1 COVER.indd 1 2/14/18 2:58:16 PM
Explore the endless possibilities for your Wedding day
at Courtyard by Marriott Warner Robins.
From the rehearsal dinner to the reception, we at Courtyard have you in mind.
Upon arrival we have room blocks available for your wedding party, friends, and family. Also available
are group discount packages.
Dreaming of an outdoor wedding setting? Our beautiful grounds can accommodate that as well.
Thinking about your rehearsal dinner, reception meal, day-after brunch, or bridal shower after-party?
Customize your dinners and other meals with our Top Chef, Jason DeLasota, and 32 page menu.
We offer a fantastic Bistro Restaurant and Bar to start the celebration with a toast anytime during your
Our Banquet Room holds up to 250 guests. We have several options for you on
décor or you can bring your own and we can assist with setup. Plenty of room for
DJ setup to dance the night away on our dance floor.
We are here to make your special day perfect. Give us a call today.
The smart choice for
WEDDINGS - RECEPTIONS
589 Carl Vinson Parkway | Warner Robins, Georgia | 478-602-6200
GLEN STARLNECKER, General Manager DAVID ARRINGTON, Conference Center & F&B Director
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6. “Never in my Dreams”
12. 23 Pieces of the Best Marriage
14. A Picture Perfect Sign
26. For better, for worse
28. Finding the right ring
1210 Washington Street
P.O. Box 1910
Perry, GA 31069
3 Contents/Mast.indd 1 2/14/18 2:38:54 PM
Welcome to Cossart Design,
located on Carroll Street
in Historic Downtown
Perry! We specialize in
all things home, and
strive to make your
perfect. As part of
our unique store, we
offer a comprehensive
Bridal Registry, featuring an
expansive collection of
dinnerware and many specialized gifts, all curated
for today’s bride.
The registry experience at Cossart Design is
unique and stress free. The discerning bride can
choose from a wide array of items. Most brides
register for dinnerware, but also see the value in
registering at an interior design retail space because
we offer accessories, unique ceramic pieces, lamps
and artwork. Our tabletop linens, salad bowls,
candlesticks and more are designed to enhance the
beauty of any dining space. Brides can register
for custom bedding, furniture, rugs and more. We
understand the importance of a magical wedding
day, but also realize that today’s bride is interested
in developing her unique sense of lifestyle and
design. We can help design a beautiful space for
your family and your future.
Currently, our dinnerware offerings include: Skyros
Designs and Casafina Fine European Home and
Table Décor, including their Deer Friends Collection,
a favorite at Christmas. Costa Nova, beautiful
stoneware from Portugal has been a great addition
to our line. We also offer Alison Evans Ceramics,
made in Maine. With her notably beautiful glazes,
these pieces work well as serving or display
pieces. Abbiamo Tutto is our latest addition to
our unique collection. It is made in Virginia and
is distinguished by its hand painted designs. This
line also offers many customizable monogram
pieces. Southern Jubliee is a favorite for stemless
wine glasses and whisky glasses. They are made
right here in Georgia and have several monogram
medallions to choose from.
Our unique registry is available online for all of
your out of town guests. Once you have selected
what pieces you want to register for, we will upload
the images. Guests can order and pay online. We
will have your gifts wrapped and ready for pickup!
Call or come visit to get registered today!
Wedding Registry at Cossart Design featuring:
Skyros, Casafina, Alison Evans, Costa Nova,
Abbiamo Tutto & Southern Jubilee.
924 Carroll Street
Perry, GA 31069
Start your celebration with Cossart Design for a unique and
stress-free registry experience! Our extensive collection is
designed to satisfy the desires of every bride and groom.
We offer an online registry for all of your out of town guests.
Visit us in Historic Downtown Perry and check out our website!
4 Southern Bride
4 Cossart.indd 1 2/14/18 2:48:42 PM
A restoration of love
Saved from impending demolition, the Lilly Schoolhouse
in Lilly, Georgia has been a labor of love for local attorney,
Michelle Smith. The loving restoration has been a fouryear
project, that had a year-long delay last year due to the January
2017 tornadoes and weather that almost destroyed three years of
painstaking, historic restoration. Circa 1912, the Historic Lilly
Schoolhouse was built by Perry Green Busbee, Sr., the father of
Georgia Governor George Busbee. The school has a 150-seat
auditorium/theater, a large banquet room, and two period classrooms
with original chalkboards.
Rain damage from the January 2017 storms was not covered by the
insurance policy as rain was excluded. Disaster assistance with FEMA
and SBA, while promised by both bureaucracies never materialized,
since Lilly, Georgia was 30 miles outside of the disaster declaration.
Local delegations pleaded to have the disaster declaration amended
by FEMA, only to be told that such an amendment could only come
from the President. A letter to President Trump requesting assistance
could not unravel the bureaucracy.
Undeterred, Smith has continued the labor of love, starting
over last January repainting and reworking areas already restored.
Historic restoration is a slow process, as it is not enough to just make
an old building look new. Original colors of surviving paint are
matched, as well as original stain colors from surviving baseboard
and trim. Period lighting, curtains, and appropriate historic era
furnishings are just some of the details that make an old building go
back in time.
This is not the first time the Lilly Schoolhouse was almost
destroyed by water damage, as the school was in danger of being
lost completely by catastrophic roof damage due to water and rain
damage in the 1980’s. The upstairs auditorium was completely in
The entire front classrooms were almost completely lost due to
massive termite damage that obliviated entire supporting beams. So
as not to destroy the integrity of the original heart pine classroom
flooring, Smith insisted that the termite repair was done by crawling
under the school, and slowly taking up individual heart pine boards
to save and relay them after new supporting beams were constructed
underneath. At all times, the goal has been to save the integrity of the
building and to maintain its character and charm.
