This past weekend, I had the privilege of officiating the wedding for Kevin & Meridith in Raleigh, NC. The day I put my website up, I received an email from Meridith’s father, Elliot. He told me about his daughter, and how she was planning on marrying a Scottish young man, in an Interfaith wedding. They had tried desperately to find someone in the area to officiate, but had absolutely no luck. They wanted a Jewish co-officiant with a Catholic priest, but they were running out of options. It seemed from the beginning of the call, everything was going to work out great among us all, and it did. I had a great time, and really enjoyed the entire family, and all of the guests. And I especially enjoyed Father Joe, and his wife.
He had the greatest laugh, and he really made the service fun!
The funniest coincidence happened, though, that really made me marvel at how small this world is. I arrived at the Umstead Hotel on Friday afternoon, and met with Meridith & Kevin. Then, I quickly went up to the room to change, so that I could be back down at the rehearsal at 5pm. I was greeted at the rehearsal by Barbara, the wedding planner. She asked me “Are you Cantor Ballard”? Yes, I replied. “Oh great!”, she said! “Laura, our Director of Sales thinks she knows you”. Hmmm, “Probably not”, I replied. “I’m from Florida”. The crowd started to gather for the rehearsal, and a woman approaches me with her arms out, eager to give me a great big hug! She said “Debbi? Is that you?”
Wow – 3 years ago, I officiated the Bat Mitzvah of my high school best friend’s daughter at the Delray Beach Marriott. Laura had been the Sales Director there at the time. Nancy, my friend, had already become very friendly with Laura, while planning the event, and while the event was a huge success, that was the last I saw of Laura.
Until Friday. Here we both were, 800 miles away from the last time we saw each other. It was great to see a familiar face, and I was amazed at how very small the world can be. The Umstead Hotel is absolutely amazing. I absolutely would say it is my favorite hotel EVER in the U.S. I felt completely at peace from the moment I arrived, and completely enjoyed having the opportunity to walk along the path around the lake behind the hotel, and to meditate in the meditation garden at the spa. I highly recommend it to anyone.
The weekend was even more enjoyable than I had anticipated, as I had the chance to visit with my cousins, Irv, Virginia, and Gabrielle. We had a great reunion, ate pizza at Gabrielle’s apartment, and went back to the house for tea. On Saturday, Stacey and Bruce, a couple I will be doing a wedding for in June, 2008 came to pick me up at the hotel, and we went to lunch together. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting them, and really look forward to spending more time with them as we get closer to the wedding.
I always say this, but I am so fortunate to do what I do. My work connects me with the most wonderful people, and I have never enjoyed doing what I do so much. I’m really looking forward to next week, as I travel to Mexico to meet Dan & Rita. This is SUCH an adventure!