We’re all about supporting up-and-coming entrepreneurs, especially those with interests in the wedding world, which is why I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to Ryan LaMere, creator of Out Loud Greetings, an LGBT stationery company hoping to get his newly minted collection of thoughtfully designed cards in front of major retailers at the National Stationery Show. But he’ll need your help. He’s launched a campaign on indiegogo to realize his dream.
The Brooklyn, N.Y. entrepreneur is an energetic 23-year-old who is surprised at his own journey. “I actually come from an illustration background, but never thought I'd be applying it in this way,” he told me in a recent interview. “In fact, I had always seen the cards as something separate from the editorial work I was doing. It was only this year I realized that what I was doing with Out Loud Greetings had from the very beginning been the perfect exploration of the art I love and the passion for service that I have.”
That passion shows in his delicate and lovely designs that showcase touching and real images that matter to the LGBT community and our straight allies, such as two brides with the message “For the newlyweds” and two men kissing under umbrellas, and cards for two moms and two dads, and even the adorable portrait of two bears rocking in chairs with the message: “Happy anniversary.”
LaMere is understandably proud of what he’s accomplished thus far, and his goals are within reach. “I love this work,” he says. “I'm so inspired by the diversity our generation has embraced and the ways in which we are rethinking gender, sexuality, and relationships. I'm inspired yet greatly challenged by this—how do you represent that visually? What does it look like in a way that might warm someone's heart?”
Today's Wedding Poetry Series installment comes from E.E. Cummings, born Oct. 14, 1864 (died Sept. 3, 1962). In "i carry your heart with me," the American poet, painter, essayist, author and playwright demonstrates his affection for imagery and romance, even with his quirky disregard for punctuation.
i carry your heart with me
by E.E. Cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling) i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
Honoring relatives who have passed away comes up often when planning a wedding. You can pay tribute to loved ones and have them present on your special day by asking the officiant to mention them, or placing photos of them at your reception, or saying something about them in your program. As a symbolic statement, you can put white lilies in a vase in an honored spot at your ceremony location.
The next installment from our Wedding Poetry Series for wedding ceremony readings comes from Denise Levertov (Oct. 24, 1923 - Dec. 20, 1997). During the course of a prolific career, Levertov created a highly regarded body of poetry that reflects her beliefs as an artist and a humanist. Her work embraces a wide variety of genres and themes, including nature lyrics, love poems, protest poetry, and poetry inspired by her faith in God. Levertov's poem First Love is an exquisite example of the depths our spirits go to to find "the one," and these verses would be lovely read by a well-spoken reader at any wedding ceremony, especially if there was a mic so each sentence is audible to all the wedding guests.
First Love By Denise Levertov
It was a flower.
There had been, before I could even speak, another infant, girl or boy unknown, who drew me – I had an obscure desire to become connected in some way to this other, even to be what I faltered after, falling to hands and knees, crawling a foot or two, clambering up to follow further until arms swooped down to bear me away. But that one left no face, had exchanged no gaze with me.
This flower: Suddenly There was Before I saw it, the vague past, and Now. Forever. Nearby was the sandy sweep of the Roman Road, and where we sat the grass was thin. From a bare patch of that poor soil, solitary, sprang the flower, face upturned, looking completely, openly into my eyes. I was barely old enough to ask and repeat its name. ‘Convolvulus,’ said my mother. Pale shell-pink, a chalice no wider across than a silver sixpence.
It looked at me, I looked back, delight filled me as if I, not the flower, Were a flower and were brimful of rain. And there was endlessness. Perhaps through a lifetime what I’ve desired has always been to return to that endless giving and receiving, the wholeness of that attention, that once-in-a-lifetime secret communion.