Johnson, Gibson wed in January ceremony

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 28, 2007

Jennifer Leigh Johnson and James Tobia Gibson were united in marriage on Saturday, January 13, 2007, at 5:30 p.m. at Samford University's A.H. Reid Chapel in Birmingham. The Reverend Thomas Taylor Joseph

Sr. officiated the double-ring ceremony.

The bride is the daughter of Linda Sanders Johnson of Birmingham. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Joe Columbus Sanders Sr. and the late Sheriff Sanders of Greenville,

and the late Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Ross Johnson Jr. of Birmingham. Parents of the groom are Mr. and Mrs. Donald Ray Gibson of Butler, Ala. He is the grandson of the late Judge and Mrs. Franklin C. Evans of Butler, Mrs. Devon Giles Gibson of Mobile, and Tobia Gibson of Butler.

The chapel doors were marked with wreaths of fresh asparagus fern tied with an oversized bow. In the chapel's foyer, the bride's book table was adorned with a stone cross, surrounded by an arrangement of American Beauty roses, tulips and fresh ivy.

The altar was decorated with a spectacular arrangement of American Beauty roses, snapdragons, Queen Anne's lace and elaeagnus. A garland of plumosa fern draped the choir rail. The window ledges were adorned with single white pillar candles flanked by American Beauty roses and plumosa fern.

Marking the family pews were arrangements of American Beauty roses, stargazer lilies, waxflowers, tulips and plumosa fern. Other pews were decorated with wreaths of fresh ivy tied with champagne satin ribbon. A.H. Reid Chapel was decorated for the occasion by Mrs. Don Mandy and Mrs. John Shults, both of Birmingham.

Escorted by her uncle, Mr. Edwin Ross Johnson III, and given in marriage by her mother, the bride wore a formal gown of ivory matte duchess satin designed by Allure Exclusives. The strapless gown was embellished with hand-sewn mirror sequins and bugle beads in an intricate design under the bustline. The full ball-gown skirt with box pleats flowed from a basque waistline into a cathedral-length train. Her two-tiered chapel length veil of pearl-trimmed ivory illusion fell from a Waters & Rain headpiece of Swarovski crystals and freshwater pearls, a wedding gift from the groom.

The bride carried a bouquet of American Beauty roses, hand-tied with champagne satin ribbon. Pinned to the underside of her bouquet were her maternal grandfather's sheriff's badge and her paternal grandparents' wedding rings. The bride carried a hand-embroidered Parisian handkerchief, a memento from her tour of France.

Attending the bride as maid of honor was her sister, Lindsay Kathleen Johnson of Nashville, Tenn. Mrs. Thomas Taylor Joseph Jr. of Dothan, was matron of honor. Her bridesmaids were Valerie Michelle Brunson of Anniston, Alissa Renee Carver and Angela Michelle Johnson, both of Birmingham, Candace Leigh Faughender of Tuscaloosa, and Mrs. Daniel Lee Murphree of Auburn. The bridesmaids wore formal strapless gowns of black duchess satin, designed by Bill Levkoff. Each gown featured a wide champagne satin sash draped into long flowing streamers in back. The skirt featured a slight back train. The bridesmaids carried hand-tied bouquets of American Beauty roses and green bubble berries.

Flower girls were Jennifer Grace Arnold of Greenville., and Anne Heaton Dearborn Sanders of Birmingham. Their sleeveless dresses of ivory duchess satin featured round necks and slightly gathered formal skirts. Pearl buttons enhanced the backs of the dresses and champagne satin tied into bows with draping sashes defined the waistlines. They carried kissing balls of red sweetheart roses.

The mother of the bride selected a formal silk shantung teal gown designed by Watters. The gown featured a hand-pleated bodice and fell into a floor-length a-line skirt. A matching silk shantung shawl sprinkled with hand-sewn iridescent crystals completed the ensemble.

The mother of the groom chose a Mon Cheri strapless ball gown of aqua iridescent silk taffeta featuring an asymmetrical pleated bodice with hand-beaded embroidered appliqu\u00E9. A matching ecru lace bolero with three-quarter length sleeves complemented her gown. Both mothers carried sterling silver tussie mussies with cream roses.

