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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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Christina and Dan - Both Elementary School Teachers - Have a Happy Wedding in Mebane and Share Their Students’ Words About Why They Should Marry

Christina and Dan met four years ago when both were teaching at the same elementary school. Dan says they were “like magnetic forces that couldn’t be pulled apart” and as I have gotten to know them, I can see how this must have been true. They are still magnets for each other and love is truly at the core of their lives.

This fun-loving couple, who were so happy to be married they literally danced out the aisle at the end of the ceremony, had a great idea for something special to include in their wedding. They wanted to use the answers their students (3rd and 4th graders) gave to two writing assignments;

1. You should get married because...

2. You should marry Ms. Burton / Mr. Gross because...

Here, in the words and spelling of their students, are the astute and fun responses to the assignment. Out of the mouths of babes...

Dan started it this way;  Obviously the best part about our jobs is the children. Sometimes they have a way of looking at things that is so simple it makes everything clear and puts everything in perspective. We asked them to complete two statements about marriage, and despite their young age, their thoughts on love and marriage were surprising, heartwarming, caring, and sometimes just downright hilarious.

You should get married because….

… you will never be lonely and you will always have someone by your side.

…your life will be better and you will be happy.

…you love that person.

… you can live a happy life with the person you love.

… you make a good couple.

… you could live a happy life with your prince charming and you’ll have someone to yell at when you do something wrong.

…you will not be lonely and you don’t have to pay all the bills on your own.

…you are old, and you just need to.


Dan continued;  Sometimes kids can see things that adults would miss on a day to day basis. Here are the things that we love about each other in the words of our students.

You should marry Ms. Burton or Mr. Gross because… (read, alternating, by Dan and Christina

I should marry Ms. Burton because…she is funny, pretty, smart, amazing, awesome, cool and she is pretty good for me.

I should marry Mr. Gross because…he is nice, hansom, he loves mountain dew and Twinkies, he likes dogs, he wants kids, that’s all.

I should marry Ms. Burton because… she is very beautiful, smart, and she is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

I should marry Mr. Gross because… he is entertaining, and HOT!

I should marry Ms. Burton because… Why would I not!?, she is awesome, smart, funny and always happy.

I should marry Mr. Gross because… He can rock out on Guitar Hero!

I should marry Ms. Burton because… she is a wonderful person, she loves kids, she is down to earth and a heart warming person.

I should marry Mr. Gross because… He is FRICKIN AWESOME!

Christina’s closing words;  We hope that we can always see each other as clearly and lovingly as a child sees someone that they care about and that we can always find things that we adore about each other that others may not see.

This charming addition to their ceremony speaks volumes about the heart of this couple. Not only were they laughing as they read, but so were all their guests. It was great fun. All through the wedding, Christina and Dan were laughing and giggling and their guests were right there with them. Weddings should be happy celebrations and this one certainly was.

The ceremony and reception were held at the serenely beautiful Pine Lake Pavilion in Mebane. This is a wonderful wedding location for large or small weddings and I always enjoy being there. It is simply beautiful, with a a great, positive energy.

On hand to make sure this fun-loving couple and their guests had a great time and a great celebration was Jennifer Ball, the Events Manager of the Pavilion. Her fun energy was pitch-perfect for this happy group and she certainly added to the success of this event.

Also on hand was their DJ, Chris May, of Big Boy Productions. He was a lot of fun, too, very professional and, with a twinkle in his eye, you could tell he was going to be an asset for this event as well. Here he is with his tech assistant, whose name I did not get, unfortunately, but he was a great help for Chris to be sure.

The photographers were McDorman Photography. Comprised of the husband and wife team of Rob and Aimee McDorman, they were all over the place taking photos from every angle and not missing any of the special moments. I can’t wait to see their photos when they are online - they are sure to be spectacular!

Despite the sunshine, the day was very cold, but it had rained all the day before and into the wedding day morning, so none of us were complaining. Obviously Mother Nature was on board and contributing her part.

