We had the good fortune of connecting with Angelita Howard and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Angelita, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I started Authentic Unions because I noticed a need for diversity in inclusive officiants. My wife and I have married five years ago, and we had a difficult time finding a nontraditional officiant who was willing to marry an LGBT couple. We wanted someone who looked like us and we could not find one. We ended up being married to someone wonderful however it left me wondering, how many other couples had the same issue? As time went on and I progressed in my graduate degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling other questions began to go through my mind. How many people struggle to find a premarital coach as well? I decided to become an ordained minister/officiant so I could develop Authentic Unions. I am a nontraditional officiant in the DFW area. I provide personalized ceremony scripts that are tailored to my client’s desires to make their ceremony memorable. Additionally, I provide premarital coaching sessions that I feel are imperative before the wedding day. It is a true blessing to be able to create magical moments for my clients!

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As a nontraditional officiant, I have been grateful to marry friends and strangers. I am appreciative that in a little over a year more than ten couples have trusted me with their special day. It is difficult to remain confident in the slower months because you ask yourself, is the lack of interest because I am doing something wrong? This process of growing my business has helped me build my patience and acceptance. My biggest obstacle is convincing clients about the importance of premarital coaching. Premarital sessions are not about creating waves in your marriage/relationships. The purpose of premarital sessions is to ignite conversation or create resolve. You wouldn’t wait until all four tires are flat to get your car fixed. So why wait until things go completely wrong to work on your marriage. It is preventative mental healthcare.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Dallas is a wonderful place to live or visit! I would definitely start the visit with a walk/run or bike ride around White Rock Lake. It is one of my favorite places to visit to get a little peace. Then we would brunch! Because we all know a good brunch is what makes a Dallas weekend. Whether it’s Smithy’s, Meddlesome Moth, the Harlowe, or Halycon brunch starts it all. Once we finished brunch, I would take them for a walk around Deep Ellum for any of the many day parties.

After a quick nap, we would get dressed in our cutest outfits and head to Bishops Arts, and hop around to any of the wonderful bars and restaurants.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate this to my loving and supportive wife Shanice. After transitioning out of the teaching field she has been amazing! Being uncomfortable is terrifying but she has been my nightlight. I would also like to recognize and thank my closest friends and my mom, dad, and brother who believe me even when I don’t believe in myself. They celebrate and affirm me while giving me honesty and for that THANK YOU!

Instagram: Authentic_Unions

Facebook: Authentic Unions

Other: The Knot- https://www.theknot.com/marketplace/authentic-unions-dallas-tx-2047315 Wedding Wire- https://www.weddingwire.com/biz/authentic-unions/403e9682856a5779.html

Image Credits
Taleisha Goodson Jay Jackson

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