The Lilly Schoolhouse is not perfect, because construction in
1912 was not perfect. Defects and imperfections have been lovingly
preserved, including the original glass in an interior door that was
once an exterior door. The original craftsman built the door by hand
and squared out the opening by sight. The original out of square
opening, visible if you look close remains, to be true to the character
and charm of the building.
That door was built with love for the Lilly Schoolhouse some 100
years ago, and love should not be changed to fit in a square.
The Lilly Schoolhouse will open late summer or early fall 2018,
weather and rain permitting.
Go back in time to the
Old Lilly Schoolhouse, Lilly, GA.
for your next event.
150 seat art deco auditorium
and 1900’s style classrooms.
5 Michelle Smith Article.indd 1 2/14/18 2:50:22 PM
Story by Kristin Moriarty
Photos by Amber Phinisee
6 Southern Bride
6-9 Cover story.indd 2 2/14/18 2:54:41 PM
Most girls, when growing up dream and fantasize about
their wedding day but that wasn’t the case for Courtney
(Walden) Enfinger until after she was engaged to her best
friend, Dusty. The two were married on Oct. 21, 2017 and
Courtney describes it as the most beautiful, fun, perfect day.
Enfinger grew up in Perry and graduated from Perry High
School in 2009, which also was the same year she began
dating her husband. Then on Cinco De Mayo, May 5, 2016 is
when Dusty proposed to her.
“We were headed to Las Vegas for his work trip,” Enfinger
said. “Unfortunately the day before we left, his job cut the
funding for it but we still ended up going. When we got to
Las Vegas we were walking through the Venetian and saw
that there were gondola rides and I thought ‘wow I would
really love to ride one of those’.
“The second to last day before our trip
ended he said let’s go have a
date night,” continued
It was Cinco
thought we were going to eat Mexican, but no it
was the total opposite. Well he took me to go on that gondola
ride. While riding he told me to get out my phone and record
it, and as I’m recording he says I can’t exactly get down one
knee, he pops out the ring and then the question will you
marry me. It threw me off, but I was so happy.”
The couple previously went looking for rings, but made a
deal that she was to never know when he would propose. Not
long after Dusty proposed to her, she began planning their
“It was a whirlwind planning our wedding,” Enfinger said.
“I had never planned anything big like this in all of my life.
My matron of honor, Tiffany Pinkney, was such a huge help.
She would literally text me back at all hours of the day when
I needed help. I happen to be one of those girls growing
up who never fantasized about their wedding. So it was a
learning experience and took me just looking at different
pictures to figure out what he and I wanted. On the day of, it
absolutely all came together beautifully.”
The first thing the couple did after getting engaged
was they picked out a venue, which was Southern Bridle
Farm in Perry. Now the fun began for Enfinger when she
began looking for her dress. “One of my bridesmaids at
the time was living in Michigan and another one lived in
McDonough,” Enfinger said. “I had four bridesmaids total
and two of them were always with me, but when I found my
dress all were with me except one. We had planned to go up
to J. Andrews Bridal and I went there specifically for this one
dress. I just so happen to glance over at this other one and
it happened to be the one I chose. I tried it on, came out to
show my bridesmaids and said no doubt this is the one. We
had gone to a lot of places so I was thrilled to have finally
Enfinger did not want the traditional white dress so the
one she chose was a champagne color. Her dress had a
sweetheart neckline, with tulle that had glitter and buttons
that laced the back. Next on Enfinger’s list was to pick the
colors of her wedding, which were black, gold, maroon,
forest green, bright and blush pinks.
“My husband’s tux had a gold vest and the groomsmen had
maroon,” Enfinger said. “My bridesmaids had glitter gold. My
caterers, Wayne and Lindy Smith of Beyond Expectations,
also took care of my flowers. We just did a mixture of
different kinds and the Smiths did a phenomenal job.”
On Oct. 21, 2017 Enfinger says she woke up at 4:30
a.m. with excitement. She said her and her husband kept
the tradition of not seeing each other until the day of the
wedding. Enfinger and her bridesmaids went out to eat
breakfast and she had special coffee cups made for them.
Then the process of getting ready began with hair and
“After I finished getting ready, it was time to have our first
look,” Enfinger said. “It was amazing. We had spent the night
at different houses the night before and we also didn’t text
or call each other, which was really hard. But it made it so
special for us. We then took our pictures and then it was time
to walk down the aisle.”
As instrumental music played, the wedding party walked
down the aisle, but when it was Enfinger’s time, she walked
out to “Falling Slowly” by Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard.
Enfinger’s stepfather Anthony Davis and uncle John Walden
walked her down the aisle.
The ceremony was simple with words of joining in
matrimony to exchanging their own vows to kissing each
other for the first time as husband and wife.
“We wrote our own vows and did not share with each
other until the ceremony,” Enfinger said. “Honestly I didn’t
know if he was going to be funny or serious, but it was
wonderful because we almost said the exact same thing.”
Enfinger shared her husband’s vows: “Courtney you are the
best friend I could ever ask for. You’re the most determined,
caring, and beautiful person I have ever met. You bring
light to any room you walk in and can always bring a smile
to my face. When I am with you I don’t have to believe in
myself because I believe that you believe in me. I love you
to the moon and back. I promise to be a loving husband, I
will always be there to kiss you in the morning and play with
6-9 Cover story.indd 3 2/14/18 2:55:10 PM
your hair at night. I vow to be a patient husband. When times are
tough I will be there as your rock for you to lean on. I promise
to be a faithful man. Your love is everything I could ask for and
more. And I wont even cheat when we play Uno. I promise to
provide you with warmth, when you touch me with your icy toes.
