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TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING MAGIC LET YOUR WEDDING MATCH YOUR STYLE

TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING MAGIC LET YOUR WEDDING MATCH YOUR STYLE
TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING MAGIC LET YOUR WEDDING MATCH YOUR STYLE. Tisha and Anupam honored both their religious backgrounds by designing a beautifully blended Hindu-Christian ceremony.

CONTACT REVEREND BARBARA LODGE

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CONTACT REVEREND BARBARA LODGE....919-942-2808....email.rev.lodge@ncweddingminister.com....www.ncweddingminister.com
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CELEBRATING THE HEART AND CREATIVITY IN WEDDINGS

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.

To visit or return to my website - www.ncweddingminister.com

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Their Royal Highesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Marry in a Spectacular Ceremony in Westminster Abbey in London, April 29, 2011


With all the pomp and glamour of a royal wedding in the house of Mountbatten-Windsor, the nation of Britain celebrated the wedding of their rising heir to the throne, Prince William, to his beautiful bride, Catherine. Watching the wedding of this young couple who are taking so much responsibility on their shoulders, I was struck by how weddings the world over are always about the same thing; the hopes and dreams of the couple for their coming life together and the love that created those dreams in the first place.

Whether the wedding takes place in the magnificent Westminster Abbey in London, a glamorous hotel ballroom, a tiny chapel, a nature park, or the back yard of a home, the emotions remain the same for every couple. That is why weddings are so wonderful; they celebrate a love and a positive belief in the promise of the future.

I join with people the world over in wishing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge a wonderful life together in their private lives as Will and Kate and in their very public roles as the future King and Queen of England.






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Wedding Etiquette - Solving the Top Etiquette Dilemmas



Wedding couples and their families are often faced with a dizzying array of etiquette questions in planning a wedding. What was considered proper in Grandma and maybe even Mom’s day may be considered quite passé today or have evolved into an updated version of its old self. So how do you know what to do?

“What is the proper way to do [this or that]?” is a common refrain I hear as a wedding minister.  Questions stem from how to stage the wedding, to what is the proper way to address an invitation, to what is included in a program, or how to recognize Mom or Dad’s previous or current spouses and/or significant relationships. How do you draw the line with guest invitations and if you do, how do you? Is it rude to exclude children from the wedding and reception? Is a cash bar acceptable? So many questions.

I came upon a very good blog post about this topic today. Being a regular reader of the blog, Elegala.com, because they often have interesting and helpful articles pertaining to weddings, I noticed they had a post about the most common wedding etiquette dilemmas and how to resolve them. It is a very good post with lots of sound advice on all of the areas listed below. If you are grappling with issues in any of these areas, you will find the article very helpful.

  • introducing your parents
  • how to introduce divorced parents
  • including your in-laws in the planning
  • which sets of parents provide help in what areas
  • inviting partners and guests
  • inviting children
  • inviting out of town guests
  • guests who ask to bring a guest
  • gift registry etiquette
  • asking for money as a wedding or shower gift 
  • gift thank you notes
  • how to return wedding and shower gifts if the wedding is cancelled
  • wedding attire for the Bridal Party and guests
  • cash bar etiquette


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For any readers who would like to contact me;
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Melissa and Rex Exchange Vows at an Intimate Family Wedding in Durham, April 8, 2011


Melissa and Rex met a few years ago when they were both stationed in the same country overseas - but in different branches of the military. Rex has been stationed in San Diego while Melissa (now out of the military) is living and working in Virginia as a vet tech. So they have had a long-distance relationship for quite a while. Because Rex is soon to ship out to Bahrain for a tour of duty there, they decided to take advantage of some leave he had coming and get married before he left.

When it was decided that they would get married here in her parents’ yard in Durham, Melissa’s mom, Suzanne, contacted me to be their minister and I was so happy I could be available for them.

Their wedding day was a beautiful, sunny day and it fit the happy energies of their low-key wedding plans perfectly. It was a family affair and they had done everything themselves, creating a completely charming environment from beginning  to end. This is the lovely arbor, wrapped with ribbon and flowers.


Tables were set up in the yard for the reception and single roses were floating in square, glass vases on the tables.












When we were ready to begin the ceremony, we all lined up and entered from the porch over to the arbor. Melissa’s brother-in-law, Andy Whitfield, was taking photos and almost all of the shots in this post are by him. Great job, Andy, and thanks for letting me use them.


