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Meet Gayle Feallock of Just Imagine in Encinitas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gayle Feallock.

Gayle, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After a wonderful first career as a managing editor in book publishing, I parlayed those management skills into creating my own company as a wedding planner. I enjoyed 13 wonderful years in that capacity, and during that time began to officiate wedding ceremonies as well. The transition to officiating was not a clear and easy path – honestly there was a bit of kicking and screaming.

While I was still a wedding planner, a minister with whom I often worked suggested that I attend her six-month ministry course. She thought I would be a good officiant and was perfectly suited. Well, I thought the last thing I wanted to be was a minister or officiant. She kept after me about it, and finally, out of respect for her, I relented and went to her first class.

Turns out she was right: at that first class, I had the feeling I had found my home. Not only did I complete the entire six-month program but went on to offer Sunday sermons, and then graduated from a Spiritual Teachers and Leaders course. It turns out officiating was my true calling. I planned my last wedding in 2013 at the Hotel del Coronado, and put my officiating hat on for good.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
When I first started as a wedding planner, I thought I had to attend every networking group I could find, and meet every single person, no matter their profession. It was exhausting, intimidating, and usually led nowhere.

Over the years I learned to be clear about my focus and find specific reasons to connect with others in comparable fields, to the benefit of us both. With experience comes wisdom and clarity about what I can offer, as well as what specifically to ask for.

Now at networking events, I appreciate meeting the one person with whom I can have a real connection and possibly brainstorm ways we can either collaborate or support each other.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Just Imagine – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
It is my honor, pleasure and privilege to officiate nondenominational ceremonies for life’s important moments, including weddings, baby blessings and celebrations of life or memorial services. Officiating takes me all over San Diego County – from beaches to mountains, the desert, historical buildings and private homes. I get to experience some of the most beautiful areas of San Diego.

My approach with clients is one of calm guidance. I provide a structure or frame for the ceremony and with guidance allow the client their creativity and unique perspective. I am so proud of this co-creative process.

My favorite aspect of my services is meeting clients and hearing their story. Everyone is unique – whether they are sharing the story of how they met and fell in love; what they have learned from their newborn; or their favorite memory of a loved one they have lost. I love finding that wonderful nugget from their personal story that we can weave into the ceremony itself.

From the logistical perspective, I make sure a client has all the information they need about the process, and that we have crafted the ceremony so that it is just what they want. My motto for the day of the event is that “nobody has to think,” and they can simply focus on the moment.

Even after more than 10 years officiating ceremonies, performing a ceremony is still an incredible, humbling, and sacred experience. I believe ceremonies are so very important – they provide an opportunity to step outside daily life and focus completely on the moment, whether it is to celebrate the joy of a loving partnership or create a space to grieve and celebrate a loved one.

In addition to officiating, I am also a Reiki Master. I offer personal sessions, and sometimes my wedding clients ask for a little reiki before they walk down the aisle, to reduce anxiety and calm their nerves.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Just Imagine has just recently expanded to Just Imagine Love. As the scope of my services continues to grow, including partnering with colleagues to provide more options, my company is changing to accommodate. The name change emphasizes Love with a capital “L”: celebrating the love of family, friends, community as well as romantic love.

For instance, many new parents may not be aware of the possibility of a nondenominational baby blessing. It’s a wonderful moment to bring the family together and even declare “vows” of parenthood.

Additionally, I have always been interested in the partnership of spirituality and ‘real life,’ and to that end, I am writing a book that brings a sense of practical application to spiritual guidance. Most of my clients would describe themselves as “spiritual, not religious”- they don’t belong to a particular religious institution but do have a sense of belief of the Divine. Yet often they are not able to identify or articulate what this means to them.

My goal in writing the book is to offer some guidance toward discovering that clarity. I am completely agenda-free regarding their own beliefs (or none at all) and how they would like to incorporate that experience into their ceremony or service.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Chana and Don/cliffside; Matoli Keely; Paul Barnett; Paul Barnett; Derek Chad Photography

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