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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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Information On Premarital Counseling from Guest Writer, Dr. Nicole Imbraguglio

This is the first time I have ever had a guest writer for a blog post. The subject is so important I thought you might like to hear what a professional counselor has to say about the merits of premarital counseling. She and I were both trained with the Prepare/Enrich training program and it is indeed a wonderful technique that allows the counselor to assess a couple’s areas of conflict and to help them find effective ways to address them.

Here is Dr. Imbraguglio’s insightful post;

Sometimes hearing about “premarital counseling” can feel like a four-letter word when you’re in the midst of wedding planning. This is supposed to be the happiest time of your life right?! Why would anyone need any counseling prior to their wedding when the expectation of engaged couples is that they are super excited ALL THE TIME about getting married? (Really, how many times has someone asked you “Are you excited?!” about your upcoming wedding?) Isn’t counseling supposed to be for people who are in the depths of despair or for couples who are on the brink of a break-up?

The truth is being engaged is not all peaches and cream as far as feelings go and it probably is not the happiest you have ever been in your relationship with your fiancé. Most people feel some degree of fear, loneliness, stress, and some even feel doubt that they are making the right decision. What can be the most difficult about experiencing these feelings is that most people do not feel they are supposed to be feeling that way and never talk about it as a result. Because counselors know how to listen and help with unpleasant feelings, many engaged and newly married people find it easier to talk about the more 
difficult parts of getting married with counselors than other people in their life who may not understand. 

Sometimes it just feels good to talk about how you’ve been feeling to someone who has nothing to do with the wedding.  Counselors have no opinion about what color the bridesmaids’ dresses should be or whether or not you should wear a veil. They are there just for you.  

Another way counselors specializing in premarital or newly-married issues can be helpful is to assist you and your fiancé in laying a great foundation for your marriage. A great tool to help with this is the assessment offered by the PREPARE/ENRICH program ( With the help of a counselor trained in the program, this assessment gives you EXACTLY the areas you and your partner should work on to have a satisfying long-lasting marriage. Even couples who already report having good relationships find a few premarital sessions further strengthening their relationship to be very helpful. With all the stress related to planning a wedding, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry at all about your upcoming marriage? Premarital counseling can give you just that. 

My thanks to Dr. Nicole Imbraguglio for taking the time to write this post. You can read more about Dr. Imbraguglio and the other types of personal and family counseling she offers through this link to her website or you can contact her by email or phone; 919-572-0000.


For any readers who would like to contact me;
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Penny and Aric Christen Their Son, Jackson, at Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Durham

I had the wonderful opportunity of marrying Penny and Aric in a lovely ceremony in January of 2010.  (Here’s a link to the blog post I wrote about it.) They were the first couple I had ever seen who had only children in their bridal party. Because they did not yet have any children of their own, the children were of their family and friends and this made for a truly adorable bridal party.

Obviously, children are important to Penny and Aric and they planned to start having children as soon as possible. In March 2011 they became the proud parents of an adorable little boy they named Jackson.

I was overjoyed to learn of Jackson’s arrival and to later be asked by Penny and Aric to preside over his christening. On July 16, 2011, we gathered at Penny’s mother’s church, Pilgrim United Church of Christ, for an intimate christening ceremony with Penny and Aric, their mothers, and their friend, Robin Lin.

Penny is a professional photographer (Penny Noell Photography) and their friend, Robin Lin, is as well (Robin Lin Photography). Both ladies are renowned photographers in the local wedding industry and both brought their cameras along. All the photos used here were taken by Robin, except for the one of Robin, taken by Penny. Thanks for letting me use your sweet photos, ladies.

After the ceremony, we all took photos of ourselves with the little man of the hour;

Jackson with his proud mommy, Penny

the beaming parents, Penny and Aric, with me holding their adorable little Jackson

 a group shot with everyone except Robin, who was behind the camera

 Robin with Jackson

me with Jackson

The intimacy of the ceremony was very touching and perfect for the special moment we were commemorating. After the ceremony and photos were completed, we all went to lunch together and continued the happy camaraderie. Jackson decided to take a nap for a while - he had had a full morning.

 It was a beautiful day, a beautiful ceremony, and a special moment in the life of this family. Penny hinted at more babies to come and I can’t wait to be a part of all their christenings as well. Watching families grow from love will always touch my heart.


For any readers who would like to contact me;
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Make A Rosary From Your Bridal Bouquet Flowers or From Any Flowers That Are Special To You

photo courtesy of

Jessica, a lovely bride whose wedding I ministered yesterday, carried a beautiful rosary down the aisle with her bouquet. When I asked about it, she told me that it had been a gift from her mother and was made of the flowers from her beloved grandmother’s funeral. Jessica’s grandmother had not lived to be a part of her wedding but Jessica was making sure she was there with her all the same with a quietly beautiful and heartfelt showing of her love. Even more touching was the fact that her grandmother had known her funeral flowers were to be made into a memorial rosary and that Jessica would be carrying it with her when she married.

