This is every bit the fairytale it looks. Every bit. Because if you’ve ever watched a Disney movie, or picked up a book of fairy tales, you know. Yes, there is a beautiful happily ever after, but not before the princess has lived through a tale that could have wrecked her and threatened to take someone from her. I don’t make light of Maree’s story, because it’s anything but that. But what I witnessed at her wedding, and what I’ve learned from being near this family, is that fairy tales do exist. And this one, just so happens to start in the garage. Maree’ didn’t make a traditional entrance into this world. Like every princess, she started out in an interesting situation. She started out in her parents’ car. Maree’s dad delivered her while her mother progressed in her birth much quicker than they anticipated. So, right there in the family car, with her toddler older sister present to witness this life changing moment, her mom and dad delivered Maree’ before they even got the car backed out of the garage to make it to the hospital. And that’s where Maree’s family story of overcoming unplanned life events began.
A few years ago Maree’s family started the adventure of building a barn, a replica of their ancestors family barn, on their land. Her dad dreamed of opening the barn doors and inviting others to celebrate their most special moments of beginning their lives together right there on the family’s land. Land that has been in the McGranahan family over a century. So, construction began right next door to an old family home that had been standing as long as they had owned the land. Daily her dad would meet contractors and draw plans. Maree’ and her mom were thrilled for the family history to live on in a such a grand way for so many. Maree’s dad loved the idea of preserving the history and using the land in such a joyful, giving way. Things were going so well as construction plans were coming right along on McGranahan Barn. Then one day, Maree’s dad had an accident. He fell from the second story of the barn. I’ll spare you the heart wrenching specifics of what happened, but here was the kind hearted leader of the family, now in a fight for his life. Maree’ and her mom, Aimee, these ladies are as strong as they come. They were vigilant in prayer, and they didn’t miss a beat continuing to build on Robert’s dream of the McGranahan Barn while Robert laid in a coma in a hospital bed. With no experience to guide them, they leaned heavily on the contractors involved. They rolled up their sleeves, and went to work themselves. Meanwhile, shuffling back and forth to the hospital and praying, praying, praying that Maree’s dad would open his eyes again, would know who they were, or even walk again. They just wanted him to live.
During that crucial time while Robert’s life was on the line, Maree’ and Steve were in the early stages of dating. Steve was there for Maree’, her mom, and the entire family. Driving them back and forth to split shifts at the hospital, offering to stay by Robert’s side when the family couldn’t be there, and being a shoulder to cry on. He was ‘being there’ in every sense of the word, and Maree’ was falling in love with him.
It all got to be too much for Maree ‘one day. She was overcome with emotions, and she said something she was thinking without really thinking about what she was saying first. She started talking to Steve about her fear that her dad wouldn’t be able to walk her down the aisle. The two hadn’t been dating long enough to discuss marriage yet, but Steve knew how heart breaking that thought was to her. She was devastated, and the unknown loomed. Robert surprised many when we woke up. Aimee and Maree’ were so very thankful that he was alive. That good news was met with some bad news, the doctors told them there was a good chance he would never walk again. They told them he wouldn’t do a lot of things again, but Robert had survived, and he was out to beat the odds. And, Steve who stood by Maree’ all along was ready to see this fairytale through to it’s happy ending.
Maree’ and Aimee finished the barn, with Maree’ taking a lead role in seeing her father’s plans through to completion. Robert spent every ounce of energy he had in rebuilding himself. Learning to talk, swallow, walk, learning to do the physical things we consider simple. And those tears, those understandable tears, that Maree’ shed that night she worried her dad wouldn’t see this day or if he did, maybe not be able to fulfill his duty of walking her down the aisle. They were in vain, because May 2, 2015, Robert defied the odds and walked her down the aisle.
So, while some who don’t know the story, see the gorgeous floral arrangements and lavish cake, and think “fairy tale wedding”…..
I see that second story that her dad fell from, and know that her wedding guests will dine there and celebrate.
And that floor that he fell on, is now the spot of her first dance with her husband.
Yes it is a fairy tale, with all the gorgeous, enchanting details.
But like any fairy tale, it didn’t come easy. A plot twist waiting at every turn. A moment that could have ruined the story at each chapter. At the center of it all, a humble, hard working, big hearted princess who was born in a garage…and deserves every bit of her happily ever after.
Venue-McGranahan Barn, Florals-Tony Foss Flowers, Cake-Mishelle Handy Cakes, Day of Coordinating-Amy Ray Events, Partial Rentals-Mood Rentals, Food-Abbey Road Catering, Videography- Leslee Leaming, Make-up-Natasha Shipley, Couch Rentals-Ruby’s Vintage Rentals, Lighting & Sound-OKC Entertainment & Events