About Reverend Barbara Laughray
When we asked other wedding professionals about Rev. Barbara Laughray, we got this reply over and over: “When I get married I want her to perform the ceremony.”
The reason her peers, and indeed so many couples, choose Rev. Barbara to marry them is no mystery: she changes lives. She is a charismatic speaker whose words are filled with the love, support and tenderness she feels for her brides and grooms and their families. She is able to help couples clarify what is really important to them, and guide them to an understanding of the wedding ceremony as not just a one-time ritual between two people, but a lifetime commitment to themselves, their families and their communities. In short, she awakens her clients to the higher purpose of marriage.
“If you’re looking for a left-brain ceremony, I’m probably the wrong person for you,” says Rev. Barbara. “For me, the wedding ceremony is completely right-brain-it’s an art form.” She meets with each couple twice, but by the end of the first meeting she’s already established a comfortable intimacy with them. “Often couples don’t know what they’re looking for when they come in, but they tell me they feel like they’ve found it by the time they leave,” she confides.
Though each ceremony is individually tailored to reflect the values of the bride and groom, a constant theme running through every one is the power of unconditional love. Rev. Barbara’s ceremonies are organic creations. She doesn’t speak from a book or a prepared piece, but from the heart. Always present in the moment, she’s able to draw on the emotions, humor and energy all around her to express words that touch people profoundly. What she says is extremely personal to the bride and groom, but it is also meaningful for everyone in attendance. Friends and family walk away from her ceremonies sensing that they’ve received a gift too.
Rev. Barbara started out as a traditional pastor, with her own church. But several years ago she realized that her true calling was nurturing relationships. And that means her ministry doesn’t stop when she says, “I now pronounce you husband and wife.” Many of the couples she has married have become lifelong friends, and have returned for marriage counseling over the years. She has baptized many of their babies, and has also performed memorial services when a family member has passed away. And as a mother of a blended family (with six kids), she is also gifted at working with people who remarry.
Rev. Barbara was ordained in the Church of Religious Science, but her appeal is ecumenical. One of her specialties is interfaith marriage, during which she encourages couples to take part in each others religions and family traditions. “I don’t pretend to be an expert on the world’s religions,” she says. “What I am good at is seeing the silver thread that is common to all.”
This former Tournament of Roses Queen unquestionably found her own higher purpose in life. Her scrapbooks are filled with heartfelt testimonials from couples expressing their thanks: “The love that exuded from you set a welcoming tone that carried throughout the night. Compliments keep pouring in for your originality and personal contributions to our ceremony. A few times our guests asked us if you were a family friend. We told them you are now!”