A wedding Fairy Tale: Desiree & Martez - TNValleyBrides.com: Spotlight Weddings

Decatur, AL | Fri, October 19, 2018

A wedding Fairy Tale: Desiree & Martez

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Posted: Saturday, January 27, 2018 5:00 am

It’s a story that fairy tales are made of.

This particular story begins on Valentine's Day in 2011, when Desiree Harrison and Martez Cole had their first date.

Chapter 1

While the couple’s romance blossomed, there was nothing whirlwind about the courtship. In fact, it wasn’t until four years later that Martez proposed to Desiree.

The proposal was well-thought out. Martez arranged for the couple to have professional photos made for Valentine’s Day in 2015.

Desiree wasn’t too sure about a photo shoot with her boyfriend, but one of her friends insisted she go through with it.

“He had arranged for someone to do my hair, my makeup,” she said. “It was nice.”

During the photo shoot, Martez “suddenly” remembered he had a gift for Desiree.

“He went downstairs and came back up with at least 50 of our family members and gets down on one knee with everyone there,” she said.

Once the engagement ring was placed on Desiree’s finger, one might think that the next chapter in the story would be planning a wedding.

That wasn’t the case for our couple. Martez and Desiree decided to go through pre-marriage counseling through Desiree’s church at the time, Bridge Builders Church International in Decatur.

“This was something we wanted to do,” Desiree said. “Our foundation is Jesus Christ. He is the center of it all, and we felt this was the next step in our relationship.”

The couple met with Pastor Darius Clayton for a year to discuss everything from finances to what each one expected in a marriage.

“You think you know someone, but you don’t want to go into a commitment like this blindsided,” Desiree said. “When it came to finances, we each brought in our credit scores and said this is where I stand and this is where he stands. “

The couple met with the pastor for one year. “After we finished, we set a date,” Desiree said. “We both love the holidays, but wanted to get married before the holiday frenzy began. I love the fall scenery, so we decided on Nov. 12, 2016.”

From there, the couple went into wedding planning mode.

“Everything was going smoothly,” Desiree said.

Chapter 2

This chapter takes place the evening before the ceremony.

“It was the night of the rehearsal,” Desiree recalled. “I was 25, and I was thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m going to be somebody’s wife tomorrow. Everything was changing. It’s a lot. I was emotional.”

Emotions, along with making last-minute preparations for the ceremony the next day, could have been one reason why the main character in our story was running late to her own rehearsal dinner.

“We had the rehearsal dinner at River Bottom by Stanfields at McFarland,” she said. “Everybody gets there before I do because I’m so behind with wedding preparations.”

It was a chilly and damp night, and Desire remembered hurrying up the ramp to the restaurant when she started to slip.

“It was really dark outside. I was hurrying and had on high heels,” she said. “I felt like I was about to fall. I grabbed the rail and, as I slipped, the ring slipped off my finger and into the water.”

Desiree explained that the ring was loose on her finger because, as many brides do, she had lost weight before the wedding.

Desiree finally made her way into the restaurant, but her guests immediately knew something was wrong.

“I was about to have a nervous breakdown,” she said. “I just kept saying, ‘My ring. My ring. My ring is gone.’”

Desiree recalls Martez standing in front of her.

“I was saying, ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I can’t believe this happened,’” she said.

Martez recalls the moment his bride-to-be walked into the restaurant.

“She was crying so hard, she couldn’t speak,” he said. “She kept pointing to the water. Eventually she said she lost the ring in the water.”

Martez said he did what he could to calm Desiree, but thought the ring probably was gone for good.

Desiree said her husband-to-be wasn’t angry or upset.

“He said, ‘It’s just a material thing. Listen, I still have you.’ Then I cried more than I did before,” she said.

Even though friends and family attempted to search in the dark waters of the harbor, they couldn’t find the ring.

Employees wanted to return to the search in the light of day, but were informed that because of electricity in the harbor, it was too dangerous for them to continue the search.

With the ceremony just a few hours away, finding the ring remained on Desiree’s mind. She kept making attempts to find someone who might help her find the prized possession.

A Google search led to her a dive salvage company, which recommended she call scuba diver Amber Smith.

