Anne + Craig from New York rented a lake house for their destination elopement. Photo by Party of Two Photography

I’m an Ordained United Church of Christ Minister who’s been connecting couples since 2007. From listening and getting to know couples, I’ll draw out their personal love story and weave it into their ceremony. I believe that love is love and that couples should be free to marry regardless of sexual orientation and spiritual beliefs.

Heartfelt Elopement Package – This is a perfect package for an elopement or micro-wedding. One that honors a couple’s relationship with a short and sweet ceremony, while emphasizing a memorable and intimate experience with family and/or close friends. It includes a consultation, a custom-designed ceremony, and the completion and mailing of your marriage license. This is a popular package for COVD-19 restrictions when there will only be a few people in attendance.

I Choose You (again) Vow Renewal Package – My vow renewal package is a special way to celebrate marriage, after 2, 5, 10, 25, or 50 years! It’s a perfect way of showing your partner that you’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. This includes consultation, custom-designed ceremony, and officiating your ceremony.

Serving the Triangle

Rita + Daisuke chose to elope at the Durham Museum of Life + Science due to COVID. Photo by Sean True Photography

Hi, I’m Heidi.

I believe love is the essence of human experience. It is the root of all and everything we, as humans, do. Love richens our experience, and fills our lives with meaning.

The most beautiful example of this is a marriage relationship. It gives us a firm base from which to grow, to learn, and change.

I’m an Ordained United Church of Christ Minister who’s been connecting couples since 2007. From listening and getting to know you, I’ll draw out your personal love story and weave it into your ceremony, to reinforce and even deepen your bonds with one another.

“Heidi was the perfect officiant for our micro-wedding last fall! She was highly organized and proactive and knew exactly how to help guide us leading up to the wedding. We loved her positive energy; she really helped make our scaled-down ceremony feel special. I’d highly recommend her to any couple looking for an officiant for their ceremony.”

- Rita

My style is warm and friendly, yet professional and organized. Whether you’re in the market for a traditional or eclectic wedding ceremony, I’ll craft a ceremony that reflects your unique relationship.

The first wedding I ever officiated was with two staff members at UNC Hospitals, where I serve as a clinical chaplain. I realized then what an amazing honor + privilege it is to journey with couples during the happiest, most intimate time of their lives.

Let me tell YOUR unique love story in a way that makes your wedding day extra special!


This blog has been adapted by the original author, from content on their own website. To see the original blog, visit here.


Kyra + Kyle met at UNC & tied the knot at the Old Well during lunch break with a couple of friends!

One of my core values is to help you create a wedding that is both socially and ethically responsible. This may include using locally sourced flowers and food that’s in season, as well as reducing your carbon footprint. We work with you to create an event that aligns with your values and makes your guests feel safe.

“Heidi was incredible. The one thing that took me by surprise on our wedding day was how incredibly moved I was during my own ceremony! Each word Heidi prepared struck me with such power and she genuinely enjoys being in that moment with you. All of our guests were blown away by how our ceremony was unlike any they had seen in the best way possible. It was what I asked for and so much more. The ceremony was traditional yet personal to us. Heidi captures what marriage is in a fresh way. Working with Heidi was also great. She was open to the few changes I had to the script. Highly recommend!!!!”
- Sarah

Q: What’s your title/position in your business? 

A: Heidi Gessner, Owner and Officiant

Q: What’s a fun fact about yourself? 

A: As a former hospital chaplain, I got into officiating weddings when two healthcare colleagues (a nurse and a social worker) asked if I could marry them. It was so joyful and such a blast, I never looked back!

Q: What’s your favorite thing about elopements? 

A: Elopements honor a couple’s relationship while emphasizing a memorable experience, sometimes with family and close friends. It cuts out all of the hullabaloo in favor of a few poignant moments between the couple saying their vows and exchanging their rings, symbolizing their love + commitment.

Q: Is there a wedding detail on your bucket list? 

A: Officiating a wedding on Lake Como, Italy, ideally at the Hotel Bellagio!

Q: Tell us about your favorite elopement! 

A: Kelley + Tanner eloped midmorning on Friday, May 19, 2017 in the woods at the William B. Umstead Park. Kelley wore a long, fuschia, flowing dress and had matching hair color, a floral wreath around her head, and boots. Tanner wore a suit and tie. We hiked into the woods with Kelley + Tanner’s parents, siblings, and photographer @kaylacoleslaw. I officiated their ceremony along their favorite trail, on a large flat boulder, that sits next to a babbling brook. We were encircled with cutout pink & red paper hearts. We processed in to Forget me Not. I offered a few remarks, Kelley + Tanner wrote and exchanged their vows, and we recessed to Dona Nobis Pacem. We hiked back out to the shelter with picnic tables covered with red + white check tablecloths and a yummy potluck lunch!

Alana + Cam downsized to a micro-wedding due to COVID. Perfect match! Photo by Hayley Gastiger Photography – The Stateview Hotel, NCSU, Raleigh

“My newly wedded husband and I are obsessed with Heidi. She was literally the best vendor we had!! Every single one of our guests at our micro-wedding commented at how amazing our officiant was. She is so kind, genuinely excited for her clients and she has the perfect tone of voice for a wedding ceremony. She is excited but calm at the same time. She helped calm our nerves before the ceremony and was amazing during the rehearsal.

“We met with Heidi first when we were looking for officiants and we loved her right away. We wanted to just “shop around” so we met with another one and within 2 minutes of meeting the other officiant, we knew that Heidi was the best and we needed to book her before someone else did.

“We ended up having to change our date and Heidi, sadly, was booked on our date. We were so bummed. Heidi, the awesome vendor she is, made it work so that we just had an earlier ceremony time so she could fit us in. Truly so thoughtful to help make it work for us.

“Book Heidi. You will not be sorry!! She is the absolute best :)”

- Alana & Cam

“Beyond the normal stress of trying to plan a wedding during a pandemic while factoring in all the socially responsible COVID guidelines for an outdoor intimate wedding to keep our thirty-five guests safe, we learned our original officiant had become unavailable just months before our wedding. We were not looking for just anybody. We needed someone of a non-denominational background who understood how to bring a Muslim and an Irish Protestant family together. Someone who knew how to celebrate and join a blended family together for the first time but also create inclusivity and understanding among a blended group of ethnicities and religions that made all of us feel as one. Heidi provided all that and more.” – May 2021

Kelley + Tanner had a fairy tale wedding in the woods at William B. Umstead Park, Raleigh. Photo by Kayla Coleman Photography
Medical Resident Lovebirds Sophia + Timmy were married by the pond at Sarah B. Duke Gardens, Durham.Photo by Live View Studios
Clemson soccer teammates Paige + Tyler start their own team during a ceremony at The Umstead, Raleigh. Photo by Anchor and Veil Photography