Mark + Brook {wedding}

How did you two meet?

Brook: "Mark’s sister, Kathryn, interned at the school that I was working at in Auburn. I didn’t see the interns too often-- only if they dropped their class off in PE. One day after school, I introduced myself to Kathryn the third grade intern. We hit it off and talked for a while. Then out of nowhere, she said, 'You should date my brother.' I didn’t know how to respond because I didn’t know her and definitely didn’t know her brother. We then became fast friends. Fast forward, she ended up getting a job in Auburn City Schools, and we lived together. She never would quite let it go that she just knew I needed to date her brother. This was August 2014. It then became a running joke amongst her family. Every time I was around them, they would joke about me marrying Mark. Over the course of us living together, Kathryn got engaged, then married. I was a bridesmaid in her wedding, so she knew this would be the defining moment in her scheme to get us together. Mark and I hung out a little at the wedding, but no sparks. I thought he was too skinny! Fast forward a month or so, I had totally given up on the Mark idea. However, Kathryn refused to give up. Kathryn, and I were hanging out one night and she took my phone and texted Mark off of it. I was furious. Mark knew it wasn’t me, and we texted back and forth until he finally asked if I would want to come to Birmingham to a Barons game. I had no good reason to say no. We went on our first date to a Barons game April 10, 2015, and I’ve seen him every weekend since! I guess sisters do know best sometime."

How and when did Mark propose? 

Brook: "Mark proposed on December 5, 2015 (the day after my birthday).  Mark and I knew from very early on in our relationship that we had found who the Lord intended us to be with for the rest of our lives. God’s hand in our relationship was so evident. We had talked about marriage often, and I thought he needed to go ahead and propose and had no problem letting him know what that. I didn’t think he had a plan, but he did all along. Mark came to Auburn on Friday, Dec. 4 (my birthday). One thing to know about me is that I love my birthday! I like to think I am hard to surprise, but Mark had me fooled. I thought he was coming into town as a sweet gesture for my birthday, but little did I know that while I was at work that day, he was at my lake house with my mom and friend setting up all day. We went to eat for dinner that night and after dinner he gave me my birthday present-- an Apple Watch. I was so excited, but also secretly bummed because to me that meant no ring because who can drop money on a ring when they’ve just bought and Apple Watch? He knows my brain, that was part of the plan. Saturday, I was in a funk because my birthday was over and no one from my family had really told me happy birthday and they know how much I love my birthday. I was being a brat a little and pouting and complaining-- which I would later feel super guilty about. The plan for the day was to eat lunch with his two sisters and brother-in-law, watch half of the SEC championship game, then go to Montgomery to celebrate my birthday with my family. We ate lunch, then as we were heading back to my house, my mom called. She proceeded to tell me that the birthday plans had changed, and her and my dad were going to the lake and that Mark and I could come if we wanted to. I wasn’t too happy about that but I love the lake so I was in. We headed to the lake, parked and got out. Mark then walked me around to the front of the house where I saw that the pier was lit up and then it hit me. He said some really sweet and wonderful things that ended with him on a knee. When I turned around, the house lit up and our families came out to meet us. Mark had flown in my middle brother who lives in south Florida, who we hadn’t seen in six months. Needless to say, it was the most wonderful day! It was filled with family, friends, laughs and tears. It was a beautiful testament of God’s faithfulness."

Brook- what's one of the things you admire most about Mark?

Brook: "My relationship with Mark is the most unexpected blessing in my life. Our relationship is a testament to the Lord’s faithfulness. His hand has so evidently crafted our story. I knew after one of our first dates that he was the man I would marry. He looked at me like no one had ever looked at me before. He has the biggest heart of anyone I have ever known. He loves me and loves others so well. He loves the Lord passionately. He challenges me and encourages me in my walk with the Lord.  He seamlessly fit into my family. He is my speed bump and my rock.  He has a calming spirit about him that is so comforting. He makes me laugh harder than anyone and brings so much joy into my life.  I couldn’t imagine a better person to do this life with! He is my best friend, and I’m so thankful that I get the privilege of serving him as his wife."

Mark- what's one of the things you admire most about Brook?

Mark: "There are many reasons that I love Brook and ways that she makes me better. Brook is always patient and kind, and she goes out of her way to help those in need. She is selfless and always looking to serve. She is encouraging and looks for the best in others. One of the first things I noticed about her was that I never heard her talk negatively about others. She loves Jesus, and always reminds me to keep an eternal perspective instead of dwelling in the day to day."

What are some things y'all like to do together?

Brook: "Mark and I are loving doing the day to day things together for the first time. Our entire dating relationship was long distance, so getting to see him on a Wednesday is awesome! It may be newlywed bliss, but we are loving the simple things like going grocery store, taking the dogs on walks and the occasional game of Spikeball. We love spending time with our families whether it be at the lake or one of their houses. We are loving weekends at our new home and getting to do different projects around the house."

What was each yall's favorite part of the big day?

Brook: "The day was pretty much flawless. It was mostly stress free and that is exactly what we prayed for. My prayer and hope for the ceremony was that the Lord would be glorified. I wanted everyone that was there and a part of it to get the overwhelming sense of the Lord’s presence. When we walked out of the church there was a full rainbow, which was the Lord reminding us of His faithfulness. I loved the reception, being around people is my heart and it was such a blessing to have all those that we love most there with us to celebrate. The day was wonderful and I couldn’t have dreamed it up better. God is good!"

Mark: "Brook probably wouldn’t want me to say, but one of my favorite parts of the day was playing basketball with my groomsmen before the craziness of the day started. I knew that all those guys would probably never be together again, so it was pretty great. Before the ceremony, Brian Word advised me to take in every moment of it, and I really tried to do that. I remember standing up there when Brook’s grandad did the prayer of blessing and pronounced us, and thinking how I would remember this for the rest of my life. Not many people get to have a family member play a role in the ceremony so it was pretty special that he was part of it."

What's next for you two?

Brook: "We have moved from Auburn to Birmingham. Mark bought a house about a year ago, so we are loving making it our home. I got a new job teaching at Shades Mountain Christian School and am really enjoying it. We are proud new owners of a sweet basset hound/beagle puppy named Dennis. We are loving the married life, getting to see each other every day!


Bride’s Dress: I Do Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses: Densons

Florist: Aaron Ganey

Ceremony venue: First Baptist Church Montgomery

Reception venue: Old Alabama Town: Ware-Farley-Hood House

Videographer: Two Hawks

Caterer: Jennie Weller

Cake: Debbie Easterling

DJ: Top Tier Entertainment

Donuts: G&S Donuts

Nancy’s Italian Ice