Melissa’s dad and grandmother

our pretty Flower Girl
Rex escorted his mom

Melissa’s sister / Maid of Honor, escorted the Ring Bearer


Dad presenting Melissa to Rex

Melissa and Rex wanted to include a Handfasting ceremony, an ancient ritual of commitment and equality in a marriage. They had braided the cord we used for their binding and had placed all their hopes and dreams for their future into it with their prayers. This is such a lovely and symbolic ceremony and one of my favorite additions to a wedding.

















Andy caught some great shots of Melissa and Rex right as they were pronounced husband and wife.






















Don’t you just love Melissa’s unusual dress. It was made from a type of heavy cotton or muslin that had a great drape to it. It was perfect for Melissa and totally suited her personality.

After the ceremony came all the obligatory photos and Andy was right there with his camera, capturing all the happy memories. I love this shot of the whole family, complete with the Ring Bearer, and Andy even managed to get one where he was included.



Melissa and Rex, you are used to separations and the military’s way of doing things so I know you will be alright during your separation while Rex is overseas. I hope Rex returns home safely and that your life together - once you get to live under the same roof at last - will be as sweet, happy and thoughtful as your wedding day.




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Allison and Adam Have a Windy Wedding at J C Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, April 2, 2011

It was a beautiful spring day, sparkling and sunny, with a lot of wind. But the wind did not deter our intrepid couple and their guests. The only thing that changed was that Allison decided not to deal with a blowing veil in the wind and left it sitting in a grove of trees for the ceremony, putting it back on later for the reception.

The wedding was held in the newest of the wedding areas at J C Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh. Already a beautiful wedding location with some charming wedding gardens, they have recently added an arbor to a huge, bright, grassy lawn that can easily accommodate very large weddings. Allison and Adam were the first couple to marry in the new area and that made it even more special for them.

Here are some photos of the lawn, taken from the side and looking down the aisle toward the arbor. That little Japanese maple tree that stands in front of the arbor is really beautiful.

Their photographer for the day was Mike Phongsa of M P Photography and most of the photos in this post are by him. Thanks, Mike, for the use of your wonderful shots.

Allison and Adam arranged for the Olde South Trolley Company to provide transportation to and from the wedding location and what a fun ride that must have been for everyone. They have added a white trolley to their fleet, especially for weddings and special occasions, and here are Allison and her wedding party riding in the trolley and Allison emerging from it at the Arboretum.











The cheery spring flowers were provided by Fallon’s Flowers and what a great job they did with the aisle and bouquets.



Mike got a photo of Adam’s father, who was also the Best Man, signing the license as a witness.


Before the ceremony began, Allison’s dad got a Skype call on his iPhone from Allison’s grandparents who had not been able to make it to NC for the ceremony. Her dad aimed the phone at Allison so she could talk to them and they could see the beautiful bride, her bridal party and the arboretum. It was very sweet. Then later, during the ceremony, I noticed Allison’s uncle was continuing the Skype communication through the whole ceremony, allowing the grandparents to be there. That was the first time I’ve ever seen anyone do that at a wedding and it was just wonderful. That our modern technology can keep us so connected during such a special family time is a real gift. Here’s a photo Mike took of Allison and her dad coming down the aisle and her uncle pointing the phone so the grandparents could see. Very touching.


The Ring Bearer and Flower Girl were Allison’s twin cousins, who were having a grand time of it.


During the ceremony the wind was blowing like crazy but I found out later that the guests could still hear us just fine as well as the violin music, provided by Lindsay Skipper. That is amazing acoustics for such an open, outdoor location. Most impressive.

Here are a few moments during the ceremony when Adam was saying his vows and at the end after they have just kissed. Love the looks on their faces. Great job, Mike.


After the ceremony we all exited to the grove of trees beside the lawn while the guests left to take the trolley to the reception. This is always such a sweet time with family hugging and kissing and I love watching all the interactions and the happy faces.


Allison and Adam, your wedding ceremony was so beautiful because you put your hearts into making it so. I join with your families and friends in wishing you all the grand things that Life is sure to hold in store. May all your dreams come true for you in unique and wonderful ways.





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Maureen and John Surprise Their Guests When a Housewarming Turns Into a Wedding, April 2, 2011

Everyone thought they were coming to celebrate Maureen and John’s lovely new home in Cary but little did they know what a momentous occasion this was going to turn out to be.

I had been contacted by John a couple of weeks before the appointed day and we put together all the necessary arrangements so I could arrive right before they made the announcement to their guests. But I guess Maureen and John just couldn’t contain themselves any longer and when I arrived someone opened the door and said, “And here’s the preacher!” so I knew they had already told the plans.

