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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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Sara and Greg Have A Beautiful Wedding at Bay 7 in Durham

Sara and Greg are one of the nicest couples you could ever meet. There is a warmth about them individually and together, and watching them interact with each other always touched my heart. The photo above captures what I mean perfectly.

Speaking of the photo, it was taken by Robin Lin Photography and she has graciously allowed the use of her photos in this post. Many thanks to Robin and her second shooter, Stacy, for these great photos. More photos can be found in her blog post about this wedding.

I had so much fun working with Sara and Greg for their wedding but little did I know how creative - and elegant - they were going to be in their wedding decorations. I should have expected it, though, knowing them. And with the help of Erin and Tia, of Erin McLean Events, this wedding was sure to be the amazing event it totally was.

The wedding took place at Bay 7 in the historic American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham - right across the street from the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. This has become a favorite spot for weddings, with its old brick warehouse walls, upper and lower levels, and a spacious, open floor for dining, dancing and receptions.

Before the evening began, Sara and Greg did a First Look. 

As the ceremony was getting started, Robin took these beautiful shots. The one of Sara and her dad waiting around the corner makes my heart smile.

The ceremony took place on the upper level of Bay 7, in front of one of the large windows. These photos catch the beauty of the ceremony on so many levels.

pronouncing them married

The wedding kiss is one of my favorite moments every time.

And then the happy exit as husband and wife.

Downstairs, the reception area was aglow with sparkling color, showing off their color scheme of pinks, corals and greys. Beautiful!

Look at this stunning cake by Ashley Cakes!

Their DJ Extraordinaire, Randy Bennett, of Bunn DJ Company,
wrote a blog post about this wedding. 

Robin got a photo of me with Randy

and with the glowingly happy couple.

I try to match the colors of each wedding as best I can and I was very happy that I had a soft coral prayer stole I could wear for their wedding. (Once a girl, always a girl, it seems.)

Later in the evening, Robin took this incredible shot of Sara and Greg kissing in front of the iconic Lucky Strike tower. Perfect!

Sara and Greg, I wish for you all the wonderful things Life is sure to hold in store. Your smiling, loving faces will always be with me.

Others on hand to help make this wedding such a splendid success;

Catering: Angus Barn
Hair and Makeup: POSH the Salon
Florist: TreBella
Rentals: CE Rentals
Lighting: Get Lit


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4 Tips for Finding the Perfect Engagement Ring

The Proposal and the engagement ring have an incredible, romantic mystique about them. Those of us being proposed to love the romance of the proposal, being such a show of love and, of course, the wearing of the beautiful expression of love from our beloved. that comes with it. Our beloveds spend a lot of time thinking of unique and special ways to make that special moment happen for us. There is a lot of love - and stress - that go into this declaration of love. And since few of us know what makes a good stone and what color and cut should we go for... finding that important, perfect ring can be a pretty daunting project.

Enter Alex G. Forrester with some knowledgable tips on how to buy the perfect engagement ring. Alex is a a freelance consultant and asked to write a guest post on this topic. I think you will find he has provided some very helpful information here - so thanks, Alex!

Alex writes...

When you are looking for the perfect engagement ring, there is a lot that goes into the decision. As you search through the seemingly endless options of bridal engagement rings, you want to find something that suits the taste of your loved one, without going outside of your budget, yet fully represents the feelings you have for the person with whom you are going to spend the rest of your life.

There are not only various cuts, styles, and qualities of diamond rings, but there are also rings that contain other precious stones, including rubies, sapphires, and peridots. The bands can be various metals of different qualities, forged into unique and surprising shapes. And we are just getting started!

We want to make this process as free from stress and confusion as possible for you. So keep reading to learn more about the four best tips for finding the perfect engagement ring for your loved one.

1. Scout Out Possibilities Online First

One of the beauties of the age we live in—the Internet Age, in this case—is that we have no shortage of sources of inspiration for things like this. There are countless websites and social networks that have pages, threads, and even videos dedicated to engagement rings, such as Pinterest and Instagram. You can even watch video reviews of various engagement rings on YouTube, which can also steer you away from rings with poorer quality stones.

2. Get Educated on Stone Quality

Speaking of poorer quality stones, how are we able to tell? There is a lot of detail and thought that goes into measuring the quality of the stone used in women’s engagement rings.

This includes the clarity of the stone, the color of the stone, the cut of the stone, and the carat level of the stone. The higher the color value, the lower the carat value and the lower the color value, the higher the carat value, and thus the price.

Those are the basic rules of judging the quality of a diamond, but there are many sources that go into further detail, which you can find all over the internet, including educational videos on YouTube.
However, if you have already selected your jeweler, they can typically provide you with all the important information you need and explain the nitty-gritty details, such as the D to Z color scale and the clarity scale.

3. Find a Jeweler You Trust

Again, if you have already found a jeweler you like, you are all set for this one. However, selecting the right jeweler is not always the easiest thing to do. You want a jeweler who knows his or her stones, but also a jeweler who has credentials and even diamond certification from an independent gemstone certification body, such as certification from the Jewelers of America (or the JA) or the Graduate Jeweler Program at the Gemological Institute of America (or the GIA).

There are various levels of certification from programs such as these, ranging from regular bench jeweler all the way up to a master level bench jeweler, as well as certifications in sales, management, and custom order jeweling. 

When it comes down to it, you can likely trust a jeweler with one of those plaques hanging on their wall. You can also find jewelers in your area by using many of the websites for these certification locations.

The jeweler can also earn your trust by walking you through all the details of the stones you are examining, whether it is showing you the cut of the gemstone through a microscope or showing you the color grading compared to other stones he or she has on hand. It is also good to make sure that the jeweler has a fair return policy before making your decision.

4. Do One Last Double Check on the Stone Quality

This is not to imply that your jeweler is not on the up and up. But getting a second opinion on a stone you have purchased is a great way to set any nerves you might still have at ease about your purchase, as well as let you know if there are any imperfections you want to know about.

After all, this is going to go on the hand of your spouse for the rest of your lives together. You can get this second opinion by sending your stone into a third party laboratory that handles gemstone appraisal. These labs include the aforementioned GIA, the American Gem Society (or the AGS), or the International Gemological Institute (or the IGI), among others.

These are four tips you can use for finding your perfect engagement ring for that special someone. Consider these, and you will manage to guarantee a smile on the face of your true love!


“Alex G Forrester is a freelance content marketer and consultant, with nearly 7 years of content writing experience about everything from marketing and technology to family and travel. When he is not brushing up against a deadline, he can be found on the beach with his black lab, Louie. You can find Alex on Twitter and Facebook.”


To contact or follow me;
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