Amanda & Pierce at the Museum of Life & Science

Amanda and Pierce were married on a beautiful spring evening in May at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham. This is SUCH a cool place to get married… as you’ll see in their photos by Bronwyn Duffield Photography. And I have to say, this was the perfect fit for Amanda and Pierce. Their fun personalities shone through in all the details of their wedding day!

I admitted to Amanda the week before their ceremony that I had been looking forward to it for months, since my first meeting with them. We clicked during our meeting on a lot of subjects, but particularly Girl Scouts… an organization near and dear to both Amanda’s heart and mine!

If you know me, or read my blog, you know that handfastings are one of my very favorite rituals. I love the symbolism, and the history, and I love sharing that with guests who usually aren’t aware. I had a string of handfasting ceremonies in May and I was loving it! Amanda and Pierce chose to use 3 braided cords using their wedding colors: purple, green, and white. What I love about this is that Amanda braided little silver charms with special meaning to them into each of the braids.

Also… can we take a moment to admire the most intricate and beautiful paper flowers I have ever seen?! You can find them on etsy!

When I arrived at the museum on their wedding day, I snapped the beautiful blue-skies pic on the left. Things were looking perfect! However, it wasn’t long before the sky turned into the second pic and we felt a few drops. I took a screen shot of the radar and sent that text to my husband. I was so worried the sky was going to fall out just as everyone got in their seats. Fortunately they weren’t far from cover under the reception tent, but I wanted Amanda and Pierce to have the ceremony they had dreamed of!

I have to give a shout out to their DJ Jim Unger of 99 Entertainment. He had the sound set up for the ceremony outside so I showed him the radar and gave him a head’s up that he may need to quickly move his equipment. He was so positive and kept saying, “it’ll blow over!” I thought he was crazy, but…. he was right! Just in time the blue skies returned and we were ready for the ceremony!

If you can’t tell from my face, I love a good dip for the kiss and I was surprised by this one! And I love that their photographer caught Pierce’s fist-bump with a guest on the way out.

Amanda and Pierce had their Maid of Honor and Best Man sign the license just before the festivities began. Guests headed to the reception tent where they were greeted by the cutest little dinosaur cake topper ever!

Amanda & Pierce’s evening ended with a picture-perfect sparkler exit and another dip! I love it!

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Big Announcement!


I am SUPER EXCITED to announce that the Edwards family will be welcoming a sweet baby boy in June 2015! For this reason, I am not taking requests for wedding dates between April and October of this year. However, during those months I will still be “open for business” and meeting with and booking couples with wedding dates outside of April-October 2015. (For all those who wondered why I was only booking 6 months in advance for the last year and a half…. this is why! hehe)


A Holiday Elopement!

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The time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s day is known as “engagement season” in the wedding business. And yes, it’s true that many couples choose this time, while surrounded by family, friends, and warm fuzzy holiday feelings, to take their relationship to the next level with an engagement ring. What many officiants know, however, is that it should be called, “elopement season!” For many of the same reasons people choose to get engaged between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, many choose to go ahead and tie the knot.

On Friday, December 6th, I had one couple ready to do just that, and they took full advantage of the Christmas spirit! They got married in front of the town of Apex’s Christmas tree on beautiful, historic Salem Street. They chose the night of the town’s Christmas tree lighting, so the whole street was alive with activity, including horse drawn carriages, hundreds of people bundled up enjoying the lights and decorations, Mr. and Mrs. Claus make their rounds, and of course the highlight of the event, the huge lit up Christmas tree in front of the Chamber of Commerce building. The bride was a Gilmore Girls fan and described the scene as, “her own Stars Hollow!” I just loved that!Apex Tree Lighting

The ceremony itself was short and sweet, but shared bits of their love story and how they got to this point in their lives. The couple had grown children who were there for the ceremony and the whole family was bursting with love and joy. It was obviously a very happy occasion for everyone involved. The bride’s daughter-in-law surprised her with a beautiful bouquet of white flowers and rust-colored hypericum berries, absolutely perfect for the holiday event. And of course, their first kiss was sealed under the mistletoe! The family stayed after to enjoy some white wedding cupcakes in celebration, by the light of the Christmas tree. What a magical evening!

