There’s something about a Southern belle that a man simply can’t resist.
Wesley, a Georgia gentleman, was captivated by Sloan, a Carolina girl, when they met at the University of Georgia. Upon graduation, Wesley became sales manager at Walthall Oil Company in Macon, his family’s oil business. Sloan became a 3rd-grade teaching assistant at Stratford Academy in Macon.
Now, there’s something Wesley loves almost as much as Sloan, and that is football. So Wesley decided to combine his two favorite things by asking Sloan to marry him before a University of Georgia/Ole Miss game. Being a Southern gentleman, of course he sought Sloan’s father’s permission before he asked Sloan for her hand in marriage.
Sloan had absolutely no idea what was about to happen to her that weekend. As far as she knew, she was going to cheer herself hoarse with her family and friends at the Georgia/Ole Miss game.
“Since my sister goes to Ole Miss, we were going to be together for a great SEC football weekend!” Sloan said. “In late September, my family and some of our family friends were in Oxford, Mississippi for the game. Wesley and my parents had gone down to Oxford on Thursday, but I had to stay behind and fly in on Friday because I was student teaching.
“On Thursday night, Wesley asked my Dad’s permission to marry me and they let my mom in on the secret. They all three decided not to tell my younger sister so that she would be surprised!
Sloan arrived at the Memphis Airport late Friday afternoon, where Wesley came to pick her up and so he could drive her down to join her family.
“He was calm, cool and collected and I thought nothing was out of the ordinary,” Sloan said. “I told him I hoped he would drive fast to Oxford because I was starving!
“When we got to the parking garage, I noticed that he had parked where no other cars were around him. I asked him why he did that and he said a lot of cars must have left while he was meeting me at baggage claim. I believed him. I got in the car and immediately asked for a snack.”
She hopped in the front seat while Wesley got her a “water bottle” from the back. What he brought her was sparkling, but it wasn’t water.
“I was messing with something in the front seat and when I turned around, Wesley was at my front door on one knee with a ring box in his hand! I don’t really remember much of what he said because I was so caught off-guard and excited!
“It took me a minute me a minute to respond ‘Yes!’ because I was laughing and asking ‘Really? Really?’ But finally I came to my senses and said ‘Yes!’
‘On the way back to Oxford we were able to call Wesley’s family and a few of our best friends. It was really fun to have an hour-long drive to ourselves to laugh and celebrate.
“When we got to our house for the weekend in Oxford, my sister came outside to greet us and I flashed her my left hand. She saw my new sparkly ring and screamed SO loud! When people inside heard her scream, my college roommate, Christine, knew what it meant, so she and her sister, Mary Helen, came outside and we all laughed and screamed before going inside to see my parents and our family friends. It was so much fun being with my family and surprising my sister!”
The couple wed in the lovely First Presbyterian Church, and had two officiants. Dr. John L. Frye Jr., First Presbyterian’s senior minister, and the bride’s uncle, James Houston Matthews, III wed the couple. Sloan wore a wedding gown designed by Alfred Sung, with a floor-length veil trimmed in lace, while the men wore white tuxedo dinner jackets.
In keeping with tradition, neither she nor Wesley saw or spoke to each other until the wedding. They wrote each other a love letter during the day.
So what was Sloan’s favorite thing about her wedding day?
“Seeing each other for the first time during the actual ceremony!”
A wonderful reception followed at Gaston Country Club, and a Southern theme was woven throughout ceremony and celebrations.
“Since Wesley and I are both from the South,” we wanted to incorporate different characteristics from each of our home states, North Carolina and Georgia. For example, we had foods such as barbecue and a fried-green-tomato/grits bar. We used lots of magnolia and other greenery at both the ceremony and reception. When we left the reception, our guests waved Georgia and North Carolina state flags!”
After their sweet, sultry, Southern wedding, Wesley and Sloan spent their honeymoon relaxing on the warm southern sands of Antigua.
Cake: Haynes Barksdale of For Goodness Cakes
Flowers: Carey Roberts Designs
Gown: Alfred Sung
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Watters and Watters from J. Major’s
Tuxedos: House of Hines in Macon, GA
Headpiece: J. Major’s
Wedding and Engagement rings: Bashinski in Macon, GA
Hairstylist and Make-up for wedding: Cathy McNish of Natural Brides
Invitations/Stationery: Torrence Stationary and Gifts
Music/Entertainment/Booking Agency: Finesse from Columbia, SC. East Coast Entertainment
Photography for wedding: Jason Miczek of Chuck Eaton Photographers
Photography for portraits: Chuck Eaton
Clergy: Dr. John L. Frye, Jr. (Senior Minister at First Presbyterian) and bride’s uncle, Rev. James Houston Matthews III
Ceremony location: First Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, NC
Caterers: Gaston Country Club, Chef Scott
Transportation provider: Charlotte Trolley for Wedding Party, Rose Limousine for Bride and Groom after wedding