Christina and Dan, to paraphrase the reading your friend did from Dr. Seuss, “You’re off to great places, you’re off on your way. And will you succeed? Yes you will - 98 and ¾ percent guaranteed! Kids, you’ll move mountains, today is your day, your mountain is waiting so get on your way!”

Your students are mighty lucky to have teachers like you.

Update 10/30/11 - Just got an email from Christina and Dan with a link to a video of their first dance as husband and wife. They are one fun couple and their surprise first dance certainly reflects their personalities. Here is the link.  Enjoy!

Update 12-22-13 - This fall Christina and Dan became the proud parents of one adorable little girl. Here she is at 3 months, all dressed up in her Christmas finery. What a cutie-pie! Congratulations, Christina and Dan, you are going to be amazing parents!


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Reva and Michelle Commit Their Lives Together at Preston-Woodall House in Benson, NC

It was a gorgeous day for a wedding. The Brides were glowing, nature was glowing, there was so much happiness around you could feel it everywhere you turned. This day was a culmination of a love that had started two years ago for two very lovely women and I was so happy to have a part in the beginning of the next phase of their lives.

Reva and Michelle chose the Preston-Woodall House in Benson as the location for their very special celebration. With everything overseen by the friendly and capable Events Manager, Diane Seymour, (who I learned is planning herself to marry in Feb 2012 - congratulations, Diane!) it was sure to be a very special day.

They chose black, white and hot pink as their colors and used this glorious combination to great effect throughout the event, starting with the bouquets and the aisle decorations, right down to the shoes of the Bridesmaids and the socks of the Groomsmen. Love those wedding ring accents in the bouquets.

That cheery hot pink color was a great accent that added a perfect compliment to the glowing Brides and the happiness of the day. 

Inside the ballroom, the decor picked up more of the black and white elements, from the seating chart to the tables and the cake.

The cake was provided by Sweet Memories Bakery and sported a simple pink and white orchid topper.

Their DJ for the day was the very kind and fun Lenny Fritts of A Touch of Class DJ.  His company is aptly named for indeed he is class all the way. I love working with him. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a good shot of Lenny that day, but here is one of him from his website.


Other wedding professionals who helped Reva and Michelle create their beautiful day;

Photographer - Ted Salamone - 20/20 Photo Video

Reva’s wedding ring was her grandmother’s wedding ring. I wear my grandmother’s wedding ring all the time on my right hand, but to wear your grandmother’s ring as a wedding ring that reminds you of a love from your past and now another love from your present and future - she will be surrounded by love! Her grandmother would have been so proud. It makes my heart smile just to think of it. 

This wonderful photo of Reva and Michelle was displayed at the reception with a sign under it that says, “Our Life, Our Story.” I was so happy to have played a small part in the story of these two beautiful Brides. As they begin the next chapter of their story, I hope all the sweet, wonderful things that all of us in their lives wish for them will come true many times over.


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The Most Romantic Honeymoon Cities in the World

photo by Jérémy of Deviant Art

Someone recently sent me a note thanking me for all the helpful information she had found on this blog and my website when she and her fiancé (now-husband) were planning their wedding. She told me they had used a lot of the ideas and resources she had found there and, since a lot of what I do with my sites is designed to help people create beautiful weddings, it was a nice compliment to learn the sites had been so helpful for them.

Emily said her husband, Eric, had also surprised her with the honeymoon of her dreams and she was deeply touched that he had gone to so much effort to surprise her with something so spectacular. We ladies LOVE those romantic proposals and honeymoons because they tell us how much our fella cares about us. Who hasn’t dreamed about walking hand-in-hand in some romantic city of the world with the man you love so dearly?

