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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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Mikki and Hector Create a Beautiful Celebration of Love at Preston-Woodall House in Benson, NC

Mikki and Hector have a wonderful love story. Hector is originally from San Salvador and when he came to America he went to work for Mikki’s father in the construction business. Mikki worked there, too, and her dad asked Hector to watch over her when she was at job sites. Hector was dutiful to this assignment and eventually (7 years later!) the two of them started noticing each other as more than just coworkers. Through many long conversations over Coca-Colas, a friendship grew that eventually deepened into love.

They decided to marry at the stately Preston-Woodall House in Benson, NC. Presided over by the Special Events Manager, Diane Seymore, it was the perfect choice for the completely heartfelt and DIY wedding they had put together.

Mikki has her own drywall business these days and can put up drywall with the best of them - but she is also quite a handy lady on many other levels, too, with a lot of creative ideas and the know-how for implementation!

For starters, she made all the Bridesmaid jewelry, as well as jewelry for herself and the Flower Girl.

Notice the touches of crystal she added to the lovely vines that decorated the pillars of the pergola where the ceremony took place.

This interesting family tree was created by Mikki and Hector. The way the family added themselves to the tree was to dip their fingers in a pot of paint and then put their fingerprint somewhere on a tree branch. I would have loved to have seen that all filled in by the end of the night!

Birds were the theme of the event and they were everywhere on display... especially lovebirds. This very clever tree of birds was the seating chart - you found your bird hanging from a branch and the bird had your name and table assignment.

The table names were named for towns in both their countries. The names were written on a small chalkboard, edged in moss, and they stood next to an arrangement of flowers. Each floral vase stood on a beautiful slice of wood that Hector had cut and sanded. He had needed to heat the wood prior to all this to make sure he got out any bugs that might have been inside the wood. Big job, Hector!

On their table, Mikki and Hector had written “Mr. and Mrs.” and they had two lovebirds sitting there with another bird perched atop the chalkboard.

The rings were carried in by the very handsome Ring Bearer, Hector’s nephew, and he carried them in the same moss used on the tables. They looked beautiful in that moss and he handled them so carefully.

For the ceremony they had chosen some very special moments to share between themselves. Mikki had lost a sister and Hector his father and they chose a very unique way to honor them during the ceremony. They had each written letters to their loved one and during the ceremony they tied those letters to balloons and sent them aloft. 

They also had special signs for the chairs where the person would have been sitting had they been there. It was all very touching and as those balloons went up, it was all I could do to stop the tears from welling up in my eyes and throat.

They also added an Anniversary Box ceremony to the wedding. They had written secret love letters to each other, to be placed inside a box with a couple of bottles of Coke (remember those long early talks over Cokes mentioned earlier?). On their first anniversary they plan to open the box, read the letters and share the Cokes. Very sweet.

Mikki had even written a love poem to Hector that was read during the ceremony by Hector’s sister. It started and ended with references to sharing Cokes together and you could tell Hector was deeply touched.

Their beloved dog, Boudreaux was also there, wearing his own tux and looking pretty happy to be included.

This beautiful wedding cake, made by Cinda’s Creative Cakes, was topped with its own pair of lovebirds and sat on one of Hector’s wooden slabs. What a unique cake plate it made!

Their DJ was the fun DJ Richie, of RJ Entertainment, who always knows how to keep a party hopping. He was the perfect choice for Mikki and Hector‘s fun, high energy!


Other wedding professionals who helped Mikki and Hector create their wonderful wedding;

Photographer - Jamie Blow - J and J Photography
Videographer - Phil McInnis - Twenty-One Films
Flowers - Tracy Huntley - Springwell Gardens

(Update  10/21/11 - I have just learned their photographer has put up a blog post with the photos from the wedding. Great collection - and they captured the letters on the balloons. So happy to see that special moment again.)

Mikki and Hector, it was a real treat to get to know you and to be a part of such a special wedding. As long as I live, I will never forget your sending your love and prayers to your father and sister on those balloons. I still get choked up every time I think about it.

(Update 9/3/12 - First Anniversary! - Mikki posted a link to a wedding video on Facebook today and it is such a sweet video (by Twenty One Films) that you should definitely check it out. You will be very touched by the poem Mikki wrote to Hector and I am so glad they got that on film.)


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Marrying on September 9 Continues a Century-long Tradition in This Family

Staff Sgt. Kyle Ray and his lovely bride, Angelynn, were married in Cincinnati on September 9, taking their place in a long line of family generations who have also married on that date. For a hundred years, Angelynn’s family has had a tradition of marrying on September 9 and because of that, some of her family in attendance were celebrating their own anniversaries that day. What a day of happy celebration that must have been for everyone and how proud the older generations must have been as they watched with pride while the next generation followed in their footsteps.

It was important to Kyle and Angelynn that they be a part of this honored tradition and they both say they hope their children (when they come along) will decide to marry on September 9 as well. What a unique and special family tradition!

Here is a great article about it from The Cincinnati Enquirer, sent to me by my daughter, Sarah. Thanks, Sarah. It’s a heartwarming story and I would have never known about it had you not sent me the link.


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Stephanie and Lindsay Begin Their Married Life at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary

Stephanie and Lindsay are a couple who have dedicated their lives to living life in a positive and caring manner and to keeping God at the core of their relationship. Everything about them reflects this approach to life and you can feel what special people they are when you are around them. Before the ceremony began, Stephanie and her Bridesmaids all gathered together, holding hands, and said a prayer for Stephanie and Lindsay’s marriage to come. Witnessing this special moment touched me deeply and it is something I will never forget.

The wedding and reception took place at the elegantly beautiful Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. I love doing weddings there for so many reasons, not the least of which is all the light streaming into the rooms through the giant windows. The staff there is always caring and accommodating and it makes for a great event all the way around.