You can imagine the excitement level in the house as we waited for Maureen and John to get their children and grandchildren ready for the ceremony. None of them had known they were to be in a wedding so of course there were thousands of questions about what their part in the ceremony was to be... not to mention all the happy guests coming up to me to chat about what a great couple Maureen and John are and what a surprise this was and wasn’t it great. A woman with a beautiful voice even volunteered to sing for the wedding processional. It was all done on the fly and it touched my heart completely.

John calls Maureen “Betty Boop” and his grandkids call him “Hip” so we used those names in the ceremony, except for the vows. You could tell the guests loved this and the grandchildren giggled whenever they heard me say, “Hip.” Very cute.

John had somehow found a Betty Boop doll in a wedding dress and, as we were to stand in front of the fireplace for the wedding, we placed her on the mantle as a unique wedding decoration. It was a perfect addition!


For those of you too young to know about Betty Boop - or if you are just curious - here is a Wikipedia link with lots of good information. She was a cartoon creation of the 1930s whose fame was reignited in the 1950s when TV was in its infancy. All the old movie cartoons found their way onto early TV and that’s how I became familiar with her. This is the first time she’s ever been at a wedding I’ve done, though, and there were many of us at the ceremony old enough to remember Betty Boop fondly.

After the ceremony there were more rounds of hugs and kisses and much joviality. I got a couple of shots of the happy couple and this one always makes my heart smile. Notice the fingers behind their heads, courtesy of John’s son. Yep, families are families no matter what the occasion and kids will certainly be kids.


Maureen and John, you created a memorable ceremony. With your family standing with you and your friends encircling you, there was so much love all around you. What a happy start to what is sure to be a very special life to come. May you have many, many happy years together. 

And, as Betty Boop herself would say, “Boop boop ee doop!”



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Krista, Drew and Carter Become a Family at The Arrowhead Inn in Durham, March 25, 2011

Krista is a teacher and Drew is a policeman. They are obviously a couple who care about their community. They care about each other so much that Krista moved she and her son, Carter, from Minnesota to start a life with Drew. They are in sync with each other in so many ways and their personalities were definitely shining through in charming ways on their wedding day.

They chose as their wedding location the wonderful Arrowhead Inn in Durham. With two cottages and the main house to choose from, they chose to stay in the quaint log cabin and stage the wedding entrances from there. The wedding itself was held in the beautiful white gazebo across the lawn from the cabin. It is a sparkling property and a delightful bed and breakfast and I can highly recommend it.

Here are some photos of the modernly rustic interior of the cabin;


 For her something old and new, Krista wore her Grandmother’s wedding ring and pinned her Grandmother’s beautiful brooch to the inside of her dress.


As the wedding began, I saw immediately how their perfectly honed senses of humor were going to come into play. Drew pushed a button on the iPod player and Adam Sandler’s voice started singing “I Want to Grow Old With You,” which was Krista’s cue to enter across the lawn, escorted by Carter. As she got closer to us I could see she and Drew were looking at each other, mouthing the words. It was the only time I have ever seen that song used as a Bridal Processional and it was absolutely perfect for them.






After the ceremony, as they stepped out of the gazebo together for the recessional, they stepped off on the same foot and started singing, “We’re off to see the wizard...” as their son and the Best Man’s daughter, Brittany, ran along beside them taking photos. It made my heart smile watching their happiness.


Eventually they all came back to the gazebo for some formal photos and enjoyed looking at the back of Brittany’s camera, checking out her handiwork, which led to more fun photo ideas from everyone. Note Drew’s retro shoes and the cool dude leaning against the post, not to mention that steamy kiss!














As a special wedding gift to Carter, Krista and Drew had given him a watch they had made with a photo of the three of them together and their wedding date at the bottom of the photo. It was a great gift and Carter was so proud of his new watch.


One thing you can’t see in the photo above, unfortunately; Krista had her manicurist paint, “I do” on her wedding ring ringer. Now that’s a way to help the groom not get confused which finger the ring goes on!

Here is Carter reading the engraving on the back of his watch. 


Krista and Drew, your beaming smiles, your adorable son acting so grown up, your happy friends, the beautiful location and especially your obvious love for each other completely made my day. Every time I watch The Wedding Singer from now on I will always think of you. May you continue to have a happy life together, taking care of each other and helping Carter grow to manhood.




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For any readers who would like to contact me;
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