Going to The Chapel

Written by Christina Keaster

Jerome and Kelsey Cox married at Saint Catherine’s at Bell Gable in Fayetteville, on Oct. 17, 2009. The chapter of their lives as Mr. and Mrs. Cox began on that day. Five years earlier, the first page of that chapter had already been written. 

Kelsey and Jerome met at Arkansas Tech University. They were  both involved at The Wesley Foundation Ministry. He was a senior and she was a freshman.

“He was the coolest guy ever. He was a musician, smart, a good Christian; he was so out of my league. I thought I could never obtain this guy,” said Kelsey.

They were both active in the Wesley Worship Band. Jerome played bass on the guitar and Kelsey was a backup singer. They talked and hit it off for a bit, but nothing more.

“Little did I know, Jerome had me in the back of his mind for years since we met.”

Kelsey’s parents, Dennis and Linda Boyd reside in Russellville. Jerome’s parents, Dale and Sheryl Cox, reside in Cave Springs, but formerly lived in Dover.

In May 2005, Dennis had a spinal stroke that left him paralyzed from the middle of his chest through his feet and in his hands.

“That has been the most challenging situation our family has faced, but our faith in God continually sees us through the difficult times,” said Kelsey. Although she and Jerome were only acquaintances during that time, every time she spoke with him, he asked about her dad.

“He was kind enough to let me know he’d been praying for Dad. Even two and three years later, he kept asking, which certainly made an impression on me,” she added

Jerome, now a medical physicist at Highlands Oncology Group (HOG) in Fayetteville, graduated from Arkansas Tech University in 2005 with a Bachelor’s degree in physics, and from Duke University in 2007 with a degree in medical physics.

After Jerome’s first year at Duke, he came back for the summer and they dated.

We called it our ‘three weeks of fun,’” said Kelsey laughing, “Then he had to go back to school.” Jerome also interned at HOG during that summer.

“If you ever commit to dating me, I’m going to ask you to marry me,” she remembered him telling her that summer. “I didn’t take him seriously.”

Upon graduation at Duke, Jerome began a full-time job at HOG and moved to Fayetteville one year before Kelsey.

Kelsey, now an account assistant at Mitchell Communications Group (public relations agency) in Fayetteville, graduated from Arkansas Tech University in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in speech with a public relations emphasis. Kelsey moved to Fayetteville two weeks upon her graduation to start her new job.

”When I moved to Fayetteville, we started hanging out more and more, and well, the rest is history,” said Kelsey.

They officially started dating December 17, 2008, and were engaged less than two months later.

“We went to Al Dente’s for our first date and had a nice Italian dinner. He showed me the receipt last summer, I didn’t know he had kept it.”

A few weeks after Christmas, they both knew the other was ‘the One.’

“We had spent a lot of time together and with each other’s family, too. Family is very important to both of us. What drew us to each other most was that we both came from good solid Christian families. The timing lined up, everything lined up. We just knew. I can’t explain it.”

Jerome talked to Dennis and Linda about marrying their daughter.

“The thing that triggered it for my parents was when Jerome said, ‘she’s the most important thing in the world to me’ and my dad said ‘that’s all we need to hear’.”

Kelsey went ring shopping with her best friend from college, Elizabeth Doster.

“Elizabeth knew us both because we all went to Wesley together.” Kelsey hinted at the ring she liked, and Elizabeth relayed the details to Jerome. “He made a good, informed decision,” Kelsey said, laughing.

On Friday, February 13, 2009, Jerome and Kelsey were tired from a hard week’s work. They decided to go out to eat and de-stress. Forgetting it was the day before Valentine’s Day, all the restaurants were either full or there was a long wait for a table. The two opted to go back to Kelsey’s apartment to hang out and then go eat later when the crowds died down.

“We were just hanging out and then all of a sudden he just dropped down to one knee, pulled a ring out of his pocket, and said, ‘Kelsey Boyd, will you marry me?’… and of course I said yes!”

The second after all of the excitement, they called their parents to tell them the news. “Everyone was excited for us.”

Kelsey’s advice for future brides: “Enjoy the planning cause it can be so much fun. It’s what you want it to be.”

Kelsey hired Kristin Hare to take the engagement and wedding photos. “She knows what she’s doing, she’s done it for a long time, and she’s good at what she does. She fit me creatively, everything I wanted from a photographer.”

Kelsey was given wedding showers from friends and church families in Russellville and Fayetteville.

“I love earth tones; our colors were brown and green, with orange, too.” Kirsten Boyd, Kelsey’s younger sister was the only bridesmaid in the wedding and Jerome’s older brother, Reuben Cox, was the only groomsman in the wedding.

The focus of the wedding was Christ- centered and support-focused, too. They challenged their closest friends and family, who attended the wedding, to pray for them when they thought of them.

“We worked with Mark Lykins, pastor of Grace Fellowship Church, on the vows and planning the ceremony. The ceremony was very intimate; we made it from our own hearts unique. We thanked our parents for the great example of marriage they provided for us.”

After the ceremony, the couple celebrated with friends and family at The Garden Room on Dickson Street in Fayetteville.

“We wanted to take the time to greet all of our guests and talk to every person,” said Kelsey.

The newly-married couple walked out to bubbles popping in the air and on to their honeymoon at Pike’s Peak Resort in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“Jerome chose Colorado because he knew I loved the mountains.”

The couple is learning about one another daily in their new home in Springdale.

“I sing and Jerome plays drums at church. It’s like we’re repeating our story but with rings on our fingers.

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Category: Bridal

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