When you know, you know
The phrase “when you know, you know,” took on a whole new meaning for Jenny Hale and Chris Slaton, who knew right away that their lives were meant to be joined forever.
After hearing about each other in early April of 2013 on different occasions from friends, the two began talking, which led to their first date on May 3.
“Chris came to my house with blue and gold flowers,” said Jenny, a teacher at Gardner STEM Magnet School and graduate of Lake Hamilton High School. “When I opened the door, Chris gave me the flowers and said, ‘I figured you needed a little blue and gold in your life,’” as he graduated from and currently teaches at Lakeside.
Over the next few weeks, the two spent nearly every day together. During this time, Jenny met Chris’ 5-year-old daughter, Madeline, and the three of them did everything together, including gymnastics practices, grocery shopping, meals and church.
“We enjoyed doing normal, everyday things together,” Jenny said. “I knew Chris and Madeline were the perfect fit for me. Everything flowed and worked perfectly.”
“I know, without a doubt, God brought us together, in His timing,” she said.
The proposal: Chris knew that he wanted Madeline to be involved in the proposal because he wanted to make sure she was on board with having Jenny join their family.
“I had been working on a photobook with all of our memories from the past two months for at least a week,” Chris said. “Once the book was in, I began having conversations with Madeline and she was excited about having Jenny around all the time to help do her hair, get her dressed and help cook for us.”
On June 28, Chris decided that he, Madeline and Jenny would go get cupcakes downtown.
“He called me and told me they were headed over to pick me up and I thought nothing of it,” Jenny said. “It was just another normal summer Friday night.”
“As soon as I got in the car Chris asked, ‘What’s the quickest way to get downtown?’ I thought that was a little strange, considering he had lived in Hot Springs his entire life, but I really didn’t think too much of it,” Jenny said. “He was driving so fast and seemed to be anxious, but again I thought nothing of it.”
As they were eating their cupcakes, Madeline asked Chris if she could go get the book that had pictures and memories from their time together, and on the last page was one question: “Will you marry me?”
“I was ecstatic and of course, I said yes,” she said.
Chris said he visited Lauray’s The Diamond Center at least three times before settling on the perfect ring. And on the day he proposed, Chris had gone to get Jenny’s father’s permission to marry her.
“Madeline and I had our plan worked out and Madeline executed her portion flawlessly,” Chris said. “I may have been a little shaky on delivering my lines, but Jenny said ‘yes’ and we were excited.”
“I also made Madeline a bracelet and a necklace so that she would feel special as well and to let her know that she would always be ‘Daddy’s little princess.’”
The big day: Nov. 9, 2013 Best Man and Maid/Matron of
Honor: Jenny’s sister Bethany Alexander, and Chris’ two brothers Ray and Art Slaton.
The location: Hot Springs Baptist Church
The reception: The reception was at Hot Springs Baptist Church and was just like Chris and Jenny — laid back and simple.
“We enjoyed talking and visiting with family and friends, some of which we had not seen in years,” she said. “Tim Hale and Kyle Jackson played background music as we enjoyed our first few moments as husband and wife.”
The bride’s cake had several tiers with intricate designs with live flowers were scattered throughout the cake. It was topped with the same toppers that Jenny’s parents used on their wedding day, Aug. 1, 1981. The groom’s cake was a red Razorback with chocolate cake.
The dress: The dress was a Casablanca. It had layers of soft tulle over textured organza with a Swarovski crystal and freshwater pearl appliqué band accented with a pleated organza sweetheart neckline and crystal buttons on the bodice.
The look: The colors were navy blue and fall colors — orange, yellow and maroon.
For the ceremony, sunflowers lined the aisles and an arch on the stage was filled with orange gladiolas, sunflowers, yellow lilies, roses, thistle, red hypericum and ruskus.
The boutonnieres were filled
with yellow spray roses and hypericum and the bridesmaid’s bouquets were filled with white hydrangeas, sunflowers, red hypericum and thistle.
The bride’s bouquet was filled with white hydrangeas, sunflowers, high and magic roses, orange gerbers, red hypericum berries and thistle.
The bridesmaids wore strapless, floor length navy blue dresses and the groomsmen wore gray suits with navy blue ties.
In the reception, the tables were filled with two different centerpieces. Some tables had fishbowl vases that were filled with sunflowers, hypericum, curly willow and lemon leaf. Other tables had antique lantern lamps on trays that were surrounded by sunflowers, hypericum, thistle and roses.
A large centerpiece sat on the food table and was filled with gladiolas, sunflowers, lilies, hypericum and thistle.
Most unforgettable moment: For Jenny, it was looking down at the end of the aisle and seeing her happily ever after.
“In those few moments, I saw how God had been orchestrating my life for this moment,” she said. “I realized how each step of my journey had led me not only to Chris, but to Madeline. I had been praying for years that God would bring the right person into my life in His time. God knew exactly who I needed and when I needed them. His orchestration and timing were perfect.”
During the unity candle portion of the ceremony, Jenny and Chris called Madeline over to join them and they stood there and hugged as a family.
“After the reception, Jenny and I picked Madeline up and took her to Orange Leaf to get some yogurt so we could have a special family moment and spend some quality time with Madeline before we left to go on our honeymoon,” Chris said. “I loved the look in Jenny’s eyes from across the room, knowing that we were finally married.”