Traditionally, weddings are family-oriented. The wedding of Keri Cullen Campbell and Duane Green on Jan. 20, 2014 took that to a new level.
Keri is a home health aide at the WCA Home. Her husband is a contractor for the U.S. Army serving in Afghanistan.
Planning a wedding presented some difficulties for the couple. In addition to the strain of a long distance relationship, the uncertainty of Duane's leave time made the selection of a place for the ceremony and reception complicated.
OBSERVER Photos by Diane R. Chodan
Top: WCA employee Aaron Smith decorated the bannister and other areas of the WCA Home. Above: Keri Cullen Campbell and Duane Green exchange vows in the parlor. The Rev. Judy Cole officiated.
Wedding bouquets, a tradition for most brides, come in many beautiful and original styles. Pictured is a vintage-style bouquet, courtesy of Christa Kimble Photography of Ohio and modeled by Meghan Deas-Halley.
Keri approached WCA Home administrator Tammy Skelly about holding the wedding at her workplace. Keri knew that it was a beautiful Victorian home. In addition, she loves the residents who are like family to her.
Keri said, "My ladies have a big part in my life and I wanted to include them."
Skelly said, "Keri is a special aide who puts her heart and soul into her work."
Skelly agreed to the idea. Staff, residents and the home's board of directors all played a part in the day.
Aaron Smith from the housekeeping staff decorated the home for the event. He created a traditional looking design of lights and flowers to adorn the wooden staircase down which Tyler Campbell would escort his mother. Keri's daughter, Ashley served as her mother's maid of honor and friend of the family, Shawntai LeBarron, was flower girl.
The maintenance department worked on the sound system for the music. The aides arranged and served the light refreshments in the kitchen area. The activities department made sure each of the 37 ladies who live at the home had a special hat to wear. Even the board of directors donated hats for the occasion.
The Rev. Judy Cole of the Dunkirk First United Methodist Church officiated at the double-ring ceremony. She smiled at the couple and told them she was sure they knew what they were doing.
Cole compared the stability of a good marriage to a three-legged stool. The bride and groom would each be one leg of the stool.
"Let God be the third leg in the stool," she advised.
The 37 ladies in their fancy hats were also smiling.
Carol Sheldon, community relations coordinator at the home, said, "It (the wedding) made all the ladies feel good."
Following the ceremony, a reception was held in the dining room area of the home.
Both bride and groom are graduates of Pine Valley Central School.
At the present time, Duane is serving in Afghanistan. Keri is still working with "her ladies."
Recently she said, "They are so interested in how Duane is."
When Duane returns from Afghanistan in July, the couple will make Lawton, Oklahoma their home.