Sealed with a kiss!

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


Just How Important is the Wedding Ceremony?  

Your wedding ceremony is a universal rite of passage, an ancient custom celebrated by couples the world over for thousands of years--one of life’s most significant milestones and one of the happiest days of your life. It is the real reason for the wedding day! A typical wedding day is composed of two basic parts:

1. The ceremony where you make your vows of commitment to each other surrounded by your closest family and friends.

2. The reception to celebrate your marriage--this very significant rite of passage.

The ceremony is your first event of the wedding day with your guests. The words and grace with which your ceremony is delivered set the tone for the whole day. Your ceremony is personal, romantic, inclusive, interesting and fun as Kayelily warmly welcomes your guests, honors your family, shares your love story, guides you through your vows and ring exchange then makes the pronouncement of marriage and happily presents you to your guests. Your friends and family love to hear the story of your love, laughing and crying at all the right places. This feeling of closeness and celebration flows right on into your reception.

What Will Kayelily Say in Your Wedding Ceremony? 

To make sure your ceremony reflects the two of you and that everything is just the way you want it, Kayelily asks you to choose what you want from her exclusive collection of ceremony material so that it fits your personality and beliefs. Couples appreciate the creative freedom to put together their own ceremony. Or, for an elopement ceremony she can choose for you, then you can modify the proposed ceremony script to your liking. Once you have made your choices, Kayelily expertly weaves them into a beautiful ceremony which includes everything that will be said at your ceremony, including your love story.  There will be no embarrassing surprise sermons. The script also includes the processional, recessional, stage directions and props list, etc. so that we all envision the ceremony the same way. 

How Do We Get Started?  

The initial consultation with Kayelily usually takes a little over an hour. She listens intently to your ideas for your ceremony. She reads a sample ceremony to you to give you an idea of what one of her ceremonies is like and you can experience her soothing calming voice. She explains the ceremony creation process and what is legally required in the ceremony script. She answers all your questions. She gives you a crash course on marriage licenses and name change instructions. She sends you home with samples of leftover wedding programs for ideas for yours. Once you have booked and paid her, she emails to you the ceremony material tailored to what you want for your ceremony including at least 20 actual ceremonies co-created by her couples. From that material you put together a composite ceremony of everything you want. When she receives your first draft (no later than six weeks prior to your wedding), she spends several hours working on your ceremony and writing your story. From questions you answer for her about how you met, what attracted you to each other, what you like to do together, what you are looking forward to in marriage and any adventures or stories, she creates your love story for the ceremony and inserts it in the ceremony for your review. The three of you continue to refine the ceremony script via back and forth emails until it is exactly what you want and you look forward with joyful anticipation to “living it” on your wedding day. Emails and phone calls are unlimited. Kayelily is happy to help you with any issues or questions you may have along the way.

Does Kayelily Conduct the Rehearsal?

Kayelily will conduct your rehearsal unless you have a professional director with whom she will co-conduct. She allows one hour, more than twice the length of the wedding ceremony, to be thorough so everyone knows where to stand, how to walk, etc. By the end, everyone will be comfortable with their role in your wedding.

When Does Kayelily Arrive for Your Wedding and What Does She Do?

Kayelily arrives an hour before your ceremony to set up her sound system if needed or plug her microphone into the DJ’s sound system and do a sound check. Then she makes sure everything is set up just right, touches base with the wedding director, DJ/musicians, photographer, videographer, pins on boutonnieres and corsages, etc. She will also be checking in with you offering her calming presence and any assistance you may need. Imagine it is 30 minutes before your wedding. You are busy getting ready or taking photos. You have no control over what is happening at this point. Because you have worked closely with Kayelily for months, you trust her. You can relax. Because she led the rehearsal so thoroughly, you know everyone knows what to do. You can relax. Because you helped write the script, you’re comfortable with the ceremony and how Kayelily is going to share your love story to all of your guests. You can relax. You know Kayelily is there talking to the person in charge of music and the photographer and making sure everything is flowing along smoothly. You can relax and enjoy the rich anticipation of this once in a lifetime moment. 

