Archived Story

Tate, Merrill exchange vows

Published 5:44pm Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sara Elizabeth Tate, daughter of Tom and Marilyn Tate of Fuquay-Varina, N.C., and Robert David Merrill, son of Garey and Ruth Gayle Cost Abrahams of Lake Charles, La., and Dr. Max Merrill of Hartselle were married March 4, 2012, at 11 a.m. at the historic mill at Fine Creek in Powhatan, Va.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert David Merrill

The Rev. Dudley Callison of Littleton, Colo., officiated and served the couple the Lord’s Supper from goblets made of white marble mined in Afghanistan, a personal gift from the groom to his bride.

The bride’s grandparents are Frank and Evelyn Lott of Fredericksburg, Va., and Roy Tate of Randolph, Va., and the late Blanche Tate.

The groom’s grandparents are the late Bill and Ruth Cost and the late Full and Landis Merrill, all of Hartselle.

The bride was given in marriage by her parents.

She wore an ivory A-line, re-embroidered Chantilly lace gown with a princess cut waistline, redesigned by the bride and Fay Honeycutt of Enchanting Moments. The gown featured a sweetheart bodice with a soft V-neck lace overlay, a low V-back trimmed with lace and a chapel length train. Her fingertip-length veil was silk illusion with a pencil edge. She wore a gold locket belonging to her late grandmother, Blanche Tate, and South Sea pearl drop earrings, a personal gift from her parents, brought by her brother and his wife from the Philippines.

She carried a hand-tied bouquet of lily of the valley and wax flower and a white handkerchief tatted with blue lace by her friend, Elaine Gan.

Matron of honor was Heather Dixon, friend of the bride, of Knightdale, N.C. Bridesmaids were Arlene Tate, sister-in-law of the bride, of Fuquay-Varina, N.C; Brooke Tate, sister-in-law of the bride, of Hendersonville, N.C.; Sarah McIntosh, cousin of the bride, of Frederick-sburg, Va.; and Gayle Anne Merrill, niece of the groom, of Sulphur, La.

Each attendant wore seaside aqua dresses of Dupioni silk, designed by Alfred Sung, and carried a hand-tied bouquet of spring flowers.

Flower girl was Naomi Grace Tate, the bride’s niece, of Fuquay-Varina, N.C. She wore a full length dress of white Dupioni silk with rose buds embroidered on the shoulders.

The groom wore a navy suit with gold tie and silver monogrammed cufflinks, a personal gift from the bride.

Best man was Garey Abrahams, stepfather of the groom. Groomsmen were Josh Tate of Fuquay-Varina, N.C.; Andrew Tate of Hendersonville, N.C. and Nicholas Tate of Fuquay-Varina, N.C., all brothers of the bride.

Everett Tate, the bride’s nephew, of Henderson-ville, N.C., served as ring bearer. He carried a heart- shaped pillow used in the bride’s parents’ wedding.

Groomsmen and the ring bearer wore matching navy suits with aqua ties.

Smyrna Moughabghab of Beirut, Lebanon and Evonne Clapper of Fort Myers, Fla., read scripture from Genesis 2 and Hebrews 11. The bride’s pastor and friend, Dale Hewitt, of Fredericksburg, Va., offered a prayer of blessing over the couple.

Program attendants were Gloria Cooley of Chicago, Ill., and Rachael Hill of Forth Worth, Texas.

Norman and Marie Janes of Lake Charles, La., attended the registry.

Gaynelle Chewning Scott, aunt of the bride, coordinated the wedding events and ceremony, and Frank Jett Jr., uncle of the bride, acted as master of ceremonies.

Anna Tate, cousin of the bride, arranged flowers.

Music was provided by David and Rebekah Hislop, Dr. Paul McIntosh and Heather Dixon. The couple and wedding party recessed to a joy rendition of “O Happy Day,” performed by the Black Awakening Choir of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Parents of the bride hosted Sunday brunch immediately following the ceremony.

Music during the reception was provided by String Shift, a jazz trio from Maryland. The couple danced their first dance to “At Last,” sung by Marisa Gourley of Fredericksburg, Va.

The couple enjoyed a honeymoon in the great outdoors of West Virginia along the New River Gorge. They are in search of their next adventure together.

Prenuptial parties:

•The groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner in the garden room at Bellgrade Manor in Midlothian, Va., on Fri., March 2.

• The bride’s luncheon was hosted at the home of Gaynelle Scott, Dawn Riley and Susanna Jett, and her cousin, Sarah McIntosh.

•A bridal tea shower was given by the bride’s sisters-in-law, Arlene and Brooke Tate, and Heather Dixon, in her hometown.

• A bridal shower was given in the home of Marie Hertle of Fredericksburg, Va., by her friends, Marie Hertle, Brooke Peters, Lisa Ross, Denise Layne, Marisa Gourley and Lisa Stolzfus.

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