vendor spotlight: holland umc


Name:  Richard C. Vaughan
Business Name: Holland UMC
Industry Category: Wedding Minister and Officiant

What common mistakes do you see couples making?
Spending too much

What's the best tip you have for a couple planning a wedding? 
Start a year out getting ideas and sites etc. Then, relax and trust the pastor and the wedding planner. They know what they are doing.

What don't couples know about your business category that they need to know? 
I enjoy these moments and make sure the couple has fun.

What questions should couples be asking that they don't know to ask?
What’s the last week before the wedding going to be like?

What is the best piece of advice you have for a couple planning their wedding? 
Enjoy. Make it YOUR wedding — not your parents, etc.

What's the most unusual wedding you ever did? 
Beach weddings because each one is different. Most are causal and you never know what is going to happen between weather, people on the beach etc.

What was the most memorable wedding you ever worked, and why? 
My son’s.

colors of summer

So many people love summer because it brings warm weather and chill vibes. Another great thing about summer is the array of colors that are everywhere. We love seeing how people pair colors according to season and event. May these summer color schemes inspire you. If you want to see more of our color scheme series, take a look here!

wedding party gifts

They are with you through the planning. They keep you sane during your meltdowns. They help make the impossible decisions (silk or taffeta). They love you to death. They are your ride or dies. They are your bridesmaids and groomsmen.

With all the investment — emotionally, financially, physically — they are making in your big day and the whole journey, they deserve gifts that come with forethought and something they'll actually like. Here are some ideas on gifts for your bridal party!

vendor spotlight: personal weddings of north carolina


Name:  Kevin Holland
Business Name: Personal Weddings of North Carolina
Industry Category: Wedding Minister and Officiant

What common mistakes do you see couples making?
Too many couples get a late start in lining up the professionals that they need. Much of this comes from the belief that they can plan a full-blown ceremony and reception on their own and then they decide later to hire vendors. I strongly encourage couples to be realistic in determining just what they can and can't do by themselves.

What's the best tip you have for a couple planning a wedding? 
Start early and at least consult with a professional. Reading a planning guide on a website or in a magazine just doesn't cut it

What don't couples know about your business category that they need to know? 
Many couples are under the false impression that just anyone can perform their ceremony. The trend of so-called "online ordination" isn't valid in many states throughout the country. You'll even find articles and blog posts on various wedding websites explaining the process of having a friend or family member to get "ordained." The state of North Carolina does NOT recognize online ordination. There are organizations such as the Universal Life Church that actually claim that their so-called ministers are authorized to perform weddings in NC, but it just isn't true. And, even if it were true, do you want someone in charge of the most important day of your life who isn't a good public speaker? Someone who can't write a well-crafted, personalized ceremony? Many couples book their venue, hire a photographer, DJ, florist and caterer but if they stop there, they've just created a party — a big expensive party — but not a wedding. After 20+ years and over 300 weddings, I've seen just about every situation and scenario, and you can rest assured that you'll get hitched without a hitch!

What questions should couples be asking that they don't know to ask?

  1. Ask about your officiant's credentials. Many of the officiants listed on popular wedding websites aren't legitimately ordained. If their authorization to perform your ceremony consists only of a document that they've printed from a website they are not legally ordained to perform marriages.
  2. Determine whether or not your officiant will truly take the time to get to know you. Will they sit down and engage in conversation or just send you forms to fill out?
  3. Ask enough questions to determine if your officiant understands your culture and traditions. If you're Jewish, make sure they know the trick for the "breaking of the glass" (yes, there's a trick!) and that they understand the Jewish view of scripture readings (for example, the 3rd cord in the "triple braided cord" doesn't represent God). Determine what traditions and customs are important to you and your family and make sure your officiant is familiar with them.
  4. Feel free to present your officiant with "doomsday scenarios" such as what to do when the best man left the rings in the hotel room or when a petulant four-year old ring bearer refuses to give up the rings! These aren't "gotcha" questions, and a true professional will be able to answer quickly and with confidence.

