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TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING MAGIC LET YOUR WEDDING MATCH YOUR STYLE. Chris and Kyle are big Dr. Who fans and the TARDIS was on the guest book canvas that was to be framed after the wedding. (photo by Hannah Woodard 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.

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Love Triumphs as Julie and Jaime have a Commitment Ceremony in NC... Then Legally Marry 4 Days Later on Their Honeymoon in MD

Commitment Day

Wedding Day

Julie and Jaime are wonderful ladies and when they contacted me about being a part of their wedding plans, I was so happy I could be there for them. While same-gender couples are still not allowed to marry legally here in NC (as of 2013), Julie and Jaime had a plan to get around that by going to Bel Air, MD where it is legal. But because they wanted to share their love and happiness with their family and friends, they decided to first have a commitment ceremony here in NC with those who mean the most to them.

Julie and Jaime are very craft-y people and this DIY wedding was overflowing with love and creativity, including the beautiful necklaces Julie made for the Bridesmaids, Flower Girl, herself (pearls) and me. She used their autumn wedding palette for the designs and our necklaces are shown in the photos below.

Being nature lovers, they chose the rustic and charming Spruce Pine Lodge in Bahama, NC as their commitment setting. Nestled in the woods of the Lake Michie Recreation Area, this vintage 1940s building has recently undergone some renovations but has still retained the nostalgic feel that has always been so popular.

The ceremony was to have taken place out on the large front lawn under a wonderful old tree, but the morning rain had moved the wedding inside. This worked out beautifully, however, as the back porch was converted into a magical setting, compliments of loving and creative family and friends. 

My 3 photos below do not do the magic part justice, unfortunately, but with the porch being one story up amid the tree branches, the rich autumn colors of the mums and the white lights strung along the rustic railings of the porch, magical is indeed the word I would use to describe it. It was the perfect backdrop for the heartfelt ceremony we created together and the sweet, tender vows that Julie and Jaime had written to each other. 

cellist Andrew Anagnost plays in the far left corner

those mums were glorious!

Spruce Pine Lodge has two very large rooms for the Bridal Party to dress and here are Julie and the Flower Girl by the window in one of them. Love this classic wedding shot. (Julie did not see the porch transformation shown above until she entered the ceremony down the aisle... and started to cry.)

Julie and Jaime, their friends and loved ones worked together to make everything for the celebration, from the wonderful sign that was hung at the entrance of Spruce Pine Lodge, the flower jars on hooks at the front steps, all the different table runners, lace-covered candle jars, burlap and lace covered vases for the centerpieces, the mantel wreaths and greenery, the bouquets, the Flower Girl headpiece, the newlywed table, the cupcake wedding cake - all were hand made with love and care. 

newlywed table

sign on the newlywed table next to the runner made for them by the 8 year old Flower Girl

the Flower Girl headpiece was lovely in its simplicity

the mantel of the large fireplace (far right in the photo above)

stone mantel behind the bar in another room

Julie and her wedding planning book

The rain finally abated for a while later in the day so we were able to get some photos in the yard after-all. Love this one of Jaime wiping a tear from Julie’s eye.

This commitment day was such a beautiful and special day, even with the rain. At some point in the after-wedding photographs the Flower Girl used the rest of her petals to make this heart around Julie and Jaime. Of all the photos taken that day, I must confess to this one being one of my very favorites. It says in visual terms what we were all feeling that day…. love, love and more love.

Julie and Jaime, I am so sorry you had to go out of state to marry, but I am so very happy that for your first ceremony you were surrounded and nurtured by the love of those who love you the most. I was very happy to have been able to play a part in your love story and it is obvious you are going to have a long and happy life together. Love can truly triumph over all.


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Julie said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful description of our special day! The photos you took are really great! But more than anything, thank you for your warm and loving spirit. You helped make our wedding perfect. Legal or not, it was exactly what we wanted. We are so glad we found you. Not only were you an amazing officiant for our wedding, but we feel like we've made a wonderful new friend.

Rev. Barbara Lodge said...

Thanks, Julie. It was a true honor to help you celebrate your love and the beginning of your married life. And thank you again for my lovely necklace. I have gotten so many compliments on it! Happy trails to you both. I feel like I have made two new friends, too.