Aubrey Maynard and Cole Grimes
December 2, 2023
How did you meet?
We technically met at the Four States Fair and Rodeo in 2021. I was invited by friends to go with a big group. I didn't know everyone that was coming that night but one of them was Cole. Cole came over and sat down, and we talked the entire rodeo. I thought, "Wow! How has this guy been down the road from me, and I have never known him?" Sadly, I was planning to move to Fayetteville, Arkansas, a few weeks after the rodeo took place. However, I was invited by my bridesmaid, Hannah Phillips, to go to the lake on the 4th of July with Cole and his family. Little did I know, this was all part of a master plan. Turns out, Cole also enjoyed getting to know me at the rodeo and asked Hannah to invite me to the lake. The rest is history. Cole and I haven't gone a day without each other since that weekend. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Hannah and the Four States Fair and Rodeo for making this love story happen!
What drew you to each other?
Cole and I have a lot in common. Our love for the Arkansas Razorbacks, country music, and our love and appreciation for our small-town roots drew us together, but the most significant thing would be how much we value family. We both grew up next door to our grandparents, and our aunts and uncles live down the road. It was so important that we honored our grandparents, who couldn't be there with us on that day. Cole's grandad, Bob Furlow, and my grandad, Billy Black, played significant roles in our lives. Although Cole never got to meet my "D-Daddy" and I never got to meet his "Bob," we like to believe they had a hand in Cole and me being together. Both married to our grandmothers for 60 years, and we wanted to honor them at our wedding and marriage.
Tell us about the proposal.
I was completely caught off guard, but it could not have been more perfect. I had no idea that Cole had been to talk to my dad a few days prior and that he was planning a very sweet, simple proposal, just the two of us in a place that was very special to him. Cole told me he wanted to go for a ride on the Ranger like we had done many times before. I complained and said it was too hot, but he persisted, so I reluctantly agreed to go. I still had on my work clothes, and my hair was a mess! It could not have been more perfect! I'm so glad I went!!!
Tell us about your wedding party. Who was in it, and why?
I think our wedding party was unique in that a lot of the members' significant others were also in the wedding. This wasn't done on purpose, but because we genuinely really are all friends. My Maid of Honor was my sister, Caroline Maynard. Although we couldn't be more different, there isn't anyone I am prouder of. Cole's best man was Walker Morton. Cole would consider him the closest thing he has to a brother. They have grown up a street apart, and still, both live only one street apart. Most people know they come as a package deal. Ellen Womack, Madison Haltom, and Hannah Haltom were my bridesmaids that I would consider my forever best friends. These are the girls who have been with me through every life moment, big or small, and wouldn't have missed this one. I feel so lucky to have called them my friends for the last twenty years. Cole also had many childhood friends as his groomsmen. Austin Cross, Bryson Haskins, Ty Cobb, Charlie Trammell, and Daniel Coy. These five all went to school together from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Fun fact: Cole's childhood bestie, Austin Cross, dates my childhood bestie, Madison Haltom. We set them up! Next are my newer friends, Hannah Phillips and Ally Morton. Ally and I went to Pleasant Grove together, and I met Hannah in 2020. Not only have I always loved them, but they are also very important people to Cole. Ally is married to Cole's best man, Walker, and Hannah's boyfriend was one of Cole's groomsmen. Hannah's boyfriend and cousin would be the two groomsmen Cole would consider his newer friends, Kolten McCoy and Josh Griffith. Finally, Molly Black and Colyn Grimes are girls from my family. Molly is my cousin, but we were raised like sisters. Colyn is Cole's sister, and I wanted her to be honored for the role she played in Cole's life. Our Ushers were all either family members or friends we also wanted to honor. They were Brook Black, Cade Cobb, Conner Patterson, and John Morris Deal. Last but certainly not least, we have the Flower Girl and Ring-Bearer. Rosemary and James Deal. I call Rosemary my "firstborn." We have been dreaming of this day for a long time. Rosemary thanked everyone for coming to "her showers" and "her big day." I was thrilled to get to share this day with her. On the other hand, James had to be bribed many times but had so much fun playing catch with the groomsman. Their dad, Cody Deal, was the officiant, and their mom, Ali Deal, was a major part of the entire planning process and the last seven years of my life. She was escorted by her son, John Morris.
What was your favorite part of your wedding?
It is so hard for Cole and I to decide what our favorite part of the day was. One thing is for sure: Cole and I love to have fun. Getting to share this day with our favorite people is something we are so grateful for. The dance floor was packed all night until it was time for our private dance. We danced to one of our favorite songs, "Blues Man" By Alan Jackson. One of our favorite things to do together is ride back roads and listen to classic country music. We always save "Blues Man" for last. The last dance was a highlight.
Were there any unique challenges when planning your wedding?
Honestly, there weren't. All Cole and I cared about was marrying each other and our guests having FUN! This is also coming from the perspective of a bride who lets her "team" handle most of the details. They could have a different answer, but I think they would agree I was a laid-back bride, too laid back at times. From the moment we got engaged until the big day, my mom, my aunt Melinda Black, and family friend Ali Deal handled all of it. They are the brains, organization, and creativity behind it all, but the memories made while planning mean so much more. We also asked Terri Court to coordinate the day of. Terri is a great friend of mine, and with her attention to detail and planning, everything ran so smoothly on the wedding day. It couldn't have happened without all four of these ladies.
Were there any unique features of your wedding that made it different from traditional weddings?
There were several things we felt were unique simply because they were very special to us. Our wedding cake topper was the same one my D-Daddy and Gran used on their cake 62 years ago, and my mom and dad used it 28 years ago. We also used the same champagne glasses and flower girl basket that were used in my parent's wedding. Although Julie's Deli is no stranger to wedding catering, it was extremely special to us that Julie and her fabulous crew did all of our cakes and food since she is Cole's aunt and very dear to him. A few other things that I LOVED about our wedding were the elegant tartan tablecloths (thank you, Claire!), the beautiful Christmas trees (thanks to Tina and Joni for hours of fluffing branches), and our fabulous Santa Clause, Connor Patterson.
Did you go on a honeymoon? Where?
Yes! We went to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic!
What makes your love story special?
We were immediately drawn to each other and realized that we had so much in common and shared many of the same goals for our futures. Our family and friends all told me within weeks of meeting each other that we were meant to be. Cody even mentioned at our wedding that after meeting Cole for the first time, he told Ali, "That's the one!" When you have that feeling that this is your person, and it's validated by those you love the most, it's a special thing!
What about your life together are you most excited about?
We are just excited about doing normal, everyday life together—making a home together, growing spiritually together, and being there for each other through all of life's journeys. We look forward to celebrating our family and friends' big moments and making lifelong memories!
Bride's Parents—Justin and Susan Maynard
Groom's Parents—Wes Grimes and Sherry Grimes
Wedding location—Ramage Farms
Reception location—Ramage Farms
Flowers—The Village Floral
Décor—Melinda Black, Ali Deal, and Susan Maynard
Dress—Graceyn Elizabeth Bride
Hair—Ali Deal, Ally Morton
Makeup—Kayla Lewis Beauty
Band/DJ—DJ Derrick-Fayetteville, AR