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TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING MAGIC LET YOUR WEDDING MATCH YOUR STYLE. Tonya and Scott blended their families at a cabin in the woods amidst autumn’s splendor. (photo by Maya Ana Photography)






Welcome! This site is a tribute to my many wedding couples who have created unique and beautiful surroundings for their weddings. Their creativity and ingenuity reflected their personalities and together we have often created new ways to modernize old traditions.

If you are looking for a minister for your wedding in the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC, contact me for a free consultation. Together we can create a ceremony that reflects your love, your personality and your dreams for your future.

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Jane and Sam marry at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary

You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day for a wedding in November. And as everyone was arriving you could see on their faces how excited they were to be coming to this event. Some of the family members on both sides had never met the bride or groom so it was especially touching to watch them gather around Jane and Sam after the ceremony as they were meeting for the first time.

The ceremony was held at the charming MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary. Angel Myers, the Private Events Manager, was on hand as always to make sure everything went well. She is a marvel of efficiency and I know when she is in charge that everything will go off perfectly. She had even provided me with a flashlight the night before when the rehearsal was delayed and we ended up in the dark on the lawn and I couldn’t read my notes.

Although the ceremony was held outside, the reception took place in the main room that has a large stone fireplace with the club’s crest at one end and some wonderful chandeliers above. I love that room. You feel like you are in the great hall of an old Scottish castle.

The adorable little Flower Girl did not want to wear her flower tiara or even her shoes, so she proceeded down the aisle in her shoe-less feet, dropping autumn leaves as she went. She was just too cute. When I asked her after the wedding if I could photograph her feet, she very obligingly lifted her dress to show me. Made my heart smile.

One unexpected surprise was the whimsical display of fruits and vegetables created by MacGregor Downs’ chef, Frank Boice. In case you are wondering - as I was - the white tulips are daikon radishes, the orange ones are carrots and the green ones are zucchini squash. Each stem is a green onion with a skewer through it that connects the flower to the basket. The basket was a cantaloupe and was full of blackberries. The bird sitting beside the basket is a green apple with a peppercorn for an eye. It is just amazing what can be done with food when someone sees it as an art form.

And tucked among the flower stems was this cute little face.

It wasn’t until much later that I found an assortment of toadstools made from radishes that he had scattered around the cheese tray. I need to take a class from Chef Boice!

This lovely cake and the boutonnieres were all made by Jane, her mom, her grandmother and her sister-in-law. What special memories they must have created as they worked. The ribbon around the cake layers matched the color of the Bridesmaids’ dresses, which were a unique bronzey-olive green. It was a beautiful color on all the girls and perfect for an autumn wedding.

Others on hand to make the day a success for Jane and Sam were;

DJ - Patrick Cooke of PC Productions - a great DJ with a great play list
Photographer - Stacey Balko, a friend from Florida
Flowers - Flowers on Broad Street, an award-winning florist in Fuquay-Varina

I so enjoyed meeting and working with Jane and Sam to make their wedding special and I heartily add my congratulations to those of their family and friends. It was a sweet wedding and they are sure to have wonderful things ahead in their life together.


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Kim and Brian marry with a classy Halloween style at Barclay Villa in Angier

So how do you marry on Halloween and, keeping it solemn, still give a wink and a nod to the day... but not let it get campy? You follow Kim and Brian’s lead.

First you find a castle. In this case the wonderful Barclay Villa, an Italian villa with a baroque interior set in the countryside of Angier, NC. Among other amenities, it comes complete with a great hall and a grand staircase that lent itself perfectly to the wedding festivities.

Here is the head table where the Lord and Lady of the castle (Groom and Bride) sat. How perfect is that?!

Barclay Villa has beautiful landscaping throughout the grounds and Kim and Brian used that to great effect as well. The ceremony took place at the gazebo in the back and look how cleverly they decorated the area.

They even made the Handfasting cord that we used for the Handfasting Ceremony after their vows. It was waiting for us to use on the table in the gazebo. Woven of their Halloween colors and with stones sewn onto it, it was truly beautiful.

And what reception theme do you use of all the possible options for Halloween? Kim and Brian chose the haunted castles of Europe. Each table card was the name of a haunted castle in Europe. There was a long information card printed up about each one, standing beside the very clever pumpkin table card holders.