Emily told me that when she asked Eric how he had come up with such a great honeymoon plan, he told her about a web page he had found called “The History of the Most Romantic Cities of the World.” It is an excellent resource for those planning destination weddings and/or romantic getaways, complete with extensive information about the history of the areas, what to see and do and where to stay. The city choices are, of course, subjective, and the list includes many of the cities one would naturally assume, but it also contains some less obvious additions that might surprise you. It is a well-rounded list and is certainly worth the read.

The page is on a dating website,, and they have a lot of other interesting articles there about travel as well as all the general dating information one might expect to find. Kudos to the site for being so broadly helpful to its readers.

Honeymoon planning is filled with fun and excitement, anticipation, curiosity and learning about the many amazing places in our world. I have used Paris photos here because I envision myself and my husband, Bill, holding hands at the Eiffel Tower someday, but the world is filled with an unending supply of romantic locales to explore and enjoy.

Thanks, Emily, for sending the link that Eric used to plan your beautiful honeymoon. I could tell from your words it was beyond all you had ever dreamed and I really appreciate your extending yourself to help others create their own romantic honeymoons.


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Danielle and Adam - The Fairy Tale Love Comes True at Last at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary

...and the Prince and Princess were married at last (after 18 years!) to live happily ever after. The Prince was so happy that he kissed his Bride for a long, long, long time.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a beautiful young girl named Danielle and a handsome young boy named Adam. Danielle and Adam met and fell in love in high school and Adam even told Danielle he would marry her someday. But, alas, it seemed that was not to be. A magic spell called Danielle and Adam to different quests in life and their paths took them away from each other. Occasionally over the years they would see each other again but they were each on their own path and were not to be deterred. Eventually Danielle had a bright and charming little son.

Then one day the spell was broken. A way to stay in contact was found and their old bond became a kind and helpful friendship - albeit in different kingdoms. As good friend do, they helped each other through tough times and one day Adam’s path was pointing to a move to Danielle’s kingdom. The ladylove that he had never stopped loving was now on his horizon at last.

As their friendship grew and deepened through the next year, they began to think of themselves as a little family and with delighted happiness their own families cheered when they one day told them they were planning to marry.

So here we are, back to where this post began - Danielle and Adam beginning their happily ever after.

They chose for the setting of this magical celebration The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary. Ami Wheeler, the Social Catering Manager, was on hand to make sure this wonderful fairy tale had a splendiferous castle for a backdrop. She is a real delight to work with - very caring, efficient and knowledgeable and one of the best in her field. Great job as always, Ami.

Because family is THE most important thing to this couple, Danielle was escorted down the aisle by both her father and her son.

Danielle and Adam wrote a letter to their mothers that was touching beyond words and then gave them each a book and roses. Adam’s father did a reading about love and Danielle’s father wrote his reading about bringing family together.

 Both were very touching.

After her father’s reading, Danielle, Adam and Joshua then braided a rope as a wonderful symbol of family unity and that rope will be proudly displayed in their home. This will be a very sweet memento.

Danielle and Adam each wrote something special to the other that they read during the ceremony. Eighteen years of life and emotion were encapsulated in those words and it was very moving.

At the end of the ceremony came the breaking of the glass - but with a twist. There were three glasses tied together (as you saw in one of the photos above) and Adam, Danielle and Joshua all stepped on them at the same time, breaking three individual glasses. This was followed by my introducing them as husband, wife and family and an immediate giant cheer from all the guests.

So the fairy tale had come true at last. Love triumphs over all. 

Other wedding professionals on hand to celebrate this love story;

Music for the ceremony - an Arioso Strings duet with Ed on guitar and Craig on violin - superb as ever

Music for the reception - Joe Bunn - Joe Bunn DJ Company - first class style all the way


Photographer - Shane Snider and his assistant, Lindsey Wachter - Shane Snider Photography - I love his work and his happy smile! (Many thanks to Shane for the use of his photos in this post.)

Videographer - Joshua on his Flip video camera

Danielle and Adam, since I was a little girl I have always loved fairy tales. Thank you for allowing me to participate in one as beautiful as yours.


