A Surprise Proposal
Alice Naples, former travel agent and local representative for the American Cancer Society, forged a lasting relationship with Terry Wallace, Arkansas Sports Hall of Famer, 37-year track announcer and 32-year media director for Oaklawn Park, after they met at a mutual friend's house on New Year's Day in 1990.
They dated for a few years before parting ways to focus on raising their young children, but remained friends. In 1998, they started the Relay For Life of Garland County, which has raised more than $3 million since its inception, and a few years ago they decided “it's a good time in our life to pursue our relationship again.”
“We planned to leave for Paris and river cruise the following Tuesday, but on a Friday evening as Terry was at the front door of my house he said `I have something to ask you and you need to sit down,'” Alice said. “I had no idea what it might be. We had discussed so many things about our upcoming trip, and I figured it was one more thing to finalize.
“So I sat down and Terry got on one knee, took my hand and said I'd like for you to marry me and I want to know if you will say `yes' before we depart for Paris.”
Terry said he wanted to be engaged while they were traveling.
“I wasn't expecting this,” she said. “If anything, I would have thought he would propose in Paris. He said `everyone proposes in Paris, I want to know now.' Of course I said `yes.'”
The big day: We had a private ceremony on June 7 at our home. We had an afternoon gathering of our friends to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, which would normally be celebrated in 2065 if we were to live that long. Terry's idea was to start at 50 and enjoy our later years first.
Best Man and Maid of Honor: We had all of our 11 children — and spouses — and 11 grandchildren in attendance. The little girls were flower girls and the boys were groomsmen. It was a major fete to get all seven families here from Arkansas, Texas, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Ohio.
The location: We got married at our home, on the back deck where the grandchildren would be
more comfortable and could run and play without disturbing anyone and becoming bored.
The reception: The celebration was held at the Elks Club. Our hope was to have our guests singing, dancing and having a fun time with a family influence. We decided that a nice way to identify our families to our local friends was to enter the Elks Club doing a Grand March singing the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. We ended the march with Dona Pettey of the Ohio Club singing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” for our first dance.
Our longtime friends Chris Dunkel and Susan Whittaker of Stubby's BarB-Que catered our celebration. Our wedding and 50th anniversary cake came from Harps. Dona Pettey continued the entertainment accompanied by DJ Larry Wilson, of Hot Springs Village. Singer Shari Bales finished the afternoon celebration.
The look: Pink roses and Calla Lillies from Hot Springs Florist.
The dress: I wore comfy, casual cream slacks and top, a custom headpiece, a gift from friends.
Most unforgettable moment: Terry sang “My Funny Valentine” to me as I walked to him as the festivities began.
The honeymoon: Niagara Falls with stops in Cleveland and Cincinnati and Louisville.