Home on the Range or Wagons East?

From Tex and Dixie

Tex and I decided to include this section, which after you have read it, you will know the reasons why.

As with all weddings, there are times when the best laid plans go astray. Ours was no exception. Shortly after Tex proposed, we made the decision to marry in Gatlinburg. We selected the date of February 19th because of restrictions placed upon Tex through his work. At that time no one knew what, if any, repercussions Y2K would bring. A freeze on vacation and personal time was placed upon Tex until February 10, 2000. In addition to that I had just started a new job the end of September and would have no personal time accrued until then. Add to that, the completion date for the construction of our new home was set for the end of January, possibly the beginning of February 2000. We figured this would give us time to move into our new home and plan and prepare for our wedding/reception.

We made a very quick mid-summer trip up to Gatlinburg to peruse the wedding chapels. [Picture 1 with text here] We made our preliminary plans with Melanie at the Chapel In The Glen, paid our deposit and came home confident things would continue to flow smoothly. Well, you know what they say about assumptions…

The first problem we ran into was that a couple of our friends whom we wanted to be in our wedding party could not make the trip. So while we could still obtain a refund on our deposit at the Chapel, we began to look for alternatives places to wed in Memphis.

For several reasons this did not work out. One of the major considerations was the expense. We were living with our respective parents so we could put all of our extra money into our house under construction. For what it would cost us to rent a chapel in Memphis, we could have the entire wedding of our dreams in Gatlinburg. Besides, Gatlinburg had become our "special place" holding fond memories and we really wanted to be married there. In addition, we had approached our parents, family and friends that we were asking to be in our wedding and they were excited and willing to travel that distance to be with us as we made our vows to each other.

When we saw this chapel we just fell in love with it.  Appropriately named, the Chapel in the Glen is located on a mountain top just outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  The location and the natural beauty of the chapel made it the perfect choice for us.

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chapel2.jpg (38439 bytes) This is the same view taken our wedding day in the front of the Chapel in the Glen.

This is how the Chapel looked in February as we gaze out from the front porch as
husband and wife.

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This side view shows more of the log structure of this quaint little chapel. chapel1.jpg (38023 bytes)

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This photograph of the interior of the chapel shows its simple beauty and rustic charm.  When we entered the chapel and saw this there was no doubt this was where we wanted to be married.  As you can see it was the perfect setting.

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I told Peggy, one of my closest friends, that we would just need to pray about it and God would provide the means for her (as well as our other friends) to be at our wedding and stand up with us. We continued on with our plans. We made a trip up to Gatlinburg over the Thanksgiving Day weekend (1999) to confirm our wedding plans at Chapel in the Glen and shop for wedding clothes and accessories.

During this time, our builder told us that if certain criteria and deadlines were met our house could possibly be finished by the end of 1999. So we began to pray that we would be in our home by the end of the year. Of course, we asked family and friends to do the same. The brick, which was in short supply, was sitting on our lot 2 weeks after the contract was signed. The sheetrock, which was in shorter supply, came in the week before it was due to be installed. Our builder, among others, kept saying that he had never seen a house go up with such few problems (actually there were only a couple and those were corrected immediately). We would just smile and say that our prayers were being answered. Memphis had unusually warm weather this winter and we finally started taking the blame or credit for it as it meant our house inched nearer to completion.

And then – we were faced with another and may I say major dilemma. God did answer the prayers of all who were praying that our house would be completed and we would be in it by the end of 1999. Closing was first set for Christmas Eve, then for December 30, 1999. Our home was going to be completed a full 4 to 5 weeks ahead of schedule. However, we were still single. Neither one of us wanted to move into "our" home without the other, but we didn’t want to move in together without being married. So we went to talk to the Bishop in my church.  We explained the situation and asked if he would marry us in a religious ceremony, without a state license.  Since we were going to be married Feb. 19, 2000, in Gatlinburg, that would be the official wedding date and ceremony. We wanted to be able to live together in matrimony and not "in sin" as they say. Much to our relief Bishop Morse agreed and said that we would be married in the eyes of the Church and God and that he approved of what we were doing.

So we talked to Peggy and asked her if we could have the ceremony in her home. It would just be our parents, and the four people who would be our witnesses. She not only agreed, but said that she would give us our wedding as her gift to us. We set the date for December 19, 1999 (not realizing it was exactly 2 months from the "real" one) and promptly ran into another crisis. What would our parents and friends say? Would they still go with us to Gatlinburg? Well, we fretted over nothing. To the last person everyone stated that they were proud of us for having a "pre-wedding" so that we were legal in the eyes of God. We know we did the right thing.

It didn’t detract one iota from the specialness of "The Wedding". It certainly didn’t trivialize the "pre-wedding." What transpired was one of God’s miracles. The two friends (Peggy and Amy) that I had wanted to be with me stood up as my matron-of-honor and bridesmaid in the "pre-wedding." Since they couldn’t go to our wedding in Gatlinburg, God brought the wedding to them. Tex and I were unmercifully teased (and still are) about the number of times we were getting married. Good humor abounds when we are asked about our wedding and we innocently ask, "Which one?"

God has blessed us with such good friends that love us so much that they presented to us the means of overcoming all the difficulties we had looked upon as a crisis. As for our "real wedding" since it was the official one, it didn’t diminish the special times we shared with those who went with us and stood up with us. In fact it presented us with the unique opportunity to be able to include everyone where we would not have been able to had we just had the one wedding in Gatlinburg.

We have selected a few of the pictures from the "pre-wedding" to share with you.

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Dixie, Bishhop Morse & Tex in front of the fireplace in Loydd & Peggy's living room.

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Celebrating in Peggy's cozy kitchen ----------------- Just after being pronounced Man & Wife

Be sure to check out the Chapel in The Glen Web Site at: http://www.chapelwedding.com

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