be married! 
 Another guest at the wedding!
Then I noticed Romey crouched down and trembling near the board where the glass was broken. I am pretty sure that George's stomping the glass really scared him! He must have thought "what's next, oh dear!"
 It's okay, Romey! 
Phyllis was telling us how the weekend before the wedding they took Romey to a "Bark-Mitzvah" in Cary and so now he is officially a Jewish dog and has a little star of David tag on his collar! Love it!!
What a delightful wedding! It was so much fun and so sweet. George and Phyllis, thank you for giving me the honor of joining you in matrimony! Congratulations to you both and to Romey!

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