Teddy and Jennifer Copland’s first date was the result of a bit of matchmaking by their mutual friend Chassidy Casey.
“I knew they were a perfect fit for each other,” Chassidy said.
That first date was dinner at Blu Chophouse in downtown Gadsden. Wanting to make a good impression, Teddy bought new clothes for the occasion. “I had to make sure that I impressed her, without looking like I was trying,” he said.
The two clicked over dinner and talked throughout the evening with ease. “It felt like we had known each other for years,” Jennifer said.
After that night, they were inseparable.
The moment Teddy knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Jennifer was when the two took a trip out to his farm in Wellington. It was a cold night. “The wind chill was around 10 degrees,” Teddy remembered. “But she wanted to go and meet my horse.”
When Chassidy heard about it later, she was amused. “They went horseback riding and had a bonfire in the pasture,” she said. “But Jennifer is very much a city girl, always in a pair of heels, while Teddy is mostly in cowboy boots.”
For Teddy, it was a night to remember. “I can still see Jennifer’s face and hear her words,” he said. “I will never forget it.”
Most men consider the love of their life to be a princess, but in this case, Jennifer really is. By day she works for the Social Security Administration, but in her spare time, she participates in The Fairytale Project. She meets and greets star-struck children while dressed as Belle from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” raising funds for charitable organizations.
Teddy’s marriage proposal came during a trip to Tennessee, outside in the streets of downtown Chattanooga where, on bended knee, he popped the question. Shortly thereafter, the wedding planning commenced.
“We decided on a Fourth of July ceremony and party at the farm,” Jennifer said, but then earlier this month, during lunch, the couple suddenly changed their minds. “We didn’t want to wait,” she said. And they didn’t. Four days later, they were married.
The venue turned out to be the groom’s home-away-from-home. Not the farm, but the Calhoun County courthouse, where Teddy, an Anniston lawyer and former assistant district attorney, spends a lot of time.
The other unique twist to the wedding was the bride’s dress choice. “People questioned Jennifer’s sanity when they heard she was wearing black, but if anyone could get away with that, it would be her,” Chassidy said with a laugh. “I think it’s something other women might want to do, but wouldn’t have the nerve. It turned out to be simple, yet elegant.”
Jennifer definitely wanted something different. “Anyone who knows me knows I love all things bold and glam,” she said.
And so it was on June 8, after the courthouse closed for the day, that Teddy and Jennifer’s closest friends and family gathered on the outside steps to witness the nuptials.
Judge Shannon Page officiated the ceremony — a first for him.
The couple took off for a mini-honeymoon, relaxing on the lake. It will be followed by a longer honeymoon at a later date. For now, the couple look forward to settling into their new life, surrounded by loved ones. Both the bride and groom have children from previous marriages. “We plan to continue growing as a family,” Teddy said. “And making each other’s children our own.”
Donna Barton’s column appears every Sunday. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.