The pumpkin stems were sliced to hold the cards.

And then once you have all that in place, you run with it and have some fun. Like Kim’s bat earrings (check the top photo more closely) and Brian’s bow tie and hankie - an orange ground with bats in a grid pattern.

And the skeleton bride and groom candle holder that stood by the place cards.

And the fun napkins.

Many couples nowadays have photos on display of themselves as children and of special times through their relationship. Here’s how Kim and Brian did the same but kept the Halloween theme.

This is their wedding cake, provided by Donna Ford of Sweet Memories. She picked up the Halloween theme perfectly, complete with bats flying off the sides of the cake.

And this adorable cake topper was actually crocheted by Kim and Brian themselves, each making their own self. Quite clever - and what a fun keepsake to pull out every year for their Halloween decorations. Their children who come alone one day are sure to love the story of how this cute couple came to be!

And of course things just wouldn’t have been complete without some trick-or-treat candy before you left, with black boxes for you to put it in.

It was such a fun and clever wedding celebration and just perfect for a Halloween date. Here is a photo of me with Kim and Brian, taken with my camera by their photographer, Stacy Borelli, of Swank Studio. (Why can she get better photos out of the camera than me? Must be why she’s the professional.)

Also on hand to provide the perfect musical accompaniment was their DJ, Ron Smith, of Ron K. Smith Productions. He must have had a great time planning the music for this wedding!

As I was leaving the wedding that night, I noticed there was a full moon and I could hear dogs howling in the distance...

“Ah, de children of de night.”


For any readers who would like to contact me;
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Sam and Tesh marry at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary

It was a beautiful October day, the sun was shining, the weather was perfect and their family and friends had come in from all over to celebrate this beautiful couple and their multi-cultural family. The whole celebration has been designed to honor all the cultures involved.

Sam and Tesh are both from Great Britain and have been living and working here in the RTP for quite some time. Hitesh is Indian descent and their infant son, Alfie, was wearing a traditional white Indian wedding suit with burgundy and gold brocade around the neck and wrists. Unfortunately none of the photos I took of him came out, but he was just adorable. His big sister, Lola, was one of the Flower Girls and looked beautiful in her Western-style white dress.

Their friends and family, most of whom came in from Britain, were a fun bunch. Here are all the guys in the hall, waiting for the ceremony to begin.

And here is Sam, waiting in her room. She had the traditional henna on her hands and feet and it was just beautiful. Henna is quite an intricate art form and an ancient Indian tradition. Her dress was most unusual in that it had something akin to flat pompoms all over it and every time she moved it moved with her. It was a lovely effect.

And they found a very clever way to entertain the Flower Girls while they waited - bubble wrap! What is it about that stuff?! It will turn you into a kid immediately. The little girls were having a great time popping the bubbles and were totally content with that. It was all I could do to not go over and join them on the floor doing the same thing! So if you ever need a way to entertain kids (and adults too, it seems) take along some bubble wrap.

The ceremony was held in the beautiful wedding garden of The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary. The very capable and unflappable Social Catering Manager, Ami Wheeler, was on hand to make sure everything went off well for them and to keep them all on schedule.

The floral decorations for the ceremony were provided by Steven Taras of The Watered Garden. Steven oversees all the magnificent arrangements for the hotel itself and his work is very special. You can see his use of the unexpected in the placement of a bowl of magnificent flowers on the ground on one side and on a pillar on the other. I had never seen that done before and it gave a unique perspective to the already beautiful setting with the cascading water fountain in the distance.

At the end of the ceremony, the guests were to shower flower petals onto Sam and Tesh as they went back down the aisle and all the chairs had their bags of petals waiting.

It was a wonderful celebration with incredibly beautiful people everywhere you looked. As Chris Azul, of Azul Photography, was getting everyone set for a group photo, I took this happy shot. I just loved how happy they all were and how beautiful their colors looked in the setting.

My congratulations to you, Sam and Tesh. It was a joy to help you put together such a fun celebration to share with your family and friends. I hope you’ll stay in touch from time to time and let me know how you are doing - and so I can see your handsome children grow up over the years.


For any readers who would like to contact me;
                                       website  /  email  /  919-942-2808  
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                                       or leave a comment through the “comments” link below