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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]
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