McNeely is a 1979 graduate of Central High School. She received a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Indiana University, was a graduate fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles 1989 to 1990, and a Nicholl Fellow at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles in 1998. She is a free lance writer.
Burke is a 1981 graduate of Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville, Ill. He received a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1986, and a master's degree in linguistics from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 1992. He is an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving at U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
A private wedding is planned New Year's Eve in Morehead City.