What is the best piece of advice you have for a couple planning their wedding? 
In addition to starting early, consider the expectations of your family as well as yours. I always tell my couples, "this is YOUR wedding" but if they didn't care about their family and friends they wouldn't be going to this much effort and expense. Even though I perform many secular ceremonies, I always encourage my couples to consider the religious needs and expectations of their family members. You can rest assured that at virtually every wedding performed in the "Bible Belt" someone has a close connection to his or her faith tradition. I've received too many admonitions from a bride or groom's grandmother (why is it always the grandmother?) because there wasn't enough of this or too much of that in the ceremony. It's so easy to include little elements of your family's religious background without having a full-blown religious ceremony and anything you can to get in the good graces of your future in-laws will benefit you in the long run!

What's the most unusual wedding you ever did? 
Halloween Day of 2014. The theme was "Alice in Wonderland." The venue was decorated with calligraphy of quotes from the book and the decor looked like it was right out of a Lewis Carroll novel. And while that all sounds beautiful and sweet, I was asked to portray the March Hare! So — I walked down the aisle to begin the ceremony in a purple blazer and a multi-colored, garish bow-tie and the chain of a pocket watch dangling from my vest pocket followed by the best man dressed as the Mad Hatter. Needless to say, it was fun!

What was the most memorable wedding you ever worked, and why? 
I don't recall ever performing a ceremony that wasn't memorable in its own way, but there's one in particular that always stands out in my mind. It was the perfect combination of a wonderful couple, a great planning team, and an amazing venue. It took place at the Overlook Barn in Beech Mountain, NC on the 4th of July weekend. The groom was born in Poland, the bride in the mountains of Appalachia. By carefully consulting with the couple I learned that in the Polish Catholic tradition, a family is presented with an ornate, carved candle on their birth. That candle is then used again at the child's baptism, first communion, confirmation, and at their wedding. We originally had no plan of doing something as commonplace as a Unity Candle ceremony, but I knew that it was just right for this couple. We found a rustic-looking, handmade beeswax candle at a shop in Beech Mountain to represent the bride's family and culture. The couples' mothers lit the individual candles at the beginning of the ceremony and I shared about their significance as Remi and Carmen lit the unity candle and there wasn't a dry eye among the guests. This couple truly symbolized the bringing together of not just two people, but two families, traditions, and cultures. It. Was. Beautiful.


colors of spring

We love seeing what wedding colors people choose! The palettes a couple uses on their big day can speak to who they are. Maybe they are mysterious or adventurous. Perhaps their whimsical and boisterous. Your wedding color scheme can say a lot about you. Here are some fun ideas for a spring wedding color theme. And if you missed our choices last year, check them out!

they still do

We love celebrating the start of a couple's future with them, but we also love when we get to celebrate their promise to continue their love. Such was the case with Takita and Travis. They recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary by having a vow renewal in our Master Ballroom. Take a look at their special day captured by S&L Photography!

marry me!

Who doesn't enjoy hearing fun proposal stories? Whether it's a quiet evening at home or an extravagant affair, I never tire of listening to proposal stories. I recently reached out to some people to get their unique proposal stories, and I had to share them with you! Enjoy


We love to travel, and we chose Thailand for our first big international trip together.

The Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai has been on my bucket list for a long time, but my fiancé made it even more amazing than I could have ever imagined. You’re supposed to make a wish when you release your lantern into the sky, and mine came true right away when my fiancé told me he was going to tell me his wish and got down on one knee. Shortly after he proposed, we also released a floating lantern in the river, which symbolizes new beginnings. We spent the rest of the evening walking around the city with hundreds of lanterns flying overhead. It was truly magical!

-Ellie » wedding date: November 17, 2018


It happened in Barcelona the day Catalonia declared independence!

We got engaged to the sound of canons in the background. While Catalonia declared independence from Spain, Andrew declared his love for me while our fellow Airbnb photo tour participants looked on.

-Stephanie » wedding date: September 22, 2018

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My now-husband proposed onstage at curtain call opening night of a show I was starring in.

It was Carrie: The Musical. Yes, I was covered in blood.

-Ann » married 4 years