Miss Mary Anastasia Odum and Mr. Charles Lee Highfill III, both of Thomson, were united in marriage June 24, 2006 at five o'clock in the afternoon at First United Methodist Church in Thomson. The Rev. Thomas Kerr officiated at the double-ring ceremony.
Miss Keris Landry Story, cousin of the bride of Warrenton, and Mrs. Jennifer Henning, sister of the bride, attended the bride as maid and matron of honor. Bridesmaids were Mrs. Lauri Aycock of Thomson, Miss Abby Needham of Monroe, Ga., and Mrs. Melissa Bottoms of Molena, Ga., all friends of the bride. Miss Megan Nicole Henning of Thomosn, niece of the bride, and Miss Kaitlyn Paige Lemke of Crestview, Fla., daughter of the best man, were flower girls.
Mr. Keith Lemke of Crestview, Fla. served as best man. Groomsmen were Mr. Chad Aycock of Thomson, Mr. Michael Huff of Thomson, Mr. Travis Dixon of Hephzibah, and Mr. John McGill Jr. of Thomson.
Music was provided by Mr. Les Reagan, organist, Ms. Alex Slobky, harpist, Mr. Lamar Nix, pianist, and Mr. Paul Jackson, soloist. A poem written by the groom's mother was read to the couple by Mr. Keith Lemke. Mr. Tyler Luke, Mr. Colton Cheely, Mr. Conner Cheely, and Mr. Daniel Cheely, cousins of the bride, served as program attendants. Mr. Conner Cheely served as acolyte. Mrs. George Lokey and Mrs. Thomas Neal, Jr. directed the wedding.
The bride wore an elegant strapless gown of white satin and tulle, featuring a laced bodice, full skirt, and chapel length train that flared from the waist. Tiny seed pearls and sequins covered the bodice and top layers of the six-layered tulle skirt. The finger tip veil of white silk illusion was embellished with details similar to those on the wedding gown. The bride's bouquet was a cascade of red Gerbera daisies, white hydrangea clusters, and Plumosa fern, wrapped in red and black shear satin ribbon.
The honor attendants wore red satin tea length skirts with organza overlay, and black strapless satin bodices with black lace overlay. Bridesmaids were attired in identical gowns to those of the honor attendants. All of the bride's attendants carried bouquets of red Gerbera daisies, Queen Anne's lace, Plumosa fern and black shear satin ribbon.
The groom wore traditional formal wedding attire, featuring tails and a red vest. His bow tie was embellished with collegiate insignia of the University of Georgia, the alma mater of the bride and a favorite destination of the couple for sporting events. The groomsmen were attired in ensembles that coordinated with that of the groom.
Floral arrangements in the sanctuary were designed by Mrs. Tammy Cheely, aunt of the bride and were composed of white hydrangeas, Queen Anne's lace, foliage and blossoms of southern magnolia, and red Gerbera daisies. Giant Boston ferns, cultivated by the bride, graced the chancel area of the church. A massive arrangement created by Mrs. Ann Cheely, grandmother of the bride, welcomed guests in the vestibule of the church. The arrangement featured fresh blooms from the gardens of Mrs. Cheely and other friends of the bride and groom. The ambiance of the historic church interior and its antique stained glass was further accented by candlelight in original hardwood candlesticks, hand lathed by Mr. Emmit Coleman.
Following the ceremony, a reception was held at Belle Meade Country Club. Guests enjoyed dining and dancing, as well as special toasts by the wedding party. The newlyweds departed the reception on a honeymoon to Cozumel, Belize, Costa Maya and the Cayman Islands.
During their engagement, the bride and groom were feted by a number of showers and parties hosted by their friends and families.
On May 1, 2006, a shower was hosted by the members of the Thomson Junior Women's Club at the home of Mrs. Kim Prater. Following a buffet of delicious refreshment, the bride-to-be was presented with a number of lovely gifts.
On May 6, an afternoon tea was hosted by Miss Keris Story, cousin of the bride, Mrs. Jennifer Henning, sister of the bride, and Mrs. Teresa Story, aunt of the bride. The affair was held at the home and gardens of the late Mrs. Grace Story, providing a beautiful setting for the outdoor event. Guests wore fancy hats, many of which were the attendees' own designs and creations. The bride was presented with a sentimental gift of vintage hats that had belonged to her own great-grandmother, the late Mrs. Story. Party favors were teacups and saucers individually selected for each guest by Mrs. Polly Lord of Macon, Ga., aunt of the bride.
On May 21, 2006 a garden theme party was held at Mesena United Methodist Church, Mesena, Georgia, attended by church family and friends. The bride was presented with a special cookbook, compiled of favorite recipes and Bible verses of the invitees. Mrs. Ann Cheely, grandmother of the bride, presented the couple with hand painted champagne flutes that featured the couple's favorite collegiate insignia from the University of Georgia.
On June 4, 2006, a bridal shower was hosted by Mrs. Lauri Aycock at the home of Mrs. Anthony Coleman, mother of the groom. The groom's family and the couple's friends enjoyed shower games, conversation, and delicious refreshments. The buffet table featured party fare in Mrs. Coleman's collection of Waterford crystal, and an arrangement of foliage and blossoms of southern magnolia as a centerpiece. Among the many gifts presented to the couple were monogrammed red and black napkins that were made especially for them by the bride's mother, grandmother, and sister.
On June 10, 2006, Mr. and Mrs. Chad Aycock entertained the bride and groom-to-be with a couple's shower and barbecue. The guests enjoyed a fun-filled night around the pool socializing and playing games. The couple was presented with attractive gifts by their friends, many featuring University of Georgia insignia.
On June 23, 2006, a bridal luncheon was hosted by the mothers of the bride and groom at Belle Meade Country Club. The guests of the bride included bridesmaids, grandmothers, friends and family of the bride and groom. After a delicious meal, the bride was entertained with humor and reflections by the luncheon guests.
On June 23, 2006, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Coleman hosted a festive rehearsal dinner at Raysville Boat Club. Reminiscent of the couple's engagement in Hawaii, the hosts used a luau theme in their decorations and fare. Mr. David Kitchens, Jr., uncle of the groom, acted as chef for the evening, providing guests with an array of grilled specialties. The bride and groom took this opportunity to present their attendants, family members, and other members of the wedding party with gifts and remembrances of the wedding.
The couple now reside in Thomson. Mr. and Mrs. Highfill are most grateful for all the kindness shown them.