I've known Kayla most of my life. We grew up in the same neighborhood in SE Minneapolis and we went to all of the same schools up until college. She and her husband (!) James just recently moved back to that same old neighborhood and threw a lovely wedding near to where we went to elementary school. It was heartwarming to watch friends and family from all parts of Kayla and James's life return to a space that held a lot of beginnings, to cheer on the start on a new one.
The day started off with a lovely service at the family church. While Kayla and James were saying their "I Do's" friends were gathering at the back of the church with signs, horns, drums, and streamers. What followed was a second-line style parade from the ceremony to their reception hall. We followed a path very familiar to those who grew up in Marcy Holmes: along St. Anthony Main's cobblestone path and through a secret thoroughfare behind the Aster Cafe. Folks holding signs that read "one ring to rule them all" and "this is kind of a big deal!" skipped along behind Kayla and James, as others played Kazoo's while the groom himself sported a harmonica.
These two have fun. There is an element of play and genuine tap-your-feet, clap-your-hands joy that emanates out from them and draws people in. So, it was quite fitting that towards the end of dinner, Kayla and James stood up, grabbed a guitar, and performed Randy Newman's classic Toy Story tune, "You've Got a Friend in Me." Faced with a standing ovation, Kayla looked over at James and beamed.
Thank you Kayla for including me in a special way. And thank you James for making one of my oldest friends truly happy.
update: a photo from this wedding was recently published in the Washington Post along with a lovely write-up about how the two fell in love. Click through to read Kayla and James' story!