It's hard to believe that 15 years have passed. Our lives have been through many changes. We knew that life was going fast for "other people," but surely it couldn't happen to us too! I waited almost 25 years to find the perfect wife, and it was more than worth the wait. God had someone special for me in Wayne County, NC (Rosewood community to be specific). Little did I know in all my visits to Goldsboro that there was the prettiest blonde anyone had ever seen growing up there - just for me. I am so thankful! Time flies when you are having fun, and I thank the Lord for the privilege to say that we have been together this long. I pray that He allows us 115 more years (give or take a couple)! - Gary
~~~When I was little I dreamed of my wedding gown. The only stipulation I remember having is that it had to be the longest train possible! I remember one day at college I was flipping through someone's wedding magazine and I saw "the dress!" You know what I mean.....THE one....like it doesn't matter how many more you see, none will compare! I tore the page out of the book and saved it. This was months before Gary and I were engaged. The funny thing is that I couldn't even see the front of it. The heart in the back is what "sold" me on it! I loved it!! It was the prettiest dress I had ever seen. I did go to a couple of wedding shops to try to find it but they didn't have it in my size. They tried to show me other ones but that was useless because those were not THE dress! We were engaged on Nov. 3rd and we ordered the dress on Nov. 27th! My mom found a lady in Pikeville to order it wholesale! Whew! She got it for us way cheaper than what it would have been to order it from a bridal shop. The total was $567.66. Here is the description of the dress: "Romantic heart shaped cut out adorned with drop pearls and stunning layered peplum is featured above a cathedral train. Elegant beading graces the attractive V-neck satin gown with gibson sleeves." (We also chose Gary a white tux. The only time I had seen the groom wear white was at Christian & Erin Powells' wedding. I loved it because not only was the bride set apart in white but the groom as well. I knew right then I wanted the same thing. The white obviously symbolizes purity so we BOTH chose to wear white. His tux was so handsome and we knew it was the one as soon as we saw it in the catalog!)
I absolutely loved my wedding dress and 15 years later I love it every bit as much! It now hangs on a mannequin and is the focal point in our bedroom. Funny, when we first got engaged, I said I would sell it to get some of the money back. But, after I got it in the mail that day and put it on for the first time, there was no way it would ever be sold! Getting my portraits taken was fun! My mom and Aunt Suzanne went with me. The photographers had Kenny G music playing while they took pictures. - Melissa
I had always wanted a pretty wife for as long as I could remember. This beautiful woman far exceeded anything I had ever dreamed. I had known for a long time that Melissa Smith was the woman for me. I always enjoyed being with her, and she always seemed to know what I needed to make me better. This special day will always be dear. What a thrill to marry this special lady! - Gary
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The folks from our church showered us with gifts of china, cookware, crystal and so much more. We love our Faith church family! The ladies that hosted the shower are so dear to me. Each of them had a special impact on my life. My very special piano teacher gave the devotion that night and there was no one there more fitting than her to do that for me. When you've been somewhere your whole life you grow so close to people and I'm thankful to have spent so many years at Faith. Mrs. Haas also had known Gary since he was little through their time of being at Gateway. Their families were very close during that time.
My sweet aunts hosted a floating family shower for me as well. Once again, we were showered with such special gifts.
Some of the men dear to us at church hosted a "honey-do" pounding for Gary. That was so neat! I had never seen that done before! We were just so appreciative of that because there were so many things that Gary needed that were given to him. How many men would take a night out to go to something like that?? Once again we were reminded of what a precious church family we had!
After the rehearsal dinner, we went to the motel where a lot of Gary's family and friends were staying. They showered us with gifts and with their sweet fellowship.
When we returned from our honeymoon we had a whole living room of wedding presents waiting for us. It was like another shower all over again!
A few weeks after we had been married we drove to VA Beach so the ladies of Gateway (Gary's home church) could give us a shower. It was every bit as big as our church shower! Those ladies were so sweet to do that for us. Mrs. Sandy Lane gave such a sweet devotion that night. She has been a close and special friend to the Goodfellow family for many years. We are thankful Gary had the privilege of growing up there.
I remember one of my biggest, and I mean biggest, fears was I did not want to have to talk in front of everyone at my showers. I wanted to say thank you to everyone....just individually....not publicly! I was so nervous.....especially since Gary was at some of them! I rehearsed and rehearsed what I would say. I remember not wanting to open the last present because I knew it was time to say the big public thank you!But, I did it, and I lived to tell about it! :-)
We truly were overwhelmed at the outpouring of love shown to us through gifts during the time of our wedding! We received so much of what we needed and a lot of what we wanted! I still have so many special things that were given to us. Some of the gifts we remember the most are: our Camry, $$$, lamp from Gary's memaw, crystal, china, photo frames, salt & pepper shakers from Gary's granny & grandaddy that matched our crystal, towels and sheets (that we are still using!), framed invitation, & cookware. We have every gift written down but those are some that just stick out to us. Even though it's been 15 years we are still thankful to everyone who showered us with their love as we were celebrating showering our love on one another!
