WHEATFIELD —The best stories about true love involve two people who defy the odds; who believe with every fiber of their being that they were meant to journey through life together. I have that feeling about this month’s couple, Zachary and Blair Fraley. Their commitment to each and their faith is a breath of fresh air.
Zachary Fraley was introduced to Blair Kickert through their pastor at First Church, John Hill. After learning about Blair’s love for Jesus, Zachary felt the divine need to pursue Blair further. Throughout the last year Blair and Zachary have learned each other’s likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams.
The couple shares a deep love for coffee, hanging out at coffee shops, reading their Bibles, going on adventures and hammocking wherever they go. The possibility of marrying one another was always at the forefront of their minds. “We had totally been discussing marriage! It was the reason we kept dating, because we feel like we are better together for God and His Kingdom,” explained Zachary.
The proposal that Zachary orchestrated was simply heartwarming and breathtaking. It will leave even the most cynic of scrooges believing in true love.
Zachary is the Youth Minister at First Church. Using that affiliation and connection, Zachary reached out to First Church’s videographer to record the proposal under the guise of making a new sermon series for church. Pastor John Hill even joined in the play by asking Blair to participate in the video just to make the set up more legit and to keep her from asking questions when two cameramen spent the day following them around.
Zachary then began taking Blair on a journey through memory lane. They visited the top places they had gone on dates, where they danced together for the very first time, where they sat under the stars and spoke for hours and finally, to a nondescript bridge: the place where Zachary knew without a shadow of a doubt that he wanted to marry Blair.
Within the video he shared publicly on Facebook you can see the pure, unadulterated mix of joy, surprise and excitement overwhelm Blair as she takes in the scene of Zachary on bent knee, holding a beautiful ring, asking her to be his wife for life. Blair quite literately jumped with joy into Zachary’s waiting arms, her cascading blond curls bouncing in unison with her smile. The excitement continued for Blair with a surprise engagement party after she said yes. When asked about how Zachary felt about his upcoming nuptials, he proudly proclaimed “so excited! So ready!”
On Friday, Sept. 27, Zachary and Blair became Mr. and Mrs. Fraley at a very well-attended ceremony that took place at First Church, bringing their union in full circle since the church was where they first met. The wedding aisle was graced with petals along the pews with low lit candles clustered together in sections, providing a soft, romantic glow for the bride to stroll toward her groom.
Following the ceremony, the couple held a reception at the Pavilion at Sandy Pines. The venue was adorned with Blair’s favorite color, forest green, with accompanying colors of gold and black. Another Season provided a stunning arrangement of bouquets and boutonnieres. The ring bearer and flower girls were Zach and Blair’s godchildren, Isabelle, Hermione and Eldin Hill: three children who mean the world to the couple. In a special gesture beyond words, Zach asked his aunt to dance with him during the traditional “mother-and-son” dance in place of his belated mother.
The newlyweds have since embarked on an exotic honeymoon; a Caribbean cruise to Cozumel Puerto Maya where they explored ancient ruins and splashed around beautiful beaches. Once they return, they plan to live in the Jasper County area for a few years as they await God’s plans for them to unfold. Some of those plans include having children and fostering children.
The newly minted Mr. and Mrs. Fraley’s relationship is founded upon and strengthened through their love of Jesus Christ. Their faith is what makes the two of them work so well. “As we continue to seek Jesus, as we continually grow closer to Him, He helps us to be more loving to each other! The blueprint that Jesus lays out for marriage is how He treated the church – He laid down His life for the church and gave it up for us! In the same way, spouses should be racing to serve the other and lay down their lives for their spouse!” said Fraley.
Join me in congratulating Zach and Blair Fraley. You can find them at First Church on Sunday, sharing their love for Jesus with everyone they meet and providing an example of how a marriage is meant to be.