I was so incredibly touched by that rosary that I wanted to share it here with others. I was not even aware that one could make beads from flowers, much less turn flowers into a beautiful rosary, so I went online later that night to see what I could learn about it.

It turns out that there are a few companies online that do this sort of work and the flowers can be any flowers - wedding flowers, christening flowers, funeral flowers - any flowers that have been special to you. The bead colors matched the colors of the flowers used and all sorts of flowers were used, not just roses. What a beautiful and touching gift this would be for yourself or for anyone else you care about and what a wonderful keepsake it would be to commemorate those special moments and connections in a life.

The photo shown above is not of Jessica’s rosary, although it is very similar. Her beads must have been made from deep red roses as they were a deeper red than are shown here. When the wedding photos are posted, I will include a photo of Jewsica and her rosary.

If this is something you might like to research further, here are some websites of companies that specialize in turning flowers into rosaries and keepsake jewelry;

Rosaries From Flowers
Keepsake Rosaries
Floral Rosary
Heaven Sent Rosaries
Rosary Shop
Heart Keepsakes


For any readers who would like to contact me;
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Carmen and Tim Marry at The Highgrove Estate in Fuquay-Varina

 Carmen and Tim are a quiet couple who really live life to the fullest, enjoying everything that comes their way. They have a great slant on the world and are sure to have a wonderful time together as husband and wife. They have a black cat they got on Halloween and named “Thirteen.” They took swing dance lessons to surprise everyone for their first dance at the reception. And Tim surprised Carmen by proposing to her at a Hurricanes hockey game, complete with the full proposal photographed on the jumbo tron and the team’s mascot, Stormy, standing beside him. The audience was cheering for her to say, “yes” and her parents were hidden in the stands, making a video of the whole thing. (I wrote a blog post about it and you can read it here.) Yes, I’d say this is a couple who intend to have a rich, full life.

During their ceremony, they wanted to honor Tim’s dad, who had passed, and they did a beautiful Candle of Remembrance for him, with a globe that had been engraved with his father’s name and a memorium. It was beautiful and very touching.

They also included a Unity Candle during the ceremony to indicate the combining of not only their lives, but also their families. Their Unity Candle was very unique in that it appeared to be stones of rock that were actually stones of wax, layered in a black and white pattern. Very pretty.

Because it was a hot summer day in July, the Groomsmen all wore lightweight tan suits - which surely must have been a Godsend to them in that heat - and the Bridesmaids wore these lovely purple, polka dot dresses. First time I’d ever seen polka dots used for Bridesmaid dresses but they were perfect for the day and the ladies will surely be able to wear them for many more special occasions to come. Great choice, Carmen!

The ceremony took place under the pergola in the back of the wonderful Highgrove Estate in Fuquay-Varina. All of us who do weddings in the area are in love with Highgrove and their staff. It’s a great location for weddings and other celebrations and the staff and food are always first rate. They have their own wedding planners there and for Carmen and Tim’s wedding, Angela Wright was at the helm. I always enjoy working with Angela and know she will make sure everything goes perfectly for the couple. (I also learned that Angela is expecting her first child in November of this year. How exciting! My hearty congratulations - motherhood is the best job in the world.)

Here are the front of Highgrove’s main house and the brick patio in the back. The pillars are the front entrance to the new ballroom.

This is the entrance to the new ballroom with its neat chandelier in the front and the equally charming post light that leads down the stairs to the pergola.

Inside the ballroom, where the reception was to be held, everything was in readiness for the celebration to come.

Unfortunately, I was not able to stay and see Carmen and Tim’s first dance but I am sure they must have wowed their guests with their swing dance routine.

As I was leaving, I noticed the sun shining on the gift table in the front dining room of the main house and couldn’t resist getting a photo of it. It struck me that it perfectly matched the feel of the happy, sunny wedding and the hopes and dreams of this special couple for their future.

Others on hand to help make this wedding day so special for Carmen and Tim;

DJ - Aaron Kinne of Anything Music
Photographer - Dustin Naderhoff of Halo Photography

Carmen and Tim had a great idea for their wedding programs; they included a Celtic design entitled, “What Tree Did You Fall From?” and it showed the name of the tree for each birthday and the symbolism of that tree. I, of course, had to look up myself and all my family members to see if it was accurate and it was - uncannily so.

Carmen and Tim’s wedding date was symbolized by a fir tree and in reading the meaning of it, I found this;

“extraordinary taste and dignity, sophisticated, loves anything beautiful, cares for those close to them, rather modest, very ambitious, talented, industrious, many friends, very reliable”

Yes, I’d say that about covers it.

Carmen and Tim, I loved being a part of your wedding day and know you are going to have a fun and amazing life together.


For any readers who would like to contact me;
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