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Heather Rhodes & Ryan Johnson Wedding
May 12, 2007

The weatherman predicted rain and thunderstorms in Chattanooga on May 12, 2007, but that was ok, Heather said, because it’s supposed to be good luck for it to rain on your wedding day. However, the day arrived and the skies were sunny…at least they were in the morning.

Around 1:00 pm EDT Dad and I arrived at The Wedding Chapel of Chattanooga, which is a beautiful little church located in the old Bonnie Oaks Orphanage complex. The plan was for us to get there early to help set up the reception area while the Bride’s wedding party, and then the Groom’s wedding party, went through their rehearsals, separately of course so they wouldn’t see each other before the wedding. Our arrival time was pretty good because we got there just as Don, Susan, and Heather were unloading their cars (one contained the dress, the other held everything else); and soon thereafter, Brent and Dawn arrived. And, then, other family members belonging to Heather and Ryan began to arrive to help with pre-wedding activities. We were able to meet Ryan’s family during this time.

With Don’s directions, we began setting out, and setting up, all of the favors and equipment that Heather and Ryan had made for the reception. Brent got the bubble machine filled and working and helped Don get the DVD projector set up to show pictures of Heather and Ryan at different ages. When the Bride’s rehearsal time came, Brent, Dad and I stayed in the reception area to finish setting out everything while Don, Susan, Heather, and Dawn went to rehearse their part of the ceremony.

We completed our pre-wedding work and a few minutes before the start time of the ceremony, the three of us went to the chapel to find a seat. A dulcimer player was performing the music. The sound was absolutely beautiful in the chapel. Dad, Brent, and I, along with Lori (Susan’s sister) and Ray Amos sat in the pew just behind where Don and Susan were to sit. As the ceremony began, Ryan, and his attendants came in from the side door. Then, it was time for the bridal procession down the aisle. Dawn was the first to come in; then the second bridesmaid, the man of honor, the maid of honor, and the flower girls came in. Then, Don and Heather walked down the aisle. They all looked really, really great. The traditional ceremony lasted for about 15 minutes and then, Heather and Ryan were presented as husband and wife.

After the ceremony, we went back to the Fellowship Hall for the reception. After the pictures were taken of the Bride and Groom eating the cake and sipping the punch, the reception began. Lori and I were drafted into service to serve the cake, Lori took the chocolate Groom’s cake and I handled the white wedding cake. I didn’t make too much of a mess, at least not that anyone could see. Along with the cakes, there were vegetables and dips, croissant and turkey roll sandwiches, and all kinds of fruit. On the tables were little shot glasses etched with Heather and Ryan’s name and wedding date filled with jelly beans.

The bubble machine was placed on the favors table and was a huge success, especially with the kids popping the bubbles. The favors that Heather and Ryan brought were enjoyed by everyone. They provided bride and groom sacks so people could sack up the favors of their choice. There were mints with the wrappers saying ‘Thanks for sharing our special day’ and chocolates with the wrappers giving Heather and Ryan’s name and wedding date and a picture of a Scottish bagpipe player. There were strawberry and crème lifesavers wrapped in match book type wrappers with the saying ‘We thank you for being here from the depths of our hearts, for making our wedding day our ultimate start’. In addition to the candies, other favors that Heather and Ryan brought were rubber duckies AND a special CD that they made for everyone that contained Heather and Ryan’s favorite Love Songs.

Eventually, it was time for the bouquet throwing and garter fling. Each was caught by an appropriate attendee. Then, the bride and groom changed into their comfortable clothes, walked out through the crowd blowing bubbles at them, and took off for their honeymoon in Vancouver.

Afterwards, Brent, Dawn, Dad and I, along with Ryan’s parents, helped Don and Susan pack things back up. But, before we could move it to their cars, the rains came…heavy at first but it lightened up and we were able to get everything loaded. It was misty as we left the church; but everything had worked out fine and a fun time was had by all.

And so, as it turned out, the bride got her lucky rain after all, with no harm done…except for a few wet family members at the end of the day.

Cathy Rhodes / 2007

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