SIKESTON - Leslie Nicole Schaefer and Michael Vincent Ballard were united in marriage in a 7 p.m. ceremony May 3, 2003, at the First Assembly of God Church. The Rev. Allen Basham performed the double-ring ceremony.
Five candelabra and a unity candle were decorated with royal blue ribbon and white tulle and greenery in the front of the sanctuary. The stained glass windows held white baskets of greenery and royal blue ribbon. Aisles were decorated with royal blue ribbon and white tulle bows. Two large bouquets of white roses and belladonna flanked the front of the sanctuary in memory of loved ones who have passed away.
The bride is the daughter of Terry and Davene Schaefer of Sikeston and Donald Francis of Cape Girardeau. She is the granddaughter of J.D. and Corrine Schaffer, Murl Francis and the late Ralph Francis and Elizabeth Schaefer and the late Joseph Schaefer.
The bridegroom is the son of Ben and Cynthia Ballard of Gainesville, Fla., and grandson of Courtney Brown, Gwen Smith and the late Eugene Smith.
Piano music was provided by Brenda Hale, aunt of the bride. A piano and guitar duet, "True Companion" was performed and sung by Jon Moore and Don Francis.
The bride was escorted by her father, Terry Schaefer as the "Feather Theme from Forrest Gump" was played. She wore a white gown, designed by Michaelangelo, which featured a corseted satin bodice with beaded pearl trim, complemented with a flowing chiffon skirt and long sheer bell sleeves. A tiara made with pearls and rhinestones secured her fingertip veil. Her bridal bouqet of white roses and stephanotis was wrapped in platinum ribbon.
Matron of honor was Dedrie Jordan of Sikeston. Bridesmaids were Tanya Chernow of Orange County, Calif., Tei Batson of Warner Robbins, Ga., and Joy Andrick of Virginia Beach, Va. Their long black satin dresses were complemented with elbow length black satin gloves and a black satin scarf draped around the neck. They carried bouquets of white tulips wrapped in platinum ribbon. They wore jewelry given to them as a gift from the bride. The bridesmaids' processional music was Pachebel's "Canon in D."
Lighting candles at the front of the sanctuary to "Ribbon in the Sky" was Terri Schaefer, sister of the bride, who also served as program attendant and handed bags of bird seed to guests. She wore a tea length black lace dress with satin rosettes with a wrist corsage of white roses. Her pearl necklace was a gift from her sister.
Mackenzie Jordan of Sikeston, friend of the bride, was flower girl. She wore a floor length white satin dress designed with spaghetti straps which featured a beaded bodice and full satin skirt. She wore white lace gloves and carried a white and royal blue basket of white rose petals.
Ben Ballard served his son as best man. Groomsmen were Chris Bryant of Chester, Va., friend of the bridegroom; Donald Francis, father of the bride; and Martin Schaefer of Sikeston, brother of the bride, who also served as an usher. Also serving as usher was Eric Francis of Cape Girardeau, brother of the bride.
The groomsmen, father of the bride and ushers wore black tuxedos with notch lapels and platinum vests and Windsor ties with white rose boutonnieres. The bridegroom wore a black tuxedo with white vest and Windsor tie. He wore a stephanotis boutonniere.
Ring bearer was Aaron Jordan of Sikeston, friend of the bride. Dressed identical to the bridegroom, he carried a white satin heart-shaped pillow made by the bride's mother and grandmother, Elizabeth Schaefer.
A video presentation of the couple was shown with musical accompaniment, "In My Life."
Robyn Bryant of Springfield, cousin of the bride, was guestbook attendant.
A reception held at the Best Western Coach House Inn was hosted and catered by Kelly McBenge of Sikeston. Jon Madison of South Bend, Ind., served as DJ for the evening.
The couple was honored with a wedding shower by the ladies of the First Assembly of God Church, hosted by Amy Whitten, Jane Whitten, Sharon Bryant, Latina Hampton and Kerry Moore.
Following a wedding trip to Memphis, Tenn., the couple is making their home in Gainesville.