SIKESTON -- Tonia Renee' Pennington and John William Pillers were united in marriage during a 4 p.m. ceremony March 13, 2004, in the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church. The Rev. William Koch, pastor, officiated.
As "Trumpet Voluntary" by Clarke played in the background, the bride was escorted down the aisle by her mother, Mrs. Dorothy Pennington, and together they lighted a candle at the altar in memory of the bride's father, the late Mr. Robert N. Pennington.
Carrying a bouquet of pink tulips, the bride wore an Alfred Angelo organza gown featuring a flowing A-line skirt, cap sleeves, scoop neckline, carriage back, and beaded schiffli and Venetian lace complimented by a cathedral-length split train. The bride's French bandeau of pearls and crystals, a gift from the bridegroom, secured a hand-sewn beaded fountain veil of illusion which was created by the bride's mother.
She chose as her maid of honor Ms. Lynda Muench of Sikeston. Bridesmaid was Mrs. Janet Boner, also of Sikeston. Both wore two-piece baby pink matte satin Eden Bridals dresses which were softly embellished with beading and featured spaghetti straps and sheer floor-length flowing A-line skirts. Each carried long-stemmed pink tulips.
The bridegroom, son of Ms. Patricia Pillers of Sparta, Ill., and Mr. William Pillers of Baldwin, Ill., wore a Chaps Ralph Lauren Somerset charcoal grey peak lapel cutaway tuxedo with hickory stripe pleated trousers which was complimented with a dove grey vest and pin dot ascot tie.
He chose as his best man Mr. Greg Schuller of Peoria, Ill., whose attire matched that of the bridegroom. Ushers were Mr. Clay Robertson of Marshfield and Mr. Marty Boner of Sikeston.
Ceremony coordinator was Mrs. Janet Gerlach of Sparta, sister of the bridegroom. Candlelighters for the event were Ms. Abbey Gerlach and Ms. Mallory Levery of Sparta, nieces of the bridegroom. Miss Chelsey Levery and Miss Katie Gerlach of Sparta, nieces of the bridegroom, distributed programs to guests. Guests were invited to engrave their names on a silver tray under the direction of Ms. Jo Levery of Sparta, sister of the bridegroom. Special assistance was provided by Mrs. Jo Ann Deere and Mrs. Barbara Blanton of Sikeston.
The altar centerpiece was created by combining pink tulips, stargazer lilies and various shades of pink roses intertwined with ivy, which was also the floral theme that adorned each of the 10-piece candelabras.
Mr. Steve Clinton of Sikeston, music coordinator for the ceremony, provided piano music as guests entered the sanctuary. At the start of the ceremony he and Mrs. Lori Templeton of Sikeston sang a duet to "I Do" by Stegall and Hill.
As the mothers were seated, Mrs. Susan Vowels of Sikeston and Steve Clinton sang a duet to "Only God Could Love You More" by Borap and Liles.
After guests were greeted by the Rev. William Koch, special letters were read. Mrs. Terri Matthews of Sikeston, friend of the bride, read a letter written by the bride to the bridegroom and a letter written by the bridegroom to the bride was read by the best man.
Ms. Vicki Eister of Coconut Grove, Fla., cousin of the bride, read 1 Corinthians 12:4-13. "Marriage Prayer" was read by Terri Matthews. The Rev. Sandra Schaller of St. Louis, friend of the couple, read "On Marriage." "Two Candles" by Salsbury was sung by Susan Vowels, who was accompanied by Steve Clinton.
"I Knew I Loved You Before I Met You" by Savage Garden was played during the lighting of the unity candle, after which the congregation was invited to sing "Surely the Presence of the Lord."
After the introduction of the couple, the new Mr. and Mrs. Pillers presented a rose to each of their mothers as Lori Templeton, accompanied on the guitar by Steve Clinton, sang "Wind Beneath My Wings."
Following the ceremony, the couple greeted their guests at the pews as "My Heart Will Go On," "I'm A Believer," "This Kiss," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "I Got You Babe" played in the background.
A dinner and dance reception followed at Raudmont Inn in Miner, where music was provided by Pro Music. The rehearsal dinner was hosted by the bridegroom's father at Bo's Barbecue and Grill.
The couple took a honeymoon trip to St. Charles.
The bride was the guest of honor at several showers including a salad luncheon which was hosted on Feb. 14 by Lynda Muench and Marie Muench at the home of Marie Muench. On Feb. 29, a bridal shower was given in Sparta by the bridegroom's family. Also on Feb. 29, the couple was given a surprise shower by their Sunday school classes.
The bride was the guest of honor at a luncheon hosted by Mrs. Frances White, Mrs. Mildred Gallagher, Mrs. Mary Marshall and Mrs. Sara Bennett on March 6 at Susie's Bake Shoppe.
On the day of the wedding a bridal luncheon was hosted by Mrs. Mary Ann McSpadden of Sikeston and Mrs. Gina Young Newton of Arlington, Va., at Susie's Bake Shoppe.
The bride is a student at Southeast Missouri State University. She plans to graduate with an Early Childhood Education degree in Spring 2005.
The bridegroom is a copy editor at the Southeast Missourian newspaper in Cape Girardeau.