After talking to Amber, however, Desiree wasn’t too encouraged. She said Amber took her information and telephone number and said she would see what she could do.

In the meantime, Martez and his brother were about to go shopping for a replacement ring the morning of the wedding.

Desiree tried to put the incident out of her mind. Her mother had taken her cell phone away to keep her from checking messages constantly. It was while she was getting her hair done before the ceremony that Desiree heard her mother screaming in the sanctuary of Launch Point Church in Tuscumbia.

“She was screaming ‘Yes, yes,’’’ Desiree said. “I asked what was going on, and my mom kept saying ‘She found it, she found it.’’’

One hour before the ceremony, local diver Amber Smith, with wet hair and still clad in her wet suit, brought Desiree’s engagement ring to the church.

From there, the ceremony went as planned, with Martez slipping Desiree’s original engagement ring and wedding band on her finger.

“Everything was good,” Desiree said.

Chapter 3

The next chapter of our story takes place at the reception.

Friends and family of the couple enjoyed a catered meal with the newlyweds, and wished them well before they headed to the airport to board a plane to Puerto Rico for the honeymoon.

“I was tired,” Desiree said. “It had been an emotional day, and our plane was leaving Nashville at 6 a.m.”

Once the couple arrived at their honeymoon destination, they turned on their cell phones and started receiving dozens of text messages from guests at the reception.

“The text messages were, ‘My stomach is hurting. Is yours hurting?’ We hadn’t eaten that much at the reception, so we weren’t feeling ill. Mostly we were just tired,” she said.

Eventually, the couple learned that more than 100 of their guests had gotten ill from food at the reception. Several people had been hospitalized, including Desiree’s father.

“My dad was in the hospital for three weeks,” she said. “I was thinking this was a nightmare,” she said. “We tried to enjoy ourselves, but we felt so bad we couldn’t fully enjoy the honeymoon.”

As soon as they returned home, the newlyweds starting contacting with friends and family who had been ill.

“Of course, I felt kind of responsible,” Martez said. “I wish there was something we could have done to prevent it.”

Desiree and Martez tried to make amends with their guests.

“We tried to visit those who were still in the hospital,” she said. “We prayed with everybody, offered our apologies.”

Desiree, herself, had to make a trip to the emergency room. “I was a little overwhelmed,” she said. “We went home (after visiting with people), I went into the bathroom and I passed out.

I woke up at the hospital.”

News of the food poisoning spread throughout news and social media sites. Not all the comments were supportive of the couple. There were some people who said the couple should have taken the incidents as signs from God that they shouldn’t have gotten married.

“In an interview, my husband had mentioned that you could really feel God’s presence in the wedding,” Desiree said. “There were people who commented we should have felt God giving us signs that we shouldn’t be together.

“They have no idea,” she said. “If anything, all this brought us closer together. My feelings would get hurt easily, and my husband kept bring up Exodus 14:14 … ‘The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.’

Chapter 4

Fast forward to the next chapter in our story. It starts with the one-year anniversary of Martez and Desiree Cole.

Reflecting on what they have gone through the past year, the couple say they are grateful they had committed one year to counseling before entering into marriage.

“I feel like if we didn’t go through the counseling, if we didn’t trust God, we could have easily folded,” Martez said. “We could have gotten into arguments. There was never a thought in our minds that we couldn’t do this.”

Desiree said she is thinking about writing a book about their experiences to encourage others.

“It’s not the wedding ceremony that makes God happy,” she said. “It’s the marriage that makes God happy. He takes pleasure in a marriage that glorifies him. The ceremony is nice, but sometimes we get too caught up in spending all this money for 30 minutes.

“That’s what I tell all my friends who are getting married. Just remember what is truly important.”

Martez agrees with his wife.

“I hear people talking about going through things the first three months or six months of their marriage,” he said. “We got ours out of the way. We were able to withstand the tough times.

Martez also had other thoughts about the incidents surrounding the wedding.

“Every time something miraculous or something good happens, there is going to be a trial or attack,” he said. “We are able to pray and encourage and lift each other up whenever one was weak,” he said.

“We overcame it all,” Desiree said. “God is still faithful in all this.”

And that ends Part One of this fairy tale, but it’s definitely not the end of the story.

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