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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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Sherry and Mel Marry on Their 25th Anniversary at St. Mark’s Chapel - Mordecai Historic Park, Raleigh

Sherry and Mel have been together for 25 years but the law in North Carolina did not recognize their love nor allow them to sanction it in marriage until last year. 25 years ago - on March 23 - they had their first date. 24 years ago, on the same date, they committed their lives to each other. And now - on March 23, 2015 - they were legally married at last. I was the lucky minister who got to be a part of their deep and abiding love story.

They chose as their wedding location the quaint old chapel on the Mordecai Historic Park grounds in Raleigh. Built in 1847 by plantation slaves who were also allowed to attend worship services there - something not normally done in plantation days - this little chapel has a charm all its own. Its history seemed a perfect fit for this couple and their love and they decorated it with all the love and care befitting a giant cathedral.

The florals at the altar were created by Mel and her mom, using shades of the purple-to-lilac palette the ladies had chosen for their wedding colors. The bouquet, corsages and boutonnieres were created by Kelly Kennedy of Teacup Floral and they were a lovely accompaniment to the flowers at the altar.

This is the white wire heart at the altar, with the scarf we used for the Handfasting ceremony.

During the ceremony, Sherry and Mel planned to honor their moms and surprised them with flowers and a poem they had written themselves. It was a very touching poem and they had asked me to read it for them because they were afraid they would cry. I did read it but was only barely able to get through it without crying myself. There were more than a few words that caught in my throat, it was so lovely. Hopefully despite that I was able to honor their love and sincerity as it should have been.

I saw one of the roses to the moms sitting on the Memorial Table while family photos were being taken after the ceremony. Lavender roses were always a favorite of my grandmother and this one made me think of her immediately. She would have loved all the love that flower represented to Sherry, Mel and their mothers.

Here is a photo of Sherry and their moms right before the wedding began. So sweet.

Sherry’s mom was in the pink and escorted her daughter into the chapel with a big, broad smile of love on her face, much like you see in this photo. Both moms needed hankies during the heart-tugging ceremony. This wedding had been a long time coming for them, too.

A Memorial Table was set up in the small foyer of the chapel so all the family and friends could honor and remember those who have passed in Sherry and Mel’s lives. What a shame they did not live to share in the special celebration of this day.

After the ceremony, everyone gathered right outside the chapel for family photos. Their photographer was Cara Galati of f8 Photo Studios. Her photos always have so much heart in them and I can’t wait to see the gallery from this wedding when it is online!

Also on hand that day to preserve their memories in video format was Andrew Kennedy (husband of Kelly Kennedy, the florist) of Andrew Kennedy Cinematography(Andrew posted the video on 5/5/15 and it is included at the bottom of this post.)

*On 5-6-15, Andrew's website will go offline for a brief time for renovations. 
If when you are reading this post the website link above is still not working, 
please visit his Facebook page to see more of his videos. 

Sherry and Mel wrote their own vows for the ceremony and Mel had also written a beautiful poem to Sherry for their wedding day. Needless to say, everyone was touched by this tribute to love everlasting.

Today is a special day
We will remember it always
Our love will strengthen
It will be immortalized
But it doesn’t compare
To all the tiny things we have shared
Dancing in the kitchen
Laughing at each other till it hurts
Glances that say a thousand words
Sharing the deepest losses in our lives
Intimate embraces
Supportive hugs
Soulful kisses
Wiping away tears
Hours spent talking
My heart still leaps for you
My love for you grows everyday
Today is a special day
But it doesn’t compare
To the last 25 years spent with my one true love


Sherry and Mel, you have touched my heart and I was so happy to get to be a part of your heartfelt Silver Anniversary celebration. I hope we can do it all again on your Golden Anniversary!

UPDATE 5/5/15 - Sherry and Mel’s videographer, Andrew Kennedy, has just posted this charming video of the wedding and it brought tears to my eyes. He’s given me permission to share it here. (Thanks, Andrew!) You should definitely watch it… you will be very touched. 

Sherry + Mel | Highlights from Andrew Kennedy on Vimeo.

Be sure to visit Andrew’s website and  Facebook page to see more of his work.


