Daily photos by Brennen Smith|
Chris Martin oversees as Gailey and Kathryn Macomber recite their vows. Afterward, Gailey pronounced himself “a happily married man.”
Surprise! Today is your wedding day
Bride makes secret arrangements; groom: ‘They got me’
By Deangelo McDaniel
With his bride less than 20 yards away outside a door, Brent Gailey called for the music to “Feel the Nails.”
“That’s one of my favorites,” he said.
After that, he sang one more song before Pastor Chris Martin walked to the pulpit, moved the microphone stand and told Gailey he had a surprise.
“I thought he was going to sing with me or ask for a offering or something,” Gailey said.
No offering. No singing.
On a day when Gailey, 29, came to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church to participate in a benefit singing, he left a married man.
“A happily married man,” he said.
Unknown to Gailey, his family, friends and fiancée, Kathryn Macomber, had planned his wedding.
In just three days, they found Macomber, 33, a wedding gown, dresses for the bridesmaids and got a friend to cater the reception, complete with cakes for the bride and groom.
But more importantly, they managed it all without Gailey’s knowledge. Even after his brother and two friends — dressed in black with boutonnieres on — joined him at the altar, he didn’t realize it was a wedding.
For Gailey, it finally became clear when his stepdaughter, Marissa Macomber, walked down the isle, holding a flower.
“I thought, ‘Man, this is a wedding,’ ” he said. “They got me, but that’s OK because this is the woman I love.”
Gailey and Macomber have been dating for about two years.
For almost a year, they talked about their wedding, but never made plans.
Abigail Cassis and Olivia Gailey examine flower petals before the wedding of Abby’s mother, Kathryn Macomber, to Brent Gailey at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.
They own two businesses and never found time to finalize the details, Macomber said.
Finally, Gailey told her to make the plans and set the date. Of course, he expected to have some advance notice.
They obtained a marriage license at the Morgan County Courthouse on Thursday, aware that it had to be used within 30 days.
Gailey, who has been singing since he was a young boy, called The Daily to announce that he was holding a benefit singing Sunday. That was not unusual for him because he has done singings before.
But Macomber and her friend, Dana Jasinski, called The Daily to say it was not really a benefit singing.
When The Daily reporter and photographer showed up to cover the event Sunday, Gailey was thankful and seemed surprised.
“I didn’t have a clue,” he said after the wedding.
For about 30 minutes, he sang to the almost 50 people in attendance. He wasn’t aware that his wife-to-be was in the building next door.
To make sure he didn’t know, Eric and Angela Walls parked Macomber’s sport utility vehicle at their home and told Gailey she had locked her keys in. Angela Walls was the maid of honor.
Macomber said she was confident he would go through with the wedding.
“He’s been wanting to do this for a while,” she said. “I was nervous, but it never dawned on me that he would say no.”
Macomber’s friends and parents were as confident about the wedding as she was.
Her parents, Thomas and Jackie Copeland, have been married 36 years. They learned about the wedding Thursday.
“I was all for it,” her father said.
“I though she was crazy, but I know they love each other,” her mother said.
Gailey’s mother and grandmother supported the idea.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Sherry Gailey said.
“It’s OK because this is a good surprise for him,” his grandmother, Marie Phillips, said.
As for the pastor, Martin said he didn’t know what to think when they told him about the wedding.
“I was just hoping it would be OK with the groom,” Martin said. “I’ve never performed a surprise wedding before today.”
Macomber didn’t have the wedding party in place until Saturday. Chad Gailey, the groom’s brother, was best man. Robert Rigsby and Walls were groomsmen.
“It shocked me,” Walls said of learning about the wedding. “But now that I think about it, it’s kind of neat having a surprise wedding.”
“It’s about time,” Rigsby said. “They are perfect for each other.”
Macomber’s oldest daughter, Michelle, 15, and Michelle’s friend, 14-year-old Nikki Day, planned the reception. Day’s mother, Karen Day, is a wedding caterer. She baked and decorated the cakes.
As she left the reception area for the church, Macomber held her youngest daughter’s hand. Although she was one of the flower girls, three-year-old Abigail Cassis was reluctant to leave her mother’s side.
As Gailey and Macomber said their vows, she stood between them, looking up and listening to their every word.
By 2:09 p.m. on Sunday, the benefit singing was over for sure.
“I now declare and pronounce you husband and wife,” Martin said.
A minute later, Gailey kissed his bride.
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