When you are happy I will be there to share your joy. When you
are sad I will be there to comfort you. I am going to stay here right
by your side for the rest of my life and do the best to keep you
satisfied. Nothing in this world can drive me away. I’ll be yours
until the stars fall from the sky, until the sun no longer shines and
until two is three, in other words until eternity. Love Dusty.”
Now the fun continues, the two held a reception after the
ceremony. Enfinger said they wanted to do something that would
surprise everyone as they entered the reception for the first time
as husband and wife.
“We spent weeks and week choreographing a fun dance,”
Enfinger said. “If anyone knows me they know that I don’t dance
and have two left feet. But we had our wedding party come out
to certain songs before we did. When we came out we danced to
Lean with it, Rock with It, Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) and ended
with Gangnam Style. It was so much fun.”
As the evening went on Enfinger and her husband had their
first dance, which was to Bruno Mars’ “My Life”. Enfinger danced
with her grandmother Priscilla Walden, who raised her as a child
and Dusty danced with his mother. The food for the evening
was chicken, barbeque and mashed potatoes that Enfinger said
everyone still talks about to this day. Their cake was three different
flavors and they had a cheesecake bar. The night came to an end
around 10 p.m. and Enfinger and her husband headed to their
home as a married couple.
“We did not go on a honeymoon right away,” Enfinger said.
“We plan to do that our first anniversary and we hope to go to
Japan. But the day was absolutely perfect and I wish we could do
Enfinger said she knew her husband Dusty was the ‘one’ for her
not long after they started dating.
“I moved in with him within two weeks after we started dating,”
Enfinger. “I would have never ever done that, but something in
me said he is the one. While we were dating the best part of my
day was waking up before school talking to him on AOL instant
message and after school. I love everything about him, it’s hard to
just pin point one thing.”
“During the wedding planning there were so many times where
I tried to back out and tell my husband say hey lets just go to the
courthouse, but he said I want to celebrate my love for you. He
told me just to breathe and take one thing at a time and he helped
a lot too. And everything was perfect.
Courtney’s advice to newly engaged couples– “Give yourself
enough time to plan. Don’t feel like you have to rush. I was so glad
that I gave myself about a year and a half. But most importantly be
there for your partner. Communication is key. Always if you have
any type of problems talk it out because if you don’t that causes
more. I love my husband so much and can’t wait to see what’s in
store for us.”
6-9 Cover story.indd 4 2/14/18 3:00:10 PM
6-9 Cover story.indd 5 2/14/18 3:00:48 PM
You are about to marry and start your life as Mr & Mrs!!!
When you marry you have so many “firsts”! One big step is your first
home. I want to be your real estate advisor – I want to be a part of your
As your professional real estate advisor, I focus on client satisfaction.
My business is about service and I am not happy until you are happy.
Whether it’s finding you a home or finding the best loan, I am here to
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My satisfied clients are my best resource for new business. In this very
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My service is second to
none and has earned
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please give me an
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913 Carroll Street, Perry, GA 31069 478-224-2667
Ashley Marie’s Boutique
is a family owned boutique
specializing in men’s and
We have dresses and accessories
perfect for engagement shoots
rehearsal dinners, and all of your
wedding activity needs.
Our selection of accessories is also
perfect for a bridesmaid gift! We have a
large selection in men’s clothing and gifts.
Find your wedding attire or let us help you
create an unforgettable groomsman gift.
621 Gen. Courtney Hodges Blvd.
Perry, Georgia 31069
4 A Ride To Remember
Rental Concept is a locally owned
and operated rental store located in
Macon. Rental Concept has been in the
special events rentals and equipment
rentals business since 1974. We have an
extensive inventory of party and event
Our courteous staff is ready to
assist you with all your rental needs.
In order to better serve our customers,
we suggest that you reserve items in
advance. Quote requests can be made
and reservations can be taken over the
phone or in our showroom.
For your convenience, we offer a
service for delivery and setup. Our goal
is to assist you in making your event a
shining success by offering the finest
quality in rental items and prompt and
Please check out our facebook page
or visit our showroom to see the many
services we can offer you for your event
or special occasion. Or give us a call at
Check us out on Facebook
• PARTY SUPPLIES
“Items To Rent For Your Wedding!”
“Items To Rent For Your Wedding!”
Open Mon-Fri 7:30 am am - 5:00 - 5:30 pm pm • Sat • Sat 7:30 am am - 12:00 - pm pm
Locally Owned & Operated
1396 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Macon Ga. 31201
“WHERE YOUR BUSINESS WILL BE APPRECIATED”
Some of the items
we offer at
• Punch Fountains
• Chaffing Dishes
• Food Service Items
• Linens all sizes & colors
• Dance Floor
• Concession Equipment
• Kids Games
11 Rental Concept smalls.indd 1 2/14/18 3:02:51 PM
23 Pieces of the
(Collected Over 13 Years)
By YourTango Brides.com
When Ashley and I got married thirteen years ago, we were
young and in love, but we were also pretty clueless (me
especially)! Along the way, we’ve had so many people share
wise advice and life experiences with us, which has helped
guide our family through good times and hard times.
Through the years, I’ve been collecting some of the best
marriage advice others have shared with us (and some I
had to learn through my own mistakes). If you apply these
twenty-three principles below to your relationship, it could
make a life-changing difference in your marriage.
1. Choose to love each other, even in those
moments when you struggle to like each other.
Love is a commitment, not a feeling.
2. Always answer the phone when your husband/
wife is calling. When possible, try to keep your
phone off when you’re together with your spouse.
