Media Marriages
Rhonal Heady & Maria Gum

Text by Holly McAlister
Photography by Leigh Photography

Heady / Gum WeddingGum, reporter for WLKY, met Rhonal Heady, a city official, in June of 2002, just two months after she’d movedMaria to Louisville. Engaged eight short months later in February, 2003, at the lot they’d purchased for their future home together, theyHeady / Gum Wedding were wed just five months after that. “Believe it or not,” says Maria, “planning a wedding in that time was not as difficult as I had expected it to be, and we had everything finished weeks in advance!”

The couple was married on July 26, 2003, in the Gardencourt at the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, a rose garden ceremony with an indoor reception.

Heady / Gum WeddingChoosing red, terra cotta, and sari (orange) roses with green bupleurum and lemon leaves, Maria’s choice of flowers complemented the bridesmaids’ deep red taffeta dresses.

Maria selected her wedding gown off the rack, given that a short engagement period can often make a custom order nearly impossible. It needed quite a few alterations, but once it was completed, the gown was more beautiful than Maria had ever thought possible. Heady / Gum Wedding

Maria wore a three-tiered veil--cathedral length, fingertip length, and elbow length--made by a local seamstress. Keeping the wedding unique, creative, and special--not to mention affordable--Maria made many details herself, including the three-strand crystal and pearl choker, matching earrings, and tiara. Also handmade were the bridesmaids’ jewelry and the guests’ favors--seed packets filled with flower seeds, tied up with sheer ribbon and a special poem.

Heady / Gum WeddingIt’s often difficult to choose just one favorite special moment of the day...

Maria remembers that, before the wedding, the photographer took a photo of the bridal couple holding hands with a door between them, so that Ron wouldn’t see his bride before they walked down the aisle. Their hands were shaking with nervous, emotional excitement. Also significant to Maria was when, right before she walked down the aisle, her maid of honor and her father gave her Heady / Gum Weddinghugs that she vows that she’ll never forget. But most of all, Maria will always remember Ron's face as they looked into each other's eyes as they met at the altar--or the fountain, rather--where they both tried to hold back their tears. “It was one of the most amazingly beautiful things I had ever seen,” recalls Maria.

The entire weekend of being surrounded by the love of friends and family made Maria and Ron realize just how truly blessed they are to have such wonderful people in their lives. And now, they are even more blessed to have each other.

Heady / Gum Wedding Heady / Gum Wedding Heady / Gum Wedding

  Kelvin Hanger & Abby Miller
Text by Holly McAlister
Photography by Wettig Photography
  Hanger / Miller WeddingPulling off the Miller-Hanger wedding was more stressful than any breaking news live shot Abby had ever done at WLKY. That said, it was also the most amazing and enjoyable event she had ever been a part of.

Married on October 11, 2003, at St. Matthew’s Baptist Church in Louisville, the couple was wed by Dr. Leslie Hollen, who referred to their union as the “big story of the day.” In an interesting twist, Abby’s good friend Tracy West Gardner, a reporter for WHAS, and her husband Bill, were in their wedding party. It was the one day that Tracy didn’t mind that Abby was the lead!Hanger / Miller Wedding

Several unique additions to an otherwise traditional wedding included a video montage of Kelvin’s and Abby’s baby photos along with photos from their courtship, accompanied by the song “The Keeper of the Stars.” One of the readings was a poem that Abby’s grandfather had written to her grandmother, a special way to include Abby’s father in part of the wedding, though he passed away the summer before.

Hanger / Miller WeddingThe wedding wasn’t without the typical glitches that make for great stories. At the last minute, Abby’s sister was unable to serve as her maid of honor, so best friend Kristina Gregory stepped in. Having flown in from Dallas and being unfamiliar with the Louisville area, she was unable to get around town by herself. So, just a couple of hours before the wedding, Abby herself drove Kristina to Patrecia’s For Brides, where they had purchased the wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses. The store’s owner Brigitte Lococo jumped into action, putting Kristina in a store room to change while a wonderful seamstress by the name of Mildred took Abby’s sister’s dress apart and completely remade it to fit Kristina – all an hour or two before the service was to start.Hanger / Miller Wedding

The reception was held at the Louisville Boat Club and was equally as unique as the ceremony. There were seldom-seen extras like a chocolate fountain, where guests could dip marshmallows, strawberries, and other goodies; there was a mashed potato bar where several kinds of mashed potatoes were served in martini glasses with decadent toppings.

Abby has always loved ladybugs, so their wedding cake, made by Plehn’s Bakery, was pure white, accented with white stargazer lilies and little sugar ladybugs that Abby’s mother found at a bakery in northern Virginia. Because Kelvin is a graduate of the University of Louisville, the groom’s cake had a large cardinal in the center.