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We had a sweet conversation, and I gave Gary a little wedding present. It was a little box with this saying on it:
"This is a very special gift
That you can never see
The reason that it's special
It's just for you from me
Whenever you are lonely
Or when you're feeling blue
You only have to hold this
gift and know I think of you
You never can unwrap it
Please leave the ribbon tied
Just hold this box close to your heart
It's filled with love inside"
My mom had found this little saying a few years before and she gave me the paper and said, "Here, you can give this to your husband one day." I tucked it away and saved it. I saved it for that special man in my life. That man was Gary Goodfellow, and I had so much love for him!
After I got home, I called him and his dad answered the phone. His dad told me he wasn't there. WASN'T THERE?? Where was he?!?! It was at least close to midnight by this point! His dad said he went to the store. What did he need at the store?? HMMMM. I waited for him to get home to call me, but no call. I called back and he still wasn't home! I wasn't really upset with him. I trusted him, I just didn't know where he was, and I didn't like it. FINALLY, he called! He told me had been to Walmart. What he had really been doing was recording a song for me to have played at the wedding!! How sweet!! I'll say more about that in a moment!! I could hardly sleep that night! I was so excited! My friend Sarai and her husband Michael spent that night at my house. She helped me finish packing for the honeymoon and finish getting ready for the big day!! - Melissa
(This is my most favorite classical song in the world: "Canon in D")
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I couldn't wait to come down the aisle! I was so ready to be Gary Goodfellows' wife! It was so hard to be patient waiting for all the bridesmaids, flower girl, etc to come in!! This is the day I had waited for my whole life! I couldn't wait to be Mrs. Gary Goodfellow! I had practiced signing my name like that so many times, and now it was coming true! I love the song: "When God made you" except for the part...."i wonder if He knew everything I'd need." HE did know what we needed! That's not something I have to wonder about!
Finally, it was time to come down the aisle! I walked in and caught a glimpse of Gary. I took a few steps and then stopped to let my director fluff my dress and then began that
journey to my handsome man! It was so majestic, so emotional, so grand! The organ and piano were turned up loudly playing the traditional Bridal March in such a majestic manner. There were so many people there that were special to us and that we loved. I could feel their presence as I walked in holding onto my daddy's arm. I could sense the tears of those in my family and others. I stayed locked in on Gary's tear-filled eyes. I wish I would've walked slower to savor the moment even more. It's a moment that you never forget, a moment that you never get again. You anticipate it for so long and then it's there. - Melissa
What can I say? The day was finally here. I mean, hey, here I am almost 25! I had the most beautiful woman in the world about to become all mine. When that back door opened, WOW! I was already excited, but my emotions were hard to contain. My eyes filled with tears as that blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty came to me. Those moments were precious, and I have to admit that I cried with joy knowing how perfect this day was because of how perfect my bride was! No words can adequately describe the joy of seeing that smile that was for me! Melissa had worked so hard to make that day special - and it was, but she was far more special than anything I could have hoped for! I guess guys don't realize the preparation that is necessary to "pull off" such a big event. I know I tried to help whenever I could especially since Melissa was a full-time student. I wanted to do everything I could to ensure that OUR day was a day we would always cherish! Looking back on the whole time of preparation, rehearsal, and ceremony, we were surrounded by family and friends who showed an overwhelming amount of support for us. Knowing that our union met God's approval and their approval and that our day turned out as well as we could have dreamed, June 1, '96 will always be CHERISHED - Gary
The ceremony was the most beautiful that has ever been. All the things that were said, played, sung, & prayed were so sweet and loving. The decorations, the weather, and all the aspects of our special day couldn't have been better!