3. Make time together a priority. Budget for a
consistent date night. Time is the “currency of
relationships,” so consistently invest time into
4. Surround yourself with friends who will
strengthen your marriage. Remove yourself from
people who may tempt you to compromise your
5. Make laughter the soundtrack of your
marriage. Share moments of joy. And even in the
hard times, find reasons to laugh.
6. In every argument, remember that there won’t
be a “winner” and a “loser.” You’re partners in
everything so you’ll either win together or lose
together. Work together to find a solution.
7. Realize that a strong marriage rarely has two
strong people at the same time. It’s usually a
husband and wife taking turns being strong for
each other in the moments when the other feels
8. Prioritize what happens in the bedroom. It
takes more than sex to build a strong marriage,
but it’s nearly impossible to build a strong
marriage without it.
9. Remember that marriage isn’t 50/50— divorce
is 50/50. Marriage has to be 100/100. It’s not
splitting everything in half, but both partners
giving everything they’ve got.
10. Give your best to each other, not your
leftovers after you’ve given your best to
11. Learn from other people, but don’t feel the
need to compare your life or your marriage
to anyone else’s. God’s plan for your life is
12. Don’t put your marriage on hold while you’re
raising your kids or else you’ll end up with an
empty nest and an empty marriage.
13. Never keep secrets from each other. Secrecy
is the enemy of intimacy.
14. Never lie to each other. Lies break trust and
trust is the foundation of a strong marriage.
15. When you’ve made a mistake, admit it and
humbly seek forgiveness. You should be quick to
say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”
16. When your husband/wife breaks your trust,
give them your forgiveness instantly. This will
promote healing and create the opportunity for
trust to be rebuilt. You should be quick to say, “I
love you. I forgive you. Let’s move forward.”
17. Be patient with each other. Your spouse is
always more important than your schedule.
18. Model the kind of marriage that will make
your sons want to grow up to be good husbands,
and your daughters want to grow up to be good
19. Be your spouse’s biggest encourager, not his/
her biggest critic. Be the one who wipes away
their tears, not the one who causes them.
20. Never talk badly about your spouse to other
people or vent about them online. Protect your
spouse at all times and in all places.
21. Always wear your wedding ring. It will remind
you that you’re always connected to your spouse
and will remind the rest of the world that you’re
22. When you have to choose between saying
nothing or saying something mean to your
spouse, say nothing every time.
23. Never consider divorce as an option.
Remember that a “perfect marriage” is just two
imperfect people who refuse to give up on each
12 Advice.indd 1 2/14/18 2:41:06 PM
Let the celebration begin at Two Friends!
Two Friends is a lifestyle boutique located in historic downtown
Perry. Established in 2001, current owner Lea Fountain carries on
the legacy of the most premier
shopping experience in middle
Georgia. Her philosophy is
simple…the customer should
leave happier than they came
in! So, the perfect place to start
when planning a wedding is Two
Let the celebration begin!
You are taking every step to
make your wedding the perfect
and at Two
celebration deserves special attention.
Let us help you create a unique look for your
wedding starting with invitations which set the
tone for your magical day. Continue the same
theme with custom napkins and cups tailored
to your color scheme and venue. Our brides
love our personalized stationery for all of their
correspondence during and after the wedding.
Two Friends offers the most
wonderful bridal registry
experience. Let us help you put
together an assortment of gifts
that you will love for a lifetime.
Brides can register for beautiful
dinnerware, unique cookware,
gorgeous linens, and personalized
glassware as well as unique
accessories to compliment your
Choose from our assortment
of creatively designed and
to thank all of
bridesmaids and groomsmen. Let us surprise and
delight your out of town guests with wrapped and
delivered welcome baskets!
Finally, the girls at Two Friends want to help
you look your very best. Whether it is for your
engagement party or bridal shower, you should
feel beautiful. Our stylists can create that perfect
ensemble for every celebration.
926 Carroll Street • Perry, Georgia
Fashion. Home. Gift. Lifestyle.
A modern, chic boutique where everything is fabulous.
13 Two Friends.indd 1 2/14/18 3:05:33 PM
A Picture Perfect Sign
Story by Donnell Suggs
Photos by Shannon Archibald
A picture is worth a thousand words and this one tells the story
of a blended family bonded by their individual stories and the power or lack thereof of the distances between us. Taken at the Retreat
at Southern Bridle Farms in Perry, the bride and groom, to the right at the top of a short staircase, are surrounded by their wedding
party. People came to contribute to the blessed union from far and wide. In some cases from as far as Colorado, in the most extreme
case from across seas. In order to pull off a twenty-two person wedding party it takes more than just a few invitations.
At the bottom of the staircase are five children; three boys in
grey suits and two girls in silver dresses. They were keys to the
union, more on that later, and very important to the wedding
itself. Two of the boys were junior groomsmen and the youngest
was the ring bearer. The girls were junior bridesmaids. “It was a
storybook wedding,” said Danielle Gates Welch of her wedding
to former United States Air Force veteran John E. “Jed” Welch
IV. “I wanted a beach wedding but our location was perfect.”
The Retreat was the first place she and Jed visited and there was
only one opening in the calendar. The venue is quite popular
and there are not always accommodations for couples looking
to get married there. “I’m a “sign” person and I wasn’t budging
on my day,” said Danielle who was set on getting married on
November 11, 2017, Veterans Day. “This was the big wedding
that we both wanted,” she said. Veterans Day is important to
both of the Welch’s. Danielle loves the number 11 and Jed knows
how important it is to recognize the sacrifice our military makes
Two of the groomsmen came to the wedding from Iraq.