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The Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill is a Wonderful Venue for Intimate Weddings

I recently had the very distinct pleasure of meeting Ari Bobbitt, the new Catering Manager of The Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill. Ari has established herself as a fine manager at other hotels and is planning to build up the wedding business at The Siena. I am so glad to see this happening because this little gem of a hotel has lain dormant for weddings for far too long.

Ari tells me they specialize in weddings of up to 100 guests and they have their own renowned chef, pastry chef and an amazing wine cellar to provide scrumptious delights. Indeed, the lunch I had there was absolutely delicious.

The staff was wonderful. You could not ask for better service or more friendly, helpful people. I was most impressed with everyone there, from the doorman who opened my door before I even got to it, to those at the front desk and all the wait staff at the restaurant. Top notch from beginning to end. Ari has a goal to make every wedding couple feel special from the moment they arrive for an initial chat with her through the end of their wedding and reception experience - and I can sense from her personality and that of her staff that she must be very successful in this.

As you pull into the parking lot of the hotel, a statue of a stallion is there to greet you. There is a famous horse race in Siena, Italy, called the Palio and it is for this that The Siena’s restaurant, “Il Palio,” is named.

Once inside the hotel, you are greeted with lush, Italian ambience and that friendly southern hospitality. This makes for a great combination.

If you are looking for a special location for your wedding, reception or any other event of 100 guests or less, you should definitely contact Ari Bobbitt by phone (919-918-2544) or email at The Siena Hotel. You will be very glad you did.


For any readers who would like to contact me;
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Jim and Karen Marry in Polynesian Style

Karen and Jim are avid sailors and travelers and for their fun wedding they wanted to give a nod to their upcoming honeymoon to Tahiti and Bora Bora. Complete with hula and fire dancers provided by South Sea Dancers - who also doubled as the DJ - it was a unique celebration of love and life. Their neighbors had very graciously offered the use of their back yard for the event and the pool and decorations created a Polynesian ambience that was perfect for the luau theme. The full moon above was an added gift from Mother Nature.

You entered through this gate into a Polynesian luau setting and everyone received a beautiful lei.

Jim and I did some last minute planning and he wasn’t yet aware of the nice surprise Karen had for him.

I was to await the appointed moment and when it came, he and I entered to take our places while this lovely young friend of the family began to sing to him. Jim got all teary-eyed.

She continued to sing as Karen made her entrance, carrying her beautiful, tropical bouquet by The Flower Cupboard.

The pool and Polynesian decorations created a lovely backdrop for this happy celebration.

Jim’s dad, in his 80s, and Karen’s 94 year old grandmother were happily watching the ceremony and, as you will see later, were fully immersed in the festivities of the night. Age? Bah! Their hearts and their spirits are as young as ever!

After the ceremony and the delicious luau dinner came the official cake cutting moment. This stunning cake was created by Donna Ford of Sweet Memories and it was almost too beautiful to cut.

After that, the DJ had everyone out on the dance floor all around the pool. Leading the fun were Jim’s dad and Karen’s grandmother. I think they pretty much out-danced everyone!

There was a big dance performance in store for all of us, starting with the hula dancers,

and ending with a fire dancer. What a great show!

South Sea Dancers is a Hawaiian family now living in North Carolina and they do know how to do it right. I recommend them highly.

After the dancers performed, then came the hula lessons! Quite a few brave souls got up to join in and many hearty laughs ensued. It was great fun.

Mahalo (thank you in Hawaiian) to the many people whose photos Karen and Jim posted on Facebook and I have used here. And mahalo to Karen and Jim for including me in your sweet, beautiful wedding. I was transported back to Hawaii for a few hours, starting with your hula girl greeters and the leis.

It is believed by many that wishing on a full moon means wishes are fulfilled more quickly. I hope you made a special wish on your wedding moon.



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