Hanger / Miller WeddingAnother of the bride’s mother’s unique finds, this time on the internet, was confetti with images of Kelvin and Abby on each piece, strewn all over the tables. Several friends have confessed that they still keep a few pieces of the confetti in their wallets or purses.

Many of Abby’s coworkers from Newschannel 32 attended the wedding and reception, giving Abby and Kelvin the same strong support they’d given the couple during their three-year courtship. Hanger / Miller Wedding

The newlyweds left Louisville the following morning, bright and early, and headed for the Mayan Riviera, where they stayed at Occidental Royal Hideaway, a five-star resort that certainly lived up to its reputation. In fact, the couple is already trying to come up with a way to go back again soon.

Kelvin is an administrator for Medical Heights Surgery Center in Lexington, Kentucky, commuting each day so that Abby can continue her work at WLKY Newschannel 32.
Hanger / Miller Wedding Abby opted to keep her maiden name for on-air purposes – after more than four years in the community, it’s the name that people tend to know. Abby laughs at the confusion the two last names can cause: “I admit that it’s hard to remember to say ‘Abby Hanger’ in my private life, and at times Kelvin has actually been addressed as Mr. Miller.” Still, all in all, they’re adjusting to life rather well as a married couple.

  Joe Arnold & Whitney Thacker
Text by Holly McAlister
Photography by Riherd Portait Designs
  Arnold / Thacker WeddingThe moment they took each others’ hand…

Joe Arnold, co-anchor of Good Morning Kentuckiana and reporter for WHAS-TV, and Whitney Thacker, an attorney in private practice in Louisville, were wed on September 6, 2003 in an intimate morning wedding at First Baptist Church in Owensboro, Kentucky.

“The moment I took Whitney's hand [was the most special moment of the day]. In that instant, all the dizzying wedding preparations melted away,” said Joe. When askedArnold / Thacker Wedding what her favorite moment was, Whitney replied, "When Joe grasped my elbow firmly as I walked up the steps, to assure me that I wouldn't stumble.”

Whitney wore an ivory strapless Vera Wang gown with a sheer organza overlay that swept to one side and cascaded to the floor. It was especially breathtaking when she and Joe faced each other to take their vows and the subtle details of the Arnold / Thacker Weddingdress could be seen by the guests. Whitney wore a pearl tiara and simple shoulder-length veil, while she carried a bouquet of small orchids and miniature hydrangeas surrounded by aromatic herbs of lamb's ear, basil, and rosemary.

As it was a morning wedding, Joe and his best man, brother Rick Arnold, wore navy suits and tailored Brooks Brother's ties. Whitney's sister and matron of honor, Ashley Thacker Welch, wore a dill green silk duchess satin gown from The Worth Collection. Whitney's young cousin Eleanor Wilmes was the flower girl, while Joe's nephew and godson Matthew Stauder was the ringbearer. The children wore coordinating Strasburg Children’s outfits.

Arnold / Thacker WeddingThe wedding programs were covered with a sheet of vellum paper in a fern pattern and tied with a green satin ribbon. A quartet sang several songs accompanied by a violin, flute, oboe, and organ. Dr. Garry Baldwin and Fr. Jack McEvilly officiated the ceremony.

The fresh herb and fern theme continued throughout the reception, as round tables were topped with green-on-green linen table coverings with fern prints. Each centerpiece was a garden-like urn of ferns and assorted white flowers.Arnold / Thacker Wedding

Arnold / Thacker WeddingThe noon brunch reception featured crabcakes, Oysters Rockefeller, country ham and beaten biscuits, fresh fruits, quiches ,and assorted breads and pastries from Great Harvest. At a unique grits bar, guests selected either buttery or cheesy grits served in martini glasses and topped with their choice of seafood, grilled vegetables, or spicy sausage.

Pale green satin ribbon and freshly cut hydrangeas complemented the four-tier wedding cake. Because the groom is an avid baseball fan, a special chocolate groom’s cake fashioned to look like a baseball mitt was on an accompanying table, surrounded by baseball cupcakes, popcorn,Arnold / Thacker Wedding peanuts, and of course, Cracker Jacks.

Louisville's Steve Crews Trio provided light jazz for the reception, and wedding guests threw rose petals from parchment cones as Whitney and Joe departed.

Arnold / Thacker WeddingThe bride and groom spent their wedding night at the Seelbach Hilton before flying out the next day for a two week honeymoon in the Pacific Northwest and a cruise to Alaska


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