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Melissa and Rex Exchange Vows at an Intimate Family Wedding in Durham

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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