Bride: Tarvis Thompson, 39
Groom: Bryant Pace, 40
Occupations: Thompson, communications director; Pace, deputy district forest ranger
Wedding Date: November 18, 2011
Wedding Location: ceremony and reception: Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, Atlanta, GA
Second Impressions Newlyweds Tarvis and Bryant officially met 1990 while Tarvis was a freshman and Bryant was a sophomore at the University of Tennessee. But the two might as well have been strangers. “We knew each other simply because there weren’t many Black students on campus,” recalls Tarvis. “I knew who he was but that was it. And after he pledged Que I thought he was loud and obnoxious. This was based on watching him from a distance with his fraternity brothers,” she admits. Bryant agrees. “I knew who Tarvis was, but my blinders were on. She was quiet and when I sought attention by being loud and obnoxious, she was one of the few people who ignored me,” Bryant explains. Yet when the pair reconnected at their alma mater’s homecoming in the fall of 2009, they saw each other in a new light. Tarvis shares, “When we had our first conversation at homecoming, I learned he had matured and was quite a sweet, thoughtful Omega man; not just a Que Dog.”
Going the Distance Back in 2009, Bryant resided in Redding, California and Tarvis was based in Atlanta. “We didn’t exchange numbers until April 2010 through Facebook,” says Tarvis. She adds, “We had a lot of late night phone conversations (with a three-hour time difference) for two months before I went to visit him in July 2010. “We talked every day after our first phone call. I realized I loved her after her first visit to Redding. She was honest about what she wanted in a serious relationship. She was also confident and funny,” Bryant remembers. Tarvis too knew early on that what she and Bryant had was special. “During that visit, Bryant gave me sapphire earrings. (Sapphire is my birthstone.) He prayed with and for me the first night I stayed at his apartment. No one had ever done that with me.”
[All images by John Stephens of JAS Photography.]
In Sickness and In Health In 2008, Bryant suffered a massive stroke. “In August 2010, Bryant was given new medicine that his body rejected. From Atlanta, I had to endure listening to him fall in and out of consciousness. I remember asking my sister ‘Do you think God has finally brought someone in my life that I want to be with only for him to be taken away from me so soon?’ That’s when I knew I loved Bryant,” reveals Tarvis. Bryant continues, “She was compassionate for my stroke after effects but she didn’t baby me. I knew she could keep me on my toes and encourage me to be the best I can be. Tarvis ensures I eat right, exercise, take my medicine and have the right doctors. I know it’s a lot for her, but it has made us stronger. She’s my biggest cheerleader!” And so on May 12, 2011 with a sapphire and diamond ring in tow on the balcony of his apartment, Bryant asked his biggest cheerleader to become his wife. And she said yes.
And Baby Makes Three! The couple decided on a vintage soul theme for their big day and chose to wed in Atlanta where Bryant eventually relocated to join Tarvis. Over two hundred guests traveled to the ATL to celebrate second chances at love and life. The ceremony and reception was held at Callanwolde, a historic Tudor style mansion built in the 1920s. The pair included tangerine as a way of remembering that we met in college; the University of Tennessee where the school color is orange. “My favorite part of our ceremony was when my father escorted me down the aisle. This was the first time I saw everyone and all of the ceremony elements in place,” gushes Tarvis. Bryant shares, “My fave apart of the ceremony was when I saw Tarvis coming down the grand staircase. She was beautiful!” And now that the couple is expecting their first son? Bryant explains, “I’m looking forward to us becoming parents and bringing some of our business ideas to life so we can leave a legacy.”
Tarvis’s tips for saving money on your wedding day!
Flower Power: “If you can help it, don’t skimp on flowers. There is nothing worse than looking at photos and realizing how flowers could have closed up scenery gaps and added pops of color,” warns Tarvis.
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