The Meridian Star
Sarah Louise Rowley and Christopher Lee Kitchens were married in a 6 p.m. candlelight ceremony on July 20, 2013, at Highland Baptist Church in Meridian, with Dr. Carl White officiating.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rowley of McComb, James Al Jordan and the late Linda Davis Jordan of Brookhaven. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie Davis of Brookhaven and the late Mr. and Mrs. Richard Rowley of McComb.
The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Douglas M. Kitchens of Meridian. He is the grandson of Annette Murphy of Philadelphia, and the late Charles Murphy and the late Bennie L. Kilgore of Philadelphia, and Marie Kitchens of Meridian.
The bride’s cousin, Neal Davis of Brookhaven, ushered in the bride’s mother, Linda Rowley, who wore a floor-length blue-violet lace gown with matching sheer jacket. Neal led her to the unity candle, where Sarah’s father lit the bride’s family candle. Neal then ushered in her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Davis of Brookhaven. Mrs. Davis chose a floor-length lighter blue-violet gown with matching jacket with silver accents. They wore white rose corsages.
The groom’s cousins, Daniel Michael Kitchens of Omaha, Neb., and David Mark Kitchens of Fort Worth, lit the candles and were also ushers. They ushered in the mother of the groom, Leeann Kitchens, who wore a floor-length royal blue lace gown with matching jacket. Chris’ father lit the groom’s family candle. They also ushered in the groom’s grandmother, Mrs. Kitchens, who wore a lime green floor-length ensemble. Mrs. Murphy was ushered in by her grandson, Austin Murphy of Philadelphia, and wore a floor-length gown in apricot lace.
A PowerPoint presentation before the ceremony featured the couple beginning with baby pictures, family pictures, pictures of friends they chose to take part in their wedding day and ending with the couple’s engagement pictures. Providing a program of nuptial music during the presentation was pianist and organist Barry Germany of Meridian.
The church sanctuary was decorated with a large arrangement of red and white roses, red ornamental ginger, white gladiola and alstroemeria, Bells of Ireland and asparagus fern. On each side were white Grecian columns holding large Boston ferns intersperced with wrought iron candelabras holding white pillar candles. Completing the decorations were large palm trees and a unity set of white tapered candles.
Arrangements of red roses and baby’s breath with red streamers decorated the honor pews. Inside the foyer was the registry table centered with a matching arrangement and the bride’s book. Breana Doss and Savannah McDevitt, cousins of the groom, were program and registry attendants. The wedding director was Bonnie McDaniel, aunt of the bride of Magnolia. Carolyn’s Creations of Meridian was in charge of all flowers — decorating the church, reception area and rehearsal dinner on the eve of the wedding. Lori Judy was the wedding planner.
Malcolm Martin of Meridian was reader of Genesis 2:18-24.
Kristen Sims, vocalist and cousin of the groom, sang “How Beautiful” accompanied by Barry Germany on the piano. He also played “Like a River Glorious,” “As the Deer” and “Rondeau” as the mothers and grandmothers were seated and as the minister, groom and groomsmen entered the sanctuary from the back. Germany, also organist, played “Canon in D” as the bridal attendants entered the church.
Matron of honor was Rebekah Fowler Whittington of Monterey, La. Bridesmaids were Julie Van Kitchens, the bride’s stepsister of Hattiesburg, and her cousins Angie Davis of Brookhaven and Heather Davis of Brookhaven and Hattiesburg, and Amanda Allen of Starkville. They wore apple red strapless dresses with sweetheart necklines edged in matching beads and matching jackets with floor-length A-line skirts and carried bouquets of white Eskimo roses tied with white satin. They wore pearl necklaces and earrings, gifts from the bride.
Laila Annette Kitchens, daughter of Kevin and Julie Van Kitchens of Hattiesburg, was flower girl. She wore an identical floor-length white gown of feathered organza with an apple red sash tied in the back and carried a miniature basket with red rose petals. She was escorted by Cody Jensen, cousin of the bride from Brookhaven, who was ringbearer and wore a tuxedo that matched the groomsmen.
John D. Rowley, who gave his daughter in marriage, escorted the bride down the aisle sprinkled with rose petals as the organist played the “Bridal Chorus.”
The bride chose a white strapless tulle and organza fitted ball gown featuring a long-waisted top covered with crystal beads and pearls over lace with a feathered organza skirt that fell into a semi-cathedral train. She wore an elbow-length veil edged with delicately placed crystals and beads. Her veil was held by a set of three silver jeweled hair pins she wore in her hair after she removed her veil during the reception. She wore a necklace of pearls and matching bracelet and earrings, a gift from her late mother, Linda Davis Jordan. The bride carried a wrapped stem bouquet of fresh Charlotte red roses tied with white satin.
Best Man was Lance Burnham of Meridian. Groomsmen were brothers of the groom, Kevin Michael Kitchens of Hattiesburg and Justin Mark Kitchens of Meridian, the bride’s brother, John Benjamin Rowley of McComb, and Tyler Maxwell of Meridian. They wore white shirts, apple red ties and vests with black tuxedos.
Kristen Sims also sang “Consecration” after the blessing and exchanging of the rings. Barry Germany softly played “Because He Lives” during the lighting of the unity candle while Dr. White spoke. He then played the traditional “Wedding March” as the recessional.
A reception followed at the Meridian Little Theatre. The bride and groom’s engagement picture was presented on a large easel as guests entered. A lighted candle was on the memory table in honor of the bride’s late mother and held special framed pictures and a large pink flamingo that her mother loved.
The bride’s cake was also a feature of the foyer and was placed before a large gold framed mirror. The three-tiered cake was traditional wedding cake on the top two layers. The larger bottom layer was red velvet and the entire cake was decorated in white swirls. Fresh red Charlotte roses accented between the layers and the top was completed with a mirrored initial “K” with roses next to it. A cake knife was a gift to the bride and groom from his parents and had been engraved with their names and wedding date. Punch and tea were served.
The groom’s cake was a two-layer yellow cake with cream cheese icing and decorated with a Mississippi State University emblem. His cake was served on a large antique silver platter. A large Bulldog mascot with framed pictures of the groom and his family completed his table. The groom’s parents made and decorated his cake.
Large clear vases in black wrought iron stands held arrangements of red roses, white alstroemeria and Bells of Ireland placed in the center of each of the large round tables. Tables were covered with white tablecloths and centered with black table squares. Chairs were covered in white with black bows tied on the back. Everyone was able to be seated.
Guests enjoyed a buffet of ham, turkey, roast beef with gravy, meatballs, chicken strips, smashed potatoes, fruits including strawberries dipped in chocolate, cheeses, spinach dips with crackers, rolls and croissants.
The band “Southern Drive,” all friends of the groom, provided a variety of live music for the entire evening. The wedding favors were monogrammed can holders.
The newlyweds departed from the reception through a path of sparklers.
A rehearsal supper was hosted by the groom’s parents at Weidmann’s Restaurant on the eve of the wedding. The bride and groom presented gifts to their attendants. The bride chose Elizabeth Patrick Young of Memphis, Tenn., to be her proxy at the rehearsal.
After a honeymoon trip to Sandestin, Fla., the couple are at home 5195 McRae Place, Meridian, MS 39301. The bride is employed by Trustmark National Bank and the groom is a PC Technician at Rush Foundation Hospital of Meridian.