Faulks celebrate 50 years of love, marriage and family

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 28, 2006

On an idyllic fall afternoon at LaPine, Alabama's breathtakingly lovely Meriweather Manor, the loving patriarch and matriarch of the esteemed C.J. Faulk family reaffirmed their wedding vows on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary.

This wondrous and moving October 7th celebration was carefully planned by their children, daughter Shelia Faulk McElwain and son, Tim Faulk and their respective spouses, Ricky McElwain and Donna Faulk.

This celebration of love and family legacy was a moving tribute to the loving marriage Mr. C.J. and Mrs. Betty have exemplified throughout the course of fifty years.

As guests arrived to the tastefully and skillfully decorated fern and chrysthemum filled rear lawn of the pristine white manor, and took their seats for this moving outdoor ceremony, all eyes were drawn to the ribbon entwined gazebo, in which a magnificent chandelier hung in its center and reflected the brilliant and translucent afternoon sunlight, causing one to reflect upon the magnificence and wonder of this loving couple and their family, where the tradition of love and loyalty has brilliantly shone throughout three generations. In daughter Sheila's words, &#8220Their story is that of a fairy tale, and planning this celebration was one way of saying thank-you for the love and caring bestowed upon their children over the years.”

The couple wed in a double wedding ceremony fifty years ago at the home of Minister Lucian Kiser, along with Mr. C.J.'s late brother, Ezra and Mrs. Betty Lois Faulk.

Minister Don Myers, who performed the wedding vow reaffirmation ceremony, related to the guests this charming story:

Mrs. Betty Lois reminisced that while the couples thought they were simply going to Mr. Lucian's home to be married, upon arrival they discovered that numerous Faulk family members were there.

According to Mrs. Betty Lois, it was a while before the couples had their wedding vows performed, because family members kept so much conversation going.

A particularly poignant aspect of the picturesque ceremony was the memorial candle lighting, in which Mrs. Betty Lois Faulk, escorted by son Garry, walked down the aisle to a tastefully appointed table with Mr. Ezra's picture, and joined hands to light a candle in his loving memory.

Next, Mrs. Sheila McElwain, escorted by brother Tim Faulk, walked down the aisle to light a memorial candle at a similarly appointed table with late sister's Cathy's photograph.

Brother and sister clasped hands, lit the honorary candle, and paused to reflect and honor their beloved Cathy, prior to taking their places in the wedding party.

Lovely granddaughter Kristen Faulk, attired in a stunning flax colored gown and carrying a bouquet of yellow daisies, baby's breath, with one rose in the center, escorted by handsome cousin Cory McElwain, walked down the aisle to join their grandparents and parents at the exquisite gazebo.

Next, the beautiful Kaitlyn Faulk, similarly attired in a stunning flax colored satin gown, and also carrying a bouqet of yellow daisies, baby's breath, with one rose in the center,

escorted by handsome cousin Tory McElwain, walked down the aisle and took her designated place under the beautiful gazebo.

Great-grandaughters Miss Emmy McElwain and Miss Ally McElwain served as flower girls in this stunning ceremony. These lovely ladies, attired in exquisitely designed heirloom dresses were truly a sight to behold as they strew peach, yellow, pink, and white rose petals and took their special walks down the aisle.

All eyes were upon the beautiful Miss Betty, attired in an exquisite ivory colored gown and carrying a bouquet of white roses, who was breathtakingly beautiful and poised as she took her walk down the center aisle.

Prior to beginning the wedding vow affirmation part of the celebration, Minister Don Myers presented a detailed history attesting to the love and loyalty this outstanding couple has emanated throughout the years.

After this tribute to their legacy, Mrs. Stephanie Faulk Beverly, performed the song, &#8220Because You Loved Me.”

In keeping with the family tradition, it is quite fitting that Mrs. Beverly is Mr. C. J.'s great-niece.

Following the renewal of the vows under the direction of Minister Myers, Mrs. Beverly performed the song &#8220Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Certainly a more fitting song could not have been selected.

Among the 300 guests present at the ceremony, it is quite significant to note that the Honorable Bobby Bright, Mayor of Montgomery, and accompanied by his lovely wife Judge Lynn Bright, awarded the Faulks with a proclamation from the city of Montgomery attesting to the love and family traditions that Mr. C.J. and Miss Betty have exemplified throughout 50 years of marriage.

Guests were afforded the opportunity to extend their best wishes to the couple and their family as they entered the lovely home via the beautiful front porch entry.

Guests enjoyed delectable entrees including shrimp cocktail, bacon wrapped scallops, chicken salad sandwiches, fresh fruit, chocolate covered strawberries, and, needless to mention, delicious chocolate groom's cake and heavenly slices of the traditional wedding cake.

The event was catered by &#8220What's Cookin',” of Monroeville.

As guests mingled in the antique filled and traditionally furnished interior of the inviting home, it was evident that this was a joy filled event. From the wrap around porch adorned with ferns, to the lovely antique filled rooms, this manor is one in which guests sense hospitality throughout.

A slide show was presented in which the honored couple shared memories incorporating the beginning of their union to the present.

Included in the slide show were fifty years of family photos depicting highlights of events in this illustrious family's history.

No wedding or renewal of wedding reaffirmation ceremony would be complete without dancing, and dancing there was, as disc jockey Brandon Self provided his talents in this area as guests enjoyed themselves through the night.

Special thanks are in order to Gary and Sandra Owens, Debbie Massey (Director), Lois Sexton, Darryl Mooney (Florist) and What's Cookin' (Caterers) and Wendy Davis (Photographer).

A touching thank-you was given by the honored couple in these words:

&#8220To Our Beloved Friends and Family,

Thank you for joining us for this memorable day in our lives.

We now have fifty wonderful years of marriage behind us with many memories of each of you.

We hope to share many more with you as our love continues to grow stronger every day.

Our family also continues to grow, and we hope that the foundation of a family that we have built for them will forever live.

Again, thank you for sharing this celebration with us.

We hope this day will be remembered and admired by all.”

This celebration of love in which guests were fortunate to participate is one in which we pause to reflect that &#8220fairy tales do come true.”

One only has to observe the way in which Mr. C.J. and Miss Betty gaze into each other's eyes with admiration and devotion to see &#8220the love that passeth all understanding.”