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It was a family wedding

By Kay S. Pedrotti Most wedding planners would say that just over four months is not long enough to organize and prepare a beautiful wedding. They don’t know Barnesville’s Henry family. Natalie Henry and Stephen Hill, both 23, married May 26 at Ramah Church, with Natalie wearing the wedding dress that her mother and grandmother had worn when they married. She’s a native of Barnesville, daughter of Rolfe and Janine Henry. Rolfe is a son of Pamela Henry and the late Dr. George Henry. The couple is now living in Urbana, Ill., where Stephen is finishing a master’s degree in teaching English as a second language. When he is done, they will leave for Rome, Italy, where he will be a teacher’s assistant for New Testament Greek. Natalie passed her boards and became a Registered Nurse just before the wedding. It’s the preparations that made Natalie and Stephen’s wedding unique. The beautiful gown featuring rosepoint lace on the bodice, sleeves and upper skirt also included a deep net ruffle at the bottom of the full skirt. As Janine worked to alter the dress to Natalie’s size, she discovered the roses in the lace were worn enough to be subject to tearing. So she went to work with tulle material, sewing each of the hundreds of roses into a transparent protective pocket. ’January was dress month,’ Janine said. ‘Since the first thing that had to be done was to preserve the dress, I did that, then put it aside to work on invitations and other preparations.’ Natalie designed the invitations and they were handmade by her mother, sisters Juliette and Margaret and other family and friends. Janine went looking for canopy-tents to borrow for the reception, and decided to cover them with the same fabric she was using to make covers for 110 folding chairs at the Redbone building. The covers were tied with royal blue tulle, theme color for the wedding and attendants’ dresses. After all that, Janine returned to the fragile dress to lengthen the torso and add the longer ruffle to the bottom. ’Every seam and dart had to be redone,’ she said. ‘I was very nervous but it held up well.’ Beauty and elegance took a back seat in May to more practical preparations. The Rolfe Henry family, other Henrys and friends scrubbed the interior of the Redbone community building and gave the outside a fresh coat of white paint. The workers included Natalie’s brothers, Phillip and David who used their college breaks to help out and Joseph, 16, ‘who just worked the whole time,’ said Janine. Meanwhile, Janine was helping Robert and Susan Hill of Lakeland, Fla., with arrangements for the rehearsal dinner. It was scheduled at the Rumble Seat Inn, booked before Jennie Dawn went to Ireland, but caterers Brian and Julie Evans seamlessly moved in to host the event in the inn, now headquarters for their catering business. At the rehearsal dinner, the bridal couple received a unique wedding present from their mothers — a memento quilt with 50 squares made by Janine and 50 by Susan. In the middle was embroidered what Stephen and Natalie had chosen as ‘the theme for the wedding and for our marriage,’ Stephen said. Psalm 115:1 was inscribed in both Latin and English: ‘Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.’ Janine admits she worked hard, ‘but I loved every minute of it.’ She also credits many friends and family members who helped: Maxine Goggins designed bouquets from local gardens; Annette Bacon, wife of the pastor Kurt Bacon at Ramah, who celebrated the wedding, catered the reception; the Evanses for the rehearsal dinner, and many more. She says she ‘tried to do everything locally as much as possible.’ One guest, a cousin of Janine’s dad Dave Powell, had attended all three weddings. A retired food editor of the Toledo Blade, Mary Alice Powell said she was compelled to write her own column about the Barnesville wedding when she saw the uniqueness of what was handed out ‘to throw for luck’ after the ceremony -­ heart-shaped cereal.

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