The photo above is of Stephanie and Lindsay standing on the elegant stairway in the ballroom where the ceremony took place. Quite often, Prestonwood places the wedding cake on display on the landing just behind where the happy couple is standing in the photo and it makes for a wonderful presentation - plus some great photo ops when it comes time to cut the cake.

Here is a photo of Stephanie and her mom - doesn’t she look like her mother!

And what an amazing photo of Stephanie looking out the window with that soft light on her face. Kudos to the photographer.

There was so much heart in this wedding and it was perfect for this loving couple. Notice the looks on Stephanie and Lindsay’s faces when they were first introduced as husband and wife.

And the happy faces of one of the Bridesmaids with her husband and adorable little son in his tux, taken right after the wedding.

One of the wonderful things that Lindsay did for their wedding was to adapt some of the writings of William Shakespeare “for the modern ear,” as he put it. The piece was quite remarkable and it was made all the more memorable by Lindsay’s father reading it to the wedding couple during the ceremony.

Here is Mr. Shakespeare’s very sound advice from the 16th century, as adapted by Lindsay in the 21st century. It is remarkable how good advice will always remain apropos;

From my heart, you have my blessing; and remember these few ideas,
for they represent your character.

Give your words much thought, and act only after wise counsel and careful reflection.

Be honest, but by no means brutally so. The friends that have stood next to you 
through life’s trials, hold closely to their bond.

Beware of entrance into an argument, that you choose your battles carefully;
But once involved; show others the wisdom of your reason.

Listen to all, but save your voice for when your experience has meaning.
Take note to the advice of others, but save your criticism, as the tongue can

Budget your account diligently, and avoid the trap of fancy clothes and fair.
Hold yourself honorably in quality presence, for appearance often proclaims the man.

Neither a borrower, nor a lender be; for debt can cause undue strain in marriage.

This above all; to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night follows the day, you cannot then be dishonest to any other.

I wish you both joy, to be blessed in a new life.

At the end of the evening’s celebration, Stephanie and Lindsay departed in a shower of bubbles from their guests. I cannot think of a happier or more appropriate way for them to make their exit, surrounded by the love and good wishes of all those who care so much for them.

Stephanie and Lindsay, I am so happy that you have found each other. You are sure to have a rich and full married life and, as you keep your love for each other and your commitment to God at the core of your lives, you will continue to build the firm foundation from which all your dreams can be realized. 


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Ana Lucia and Jeff Overcome Living in Two Countries to Marry at the Washington Duke Inn in Durham

 Ana Lucia lived in Guatemala and Jeff lives in North Carolina. They met online through a shared love of music and before you know it, emails and phone calls were going strong and Jeff decided to go visit Ana Lucia in Guatemala. That was it for both of them. From that point onward, they knew they were meant to be together and Ana Lucia eventually moved to be with Jeff this past spring.

But where to have the wedding with so many family and friends in two countries? They decided to have two weddings - one here this summer and one next spring in Guatemala. Luckily, Ana Lucia’s parents and a favorite Aunt were able to be here for this wedding.

Ana Lucia’s parents and Aunt speak English as a second language, but Ana Lucia and Jeff thought it  would be so much easier for them if the ceremony was spoken in Spanish, so they hired a wonderful Spanish Interpreter I know, Crystal Reyes. I have worked with Crystal before for weddings and she takes the ceremony and translates it into Spanish. We then take turns speaking each paragraph so both the English and Spanish are spoken. It made for a very special intimacy to the ceremony and a very thoughtful surprise for Ana Lucia’s family.

For the vows, they each spoke their own vows in Spanish and English and it was very touching. Here is Jeff speaking his vows as his parents proudly look on.

By the way, most of the photos used in this blog post were taken by Ana Lucia and Jeff’s photographer, Joe Payne, of Joe Payne Photography. As you can see, he has a discerning eye and loves to add creative accents to his photos. New to the area himself, I will be looking forward to working with him again. He also speaks Spanish, which will surely be an asset for him. Thanks, Joe, for the use of your photos.

Ana Lucia and Jeff chose to have their ceremony at the elegant Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club in Durham. The Wedding Coordinator there on staff was Chantel Jordan, who did a marvelous job of making sure everything was perfect. You could tell she really cared about everything she did.

Because it was so hot outside, they wisely chose to have the ceremony indoors in a beautiful, round, sunlit room. I had never done a wedding in this room before and I hope there will be many more to come. It was perfect for the small, intimate ceremony and absolutely magnificent with the sun streaming in the giant windows, the beautiful carpet and furnishings, and the trellis mural on the ceiling.

Ana Lucia entered on the arm of her father, down the long hallway just outside the rotunda room. The hallway is full of windows and the light was beautiful on her as she entered, beaming, with her dad.

During the ceremony, Ana Lucia and Jeff decided to add a Unity Candle ceremony, a reading by her Aunt and, because it is a custom in Guatemala that the signing of the license be a part of the actual wedding ceremony and not take place afterwards, we included the signing of the license. I don’t know why we don’t do that here as well. It makes for a very special moment in the ceremony.

Here are Ana Lucia and Jeff as they light their Unity Candle.

And here is Ana Lucia’s mother signing the license as we all look on. Jeff’s father had already signed. Parents are always so flattered to be asked to sign the marriage license.

As Ana Lucia and Jeff recessed out the aisle, they waited at the door to greet their parents and guests. Here, Joe caught this touching photo of them hugging her parents.

This wedding was so special on so many levels and I was very honored to be a part of it. I know their next wedding ceremony in Guatemala will be every bit as touching for they are very kind people who love each other and their families deeply and continually think of ways to show that they do. 


For any readers who would like to contact me;
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