Apex elopement

Are you planning a holiday wedding?

The holidays can be a budget-friendly time to get married if you’re looking to save on decorations. Many wedding venues including historic homes, bed and breakfasts, and inns will have already decorated for the holidays and won’t need anything else in the way of wedding decor. Even if you are decorating a venue yourself, plants associated with the holidays like poinsettias, fresh garland, and holly are typically much less expensive than traditional wedding floral arrangements. If you are willing to brave the cold, outdoor locations such as a historic main street lit up for Christmas, or in front of your town’s Christmas tree make for great holiday wedding pictures.

Having a string quartet or pianist playing classical Christmas carols before the ceremony is a nice way to set the holiday mood for your guests. Likewise, playing more upbeat, modern Christmas music during cocktail hour keeps the theme going, but gets guests ready for the party! This website has some great ideas for both traditional and modern Christmas music to be played during different parts of the celebration.

Happy Holidays!

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I am an ordained minister available for spiritual, Christian, non-denominational, interfaith, and civil or non-religious wedding ceremonies. I am based in Garner, North Carolina and serve the surrounding area, including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Apex, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Wendell, and Knightdale.

Keep Your Wedding Local: Garner, NC Wedding Venues

Is this your first time here? Start at the Welcome page!

This post first appeared as a guest blog over at Garner, NC: A Great Place to Be! Thanks Cassondra!

Keep Your Wedding Local: Garner, NC Wedding Venues

There is such an emphasis these days on buying local to help boost the economy. There is no reason why this idea has to stop when it comes to your wedding. There are wedding venues to suit every bride’s style right here in Garner!

Rand Bryan House

The Historic Home
The Rand-Bryan House is located on Highway 50 in Garner. You may have seen it, looking picturesque at the top of the hill, nestled among acres of Christmas trees. The land surrounding the house has a rich history, dating back to the 1700s, and the Rand-Bryan House itself was built in 1871. Renovations to turn the home into an event venue began in 2008. There are several locations on the scenic property – both indoor and outdoor – to host both your ceremony and reception.  Tables and chairs are available for rent through the venue. The Rand-Bryan house and grounds can accommodate almost any size wedding!  (For more information visit:

The Elegant Ballroom and GardensHall and Gardens at Landmark
The Hall at Landmark almost sneaks up on you at the intersection of Highway 42 and Cleveland Road in Garner. Hidden behind the enchanting structure are lush gardens just waiting for your dream ceremony! The Hall at Landmark also offers the Marie Antoinette Grand Ballroom and Napoleon Bonaparte Cigar Lounge. And to enhance the elegance of your event, gold Chiavari wedding chairs, white garden chairs, ivory or gold table cloths, and a French parquet dance floor are all available for rent. The gardens are a fantastic spot for wedding portraits! (For more information visit:

The Green Nature CenterWhite Deer Park Nature Center
Lake Benson and White Deer Park are anchors of our community, hosting events and providing recreation for citizens year-round. They are also the perfect spot to have your “green” wedding! Many locations within the parks are available for rent, including the amphitheater at Lake Benson and the Nature Center and deck at White Deer Park. The Nature Center is a LEED Certified “Green Building” and has many environmentally friendly features, most beautiful of which are the 100-year old reclaimed wood floors that came from the homestead that was on the property before the park. Another beautiful feature are the floor-to-ceiling windows on three walls! Park staff are always on site during rentals to help. (For more information visit:

Blog signatureI am an ordained minister available for spiritual, Christian, non-denominational, interfaith, and civil or non-religious wedding ceremonies. I am based in Garner, North Carolina and serve the surrounding area, including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Apex, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Wendell, and Knightdale.