Monday, April 30, 2012

Beautiful Brides: Mary Connealy

Many of you love Mary Connealy's sweet, funny, historicals! Here's how charming her own romance turned out!

Mary writes:

Ivan and I met in eighth grade at a country school track meet.

We both attended one-room country schools (different ones) through eighth grade, then went to high school together.

We were friends in high school and ran around in a group, then we finally started dating near the end of our junior year.

We dated for four years while I rushed through college, a few ups and downs in those years but we managed to get through it because I believed he was truly the man God had chosen for me to marry...and still do.

We were engaged two months and still managed to have a full, formal wedding. He proposed on Thanksgiving weekend and we were married at the end of January.

(RH: Wow! That's awesome!)

My sister made the wedding dress for her wedding in August on one of the hottest days in the history of the planet, then I wore it in January on a day so bitter cold our honeymoon goal was to drive south until we got warm. We gave up in Texas and just turned around and came home.


Another sister wore the same wedding dress two years later. I made that veil, which is just a circle of cloth that I hand stitched lace onto.

(RH: What a special thing to share with your sisters!)

We went shopping together for my engagement and wedding ring, so there was no SURPRISE proposal. I did tell him I wanted to be 'proposed to' though. So, sitting in his car in my parents' driveway, he asked me to marry him.

I said yes.
Then I asked him if he wanted to ask my father for my hand. (my older sister's boyfriend had done that)

And Ivan said, "Nah, Jack'll let me marry you."

Which, let's face it, was absolutely true.

(RH: What a great story!)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Beautiful Brides: Tamera Alexander

Tamera Alexander is one of the sweetest women I know. But she also possesses a sharp, funny wit. Here's some great pictures from her wedding day. Isn't she gorgeous?

Tammy writes:

Hey friends, 

Let me start off by saying: Arranged marriages still work!

I met my sweet mother-in-law, Claudette Harris Alexander, before I ever met my husband, Joe. 

Here's where that went... 

Claudette was my girl's club sponsor at Harding University, and over my four years there, she was a real encouragement to me. So when it came time to graduate, I asked Claudette and her husband if they'd like to get together for breakfast and meet my parents.

The five of us got together and oh, what a time my mom, June, and Claudette had! To say they "hit it off" is an understatement. As we were finishing breakfast, mom leaned over, patted Claudette's arm and said, "I wish you had a son!" Claudette perked up immediately and said, "I do! I do have a son!" And that was it... 

Claudette called Joe, who was living in Fort Worth at the time, and left my name and number on his machine. Well, Joe says that he "remembered having seen me in church a couple of years earlier." (Bless that man's heart!) And that he'd asked his sister (who I sang in choir with) about me. But I was dating someone else at the time, and Joe and I never ended up meeting… Until God's timing was right! 

I'm so grateful our mothers––who are both with the Lord now, together, waiting for us on the other side––and for the hand they had in helping their son and daughter "find" each other. 

Speed ahead about a year... 

The wedding went off without a hitch. Everything as planned. 

Then as Joe and I were leaving, we were getting into the car when we heard a "rustle" in the back seat. 

Out popped Laura Hall, a dear woman who had been like a surrogate grandmother to me for years. She'd been hiding back there for who knows how long, determined to go on the honeymoon with us. LOL! 

(RH: Now that's funny!)

Laura went Home years ago, but I think of her so often, and remember how we used to go to a little Greek restaurant called Athens (in Atlanta) before heading to the Silver Screen to watch old movies. 

I look forward to seeing her again…someday. Laura, a widow herself for many years, really mentored me for marriage, even before I met my husband. 

Just goes to show how God is always working… Gotta love it!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Beautiful Brides: Robin Lee Hatcher

Continuing the tour of beautiful brides... Here's Robin Lee Hatcher in '89! Doesn't she look great?

Robin writes:

First a note about my wedding dress. It was purchased for and worn first by my 5' 10" eldest daughter.

Two years later, I wore it (as I am under 5' 6" it had to be shortened plus I used a belled slip). The year after me, my youngest daughter wore it; she's 5' 8" and very thin, so the dress had to be taken in and she didn't wear a slip so that the length would work.

One is of us cutting the cake. It is pretty standard fair.

The second is my favorite photo from the wedding. Here's the story about that one: Jerry was a complete basket case before the wedding. He was so nervous during the ceremony.

But the instant the minister declared us man and wife, he relaxed and started having fun. We had finished taking all of the photographs in the sanctuary and I was headed outside to toss the bouquet.

I passed my beautiful big bouquet to Jerry and picked up the "throw away" bouquet to take outside.

The photographer and videographer were about to follow me. Then people started to laugh and the photographer went back. I turned around and there was Jerry, lying on the dais with my wedding bouquet looking like one for a funeral.

So I did a Perils of Pauline, woe-is-me pose and they shot some photos of us. Behind that hand, I was laughing like crazy.

(RH: That is hilarious! I love this picture!)

Last but not least, this photo was when the ladies from my romance writers chapter asked for a romantic pose, so Jerry gave them one.

(RH: Robin, I love your and Jerry's humor! I can see why you to love each other!) 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Beautiful Brides: Deborah Raney

Being as I wrote a book about four brides and a wedding dress, I asked some author friends to share their wedding pictures and stories with me. Now I'm sharing them with you!

First up, the beautiful Deborah Raney!

"When I met Ken Raney and it was almost love at first sight. We dated all summer, but in the fall, we went off to different colleges 60 miles apart (Ken is 2 years older than I am and was starting his junior year).

But we'd already fallen hard for each other and had even started using the "M" word. In October Ken planned to come visit me at my college and wrote to tell me he was bringing me something exciting.

He gave me clues: round, shiny, hole in the middle, and it would always make me think of him.

Well, woohoo, I polished my fingernails and prepared to receive my engagement ring! WRONG.

You know what that man brought me? A Monkee's record album. (Hey, hey, we're the Monkees!) He thought this was SOOOO funny.

(RH: LOL!!)

Well, it was round, shiny, had a hole in the middle and had a stupid song on it that was supposed to make me think of him. I was NOT amused.

But we DID get engaged that Thanksgiving and I got my diamond for Christmas. We married the following August, 1974. Almost 38 years now!

On the right is a picture of Deb's parents. :)

Monday, April 02, 2012

The Wedding Dress Releases Tomorrow

"True Beauty" Facebook Party & $200 Visa Cash Card Giveaway!

Enter Today and Save the Date-4/19!


What is "true" beauty? Join the conversation at Rachel's Author Chat Party Event Page.

On the eventing of 4/19 we'll gather to talk about inner and outer beauty and share moments of beauty in our lives.

In the meantime, celebrate with Rachel by entering her True Beauty Giveaway!

One "beautiful" winner will receive:

  • A $200 Visa Cash Card (Treat yourself to a spa day or weekend get-away!)
  • The Wedding Dress (by Rachel Hauck)

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends 4/18/12. Winner will be announced at Rachel's "True Beauty" Facebook Party on 4/19.

Rachel will be hosting an evening of beauty (inner/outer) chat, fun trivia, laughter, and encouragement - bring your friends! She'll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, and a Book Club Prize Pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club and a live chat with Rachel via Skype.)

So grab a few of your friends and your copy of The Wedding Dress and join Rachel on the evening of April 19th for an evening of fun.

Don't miss a moment of the fun. RSVP TODAY and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 19!