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Chris and Kyle - An Excellent DIY Adventure at Durham Arts Council - with nods to “The Princess Bride,” “Doctor Who,” Zombies and “Spaceballs”

“Mawwage.  Mawwage is what bwings us togevah today.”

And with those words, we began one of the most unusual wedding ceremonies I have ever seen. 

You would think that holding down full time jobs and furthering their educations would be full plates enough for anyone, but for these two self-described nerds, you would definitely be wrong. They designed and created everything for their wedding - the wedding stationery, the ceremony (text and staging), the decorations, the food, the guest favors, the music for the ceremony and reception. Their attention to detail was in every part of the wedding and reflected all the facets of their love, their talents and their life-affirming approach to life.

Before we go any further, I want to thank their photographer, Hannah Woodard, of Hannah Woodard Photography, for all her great photos used here. Hannah wrote a blog post about this wedding and also submitted photos to Offbeat Bride, which later featured an article about Chris and Kyle’s wedding. You should definitely check out both Hannah’s blog post and the Offbeat Bride article!

I love what Hannah wrote about unique weddings;

"You’ll probably notice that Chris and Kyle definitely marched to the beat of their own drum when planning their wedding! The two of them found me through a website called Offbeat Bride, a site I took a lot of inspiration from for my own teeny-tiny wedding. Being offbeat isn’t about being as quirky as possible and rejecting every possible tradition; it’s about being authentic to yourselves as individuals, and as a couple. For some couples, traditional and classic is them. For others, wearing menswear with a beautiful birdcage veil and talking about the zombie apocalypse in your ceremony is much more real and personal. And for many, it’s a mix! The philosophy behind offbeat weddings is so freeing, and that’s what I love about them.”

This was a DIY wedding extroardinaire! 

I have never heard The Muppets song, “Somebody’s Getting Married,” played at a wedding, but it was included in the unique musical choices right before the processional began. 

To show what a partnership in life this is to be, Chris and Kyle entered the ceremony together. Both the Bride and Groom wore suits and tennis shoes. They had made the bouquet and boutonnieres from origami-folded wrapping paper and Chris was wearing a birdcage veil with some peacock feathers on one side - which she also made. She was wearing some interesting jewelry - check out those sonic screwdriver earrings!

Love the nerd socks.

During the ceremony, they mentioned they were joining one another as spouses, zombie-killing partners, gym-spotters and Sous Chefs. They spoke beautiful vows to each other that they had written themselves. During the ring vows I accidentally messed up Kyle’s name (sorry Kyle!) but they turned it into a funny moment.

To conclude the ceremony, they used some dialogue from the movie, Spaceballs;

 Me - Chris and Kyle, do you?

Chris - Yes!
Kyle - Yes!

Me - Good, you’re married - kiss her!

 The ceremony took place on the upper floor of the light-filled, expansive front stories of the Durham Arts Council. What a wonderful, airy room! It even had white twinkle lights hanging from the tall ceiling, which added an almost ethereal effect.

The reception was held on the lower floor.

Look at all the DELICIOUS food that they made themselves - they were their own caterers!

The guest favors were recipe booklets of all the food goodies Chris and Kyle had made - yum! 

There were card and board games for the guests to play - what a novel idea.

The Doctor Who TARDIS was in evidence as the card holder and on the poster-sized guest book.

All the table decorations were wrapping paper origami flowers around ribbon-wrapped candle holders - and they sparkled beautifully in that sunny room.

As you might imagine, they had choreographed their first dance, with lots of twirls and loving looks at each other. 

Everything about this wedding showed how much they had put their hearts into the planning and it was truly touching to behold. With family and friends, they had many helping hands, but this wedding was all Chris and Kyle - and it was all the better for it.

After the wedding, they put together a video of their wedding photos and music.

Chris and Kyle are creating a new last name by hyphenating each of their last names - and that speaks volumes about the kind of marriage they intend to have. Partnership is everything in a marriage and it seems these two have taken that ethos to heart.

Hannah took this great shot of the newlyweds at some point during the reception… I think it is one of my favorites of the day.

I tip my hat to all those people who share a fun approach to the world and who are not afraid to let their individuality be a guiding force in their lives. For Chris and Kyle, this will be an excellent adventure indeed!


To contact or follow me;
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