“They took leave and paid thousand of dollars to fly over from
Baghdad,” said Jed about two really good friends that he made
while working as a contractor in the Middle East. “They were
both active duty, in fact everyone on my side was or is still in the
Jed joined the Air Force right out of high school. It may not
have been his first choice but it was most certainly a family-
14 Southern Bride
14-15 Welch pages.indd 2 2/14/18 3:08:10 PM
friendly decision. “I wanted to go to college but after I got
hurt my basketball scholarship interest dried up so I made the
decision to go into the military. It was not a stretch for Welch
to become a military man. In fact it was probably another sign.
Jed came up in a military family, “I’m third generation military,
it’s like the family business,” he said with a laugh. His father,
mother, and before them, his grandfather and great grandfather
have all served in the United States military at one point of
their lives. “All of my uncles on my dad’s side and both maternal
grandfathers as well,” added Jed who retired after 20 years of
service in 2014. “It’s just what we do.”
He played his high school basketball at Liberty High School
in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and over at the rival high school,
Freedom High School, another star athlete was also making a
name for himself on the gridiron, athlete and actor Dwayne
“The Rock” Johnson. Another “sign”: Danielle, like many other
women on the planet Earth, has an affinity for The Rock. “He’s
my celebrity crush,” she said. “Everybody loves The Rock,”
Danielle on the other hand was the exact opposite in regards
to how she grew up. Born in Florida, moved to Texas as a
teenager and then to Georgia, she’s a warm weather girl through
and through and has no connection to military life, except for
her having moved around the country before settling in Georgia.
The aspect of having to adapt to different situations and new
surroundings are something the Welch’s have in common.
Jed and Danielle use to take dates like these when they first
met almost three years ago. They were just friends then but
according to Danielle anyone that crossed their path just knew
that they were a couple, “I use to say ‘No we’re just friends’,” said
Danielle, a Florida native. “I believe you need to be friends first.”
“We met through mutual friends and we started dating and
became best friends,” added Jed, who grew up all over the
country due to his family’s involvement in the military. “He
won me over,” says Danielle about the friendship that ultimately
became her marriage, “and it grew from our friendship.”
The two came into their relationship slowly and carefully
after having both been married and having children. They were
determined to do things much differently this time around. “We
were both married at the courthouse the first time around so we
wanted to do this our way,” said Danielle. “I always thought it
would be cool to get married on November 11 and it worked out
Sometimes when the five kids are at school and the chores
around the house are done and there’s that little sliver of time
and space for the two of them, Danielle and Jed like to go to
lunch together. “Our days consist of running errands, fixing
things around the house, laundry and whatever the kids need
done,” said Danielle, who describes herself as a self-employed
full-time mom. “From 3pm on its homework, sports, whatever
they need.” At times a table for two at a local chain restaurant in
broad daylight in middle Georgia can feel like date night at a five
star restaurant in the city of lights. For two people that believe
heavily in getting back the energy that they put in, a break in the
action that is their everyday lives is well earned.
Every November 11(Veterans Day) from here forth will be
Danielle and Jed’s wedding anniversary; a day of celebration in
the Welch’s blended family.
14-15 Welch pages.indd 3 2/14/18 3:08:39 PM
Three Beautiful Event V
Wedding & Event Venue
1251 Forest Hill Drive, Perry | 478-662-2568 | foresthillparkofperry.com
French Door Entry, Beautiful Archway,
Columns, Tables, Chairs & More
16-17 CENTER SPREAD.indd 2 2/14/18 3:11:21 PM
Venues in Perry, Ga.
A scenic location with southern comfort
Weddings • Receptions • Meetings • Parties & More!
1000 Country Club Rd. 478•224•4653 cherokeepines.com
Indoor venue with 2 banquet rooms
and bridal suite, seating up to 200
Call today 478-662-2568
334 Lake Joy Road, Perry www.OccasionsAtLakeJoy.com
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Beautiful, unique, charming venues i
Planning a wedding can be the most exciting time
in one’s life; from picking themes to colors to
essentially where one plans to be wed. In regards
to picking a venue it is that special place where
two come together as one. The city of Perry
has become known as, “Where Georgia comes
together” and in Perry there are three unique
venues where two can come together as one.
Sara Barron is the manager of Cherokee Pines
Events, Forest Hill Park and Occasions at Lake
Joy. All three venues are locally owned by Marty
Myers. Barron said each venue is beautiful, unique
and charming in it’s own way and is ready to help
create special memories for others.
“Forest Hill Park does have a special place in my
heart because that is where my husband proposed
to me,” Barron said. “We were married there and
had our son’s first birthday party as well. I’ve
been manager for the park since 2012 and later
on when Cherokee Pines Events and Occasions
at Lake Joy opened I became manager of them
as well. So it’s not just a job to me it’s creating
memories. I have a lot of special memories with
the park so I love to create memories for others.”
Barron’s job is to reserve dates/book out the
facilities, create contracts and answer questions.
She said they are not on site at events, but are
always on call if the clients have questions.
Clients are responsible for set up and clean up.
Each venue has several options and amenities,
and bundle packages between the three venues
that are available to choose from.
By Kristin Moriarty
Journal Staff Writer
18-21 Forest Hill Article.indd 2 2/14/18 3:15:52 PM
Forest Hill Park
“The park is located off of Main Street in
Perry at 1251 Forest Hill Drive,” Barron
said. “It is very unique, full of history and
has several different features unlike anything
else around here. Our chapel came from
Clinchfield and has records that go back
to the 1920s. It still has its original features
such as the wood flooring and windows. Our
steeple is one of the original ones from the
First Baptist Church in Perry. We also have
the Brian Bowen covered bridge, and a red
caboose, which was in service at one time.
