Nicole Crandall & Garry Garrison 

photo by Bliss Eleven Studio

DATE: November 3, 2017 

VENUE: Chandler Hill Vineyards, Defiance, Missouri 

ABOUT THE COUPLE: He is a firefighter with the Mehlville Fire Protection District. She is a pharmacist. 

 

HOW DID YOU MEET? 

Nicole: Through online dating site match.com in the summer of 2016 on the advice of my best friend who was, of course, my maid of honor. That’s a true story – and yes, I was also a doubter. 

photo by Bliss Eleven Studio

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO HIM? 

Nicole: OK, seriously, I completely did not want to go through with our first date. I was skeptical of online dating sites, and there was our age gap (he’s 61, and I’m 41), but my best friend talked me into proceeding with the date. I am so glad she did because I literally have not stopped laughing since I met Garry. With his humor and sometimes corny jokes, there’s never a dull moment. He made me laugh at a point in my life when I thought I had forgotten how. His generous and giving nature, hard work ethic, and the fact that he has a body that most 30-year-olds would kill for are all icing on the cake.  

photo by Bliss Eleven Studio

HOW HE PROPOSED 

Nicole: Garry is always full of surprises. We went to dinner on what I believed was any random date night. When I ordered dessert (yes, I do eat dessert … a lot of dessert), the owner of the restaurant brought out one of my favorite sweet-tooth indulgences – along with a beautiful diamond ring. Garry recited a poem he had written for me, and proposed as the entire room of patrons cheered. 

photo by Bliss Eleven Studio

HOW I KNEW HE WAS THE ONE 

Nicole: Easy…I’ll never forget the day during our early courting, I showed up for one of our dates visibly distraught because my garbage disposal was leaking and I didn’t know it until water leaked out on my kitchen floor. It wasn’t easy being a single mom, and when my home had maintenance or repair issues, I would easily become flustered and overwhelmed. Garry showed up at my home later that evening with his toolbox and introduced himself to my daughter as the plumber (as he had not met my children yet), and he fixed and replaced my garbage disposal. He completely had my heart that day by his ability to make everything OK, and calm my rattled emotions over a home repair.  

WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT EACH OTHER DURING THE WEDDING PREPARATIONS  

Nicole: Wow! Let me start by mentioning this: 2017 was a quite a year. We each sold our respective homes that we independently lived in for more than 15 years, we built our dream home together from the ground up, he sold his asphalt business he had owned for 30 years, and we planned a beautiful wedding – all within eight months, and all while I still ran a hectic pharmacy department and kept up with my children’s wild and hectic sports’ schedules. If we could get through all of that and still be so in love, we knew it was meant to be. It wasn’t easy combining two households and families, while still learning about one other, but we learned to be each other’s rock when the other one felt overwhelmed. Marriage takes a lot of work and a lot of prayer and a lot of forgiveness. It isn’t always roses and fairytales. We have our fair share of disagreements, and by no means do we have a perfect relationship – if that even exists. But we are perfectly imperfect together. We understood and still understand to this day anyone’s skepticism regarding our relationship due to age gap, race barrier, length of dating, etc., but everyone can attest to the happiness and joy we give each other. And at the end of the day, being happy is all that matters. We don’t let difficult arguments or challenging moments destroy our years left together. 

photo by Bliss Eleven Studio

THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT FROM YOUR WEDDING 

Nicole: His self-written vows combining his romantic, charming side with his comedic wit. With him being a firefighter, and me being a pharmacist, he began by saying I came into his life like a four-alarm fire, but I am the fire that he never wants to put out. I completely loved his reference to me as a “prescription drug” he is addicted to, and how I’ve “vaccinated” his heart … very clever! 

photo by Bliss Eleven Studio

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS 

Nicole: Too many to mention! But those that stand out are: 1. Having my dad and his twin brother both walk me down the aisle. My dad suffers from late-stage dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and having him there for my wedding was everything to me. 2. Having my two daughters in my bridal party. It is indescribable how amazing it is to share these moments with your daughters. 3. Our non-traditional garter toss. You never know what to expect from us, and I’m sure we took everyone by surprise as I removed the garter from Garry’s leg and tossed it into the crowd.   

photos by Bliss Eleven Studio