How did you two meet?
Graham: "To answer this question, we would most likely have to ask our preschool teacher from Frazer United Methodist Church. Thinking through this question calls for a bit of speculation on how we exactly met: could've been sharing a juice in class or something like that. We only have one photo of our time in that preschool class together as evidence that we met that long ago, but what we do know is that we became best friends not long after that class. We became very close in second grade when I transferred into St James School. Our older siblings Kendall (Carlyn's sister) and Wade (my older brother) were in the same grade at STJ as well, which caused our parents to meet and become good friends. This further guided Carlyn and I to become close."
Carlyn: "Despite my best effort, I cannot recall exactly how G and I met. But, it is clear that we became best friends in second grade. Our families were close so we had the chance to develop a close friendship outside of school hours. Honestly, I can’t remember a time without being best friends with Graham."
What are some things yall like to do together?
Graham: "The short answer: it doesn’t really matter. Carlyn and I have a unique relationship that is founded on a very strong friendship that developed over many years. In light of this, we’ve had the opportunity to enjoy many different things together. It’s honestly not as important what we are doing, but rather the fact we are doing it together that makes it so enjoyable.
Our parents recall that, even as young kids, Carlyn and I would do seemingly boring tasks together just for the sake of being around one another. I can recall getting a brand new desk when I was young and being tasked with piecing the desk together by myself. Carlyn came over, brought her book, and sat alongside me while we both paid attention to our own business. It wasn’t the fact she was there to help or anything like that, but rather just to be there with me made it better for the both of us. It’s funny how the Lord established that kind of bond because today our interactions are often limited due to my studies, so, in the same way she did many years ago, Carlyn will often come over and simply sit near me while I work. I feel the same way I did when I was putting that desk together: its just always better having her there. Her mother explains it perfectly: we are better together as a couple than apart as individuals.
How and when did Graham propose?
Carlyn: "G proposed September 9, 2016. Roughly a week before, he told me that we were invited to attend a couple’s shower for his cousin who is getting married in December. A few days later, he provided me with the invitation to the shower he received in the mail. (Later, I found out that his mom sent the invite to his house in Birmingham from Montgomery to make it seem more legitimate). I agreed to go, and he instructed me that he would pick me up after class in Birmingham that day (Friday, the 9th).
We drove down to Montgomery around lunchtime. Upon arrival, G told me that he needed to go to the dentist for a check up. In reality, he was headed to meet with the photographer and our moms at the engagement spot. I simply stayed at home until it was time to get ready for the engagement shower beginning at 6:30 pm. When G arrived at my house at about 5:45pm, he received a phone call from his mom, who was allegedly one of the hostesses for the shower. She explained that the flower arrangement for one of the tables was not completed in time, so she needed us to pick it up on the way there. We agreed to drive to the florist’s workshop at her home in Pike Road, AL around 6:15 pm to grab the flowers. On the way to the florist’s home, G began playing one of our very favorite worship songs to which we belted (per usual) for most of the short ride there. Upon arrival, I was immediately distracted by a number of horses grazing in the pasture to our right. I was slightly confused when Graham stopped the car in the middle of the pecan orchard we were passing through. Soon after, I turned to the left to notice that there was a wooden cross (which his dad built for us) with a couple of chairs and a small table at it’s base. I soon realized what was happening. Graham waited for me to get out of the car and walked me to the area.
Once I was able to breathe, G began our time together with a short prayer because, as he explained, we needed to first acknowledge and thank the Lord who brought us to this point. After praying together, G removed a small black journal from the table and began reading a long note. This journal is one that we pass back and forth to keep track of our letters. As G finished the letter, he asked me to stand and he proposed!! Soon after he asked me to sit back down and he removed my shoes. He knelt at my feet and removed a small brown bible from the table. He proceeded to read a few verses in John, which is where Jesus teaches us to wash one another’s feet just as He washed the disciples’ feet. He explained that he wanted our marriage journey to begin with an act of service and love. Since we were in the youth group together, washing one another’s feet has always been a special act. He prayed over our relationship while washing and then returned to his seat alongside me. He then showed me the front of the Bible that read “Carlyn Watson Norwood” in small gold lettering.
