I had one of those weekends. It was a weekend that got me thinking and one that has had me reminiscing since it ended. I can’t really explain it, but it could be compared to the feeling that I had as a little girl leaving camp. I just felt different, changed, better. Since the weekend, I’ve wondered what it was that had me feeling this way. Was it the fact that one of my best guy friends was able to marry his finacé; the love of his life, legally…in my home state of Louisiana? Was it the emotions that weddings as a whole are supposed to give me? Was it the fact that I got to carry out my duties as Matron of Honor? Yes, of course it was a little bit of all these things, but the truth is that it was actually a sense of feeling connected to others, forming real relationships and experiences, and being present. It got me thinking that, as a little girl, maybe that feeling leaving camp was actually because it was a sense of being a part of something greater than myself and having friends who felt the same experience as I had over one week where we all shared the same feelings in the same exact moments. Now I know, it was a sense of togetherness.

This weekend started out as any other typical wedding weekend. I’ve known that my role as Matron of Honor for my best guy friend was coming up and I guess I just viewed it as any other wedding that I’d been a part of in the past. The truth is, the honor didn’t feel so much like an honor as much as it did a duty because, well for one, I do this wedding thing for a living; and two, I’ll just say, it’s not the first time I’ve been a part of a wedding party. But this weekend…this weekend was so different.

I had real conversations with new friends. I broke down walls, which have always held me to expectations. I’ve always been one to constantly hold the burden of what others might think of my choices and of me. I’ve always been an advocate for same-sex marriage, I’ve had the honor of planning a few same-sex weddings myself, and I feel strongly about making every single wedding that I plan special and memorable, regardless of genders. But this weekend was different in a way that I was so proud to be a part of.

This weekend as I watched two men stand before each other and share vows that would have the entire room in tears, I realized that in the meantime, those vows and the words that their Reverend Cailtin spoke were giving me an experience that would essentially change the way I go about my life and my own marriage. The ceremony changed me too.

We amplified the celebration at the reception. Of course, we danced and ate delicious food and found ourselves having one too many cocktails, but the real “moment” of the night was something I’ve never witnessed in my 7 years of planning weddings. It was spontaneous and totally surprising. After “Same Love” by Macklemore ft. Mary Lambert started playing, we all formed a circle. All of us were intertwined, swaying back and forth as my two best guys spontaneously danced together in the middle. It was a moment where time really stopped for me and it was in that moment that I realized just how much affection and respect was in that room all due to the beautiful people that were brought together by love.

I want to shout it from the rooftops that there are so many beautiful people in our world. In addition to the happiness that their wedding brought me, I was able to meet so many wonderful friends over the weekend that made me a better person. It made me realize just how perfect life can be if you surround yourself with good people. All we have to do is break down the walls, let people in and allow others to be completely themselves. That’s what this weekend was all about.

True love: it’s such a beautiful thing.

All the love,

Kayla (the MOH cheering as we all pronounce Mr. and Mr. Joshua and Evan Brannen Schares MARRIED!)

There are so many people that I want to say THANK YOU to:

The happy couple: Mr. Joshua Brannen Schares and Mr. Evan Brannen Schares

Photography: DK Hebert Photography

Kirstin and David Hebert, you were such a joy to work with. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for rolling out these images so fast and for allowing me to use them to make this blog complete.

Our Reverend for the weekend: Caitlin Clarke

Caitlin, your words during the ceremony were beautiful, honest and perfectly stated.

Adrian Ritchie, a special thank you for the pep talk and social media recharge. You inspired me to write this blog.

Venue and Catering: Ashley Manor

DJ: John with Complete Weddings and Events

Florist: Billy Heromans

Cake: Les Amis Bakery