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Altar Ego: The One He Kept for Me

My husband Vanzie and I have passed the one month mark of marriage and continue to settle into married life.
As I look back on our engagement photos and then our wedding photos, I reminisce about all of the memories we’ve had since he popped the question and since we said “I do.”
I’ve taken you on this journey with us to share my wedding woes and highlights, but I can’t take credit for the idea. Post columnist Mark Wineka came up with the idea (and the column name, Altar Ego) and I agreed to share it.
It took a lot of help from a small army of friends, family and co-workers to get us to this point, and for that we will be forever grateful.
So many people ask me “how was the wedding?” “Great,” is how I usually answer, followed by a gab fest of the wedding highlights.
I couldn’t just share wedding highlights with you without taking the time to thank some of the people who made it possible.
Anything for family
When we started planning our wedding, food was a big deal for us since we both enjoy a good meal. We knew we wanted something different, and after several changes we came up with a pasta bar.
We went straight to the man who can smoke, filet, roast and fry any meat your heart desires — Vanzie’s uncle Andrew ‘Butch’ Threadgill. I think I met uncle Butch about four years ago at a Walker-Threadgill dinner. He didn’t hesitate when we asked him to cater our wedding. He immediately said “anything for family.”
I wasn’t technically family yet, but it didn’t matter. I’d been accepted as family a long time ago.
No matter the changes I made to the menu or last- minute requests, uncle Butch accepted. He and girlfriend Pam Ingram even prepared our rehearsal dinner meal. We’ve gotten so many compliments and inquiries as to who cooked the meal. Now you know.
It’s what sisters do
My sisters — Denitra Potts (sister, maid of honor) Jessica Brown (maid of honor), Kaylah Johnson (niece, bridesmaid), Lucinda Godbolt (bridesmaid), Kendra Lipscomb (bridesmaid), Cara Mast (bridesmaid), Miriam Walker (sister of the groom, bridesmaid), Hicunni Chandler (cousin, bridesmaid), Tasha Steimer (friend, hostess), Victoria Connor (friend, hostess), Adryenne Johnson (“niece” daughter of Lucinda), Sheri Wilson (wedding coordinator) — helped me beyond measure.
I consider them all sisters because our bond is far above blood relation. These group of women stood beside me to encourage me, let me cry on their shoulders and laughed with me (Miriam) because it’s what sisters do.
They not only agreed to be a bridesmaid or hostess, they also were my troubleshooters.
There were a few last-minute details that needed to be done, and whether it was going back for the marriage license that I left at home (Adryenne), finding a unique guest registry (Jessica) or helping make bouquets (Tasha), they did it.
I asked Sheri to help coordinate our wedding when I knew it was something that we could not handle on our own. She was amazing and kept us ahead of schedule.
‘The One He Kept for Me’
I must say I was overcome with emotion because I had these wonderful vows prepared, and some of them made it into my previous column, but I only got out a few words before I became a blubbering mess and couldn’t go on anymore.
I wasn’t nervous throughout the whole planning and even the night before. I was too excited and tired to be nervous. I stayed up until about 3 a.m. going over last-minute details.
I got a little jittery while hiding out in the car so Vanzie could walk down the aisle with our pastor before I walked into the church. I got a quick pep talk from Tasha and then our song, “The One He Kept for Me” by Maurette Brown-Clark, began.
When the first verse was sung, my eyes searched for Vanzie’s gaze and the nerves disappeared.
It was finally here, I thought. All of the planning, the late nights, the decisions, the budgeting and last-minute emergencies were gone, and ahead of me was my future.
The journey
There were so many people who helped us by gifting us door swag (Alease Taylor, Linda Hunt), vases/decor (Tramika Taylor, Starla Smith, Kendra Lipscomb), addressing invitations (Victoria Connor), ushered (Oliver Wade, Jeffrey Connor), performed in song (Monica Wilson, Brandon Sutton, Kayla Sutton), photography (Andy Mooney, Misty Stach, Jon Lakey, Caroline Klapper, Jeff Redman), so many that I don’t even have space to name.
When I look back my wedding day, I can’t help wishing my dad was there. But I will be forever grateful to former Salisbury Police Chief Mark Wilhelm who honored me by escorting me down the aisle.
It took Vanzie and me and a small army nine months to plan our wedding, and it seemed as though it was over in a flash. I’m glad we’ll have the memories and even more so the photos.
We’re still settling in and getting used to sharing our space with each other. I’m still learning what it means to be a wife and he, a husband. But we’ve got the rest of our days together to learn.
I never expected so many people would read this column series. I figured maybe another bride-to-be, but you’ve all surprised me with overwhelming support and congratulations.
Vanzie and I really are appreciative of the advice, words of encouragement and kind regards. It hasn’t been easy, but thank you for taking this journey with us.

Contact Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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