Serving the groom as best men were his brother, Donald Matthew Gibson of Mobile, Ala., and James Reney Hunt of Birmingham, Ala. Groomsmen were

Conley Dale Chaney of Lexington, Ky.,

Lloyd Benjamin Hurst of Mobile., John Joseph, IV of Birmingham., Captain Jonathan Elliott McClinton, United States Air Force, of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Jason Michael Shinn of Greensboro, N.C.

Jacob Isaac Graham of Meridian, Miss., served as ring bearer.

Special music for the ceremony was provided by the bride's sister. Vocal selections included &#8220Great Is Thy Faithfulness” and &#8220Be Thou My Vision.” Musicians were organist Mr. Steve Handcock, violinist Mr. Timothy Winstead and trumpeter Mr. Tommy Bowen, all of Birmingham, Ala.

Following the ceremony a reception was held at Inverness Country Club. Twin &#8220J” letters fashioned from asparagus fern and plumosa fern and representing the couple's first initials graced the entrance to the club. The letters were tucked with wax flowers.

In the main ballroom, tables were covered with champagne cloths and featured centerpieces of American Beauty Roses, stargazer lilies, waxflowers, tulips and plumosa fern, encircled by a trio of tall wrought-iron candlesticks. Sideboards in the ballroom held favorite photos of the couple highlighting their courtship.

Reception fare featured a chef-attended pasta station in honor of the bride's Italian heritage. Guests also dined on blackened chicken strips served with sour cream sauce, new potatoes stuffed with bacon and cheese, miniature quiche Lorraine, spinach dip with sourdough bread cubes and an assortment of fresh fruit and cheese.

The bride's cake was a replica of the cake served at the 1953 wedding ceremony of President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy. The four-tier vanilla chiffon strawberry-filled cake featured an intricate scroll design and miniature hearts of vanilla buttercream frosting. The confection was topped with fresh red roses and rested on a Victorian sterling silver cake stand.

In honor of the groom's love of baseball, his two-tiered chocolate cake featured a baseball diamond on the top layer and was topped with a baseball formed from icing. The cake was personally created as a gift for the bridal couple by Mrs. Edwin Ross Johnson, III, aunt of the bride.

Music for the reception was provided by Birmingham-based jazz combo &#8220Friends In Jazz.” The bridal couple chose &#8220I Married An Angel” for the evening's final dance, which was historically significant as it was also chosen by President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy for the first dance at their wedding reception. As the couple bid adieu, a picturesque winter wonderland of snow flurries was created by guests tossing handfuls of faux snow.

Following their honeymoon to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, the couple is at home in Birmingham.

On the eve of the wedding, the bride and her attendants were honored with a Bridesmaids' Luncheon at Cobb Lane in historic Five Points in downtown Birmingham. Hostesses were Mrs. Marvin Kyle Arnold of Greenville., and Mrs. Darlene Brannon Arrington of Gulf Shores,, lifelong friends of the bride and her mother. The bride chose this occasion to present her gifts of wedding jewelry to her attendants. Each mother and grandmother was presented with a framed, hand-decorated wedding invitation to mark the wedding day festivities.

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Ray Gibson honored their son and his fianc\u00E9e that evening with an After-Rehearsal Dinner at The Club Atop Red Mountain in Birmingham. Guests included members of the bridal party, family members and close friends of the families.

Guests were seated at round tables each centered with an arrangement of ivory pillar candles on a silver platter encircled with greenery and ivory organza ribbon. The candles were wrapped with thick satin and organza taupe ribbon and accented with seed pearls. The focal point of the State Room was the glowing fireplace, which added to the wintry ambiance.

The meal included The Club's House Salad with The Club's famous Orange Rolls, Lemon Chicken with Rice and Green Beans Almondine, and Apple Pie for dessert.

After dinner, everyone enjoyed a filmed account of the bridal couple's lives, created as a tribute by the bride's sister. The groom's father and several of their friends honored the couple with special toasts and heartfelt thoughts.