a different kind of coffee break with Gerry and Ray Coffey
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They altered the time honored "LEAP-OF-FAITH" to symbolize it literally with a "LEAP-OF-LOVE" and made it a cliff-hanger wedding ;-)
The first spark of romance between David Scott Coffey and Sharon Saunderson was kindled nearly 30 years ago at Auburn University, but fate intervened and their lives took separate tracks via location, marriage, children and career.
Over the years they kept up now and then via the internet and a few months ago when now single mother Sharon Saunderson Cohen decided to take her daughter, Kierstin, on a trip to Thailand, they stopped to see that long-lost friend who was then stationed in Bangkok.
Lt. Col. David Scott Coffey, recently divorced, had no preconceived notions except to show them around the city, that is until their eyes met at the airport and that long-lost spark was once again rekindled.
Their children--six between them--came first however, so unless they had their children's blessings, any future together would have to wait. The two oldest girls, Kiersten, 16, and David's 18 year-old daughter, Lindsey, were the hold outs. But again, as fate would have, it soon became apparent their parents' happiness knew no bounds when the two were together, and if their parents were happy they would be, too.
So, except for the time, date and location where their parents wanted to proclaim their Leap-of-Love, while the parents were continents and oceans apart, it was the children and their relatives who planned the wedding which came to pass below at sunset on 25 June 2011:
Despite dire predictions of severe thunder storms, Nature cooperated beautifully and not even a drop of rain dampened the spirits of the Bride and Groom, family members and close friends who came from Florida, Tennessee, Colorado, Boston, and Toronto to witness the wedding couple's symbolic "Leap-of-Love" from The Coffey Grounds' cliff:
Below: Here comes the Bride-to-be, Sharon Saunderson Cohen, escorted by her new step niece, Kasey Coffey, and her Brother, Bill Saunderson:
Below: Close friends and family members stand to greet the bride-to-be as she comes down the aisle:
Below: The Groom, Lt. Colonel David Scott Coffey, sporting a chest full of hard-earned medals in defense of his country, walks proudly down the aisle to greet his lovely bride, his sister, Valerie, in the background:
Below: David's mother, Gerry, and his brother, Darryl, wearing the matching shirt his father used to wear when accompanying Gerry to special events:
Below: David's Mom wishes her son much happiness as he begins a new life with a love once kindled back in college nearly 30 years before...
Below: Another stop for Best Wishes from David's oldest son, Sean, now a Yearling (2nd Year-Cadet) at West Point:
Below: David's nephew, Jackson (top left), is the Ring Bearer, while 4 of his 5 children: Sean, Gregory, Cecil and Lindsey, wait at cliffside for the ceremony to begin:
Below: David's youngest daughter, Colette (right) and his brother's oldest daughter, Jessica, play the piano and sing the lovely lyrics to the song: "Marry Me..."
Below: I, David, take you, Sharon, to be my lawfully wedded wife....
Below: A radiant bride shares her happiness with her long-time friends and new merged family members:
Below: Sharon's 16 year-old-daughter, Kiersten (right), is heartily welcomed by some of the female side of her newly acquired family:
Below: Daughter, Kiersten, gets a special kiss from Mom:
Below: Standing on the edge of the cliff, David and his new Bride, Sharon, share a kiss after being pronounced man-and-wife by Pastor Bill Redding of Courtland as friends and relatives smile in approval:
Below: Now the preliminaries are over the Bride and Groom doff their shoes and wedding bouquet and prepare to symbolize their Leap-of-Faith with a literal "Leap-of-Love":
Below: Waiting patiently below, two of David's childhood friends, Phil Mitchell and Jeff Brown, are at- the- ready with their "Gondola" to deliver the Bride and Groom to shore after their leap from the cliff into the deep waters below:
Below: Now that the long-awaited wedding ceremony is officially over, the Bride & Groom make true their promise to symbolize the event with their "Leap-of-Love" from the towering cliff:
Below: Half way down the 25 ' cliff and still holding hands:
Below: Their fall was cushioned by the cool, gentle waters where they made quite a Splash, with their families and friends, as well as the water below:
Below: Amidst cheers and laughter from their family and friends above, as well as those who followed them off the cliff, now they have "got their feet wet" the new bride and groom are ready to begin a happy life together at their home in Huntsville, AL;-)
And now let the music begin....;-)
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