This is another venue to where you can have
your ceremony indoors, outdoors or both.
The chapel can hold 90 for a ceremony and
60-65 for reception depending on setup.
If you have your ceremony or reception
outdoors it holds 125. Our chapel does have a
kitchen and changing rooms in the back. Our
caboose may be rented out as a changing area
as another option. There are so many options
available to accommodate your needs. The
clients are responsible for setup, a caterer
and cleanup. We do offer setup, but it is an
For more information with a list of amenities
and pricing go online to
or call 478-662-2568.
“There are so many
18-21 Forest Hill Article.indd 3 2/14/18 3:16:35 PM
“Cherokee Pines Events is located at 1000
Country Club Road in Perry,” Barron said.
“This is a venue to where you could have
your ceremony and reception indoors,
outdoors or both. There are several beautiful
spots on the property where you could have
your ceremony outdoors; the pond makes for
a beautiful background. Our banquet hall
is 1,400 square feet. If you choose to have
your ceremony in the banquet hall you can
seat 120, and with a reception you can seat
100. Additional reception tables can be set
up outside as well. We do have an on-site
caterer, which if you use them, you get a
discount. Our caterer can do anything you’re
looking for from hors d’oeuvres to plated
meals to buffet style. There is also a full
For more information and list of amenities
and pricing go online to www.cherokeepines.
com/events or call 478-224-4653
“This is a venue to where you could have your ceremony
and reception indoors, outdoors or both.
OOccasions at Lake Joy
“This is an indoor venue only,” Barron said. “It is 7,000 square feet that
accommodates two large banquet rooms, and bridal and groom suites. The
front room can seat 125 and the back room can seat 175. You can just rent
one room or both. Our front room also has a stage area. So we have had some
clients who used the front room for their ceremony and the back room for
their reception. We also have a kitchen, and tables and chairs are provided at
this venue. Again the client is responsible for setup, clean up and a caterer.”
For more information and pricing go online to www.occasionsatlakejoy.com or
18-21 Forest Hill Article.indd 4 2/14/18 3:17:14 PM
Bundle Packages and Rentals
“We do offer several bundle packages with our venues,” Barron said. “You could
have your ceremony at Forest Hill Park and reception at Cherokee Pines or
Occasions at Lake Joy. They are all within a short driving distance from each
other. From the park to Cherokee Pines is about a five-minute drive and from the
park to Occasions at Lake Joy is about a 10-minute drive. It’s also a good package
to have as a back-up plan with having your ceremony outdoors at the Park, you
can move it inside to the chapel and then have your reception at either of the two
other venues. We can create any kind of package for your needs. We also offer
rentals offsite. We have round
and rectangle white tables, white
folding chairs, and tablecloths.
We also have unique homemade
items such as large windows,
French door entryways, arches
and stages available for outdoor
weddings. All items were made
locally in Perry.”
For more information and list
of pricing go online to www.
foresthillparkofperry.com or call
“Let us create those
All three venues are also available for birthday parties, baby showers, reunions, business meetings and more. Barron
said she has had several brides who have had their weddings at one of the venues and later came back for their baby
showers. When looking for a venue Barron said it’s important to set a budget.
“Have a set budget in mind before looking at venues because it can be overwhelming if you just go and look,” Barron
said. “After you have set a budget then pick out a date you want to have your wedding/event on and book in a timely
manner. For us our key dates/months that are really popular are March, May and October so if you want to have your
wedding then I would say book as soon as possible. But it is possible to book out venues in a short amount of time with
us. For example if you just got engaged in June and want to have your wedding in August it can be done.”
“We do have the most beautiful and unique venues in the middle Georgia area,” she went on to say. “We have had a
lot of great feedback from our clients
and we continue to grow and book
more and more each year. We are
featured on Wedding Wire and The
Knot and have also been awarded
Wedding Wire’s Couples’ Choice
Award for 2015, 2016 and 2017 as
well as Wedding Wire’s Editors’ Picks
in 2016. All of our venues are on
social media as well.“
18-21 Forest Hill Article.indd 5 2/14/18 3:17:38 PM
Photo by Ashlyn Cathey Photography
Photo by Joyful Portrait
Photo by Ashley Gurley
Photo by Shannon Archibald
Photo by A Blissful Moment
Photo by Ashley Zoltack Photography
Photo by Intriguing Elements
Photo by Keith Hammock
Photo by Steve Schroeder
Photo by Amber Malone
Photo by Ashley Zoltack Photography
Photo by Jenny Loo Photography
Photo by Shannon Archibald
Photo by Mandi O’Connor
Photo by Christina Bankson
22 Southern Bride
22-23 Contestant pages.indd 2 2/14/18 3:33:18 PM
Photo by Shannon Archibald
Photo by Robert Lamb Photography
Photo by Shannon Archibald
Photo by Ali Harpe Photography
Photo by Brittany Rae Photography
Photo by Aimee Sams Photography
Photo by Drift Away Photography
Photo by Sunny Lee Photography
Photo by Ashah Photography
Photo by Shannon Archibald
Photo by Ashah Photography
Photo by Shannon Archibald
Photo by Shannon Archibald
Photo by Ali Harpe Photography
Photo by Southern Style Photography
22-23 Contestant pages.indd 3 2/14/18 3:34:13 PM
902 Commerce Street | Perry, GA 31069
478-988-1595 | www.bridalsbygilbert.com
Bridal’s by Gilbert is a bridal boutique located in downtown Perry, GA.
The boutique opened June 2015 and has flourished ever since.
Owned by a local family of Perry,
the boutique offers a charm that
is hard to find anywhere else. The
owners are a warm & welcoming
mother-daughter duo, Maria and
Mary Margaret Gilbert, who love
what they do.
