I Do, at Last
updated 09/24/2007 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/24/2007 AT 01:00 AM EDT
It was a romance that took time to simmer. The couple, both 30, first met almost 12 years ago when Nichols was a young singer working the club scene—including the Rio Palm Isle in Longview, Texas, owned by Singleton's father, Max. He urged his daughter to go see Nichols perform, and the two began an on-and-off romance that college, careers (she was in pharmaceutical sales) and other relationships kept from becoming serious. "The timing was always wrong," says Singleton.
Until last winter, when, after a breakup, Singleton turned to Nichols for friendship. By spring he was on his knee in his backyard, armed with champagne and a three-carat diamond ring. "I am so happy," he told her. "The only thing that would make me happier is if you marry me." To which she responded: "Really?"
Really, really. After the ceremony the guests went to the local Mansion on Forsyth Park hotel. The newlyweds, meanwhile, stole a few minutes alone in a horse-drawn carriage ride around the grounds. At the reception they had their first dance to "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," and later Nichols serenaded his bride with his 2002 ballad "That Would Be Her." At midnight guests tossed rose petals while the couple headed off as Mr. and Mrs. in a 1938 Buick Special McLaughlin. "They fell in love when they were kids," says bridesmaid Hannah Sanford, "but they love the person each other has become."
Kay West in Savannah