Shannon Taylor Vannatter – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 3

White Pearls should be releasing soon on Amazon and, so I’m celebrating. Comment on any post dated July 11 – 15 for a chance to win. Deadline: July 16, 11:59 pm central time.

            In the busyness of life, raising a son, growing a church, and writing deadlines, my husband and I haven’t had much couple time lately. So I decided to steal him away for our anniversary. Twenty-four hours, just us including an overnight hotel stay. I thought I’d really outdone myself.

            Until a week later. My husband had invited several friends from his other job to come to church. He’d told me he was doing a short sermon and then we would watch a short DVD on relationships. I couldn’t figure out what was so great about this DVD that would draw people who normally don’t go to church.

            He also told me that he’d planned a guest speaker for the evening service, so he could take me out to dinner. We’d already had a romantic anniversary dinner and I thought it was odd that we had to skip church service to go out to dinner. Why not Saturday?

            His friends showed up for church, I greeted everyone as usual, and he began his short sermon. About halfway through the sermon, my parents, aunt, and two cousins arrived. I thought that was really odd. My family all still go to the church I grew up in and my parents do the music there. I thought they’d had some problem at church and come to ours.

            My husband’s sermon ended with our typical altar call. Several went forward as usual, leaving their petitions and praises at the altar.

            Then my husband hit play and came to sit beside me. Before I go on with the story, I have to say–I love sitting with my husband in church. It doesn’t happen very often since he’s the preacher.

            Back to the story, a love song by Journey, a group we listened to as teenagers, started playing–After All These Years. Our names scrolled across the screen, followed by our wedding pictures. I start blubbering. Hubby had thought of everything with a fresh box of tissue close by.

            As the song mentioned blessings we’ve shared, our son’s pictures popped up. Then it talked about the home we’ve built together and there was a picture of me in front of our house. I kept blubbering, especially when I saw the wedding picture of my father-in-law who officiated. He passed away a few years ago.

            The DVD ended and I thought it was over. I dabbed my face, tried to salvage my makeup, and find some composure. My sister-in-law who was my bridesmaid and a high school friend who was hubby’s best man walked up the aisle of the church. Hubby took my hand and we joined them there. A friend’s daughter brought me a bouquet.

            Hubby got down on one knee and told me he wasn’t renewing our vows. He was confirming them. He told me that he has loved me, honored me, and been faithful to me for the last twenty-seven years and will continue to do so. I blubbered the whole time. He slid an anniversary ring on my finger and kissed me. I’m blubbering as I write this.

            After the ceremony, hubby introduced his work friends since our church members didn’t know them.

            We had food afterward and one of our members made us a beautiful three tiered wedding cake modeled after pictures of the original. The original had two doves on top. This cake also had a white rose and white pearls in honor of my books. We had our picture taken feeding each other cake and with our hands on the bouquet prominently showing my new ring. And we got it all captured on video.

            Later, I learned that one of our church ladies recreated my bouquet from pictures of the original. The friends from his other job helped plan my special day. Our entire church had been in on it for two weeks. My sister-in-law had dug through wedding pictures and hubby’s best man missed a fishing trip to be there.

            I learned that hubby had taken off from the evening service because one of our church members told him he couldn’t renew his wedding vows and then preach that night. We didn’t end up going to dinner that night. We had our couple time the weekend before, so we took our son to see a movie and had family time instead.

            It was a perfect day. After all these years, I feel loved, treasured, honored, and thankful for the wonderful husband God provided for me. And like I need to step up my end of the romance.

Come back July 13 for my romantic destination tour.

16 Responses to “Shannon Taylor Vannatter – Real Life Romance – Part 1 of 3”

  • Oh my, that was beautiful. You really do have a treasure of a husband, don’t you? No wonder you’re so good at writing romance novels.

  • would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the chance.

  • Jamie Adams says:

    That was so sweet! Happy anniversary!

  • Robin says:

    What a beautiful representation of God’s design of marriage. I cried with you as I read it. What a blessing you are to each other but also to those whose lives you touch. Happy anniversary!!

  • Shannon,

    What a lovely description of a unique and wonderful day! I had shared with Grant a week before, “Good things happen when a man honors his wife, in his own home and in his community” Thanks for having a positive impact on not only your immediate friends and family but the extended community as well. It’s a joy to see!

  • Hey Brenda,
    He’s definitely a keeper.

    You’re in.

    Thanks. I’m praying for many many more.

    Glad I’m not the only blubberer.

    Thanks again for making my new bouquet.

  • Shannon, you’ve got me blubbering now! That was absolutely beautiful. What a treasured event and a testimony to the special love you two share. Your love obviously spills over to all those around you and I’m glad everyone (but you) got to be in on the event. Happy anniversary! Tell Grant we expect many more romantic stories to come.

  • NIcole Huddy says:

    Way to go Grant!!! What a wonderful day it must have been for you two!!

  • Confirming his vows! Wow! Happy Anniversary! What a testimony to the love God gives!

  • Jackie Eason says:

    Ok now you have me crying again! It was beautiful! We are so blessed to have such a wonderful Pastor and YOU! I was so excited..I felt like I was getting re-married! Congratulations to the most Romantic Couple I know. Many Many Blessings!

  • Hey Lorna,
    I don’t know how he’ll top this one. But I’ve thought that before.

    Hey Nicole,
    I’m still kind of floating on cloud nine. His head might swell that you’re impressed.

    God has definitely blessed us.

    I don’t think I can top that either. It’s probably going to go in a book though. Thanks for the gorgeous and yummy cake.

  • Dawn Ford says:

    You know I hate to cry, and you made me cry. I’m so happy for you. What a special guy, and you have to be pretty special yourself to be honored in that way. And I know you are a very special person. No wonder your heroes are always so “swoon-worthy”. You have the blueprint right there for a perfect hero.

  • stvannatter says:

    Sorry Dawn. But everybody needs a good cry every once in a while. All I did was get a great guy. I definitely use him for hero material and he keeps giving me new fodder.

  • Sandy Vannatter says:

    Dearest Shannon & Grant,

    I know where Grant got his romantic bent, but he has topped his dad after pulling off this big event. Shannon, when you use this, your readers will think your were influenced by Nicholas Sparks!!! Way to go, Grant!

  • stvannatter says:

    You’re definitely right Sandy. He was taught by example well. I haven’t read Nicholas Sparks. Hmm, I guess it’s already been written.

  • stvannatter says:

    Jamie Adams won the copy of White Pearls.

    I appreciate everyone for stopping by.

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