The idea of opening a bridal
boutique arose from Maria’s years
of experience within the wedding
industry, as the Gilbert’s also own
a photography business located
in Perry. “We were looking for
something to do together that
would complement the photography
in the same space. Receiving Best
of the Best for 2017 in the category
of Bridal and 2017 Georgia Bridal show best booth award were both such
humbling experiences for Bridal’s by Gilbert.
Brides from all over Georgia can’t get enough of this boutique, with brides
reaching from all over the southeast to internationally as far as Germany.
In the future the business plans to expand. For example the bridal boutique
not only offers wedding gowns, but also bridesmaids, tuxedos, flower girl,
exquisite jewelry & accessories, as well as a selection of gifts (now offered
online). The owners recently visited Venice, Italy where they purchased one
of a kind accessories for your wedding day and also discovered beautiful lace,
which will allow them to start their own line of veils. The Bridal’s by Gilbert
team is always looking for ways to make the boutique unique, by providing
items and services which cannot be found anywhere else.
If you are a bride looking for an experience like no other with helpful
consultants, caring owners & beautiful gowns look no further than Bridal’s
Our agency has served newlyweds and soon to be
weds of Houston county for over 45 years. The
importance of covering not only that magnificent
engagement ring but also protecting your soon to
be family’s future should be trusted to someone the
two of you can count on. Whether it is automobile,
homeowners, renters, manufactured home, or the
ever important choices of family protection for life
insurance, Lashley Insurance Agency and Allstate are
definitely an “I do”. Our agency has always provided
every customer with that part of the family feeling
that you and your spouse to be are going to want.
Remember to talk to us about making sure that that
new ring is protected!
Congratulations from all of us at
Lashley Insurance Agency, Inc.
112 A. Russell Pkwy
Warner Robins, GA 31088
24 Southern Bride
• Renters Insurance
• 401k Rollovers
Kevin Lashley, Agency Owner
Lashley Insurance Agency, Inc.
Lashley Insurance Agency, Inc.
1112 A. Russell Pkwy
Warner Robins, GA 31088
Phone 478-922-3211 | Fax 478-923-0429
Lashley Insurance Agency, inc.
24 Allstate Gilbert.indd 1 2/14/18 3:35:20 PM
From Overalls to Tuxedos,
Shane’s Rib Shack Has You Covered.
Delivery. Full Service. Day or Night. Big or Small. We’ve catered them
all, so we understand that no two events are alike. We’ll work with you to
make sure everything is just how you want it to be.
With Shane’s catering, all the delicious BBQ and down-home service you
expect from us is customized for your event!
We are proud to offer our signature barbecue and side dishes in four
different catering packages. We have party platter for our chicken tenders,
wings, and boneless. Everything from box luches to full catered spreads.
Our catering packages were designed to allow flexibility and a great
selection of choices that can be customized for your special day.We’ll
always show up on time, set-up your order, supply utensils and think of all
the little details, which will leave all your guest smiling and you plenty of
time to take in all the compliments.
So get ready to sit back,
relax and enjoy your wedding
by letting the professionals at
Shane’s Rib Shack take care of
Parties & Showers
1365 Sam Nunn Blvd., Perry, GA 31069 478-224-ribs (7427)
Engagement & Wedding Announcements
Look inside the Houston Home Journal
for your family and friends’ announcements!
To start your subscription:
Go Online www.hhjonline.com
or come by our office located at
1210 Washington St., Perry, GA 31069
25 Shane's 1-2pg.indd 1 2/14/18 3:36:25 PM
For better, for worse
For couple Crystal and Will, they honored this vow even before saying “I do”
In life everyone encounters things that they don’t like or don’t
understand, but it is up to us on how we handle it. Winston
Churchill once said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big
difference.” And the love shown by William “Will” Zunino, IV
made a big difference in
Crystal Wisecup’s life.
Crystal was born
and raised in Warner
Robins. She graduated
from Northside High
School, which is where
she also met her future
husband Will Zunino.
The two met in Spanish
class where Crystal said
jokingly that he cheated
off of her work.
“At the time we were
just friends,” Crystal
said. “We didn’t start
dating until about five,
six years after high
high school Crystal got
a degree in education
and began teaching at
Thomson Middle School
in Centerville. One day
not long after starting
at Thomson Middle
she said she saw Will
there, he was working for the Board of Education’s maintenance
department. The two reconnected and set up their first date.
“We were supposed to go to a football game, but he stood me
up,” she said laughing. “But I saw him again at work and we started
dating. Then after a month and a half of dating I was diagnosed
with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer. I had a 13-centimeter
mass between my heart and chest cavity. It was a complete shock
to my family and I because we had no history of this. Actually the
doctors had told me that I had cancer for two to three years without
Crystal was at Will’s apartment when she was experiencing pain.
She said that whole week she didn’t feel good and on Friday began to
have chest pain after she played basketball with one of her students.
“When I got to his apartment I had trouble eating, but I didn’t
think much of it,” Crystal said. “That night when he came back from
work he said if I couldn’t drink any milk he was going to take me
to the emergency room. I couldn’t, so he took me and that’s when
we found the mass. At the time we didn’t know if it was cancerous
because they transferred me from the Perry Hospital to Navicent.
I spent a week up there because they did several tests and biopsies.
