Birthday Party. Wedding. Same Thing, Right?

The beauty of the day paled in comparison to the beauty of the love story unfolding before the guests of the Kelly/LaVancher wedding at the Lake House on March 18, 2017. This was no ordinary wedding. The would-be groom showed up to what he thought was a 50th Birthday celebration. Little did he know he was getting married.

The crowd silenced as the blind folded groom showed up in a black car. The only sounds were the birds chirping and the breeze blowing through the trees. It seemed as if everyone including children were holding their breath in anticipation. He was carefully directed to the altar. The blind fold was removed, and all the groom saw was his & the bride’s closest family and friends smiling back at him from wooden benches and hay bales. The music was cued and out walked the bridal party. As the beautiful bride approached the altar being escorted by her oldest son she cheerfully said “Happy Birthday!”

A spellbound audience watched as an overjoyed, tearful groom and an elated bride said their “I dos.” The look of love and joy on both their faces was one that could only have come from inexplicable love. A love that was forged over years of triumph and tribulation…

Meet my friends Denise & Scott.


They connected in a very unconventional way… at a funeral. This wasn’t some guy picking up a girl at a funeral thing though… Scott and Denise had known each other but had never stayed in touch. It was their mutual grief over losing a friend that brought them together. They had no idea that losing a friend would bring a child into the world. Meet Carter.


This is the point where their fairy tale hits a rough patch. After all, this real life. Sometimes surprises (albeit wonderful) are not something people expect to have in their lives. Shock and disbelief can have a way of inhibiting even the most logical people. The first year and half of Carter’s life were difficult for Denise and Scott. They tried to figure out how to make things good for Carter. Disagreements were frequent. They lived their lives separately but did what they could given the circumstances.

Time passed and their relationship became the ever so appealing (that’s sarcasm) on again off again routine. They spent more time together and created more happy memories. But then there was the off again times that created heartache, distrust and anger.

And then after 3 years Scott woke up. Scott realized that Denise’s family -Denise, Carter, and, her children from a previous marriage, Hunter and Lauren- were a family he wanted to be a part of. He wanted to go to Lauren’s dance recitals and Hunter’s baseball games. He wanted to have date nights with Denise as his significant other. He realized he wanted her. Well as in all spell bounding love stories, Denise had already had enough. She didn’t believe his words. This is when Scott fought for it and began to prove his love to Denise.

I remember her telling me how Scott was literally a different man. He was attentive, caring, passionate, and supportive. He was there for her and her children. He was incredibly romantic. He was everything she wished for in a man all her life. He was her Prince Charming. Almost two years after this conversation, I attended their magnificent wedding.

“We worked hard, sought outside help and God. Now it’s literally Happily Ever After.”

Their love story is the kind that would make Nicholas Sparks weep. They have persevered through every obstacle and have given each other the ultimate reward: LOVE.

*All pictures are from Denise or Scott’s Facebook page.




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