Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…. What is the next line? Jaren Doby knows the answer, and fair warning: what he did will make you cry.
Bride: Courtney Doby, 35, registered nurse, a native of Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Groom: Jaren Doby, 36, licensed mental health therapist, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina
Currently residing in Charlotte, NC
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Wedding Date: May 7, 2021
Venue/Location: Champagne Manor Events, Monroe, NC
How They Met
(Jaren) We met in 2005. My fraternity was assisting with campus move-in at the UNC Greensboro, the college we both attended. I got called over by one of my fraternity brothers to help a family arriving from Winston Salem. It was Courtney’s family. She was a freshman and was moving into the dorm where I was a resident assistant. We helped her move her stuff into the dorm and I was telling her all the information about the dorm — how she could get help and what the lifestyle was like in a dormitory. I told her if she needed anything, she could always reach out to me. Over the course of the year, we developed a genuine friendship that turned into love.
This is “The One”
(Jaren) How did I Know Courtney was “the one”? It literally came to me in the middle of the night. I say that it was God talking to me, because that is my personal belief. He told me, “You need to marry this woman.” He didn’t say why she was my wife or what circumstances made her my wife. He just said “That is your wife; you need to be with this woman. You need to marry her.” I did not dispute or question it. I did not question myself or the circumstances. It was innate, like, it was in me. As soon as he spoke to me, I knew at that time that she would be my wife, and I followed suit, and I haven’t gotten fired on my day off yet. So, I’m doing pretty good.
(Jaren) Over 15 years ago, Courtney told me that if she ever got engaged, she wanted all her family and closest friends to be there. She didn’t want it to be at one of those tropical islands or at a restaurant with just the two of us. She wanted everybody there. I never ever forgot that.
Courtney had no idea what was about to happen. It was the day before her birthday. I had told her and our daughter to get dressed; we were going out for dinner. I got them in the car, and we were about to head to the venue where our family and friends were waiting. I kept stalling, telling Courtney I had forgotten something, because they weren’t finished. Finally, they called and said everything was ready.
I told Courtney and my daughter to blindfold themselves because where we were going was a surprise. When we got to the venue, I walk them in the door, and told them that on three, take the blindfolds off. One, two, three, they rip them off. Everybody was there yelling “surprise!” They started singing happy birthday to Courtney. She thought it was a surprise birthday party. After I gave a little speech, I propose to her. It was an event that literally lasted all night long. We had an amazing time.
Planning the Wedding
(Jaren) Wedding planning in the midst of Covid created so many different uncertainties. Are we going to be limited to a certain number of guests or be limited by what we can do? We really loved our wedding planner. She really helped us a lot with securing so many different things and was there for us every step along the way. That made things a lot less stressful.
I would say that the most stressful thing for the entire wedding was the guestlist. That was hard. Both of us have large families and with a fraternity and sorority, there were countless people we wanted to invite. I definitely earned a couple of gray hairs from that. Everything else went off without a hiccup.
(Jaren) From my perspective, the wedding day started with lots of nerves. I had several errands to run before the wedding. Then when I got to the hotel, Courtney and her bridal party were getting into the shuttle to go to the venue. Since I was not supposed to see the bride before the wedding, I quickly ducked down in my car and listened for the shuttle to leave before proceeding.
I remember getting called for the lineup. I remember standing there in front as everybody was coming down the aisle. Our daughter was our flower girl and watching her moved me to tears, but I held it together. As soon as they played the music for Courtney to come down, I remember getting on my tippy toes trying to peek around the corner just to see her. I wanted to make sure she was still coming. As soon as I caught a glimpse of her coming down the aisle with her father, I lost it. I was in full tears, trying to hold it together. She was just so beautiful! The closer she got, the more I cried. But when she got there to me, I just had the biggest smile on my face. I just couldn’t stop looking at her.
We wrote our own vows. After sharing our vows and receiving communion, we did something different. We had gotten a Bible safe and placed our vows within the safe. We put some things from the wedding in there also. On our wedding day, I gave my wife something special. You know what they say about the bride having something old, something new, something borrowed something blue? The entire quote is “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a sixpence in her shoe.” A sixpence is an old English coin, and the currency was put into the shoe of the bride to bring good luck. So, I actually found a sixpence and bought it for her. The year on the sixpence was the year that her mother was born. Courtney’s mother is deceased, having passed away when we were in college. I gave it to her at the altar, sharing a private moment just between us. Then we put it into the safe. We put things in there from our past – like photos, things that we had from the present, and of course, things that represented our future – things that we desire. It was a special and very intimate moment. We still have the safe locked up until further notice. On our anniversary, we’ll probably go in there and take a look
(Jaren) My most memorable moment of the wedding was seeing Courtney float down the aisle. I’ll never forget that. Everything disappeared. I never felt that before or knew what people were talking about when they say time stops and everything slows down. I never felt that before, except possibly the birth of our daughter, but that was far different. When she came around that corner and I saw her, everything else literally disappeared. I couldn’t hear the music. I couldn’t see the people; all I saw was her. It was like she was just floating on air, coming to me. I mean, it was like something that only dreams are made of, the moment of that day.
(Courtney) I would say the same for me. There was so much anticipation of walking down the aisle all day, and I was so nervous. I wanted to see him all day. Then, I finally got there, and they played the song and then I got to walk down the aisle. I saw him and he was crying. That was definitely the most memorable moment for me.
(Jaren) Jamaica was amazing. Neither of us had gone before. My best man and friend gifted the honeymoon to us as his wedding present. And oh my gosh, he made sure that we were taken care of. We did so many things we had never done before, like snorkeling, catamaran ride, swimming and dancing with the dolphins. We ate amazing food. My wife knows I’m an entertainer, so, when they had karaoke at the resort, I couldn’t help myself.
Advice to Others
(Courtney) I would definitely say get a great wedding planner. It helps a lot with stress and the process. Remember to be flexible, because some things will change. Also, we had moments where we would say, “Okay, for the rest of this week, we are not talking about the wedding.” Sometimes if it got stressful, we made sure that we did stuff together and put the wedding planning on the back burner for maybe the rest of the week.
Do you want to know the meaning of the symbols carried by many brides on their wedding day? It is based on a Victorian-era rhyme of English origin. Something old was to prevent infertility and protect future children. Something new brought hope and optimism for the future. Something borrowed was to bring the couple good luck. The item was supposed to be borrowed from someone who was happily married. Something blue symbolized purity, loyalty and fidelity. The sixpence was to be worn in the left shoe of the bride. This symbolized Prosperity.
The Groomsmen Touch By Walter, LLC