We didn't let my poor daddy hear the "daddy" song ("The Father Says I Do") until that day. Bless his heart. I tried not to think about it....didn't want to ruin my make-up! There were still pictures to be taken! :-)
My absolute favorite part of the wedding was when Gary sang to me. It was my dream to have my husband sing to me at our wedding, but I never really expressed to Gary how much I wanted that. When we were picking out music for the wedding I was so hoping in my heart that he would mention it, but he didn't. Finally, I just asked him, "are you going to sing?" He told me he would love to but he thought he would be too nervous. Too nervous?!?! This is the guy who had sang in front of people hundreds of times. I so hoped he would change his mind, but he didn't. I even forgot about it with all the planning and preparations. I had always wanted the song,"Only God could love you more" in my wedding. I even left it out when we were choosing music leaving it available for some certain someone to pick it to sing if they changed their mind! :-) Then about 3 weeks
before the wedding Steve Green came out with a song "Till the end of time" that was so beautiful! We both loved it! I was so disappointed that it wasn't going to be in our wedding!! I even thought about replacing one of the songs we had chosen with that one, but that would have been unfair to the musicians to throw a brand new song on them with only 3 weeks to go. That is the song Gary recorded the night after the rehearsal. Our good friend Jason helped him. During the wedding, we were supposed to go to the kneeling bench, and Gary grabbed my hands and told me to stay there for a minute. Then, all of a sudden, this weird music came on that I knew was not supposed to go there! My eyes immediately filled with tears. I thought our sound man had totally goofed! I looked over at Gary's dad and he was smiling. I thought to myself..."Why are you smiling?!" Part of our wedding is ruined and you're smiling! I then looked back at Gary and he was smiling and said, "This is just for you." I was COMPLETELY shocked!! I began to cry more because I heard his voice came over the speaker and realized he was singing it!! That was pretty impressive to pull something over on me like that and no one else slipped up and said anything! I mean, this was a ceremony that I had planned for months and knew it backwards and forwards! He was so sweet! He sang it quietly to me along with the recording. That was even better than him singing it without the recording because he could totally not worry about what he sounded like and mean it more from his heart! When we got our video back you can hear him singing it "live" to me because he was "miked". I absolutely loved it and it was definitely my favorite part of the wedding! -Melissa
With all the hustle, I had scared myself out of singing to Melissa because I didn't like to sing from memory and wasn't used to using tracks (which was all I had for this song). PLUS, I was getting married and wanted everything to be right. I had secretly tried to figure a way to sing, so when this song came out, I knew I had to make a way. Getting through the day with all the school work and then the rehearsal and family time, by the time Melissa left to go home, I had to get moving. Jason and I spent at least an hour at the church trying to get the song right. The look on Melissa's face when she finally realized what was going on was a great reward to me, letting me know how pleased she was. I really did want to be with her "until the end of time" and sang it to her that day live on stage along with my recording while I thought of the days (and now years) ahead with her! - Gary
The "kiss" was such a sweet moment too! I remember how excited we were walking out! I was so proud to be Mrs. Gary Goodfellow!! - Melissa
The kiss: A perfect ending to an unbelievable ceremony! -Gary
We were only at our reception for a short time due to all the pictures that had to be taken. It was so pretty in there and there was so much food....meatballs, punch, cheese balls and crackers, nuts and mints, chicken salad croissants, lemon bars, wedding cookies, brownies, watermelon baskets, bbq hot dogs, & veggie platters. Of course my mom did so much of the reception, but Della Stocks & Clara James were so helpful to her. They did a lot of behind the scenes work that I never even knew about. Mrs. Stocks made our cake as a wedding present for us! How generous! It turned out exactly as I had designed it! Heart shaped cakes, real flowers, fountain underneath, slight color accents, and grand in size! The morning of the wedding Mrs. Stocks noticed the cake was starting to collapse!! Several folks knew about it and were trying to help her but NO ONE told me!! They ended up sending Mr. Tommy Sutton to a cake store and purchasing an extra column while people literally held it up until he returned!! Whew!! We had planned to let two doves go outside to go along with the whole dove theme. We went through great lengths to try to find some!! But, the day of the wedding we wouldn't let them go because I was scared they would "mess" on my dress or something!! They were pretty at the reception though! :-) We then went to start taking photos. I remember by this time my back was hurting so bad from standing so long in that heavy dress.
When all that was over it was finally time to leave! We chose to have bubbles instead of birdseed. I had never seen the bubbles before my wedding. I'm so glad we did that! It was different and so pretty! Gary's 8th grade class decorated our car. They had strict instructions to not use anything like shaving cream etc, but they could do whatever else they wanted to . It was cute! I tried to stand up through our sunroof, but my dress wouldn't allow it! :-) We drove to Gary's house and Gary's dad pulled up behind us to give him his wallet that he forgot!!!!! Not something you want to forget for sure! We quickly changed and headed out for our honeymoon!
This slide show is our favorite because it has the actual ceremony pictures and all the memories of our special day! I was able to capture the audio from our video of Gary singing...the quality isn't all that great, but I love it every time I hear it. We knew this would be a lengthy post but I'm so glad we took the time to journal about our memories of this one sweet day. Now we, as well as our children, family, and friends, can always have it to remember. Hope you enjoy reminiscing along with us of this most special time in our lives. We along with so many other special friends and family members worked so hard to make it a day that was unforgettable....a day that we dreamed of......Mission Accomplished!! It was the day I dreamed of because I was marrying the man of my dreams who I loved more than words can say! - Melissa
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