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Phyllis & Jimmy Poole

Phyllis & Jimmy Poole

As a young girl, you plan what you think will be your perfect wedding day and, of course, over the years your plans change; you tweak those childhood thoughts. Imagine doing this for several decades. Imagine a 43-year-old woman planning her first and only wedding. Phyllis Poole lived just that.

“I knew God could bring me His best but I didn't know if He would,” Phyllis explained. “I didn't know if He wanted me to remain single because I could do more for Him with my time.”

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After finally meeting her one true love, Phyllis got to plan the dream wedding for which she had waited so long.


“I'd rather go so long to end up with the right guy rather than settle for someone less than par. Who knew he would be living right across the river from me,” Phyllis said.


Phyllis, who is originally from Fort Smith, was introduced to husband Jimmy Poole of Van Buren through mutual friends. After a yearlong dating relationship, Jimmy popped the question and the wedding planning began.


Fall was the next season available for the wedding, due to Jimmy finishing his master's degree. “I have always loved the colors of fall and, heck, I wasn't going to wait any longer to get married,” Phyllis laughed.

The planning ensued.


“I went ... looking for a bridal dress when I found my flower girl dresses. Those were the inspiration for my color scheme,” Phyllis explained. With the combination of burgundy, coral, sage and a dash of bronze, the color story was set.


“I encouraged her to be different and use colors that weren't common and that she loved. It just seemed to fit, the fact that there were four of us in the wedding we could each have our own color. The little girls’ dresses pulled it together,” said Phyllis' sister and wedding coordinator Sherry Goodrum.


Her sister and nieces were the matron and maids of honor and featured the colors of Phyllis' wedding in their dress selection.


Her choice of music also was inspired by family ties.


With a recording of herself singing a family favorite, “Bless this House,” Phyllis began the wedding on an emotional note. “I dedicated this song to my parents, grandparents, family and friends, and then ended it by telling Jimmy of my love for him and of how the words of the song, I prayed, would be the foundation of our marriage,” said Phyllis.


A choir special was at the heart of the wedding. Phyllis had spent many years in the choir and considered all of the members to be her friends.

Phyllis also included her father, Pastor Phil Whitten, and the pastor of her church at the time, the Rev. Kent Sweatman, who both officiated the wedding.


“For years, friends and family had teased her that she should have the Hallelujah Chorus played at her wedding because God had finally given her, her heart's desire,” Sherry laughed. So, as a joke on them and to celebrate what God had done, Phyllis and Jimmy marched out happily to the Hallelujah Chorus with the crowd applauding and standing in awe behind them.


Everything had gone according to plan: The music was beautiful, the colors were perfect and she was finally married to the love of her life. Her dream wedding had come true.

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Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine, Online