Ashley Brooke Whisonant of Lexington and Justin Robert Bell of Aiken were united in marriage Aug. 26 at Holland Avenue Baptist Church in Cayce. The Rev. Dow Welsh officiated the 6 o’clock ceremony.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. William and Mrs. Deloris Whisonant of Lexington. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Mary Ellen Whisonant and the late Mr. Forest Whisonant of Rock Hill and the late Mr. Brady and Mrs. Lillian Ligon of Blacksburg. She earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from the University of South Carolina and is pursuing a master’s degree in education, scheduled to graduate in April from Southern Wesleyan University. She is employed with Lexington-Richland School District 5 as a second-grade teacher.
The groom is the son of Mrs. DiAnn Bell and the late Mr. James Robert “Robbie” Bell Jr. of Aiken. He is the grandson of Mrs. Carolyn Fletcher of Walterboro and the late Mr. Barney Todd of Charleston and the late Mr. James Robert Bell Sr. and Mrs. Diane Donovan Bell of Aiken. After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, he is employed with Bridgestone Tires as a machine technician.
The bride was escorted by her father and given in marriage by her parents. Organist Mrs. Stacey Arnold, pianist Ms. Emily Lipscombe, harpist Miss Mary Grace Heustess, and soloists Mr. Kevin and Mrs. Joeli Mulligan provided music.
Maid of honor was Laura Wilburn of Batesburg. Matron of honor was Kayla Moss Gaut of Blacksburg. Bridesmaids were Lindsey Moss of Blacksburg and Stephanie O’Bryan Preuss of Cumming, Georgia. Junior bridesmaids were Brittany McDaniel and Madison McDaniel, both of Blacksburg, and Meredith Proctor and Jordan Proctor, both of Valdosta, Georgia. Alexa Gregory of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, and Emerson Proctor of Charleston were flower girls. Honorary bridesmaids were Shari Brooks Whisonant of Columbia and Heather Goldman of Aiken.
Best man was Eric Proctor of Valdosta. Groomsmen were Todd Proctor of Charleston, Judson Preuss of Cumming, and Matthew Quattlebaum of Greenville. Braxton Gaut and Isaac Lanier, both of Blacksburg, were ring bearers. Junior groomsmen were Leighton Proctor of Valdosta and Grayson Proctor of Charleston. Sign bearer was Landon Daves of Blacksburg. Usher was Zeke Whisonant of Columbia.
A reception followed at the Hall at Senate’s End.
After their honeymoon in Asheville, North Carolina, the couple will reside in Lexington.
In their own words
Q: How did you meet?
A: The couple met through their best friends, Josh and Anna, who were dating at the time.
Q: Tell us about the proposal.
A: Justin proposed at Middleton Place Plantation in Charleston, in front of a beautiful tree on the Ashley River. The couple visited this location years before and fell in love with the plantation and the special tree.
Q: What part of the wedding day are you most looking forward to?
A: Justin and Ashley look forward to starting their lives together in the same town since they have been dating long-distance for nine years!
Q: How did you choose the venue where you will be married?
A: The venue, Holland Avenue Baptist, is the church where Ashley has grown up and Justin now attends with her.
Q: What was the significance of the music played during your ceremony?
A: The songs were chosen by Justin and Ashley together. Some were favorite hymns, and others were special wedding songs they have heard in other family members’ weddings.
Q: Will you have something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue? What are they?
A: Ashley used an embroidered handkerchief from her late grandmother, wore a new dress and shoes borrowed from her sister-in-law, and painted her toenails turquoise (close enough to blue) to match her bridesmaids’ dresses.