It was New Year’s Eve day, mid morning, and almost nobody else was around. Although the air was cold, the day was bright and sunny and we were all excited to be gathering for this simple wedding that had been over 20 years coming.
It seemed Mother Nature was smiling with us in agreement. Amy knew of a small bamboo forest where she wanted to hold the ceremony so we six women - Amy, Michelle, their two witnesses and a friend who came to take some photos - all walked the short distance over to the bamboo area. Amy was right - it was indeed perfect for the wedding. Private, serene and almost surreal in that pretty morning light.
So what had brought us to this morning?
In November of 2011, marriage between same-gender couples was not allowed in North Carolina so Amy and Michelle had done the next best thing to celebrate their love and life-long commitment to each other - they held a commitment ceremony. I was their lucky minister. Together we created a wonderful ceremony that told of their many years together (since junior high school!) and they put their hearts into everything about their ceremony and reception. They had so many creative elements that celebrated their love for each other, for their family and friends, for traveling all over the country - and it was all simply beautiful. That ceremony took place out in Nature, too, which is very important to them. (I wrote a blog post about their commitment ceremony and here is the link to it if you would like to take a look.)
But this morning, on the last day of 2014, this was the real, legal thing. A real, we-have-an-actual-marriage-license-sanctioned-by-the-state-wedding, and all of us were thrilled to see this day come for Amy and Michelle at last.
You could never meet two nicer, caring people and today was their day, in their style, and I was so happy to get to be a part of both their ceremonies of love and commitment.
There is so much love here and it is an honor to get to share in their love story with them.
Michelle, Amy and their photographer friend are scoping out a good photo locale in the bamboo.
These two married friends were their Bridal Party and signed their license afterwards.
This was such a wonderful last wedding for my 2014 calendar. It made my heart smile.
Cheers to you, Amy and Michelle, for having a love that lasts forever.
Michelle (left) and Amy on their Commitment Day in November 2011.
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