Rekindled friendship leads to marriage

Published 4:38 pm Monday, June 7, 2010

Tracey Warren and Jared Pate exchanged vows May 22.

Sonya Emanuel and her two daughters, Lena and Martha Emanuel, let them use their beautiful home and land located in Wilsonville for the wedding and the reception.

It was the perfect day for an outside wedding, with the clear sky and warm afternoon sun. From the first time Tracy visited Sonya’s home, she fell in love with area.

“I saw the land and said ‘This would be a great place for a wedding.’ I’ve always wanted an outside wedding, so when we got engaged, that’s the first place that came to my mind,” she said.

Jared followed up on it the day after they got engaged to begin planning.

They chose a cowboy theme for the wedding, and many guests wore attire with added cowboy hats, boots and belt buckles to accessorize the look.

Tracey looked like a classic Southern belle with her blonde hair in loose curls and a strapless white wedding gown.

Her bridesmaids were Rachel Warren, Leah Simpson, Tonya Miller, Cortney Cunningham, Ashlee Jones, Jackie Fancher and Ingrid Warren. They all dressed in girly, hot pink dresses.

The groomsmen were Donny Pate, Eddie Blevins, Daniel Dozier, Danson Thornburg, Keith Warren, Jimmy McDonald and Scott Pierce.

The wedding cake was tall, hot pink and white, and the groom’s cake was in the exact shape of a cowboy’s hat to go with their theme.

Everything was decorated perfectly for this special day, and flower arrangements were everywhere.

Southerners know how to socialize with the best of foods, and Jared and Tracey’s wedding was no exception. They had root beer floats and barbecue, along with many other sweets.

Jared and Tracey have known each other for years, and both attended Central Alabama Community College together.

They both were in the nursing program there, but didn’t keep in touch when Tracey moved away to Jacksonville State University and graduated in accounting.

“I finished up there and moved back to Columbiana, which I said I would never move back here. I’m glad I did now,” Tracey said.

Soon after she moved home, they happened to run into each other, and soon after that Jared wrote her saying, short and to the point, “Girl, where have you been all my life?”

Neither one of them wanted a serious relationship so they casually dated for a while.

“I guess that’s all that it took. Then with all of the hanging out and having fun, we fell in love,” Tracey said.

While she was gone on a business trip to Seattle in January, Jared talked to her parents, and on Jan. 23, he popped the question.

“I was in shock for the first 24 hours because I didn’t have a clue that he had a ring or was even planning anything,” Tracey said.

They went to Gatlinburg, Tenn., for their honeymoon, and plan on moving to Shelby and starting their lives together.

Kennedy Tolbert can be reached at