Once those came back
is when they diagnosed
me with stage 2 non-
The next week Crystal
went to the oncologist’s
office where she was told
she needed six rounds
of chemo. During that
same visit the doctor
told her that she would
lose her hair and that
there is a possibility that
she may not be able to
“I was so upset and
couldn’t believe this
was happening,” Crystal
said. “But Will takes me
outside, gets me in the
car and the first thing
that comes out of his
mouth is, “Does this
mean I have to shave
my beard”. He made
me laugh and I felt
better. My hair didn’t
start falling out until
the second round of chemo so I just decided that night to go to my
friend’s house to shave it. Well he really surprised me and shaved his
hair too. It really meant so much to me, I mean here we are hadn’t
even been dating this long and he was so phenomenal to do that.”
Crystal completed all of her treatments was in remission in May
2015. But when she first was in the hospital getting diagnosed, she
was pretending to be asleep one night when she overheard Will’s
mother Sylvia Zunino and Will talking about what kind of ring to
get in order to propose to her.
“Something about when you find that special person you just
know, it’s hard to explain,” Crystal said. “I didn’t freak out about him
wanting to propose and we had only been dating a month and a
half. But we did talk about it and I said I didn’t want him to propose
until I got my hair back. So on Christmas day in 2016 is when he
proposed. I was kind of thrown off but he was acting weird that
night. Some friends of ours, his sister, brother-in-law and nephew,
26 Southern Bride
26-27 Zunino story.indd 2 2/14/18 3:40:33 PM
Story by Kristin Moriarty
Photos by Southern Style Photography
& Danielle Crosby
we all went out to look at the Christmas lights
on Ball Street in Perry. He wouldn’t come near
me. I knew something was funny too because I
usually bring my camera and take pictures, but
he told me not to worry about it. Then we made
our way to the Christmas tree at the courthouse.
My nephew was running around and when I ran
around the tree there was Will ready to propose.”
Crystal and Will got married on April 14,
2017, which was also her dad’s birthday. The two
then had a big ceremony on Dec. 3, the day her
dad passed away in 2004.
“Before we were even engaged I had got my
wedding dress,” Crystal said. “I bought it the last
day of chemo. During my chemo they would get
me to plan out what I would do for my wedding
to help keep my mind of the pain. I was actually
fine until the last chemo treatment. I had severe
pain and then my eyelashes and eyebrows fell
out. I didn’t want to go out or do anything,
but my mom took me to this place they were
turning into a venue, which they also had a shop
and that’s where I got my dress.”
“But I love Will with all of my heart,” she
went on to say. “He makes me laugh no matter
what and makes the best out of any situation.
One time we were headed to Kroger and we
made it there, but I was so weak I couldn’t walk
anymore so we stopped at the Starbucks inside
and made a date out of it. Another time was I
went to chemo downstairs and couldn’t make
it back so he went and got food to make it
another date. He just has a big heart and I love
his humor. We’re both like two big kids. We had
a wonderful ceremony and we took it as a time
to honor all the people who couldn’t be there
like my dad, some of his family and Karma Lilly
Little who was a good family friend. She had
just passed, only seven years old from cancer a
couple of months before the wedding. It was a
beautiful ceremony celebrating our love and our
love for our family and friends.”
Once Crystal was in remission she decided
not to go back to teaching. Instead she went
back to school to become an oncology nurse and
is set to graduate May 2018. She said she wanted
to give to those fighting cancer love and support
like her nurses did for her.
“I love Will with all of my heart.
He makes me laugh no matter what and
makes the best out of any situation.”
26-27 Zunino story.indd 3 2/14/18 3:47:06 PM
Finding the Right Ring
Story by Kristin Moriarty
Photos by Geoff Dale
Engagement rings, they
come in all shapes and sizes as well as
colors. So how does one decide what to get
when there are so many choices? Jeweler and
business owner Sam Satterfi eld of Satterfi eld
and Dempsey Jewelers said jewelry, more
specifi cally rings have come along way since
when he fi rst started in the late 80’s.
“When I fi rst started everything was in yellow
gold,” Satterfi eld said. “Then the next thing to
trend was white gold and platinum. Yellow gold
is starting to come back a little, but today what
we see trending is more of two tones for rings.
Also rose gold is becoming more popular. The
halo setting, where your solitaire is in the middle
and diamonds surrounding it, is also becoming
more popular. So we see many things trending
and of course there are endless choices on
and customizing that special ring.”
The cut of diamonds that is traditional and
still the most popular is the round brilliant cut.
Satterfi eld said the other cuts are princess, oval,
pear, cushion and radiant. He said there’s also
heart shape cuts as well. With so many options
he said it’s important before looking into buying
a ring to set a budget.
“Setting a budget is best because it can be a
little overwhelming if you just walk into a jewelry
store and not sure of what you want to spend,”
Satterfi eld said. “Diamonds are a precious gem
and are different than any other thing. I have
sold half-carat diamonds that cost more than
one carats. That’s due to the clarity and color of
the diamond. We see a lot of people who come
28 Southern Bride
28-29 Ring story.indd 2 2/14/18 3:48:51 PM
in and have done
research on the internet and that’s
fi ne, but there is a lot of misinformation out there. My staff and
I are well trained and ready to help you. We take pride in
being a full service jewelry store. My business partner Van
Dempsey and I are both GIA (Gemological Institute of
America) certifi ed.”
“We have a full-time jeweler on staff with over 40
years experience as well,” he went on to say. “We
do everything in house custom fi t to your needs
and can have your order done within a day to
Getting the right size of ring can be also be
tricky. Satterfi eld said they have the tools to size
one’s fi nger and it could vary depending on the
width of the band.
“We enjoy working with our current customers
and new customers,” Satterfi eld said. “We have
one of, if not the largest loose diamond selection
in the Middle Georgia area. We can customize
pretty much anything the customer wants. It’s a lot
of fun for us.”
GIA certified jeweler
28-29 Ring story.indd 3 2/14/18 3:49:09 PM
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