Getting married is an exciting experience for a couple, but Juanita Davis and Alexander Ealy took their wedding to new heights — by saying “I do” from inside a helicopter while flying over the area on Saturday.
The love-in-flight wedding started on the ground at Settles Point Event Center in Harker Heights, and was also streamed live via the internet.
The bride wore a beautiful white wedding dress with a purple veil, her favorite color, since it means peace. The groom wore a white tuxedo along with a black bow tie and an orange shirt, his favorite color, which means excitement.
It was the very first wedding ceremony from inside a helicopter in Killeen, said Renee Chamberlain, owner of Dream Event Planning. By far, this service was the most unusual in her 10 years as a wedding planner, she said.
“It was interesting, and a bit challenging, to have a traditional ceremony inside the helicopter, but we did it without any problems,” Chamberlain said.
Davis and Ealy got engaged in March 2016 after dating for two years. The main reason they decided to do a nontraditional wedding was a love for adventure.
“We took a helicopter ride before over town and said why not, let’s get married inside one,” Ealy said.
Before they took off, minister Valencia Blount conducted a brief unity service at an outdoor altar, where Davis and Ealy poured purple- and orange-colored sand into a container.
“We pray that your marriage will be as inseparable as these grains of sand,” Blount said.
Then the couple, and Blount, boarded the helicopter piloted by Joseph O’Rourke, owner of Freedom Air Helicopter in Killeen. The 10-minute flight passed over Stillhouse Hollow Lake as the sun started to set.
A crowd of about 60 family and friends, all dressed in white, watched the ceremony on their I-Phones and heard them exchange vows from a loudspeaker.
The couple wrote their own vows and Ealy said, “You’re like sweet nectar that keeps me hydrated.” Davis winged her vows, saying, “I know we’ll always be one in this universe.”
Upon landing, the new Mrs. Ealy was amazed by the flight. “It was a beautiful, moving experience,” she said.
The guests were equally awestruck, like Tresea Joyce, who said the helicopter ride added a modern twist.
“The ceremony was very progressive and still lovely,” she said.
It was a really unique wedding that I enjoyed a lot,” said Dianna Davis.
Typically O’Rourke flies customers for business and tours, but after 30 years, this was his first helicopter wedding.
“It was breath-taking and great to be a part of their special day,” he said.
The couple will take a delayed honeymoon in August to Mexico.