Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Zephyrhills store offers drive-through weddings

Kimberley Estes, left, shows the Rev. Sharon Burnett, owner of Mother Earth Goddess, the digital mural she is affixing to the sliding glass doors where weddings will be performed.

KERI WIGINTON | Times

Kimberley Estes, left, shows the Rev. Sharon Burnett, owner of Mother Earth Goddess, the digital mural she is affixing to the sliding glass doors where weddings will be performed.

ZEPHYRHILLS — Lining the main drag through town, signs advertise drive-though restaurants, drive-through ATMs and now, drive-through weddings.

The Rev. Sharon Burnett opened Mother Earth Goddess metaphysical store in a former dry-cleaning business on Gall Boulevard in early July.

Unsure what to do with the sliding glass doors where customers used to pick up their pressed and cleaned garments, Burnett, a notary public and minister, decided to officiate behind-the-wheel nuptials. Couples with a marriage license, a witness over the age of 18 and $20 can exchange vows without turning off the engine.

"It's no different than standing at the courthouse," said Burnett, 58.

Appointments aren't necessary.

"It would be nice, but I can get it done in no time," she said, snapping her fingers.

The sign on the side of the gray cinder block building at the end of the Zephyr Plaza strip mall hasn't attracted any couples yet, but plenty of curious passers-by.

"They ask, 'Are you for real?' " Burnett said.

That was the same response from the Department of State Division of Corporations, which oversees notaries in Florida, when asked if they had heard of any similar services.

"I don't know of any," said Karon Beyer, a bureau chief with the Department of State. "Because it's so unique, that would be something we would talk about."

Those seeking an exhaust-free ceremony can also wed inside the Mother Earth Goddess store. Burnett will push aside the bench where healers perform Reiki and chakra work in her back room and turn the small area into a sanctuary. But keep your guest list tight.

"I only have 28 chairs," she said.

In the back room or at the drive-through window, Burnett will also officiate vow renewals and commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples.

Mother Earth Goddess is Burnett's third metaphysical store. The former IT professional opened InnerLight Metaphysical Center in Zephyrhills in 1999, but had to close it after nearly four years to take care of her ailing mother in Georgia.

In 2008, the spiritual world called her back and she ran Mother Earth in Tampa for a year, before bringing it closer to her home in Zephyrhills.

The store sells candles, incense, dream catchers and books on Kabbalah and tarot cards.

When asked if the serene, reverent aura of the stores clashes with the Vegas-style weddings offered at the window, Burnett dismissed the notion with a flick of a wrist.

"Metaphysical people aren't always serious," she said. "They like to have fun, too."

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

Fast facts

If you go

Mother Earth Goddess is at 5953 Gall Blvd. Call (813) 783-3030 or visit www.

motherearthgoddess.com.

Zephyrhills store offers drive-through weddings 07/19/09 [Last modified: Sunday, July 19, 2009 7:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  2. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)
  3. Photo gallery: Nation pays respects to America's war dead on Memorial Day

    Human Interest

    At Memorial Day ceremonies in Tampa Bay area and around the country, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

    Eight-year-old Piper St. Jean, of Tampa, uses a brush to clean the grave of her grandfather, Henry St. Jean, who served with the United States Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens on Monday moments after the conclusion of their 31st annual Memorial Day Service on Monday (5/23/17) in Palm Harbor. The event featured guest speakers, live choral performances by the Palm Harbor United Methodist Church choir and live music by Bones South, an area trombone ensemble with rhythm section. On Saturday local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops placed flags on veterans???‚??„? graves prior to the event. This is an annual tradition of Curlew Hills' Memorial Day services and helps the Scout troops achieve merit badges. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
  4. Protest sparks Texas lawmaker threats of gun violence

    National

    AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of protesters opposing Texas' tough new anti-"sanctuary cities" law launched a raucous demonstration from the public gallery in the Texas House on Monday, briefly halting work and prompting lawmakers on the floor below to scuffle — and even threaten gun violence — as tense …

  5. Photo gallery: 20 mugshots of pro athletes arrested in Florida - 1994 to 2017

    News

    In light of today's arrest of Tiger Woods in Jupiter, Florida on DUI charges, here are 20 booking mugs of professional athletes who have been arrested in Florida, from 1994 (Jennifer …

    Desmond Bryant - 2005 - Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Desmond Bryant was arrested in Miami on charges of criminal mischief after allegedly "going to a neighbor's house inebriated and causing a commotion."