Afterwards, G drove me over to Wynlakes country club where he claimed a small group of family and close friends have gathered. I was blown away by the large number of family and friends who traveled from out of town to celebrate this special time with us! It was such a special time being able to celebrate with family and friends who have loved on us and poured into our relationship for several years."
Graham, What is one thing you admire most about Carlyn?
Graham: "Carlyn exemplifies Christ’s command to love God and love people. Above all, Carlyn loves like we all should. Anyone that knows her can see the evidence of her faith in Jesus and how that flows into how she loves others. It’s easy for some people to love from a distance, yet Carlyn is the kind of girl who will care for friends and family so much that she even feels the burden of pain or hurt that they do. Although that can sometimes be heavy, the reality is that she is simply giving of herself exactly what the Father asks of us-- to love and love deeply. I am constantly reminded of her dedication to caring for her friends, family and even those she has never met. Those who know her best can attest that she is a dependable and loyal person who is a blessing to those who have the chance to know her. I get the unbelievable opportunity to marry a girl who, above all else, loves the Lord, loves others, and loves me."
Carlyn, what’s one thing you admire most about G?
Carlyn: "This is a really tough question because there are so many things I admire about G. He loves and serves me in a way that I could never dreamed a guy would. From the sweet notes he leaves me, the random phone calls just to pray for me, and so much more-- G never ceases to show me love. More importantly, I admire Graham’s faith in the Lord. Graham reminds me of our Father’s promises and goodness daily. He loves the Lord so passionately and he challenges me in my walk with Christ. It’s really awesome to look and see how the Lord truly has crafted our relationship. When I am fearful and doubting, Graham is calm and faithful. He is my best friend, my constant encourager, and he brings so much laughter and joy into my life. It’s such an honor to be his fiancé!"
What was each of yall's favorite part of the day?
Carlyn: "Truth be told, there are so many things that I loved about the big day. From getting ready with my bridesmaids to dancing with everyone at the reception, I will never forget many of the things about our wedding. But, my favorite part of the day had to be the eager anticipation and excitement I felt to know that I would be Graham’s wife at the end of the night. I have prayed for that day for a long time, and it was overwhelming to finally make it to our big day. I knew that no matter how smoothly the ceremony and reception went, we would be married and that was enough for me. We are so blessed to be the Norwoods together!"
Graham: "It’s very difficult to choose one part to dwell upon when it seems the whole day was so special.The reception was such a wonderful time where we celebrated with many people who are near and dear to us. However, the ceremony was something we will truly never forget. For one, the fact that we were lacking air conditioning created quite the warm environment. But despite the heat, the Lord showed up as we had asked of Him. Our dream was that our friends and family would come together to worship and hear the Gospel on account of our marriage. It was humbling to present our relationship as an imperfect, yet dedicated witness to God’s grace and mercy, which carried us to that place. We will forever reflect on the love we felt in that church as we promised our lives to one another in front of our pastor, the musicians, our families and our guests."
What's next for you two?
Carlyn: "We have settled in an apartment in downtown Homewood, AL. Graham will remain a medical student at UAB for the next three years, and I am a nurse at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. Fortunately, we will be going to school and working in adjacent buildings, which is a huge blessing. We are super excited to be in the small community of Homewood, which is a great place to begin doing life together. After three years here, the Lord will place us somewhere for Graham’s residency, and we will see where He take us. The Norwoods are super excited to see what the Lord has for us in the future!"
Wedding Coordinator: Jill Garmon/AG Events
Lighting: AG Lighting
Videographer: Matt Wolfe
Hair: Lynsey Richardson/Hair and Make-up by Lynsey and Yazmin Cavale/Glow
Catering: Jennie Weller Catering
Bride's dress: Ivory & White
Bridesmaids dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Live painting artist: Jordan Marx
Church: River City Church
Reception: Ware-Farley-Hood House/Old Alabama Town
Band: Four Barrel Funk-Music Garden
Rentals: Brendle Rentals