I couldn't complete the summer without telling you of this marvelous couple and their truly unique and loving ceremony. Eric and Melanie approached me to work with them to create a ceremony that fit them. They very much wanted to honor their commitment to be life partners but didn't want to follow the path of marriage because so many of their lesbian and gay friends did not have this right. I really respect this and was happy to work with them.
They were full of questions and ideas and over the months as we emailed between Boston and NC I learned more about them as a couple, and in the learning, my respect for them and my joy in their ceremony grew. The wonderful pictures of Carolyn Scott of Carolyn Scott Photography tell it all.
In these pictures you'll also see Snipes Farm out 54 West from Chapel Hill, at it's best.
Their flowers were from Bluebird Meadows.
We all walked together to their ceremony site under a huge Oak (?) tree that is near the pond.
We stood in front of their hand made chuppah. And Melanie's dress was hand made, too.
In fact, each touch was considered by them to represent their love and sense of stewardship of the planet and of all it's peoples. Melanie wore this small succulent plant in her hair as her flowers.
Their vows were unique, just like the couple. They not only represented their vows to each other in their marriage but their intention and promise to serve a larger integrity and justice in their lives. At the same time, their vows were playful and warm. Just like them.
We passed around their rings in this small glass jar so that everyone could add their own silent blessing before Eric and Melanie exchanged their rings and placed them on their hands.
Then we engaged in a playful act of spiritual symbolism. Melanie's sister made a model volcano for them. We spoke of how their marriage was creating a new territory in their lives. Sometimes their lives would be calm and peaceful and at other times it would be full of upheaval. Sometimes it would hand them rubble and ash that they must integrate into new ways of being in the world. Then I invited them to engage in this act of symbolically creating the new territory of their commitment.
Here's the uncovering moment so that everyone saw it first at the same time. It was greeted with much applause.
Here's a closeup, complete with cut out dinosaurs and a cut out of their cat (not in this picture.)
And VOILA! It worked and bubbled forth froth aplenty! The crowds went wild! :-)
In the ceremony text I had noted, 'show of affection' because Mel and Eric felt shy about kissing in front of everyone, but they decided to just go for it. I'm glad they did.
At the reception, first food made by Vimala of Curry Blossom Cafe, then pie made by Phoebe Lawless of Scratch Bakery in Durham, then.....
Then games and fun...... see more about this part of their celebration on Carolyn Scott's blog entry
Then, when the sun went down, they lit lanterns and released them into the sky. Look at Carolyn Scott's blog for more pictures of this. They created a lovely spectacle.
I couldn't ask for anything more!