How Does Kayelily get all Those Pictures on her Raleigh Wedding Blog?

Kayelily's sweet husband, Dave, took over from her friend Marty in 2015 when she was no longer able to come to weddings. Dave helps Kayelily set up the sound system and sound check to make sure that your guests can hear every word of the ceremony. He takes pictures of your wedding with Kayelily’s digital camera for this wedding blog. Dave is very careful to not interfere in any way with the professional wedding photographer and has worked with most photographers in the area. With your permission, photos of your wedding will be posted on Kayelily’s wedding blog usually within a week of your wedding. Most couples see the first photos of their wedding on Kayelily’s blog, long before their professional wedding photographer has had time to get the professional photos to them. You can easily share these photos with your friends and family via Facebook. Kayelily is happy to send these “amateur” photos to her couples if they want them. 

What About Pre-marital Counseling? 

Kayelily does not require couples she marries to have pre-marital counseling but she highly recommends it as an investment to optimize your future together. She really cannot give you a guarantee that your marriage will last but she wants her couples to be happy. Her Marriage 101 course is a comprehensive exploration of all the areas in your relationship necessary for a happy and satisfying marriage. It consists of you each taking an inventory on line which takes about 30 minutes. Then your answers are scored together showing your compatibility as a couple. This relationship analysis will show the areas in which you have strengths and pinpoint any areas that could become troublesome in your relationship. The three feedback sessions that follow are more like interactive classes and coaching rather than counseling. It is not therapy! Kayelily will teach you communication and conflict resolution skills and how to best handle finances in marriage, etc. Any existing issues you have as a couple will be handled as well as any that the analysis forecasts. Each session is about 1.5 hours in length. Sessions can be scheduled on weekends and/or evenings to best fit into your work schedule. Kayelily is happy to offer the program to couples whose wedding she is not officiating as well as couples who are already married and seeking to optimize their marriage. Feedback from couples who have done the Marriage Optimization program are overwhelmingly positive. They learn so much about themselves, their partner and relationships.

May I See Some Reviews by Brides about Kayelily's Services? 

Reverend Kayelily Middleton WeddingWire Winner 2018 
For 11 years in a row, Kayelily has received the distinguished Brides' Choice Award on You can read over 350 unbiased reviews by Kayelily’s brides on and over 100 on The Knot/The Wedding Channel.

What are Kayelily's Fees?  

Kayelily’s fees range from $650 to $850 for large wedding ceremonies with many attendants and guests depending on the distance she must travel to and from your wedding and rehearsal. Until she knows what services you want, how large your wedding will be, where it will be and if you need a rehearsal, can she determine her fee. Her fee for a small private elopement style wedding with no preliminary consultation, no rehearsal, and a less personalized wedding ceremony can range from $400 to $450 depending on the distance she must travel. She also has a wedding garden at her home where she performs small elopement type ceremonies for $300 on a weekday and $350 on a weekend--a real deal for a pretty, private garden and the officiant too!

Marriage Optimization classes are $600, a real bargain!

What Other Ceremonies Does Kayelily Perform? 

Kayelily conducts many Renewal of Vows ceremonies for couples wishing to celebrate their milestone anniversaries. These ceremonies are very similar to wedding ceremonies and if the couple has their original ceremony script, it can be modified for their renewal of vows. If they have children we always include them in the ceremony.

Kayelily also loves to do Baby Blessing or Christening ceremonies not only for the couples she marries but also for any parents wanting to celebrate the birth of their child into the world. Kayelily has a Baby Blessing Blog you can peruse to read about these sweet ceremonies.



Ebony said...

Can the garden ceremony accommodate only the couple getting married. Or can it also accommodate immediate family, close friends. Let's say for example, 15 people.

Raleigh Wedding Blog said...

Hi Ebony,

I can accommodate up to 20 guests, not all with seating but many prefer to stand and move around taking pictures. Two of the guests would be the witnesses to sign the license.

Ebony said...

Omg, this could totally be an answer to iur prayers. Do you have pics if the garden? More importantly are you open June 5th or 11th. Please contact me at I didnt see a link to email you directly.

Thanks in advance!