Howarth & Abraham.
On a gorgeous summer day, July 18, 2009, Laura Strickland Howarth and Dannie Reed Abraham were united in marriage. First Baptist Church in Cleveland was the setting for the six o'clock evening double ring ceremony. Ministers for the occasion were Rev. Milton A. Burd and Dr. Park Neff III, with Rev. Billy N. Owen officiating.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lee Howarth of Cleveland. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Jimmy Ray Williams of Cleveland and the late Mr. Jimmy Ray Williams and the late Mr. and Mrs. John Alexander Howarth Jr.
The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Danny S. Abraham of Cleveland. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. William Johnson of Natchez and Mr. and Mrs. Dannie Lloyd Abraham of Indianola.
As guests arrived, they passed between two ornate iron columns topped with multicolored mass arrangements of roses, orchids, lilies, and hydrangeas. Rose petals carpeted the sidewalk leading to the front entrance of the church.
For 30 minutes prior to the bridal entrance, a program of vocal and instrumental music coordinated by the groom was performed under direction of the Erik Taylor. Musicians and vocalists were Danny Abraham, Kristian Dambrino, Ryan England, Claire Howarth, Laney McNeer, Hilary Nickels, Rendda Owen, Alphonso Sanders, Erik Taylor, and Jill West
The bride was escorted down the aisle by her father. She wore an ivory A-line wedding gown with lace bodice embellished with seed pearls and lace cap sleeves. The tissue taffeta pick-up skirt flowed into a soft matching train that was detailed with embroidery of lace and seed pearls. She wore a chapel-length veil with blusher trimmed in pearls. The bridal party had signed the bottom of the bride's shoes in blue ink, following the tradition of "something blue."
Her bouquet was an ivory mixture of roses, hydrangeas, and Phalaenopsis orchids. Tucked in her bouquet was her maternal grandmother's sapphire cross pendant with her maternal grandfather's diamond tie tack mounted at the center. She had her paternal grandfather's handkerchief tied around it and wore her paternal grandmother's pearl bracelet.
Serving as maid of honor was the sister of the bride, Claire Howarth of Southaven. Bridesmaids were Rachel Hoggard; Brittany Howarth, sister-in-law of the bride; Cathy Howarth, sister-in-law of the bride; Courtney Mills; Hannah O'Neal; Aleia Segars; Hayden Smith; Margaret Sloan Tranum; and Laura Whatley. They wore strapless olive green knee-length dresses with balloon hemlines that featured wide sashes that were tied in bows on the side. They carried bouquets of mixed orchids, lilies, and roses in bright colors. The bouquets were tied with personal monogrammed ribbon and had pearl crosses tied to the ribbon. Flower girl was Ally Powell Howarth, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Howarth, cousin of the bride. The proxy to the bride was Rachel Leininger.
Danny Abraham served as his son's best man. Groomsmen were Bart Abraham, brother of the groom; Spence Abraham, brother of the groom; Dave Crews; Lee Howarth, brother of the bride; Will Howarth, brother of the bride; Ben Stigler; John Stringer; Matthew Tomek; and Josh West Ushers were Jeffrey Farris, John tort, and Landon Phillips. Ringer bearer was Trent LaMastus Jr., cousin of the bride, who is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Trent LaMastus. He carried an original pillow made by Robin O'Neal that was created with items belonging to each of the bride and groom's parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents.
The wedding programs were fans in the shape of the bride's sorority badge. Program attendants were Emily Herrick and Kylie Weeks.
In the sanctuary, a cross theme prevailed. A 12-foot floral cross covered in bright colors was in the choir loft in a mass of varied-height pillar candles. Each window held a wrought iron cross set in an arrangement of the same type of flowers.
Following the ceremony, guests were treated to a buffet reception in the fellowship hall. The central focal point of the reception was an original 8-foot faux iron pedestal with an urn of brightly colored flowers. Each sitting table was decorated with an urn of flowers that varied in type and color from table to table. The bride's six-tiered lemon cake was displayed under an iron arch with streamers of white orchids and hanging tea lights. The groom's cake was stationed in front of an assortment of firefighter memorabilia. The cake was a facsimile of a burning building. Faux red fire helmet mints were served alongside the cake. Favors were ivory organza bags embroidered with gold crosses that each guest filled from an assortment of brightly colored hard candy.
The couple left the reception while guests tossed rice grown on the bride's family's farm. Rice girls were Andi Price, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Price, and Tori Jones, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Rodney Jones. A fire truck whisked the couple away to pay tribute to the groom's position as assistant chief with the Bolivar County Volunteer Fire Department
After a seven-night Caribbean cruise honeymoon, the couple is at home in Cleveland.
The groom's parents hosted a rehearsal dinner on the eve of the wedding at KC's Restaurant in Cleveland that ended with dessert and dancing for the wedding party, family, friends, and out-of-town guests.
Wedding photography was by LaMastus Photography of Cleveland.