When you know, you know

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Weddings - Story by BETH BRIGHT

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.”

Pho­tos cour­tesy of HAN­NAH TERRY

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