The Asheville Poet Offers Unique Experiences at Weddings
a fun and interactive reception idea for small groups,
a timeless wedding idea that is memorable for years to come!
Would you like a fun wedding idea for guests to make your wedding classy and timeless?
Would you like a cool wedding add on that lets guests go home with a memento of that day that doubles as a unique party favor?
Would you like to etch your wedding day into poetry forever?
Cary Gray has been creating poetry for over 10 years, including several years as a street poet and as a live wedding poet, serving Asheville and WNC, and beyond. His poems impact people deeply, leading them to return to him on his street outpost as well as by booking him to make their special day unforgettable. Often individuals are brought to tears, or laughter, or some other form of visible catharsis. His transformative process of asking questions, deeply listening, and then creating poetry specifically tailored to individuals, draws on years of study while traveling abroad and spending time reading on linguistics, nonviolent communication, therapeutic modalities.
Live Wedding Poetry
Here's How this Unique Wedding Entertainment Works:
I arrive at your wedding venue with my 1956 Royal Quiet Deluxe, a vintage, fully mechanical typewriter. I get decked out in my Sunday best (black vest on white, or button-up to fit your color scheme). I situate myself in a special corner or corridor, where I have guests walk to and stand or sit with me, one couple or individual at a time. This takes 5-10 minutes. I start with the newlyweds, then work through the guest list, starting with the parents, working down the list of special guests. This is a fun wedding favor idea for both weddings with a big family or small simple wedding receptions. I ask each couple or individual 3 deep questions to find out what their story is. From this, I transform their particular magic into a poem. This is perfect for vintage wedding receptions or themed weddings, or compatible with any size or style of wedding. This creating a custom poem takes about 7 minutes. I stamp each poem with an old-fashioned wax seal. I recite each and every poem. They keep it and forever remember this special day.
For the newlyweds:
I get on a call with you both for about 15-20 minutes to get the necessary details and also to ask you your backstory, how you met, etc. I create a poem ahead of the event which I laser engrave on a 5" x 7" piece of wood. (You may upgrade to include laser cuts of any other poems, e.g. Parents, Maid of Honor, etc)
Live Wedding Poet is much like a Live Wedding Painter, except each guest keeps a work of art, instead of just the couple.
All packages include free consulting with your wedding planner, (1) 20-min consultation with the couple, and (1) laser engraved poem for the couple (completed before the ceremony.) Intro package includes envelopes with each poem, larger packages include frame options for the guests.
Reference: (1) "Poem" = (1) Short Conversation with the Guest(s) + (1) Custom Poem Completed for them to keep
Packages start at $1200
Cocktail Package – 2 hours of live on-site poetry services. (About 8-10 individual poems. Number not guaranteed.)
$1200 and up
Reception Package – 4 hours of live on-site poetry services. Guaranteed: 16 poems completed – remainder finished on-site or remotely, *10 frames included for local weddings.*
$2200 and up
Deluxe Package – 6 hours of live on-site poetry services (may be broken up into 2 time periods. Free buffer time: 1 hour.) Guaranteed: 25 poems completed on-site with option for up to 3 poems to be completed and mailed out afterward. *25 frames included.*
$3000 and up (10% price break)
Luxury Package – The only all-inclusive package, this includes 1-2 days of live on-site poetry services. That's 12 hours of total time allotted for crafting custom poems for guests on the spot (Must be broken into time slots of no more than 4 hours each over 2 consecutive days.)
(3) Laser engraved poems on 5" x 7" wood, for the newlyweds and selected guests.
(12) Twelve hours total live on-site poetry services. Must be broken into 4-hour time slots or less, over 1 or 2 consecutive days.
(45) Frames of 3 varieties (15 of each) for the guests.
Travel Expenses Included. All locations within the continental U.S. For bookings outside of this area – subject to poet's discretion and travel fees.
Lodging Expenses Included for up to 2 nights.
Day-of last minute Add-on time: $450/hr
Add-on for laser cut poem: $150 For parents of bride, or maid of honor (This must be created at my studio – allow for one week prior to the event.)
Add-on frames for poems: $100 per 10 frames.
Add-on mailed-out poems: $90 each (great for when time is up, but a few folks still want to tell me their story. The poem gets created and mailed out within the week. Includes shipping.)
All driving travel billed at standard mileage rate.
Add lodging expenses for any distance of 2 hours drive or more, unless my involvement in event ends before 7pm. It's all about bed time.
*Time may be extended on the day of the event, at the Poet's discretion.
*Must be pre-booked: Add-on laser engraved poems AND/OR frames for poems.
*Any driving distance over 3 hours may require airfare and rental car, as well as lodging.
Flight times beyond 3 hours one-way are subject to a daily travel free of $500 ($800 for Saturdays)
Travel to Locations West of the Mississippi River, including California and the West Coast:
Automatically include daily travel fee above for each calendar day, lodging for each night, and flights. *Cannot book Cocktail Package ($1200). Must book Reception Package ($2200) or above.
Have a more casual or impromptu gathering, such as a bachelorette weekend daytime activity?
This is a fun wedding idea for guests to do, like an activity but soulful and memorable. Also, because of the romantic spontaneity of it, these poems make for fun wedding favor ideas for young couples.
"Thank you so much for one of our favorite memories from our wedding day!"
Mandy and Dan, for their street poetry experience
"His prophetic-like gift of insight and awareness is exquisite. I’ve always been a lover of words, but I’ve never seen anyone with a gift of words like him. it’s forever inspiring. At our wedding, he wrote us a poem before the ceremony based on a telephone conversation and one for after the ceremony. The little details of us he sprinkled into his poems make them so intimate and personal. Throughout the wedding, he had a line of people, waiting to talk with him so he could write them a poem too. It was such an extraordinary experience to share with our friends and family, and one I’m so incredibly thankful for. I never would’ve dreamed of having a poet at my wedding, but I’m so glad it happened! It was such a nice touch of creativity and expression."
- Chanda Ferguson
"It's absolutely beautiful. It is embedded with so many pearls of wisdom we can all apply to life. . . . and I wanted to share it for those who might find comfort in his words.
Thank you for you gift of words and truths, Cary."
Danielle Ratliff @joyfulrising on Instagram
"Hi Cary. My mom (Laurie),
sister (Darby) and I (Katie) came across your stand in Asheville. After you wrote the poem for my mom, she cried for two days. Although she cried, it very quickly blossomed into joy and a realization that she has created this new life. I wanted to thank you for that experience. She framed your poem and it hangs up in her living room. You are so genuine, intuitive, and my mom absolutely raves about you to everyone she meets. You are blessed with an incredible talent, and I hope everyone has the experience that my mom has."
Feel free to mosey around the website! Cary has created a number of strange and wonderful objects and products which add value to walls in homes and hands that hold them!