When Dominique D. Ethridge and Damon D. Wallace discovered that their baby was due March 5, 2021, their proposed wedding day, the couple knew they needed a new plan. What they didn’t know is that the person who would help them decide on their wedding rings would also help change those plans.
Ms. Ethridge, 29, attends Houston Community College for pre-nursing and is working as a nursing assistant at Bonne Vie Continuing Care in Port Arthur, Texas.
Mr. Wallace, 26, graduated from Langston University in Oklahoma. He is now an accountant at Eagle Railcar Services in Orange, Texas.
Ms. Ethridge and Mr. Wallace, who live in Nederland, Texas, met on a dating app called BLK on March 5, 2020. After Mr. Wallace “super liked” her on the app, “We decided to meet up that night at a bar called Little Woodrow’s in Beaumont,” Ms. Ethridge said.
Mr. Wallace said he knew he wanted to marry Ms. Ethridge after only a few hours of spending time with her, “Especially when I opened up to her,” he said “and learned so much about her and discovered we had common life goals.”
The same was true for Ms. Ethridge — although seeing him with her two children from her previous marriage was what really sealed the deal. “I realized that Damon would be the one that I would marry when we first met and most definitely when he met my kids, and they connected so well.” Mr. Wallace also has one child from a previous relationship.
He proposed eight months later, on Nov. 29, at the home of Ms. Ethridge’s mother, Shari Maiben-Ethridge.
That was when the couple chose March 5, 2021 as their wedding date. But those plans were soon thwarted when they learned of Ms. Ethridge’s due date. Lucky for them, fate stepped in while they were ring shopping at Kay Jewelers in Parkdale Mall in Beaumont, Texas.
Upon hearing their story, their salesperson, Allison Deggs, suggested they get married at a Kay Jewelers store in the area. Ms. Deggs said her boss, Nancy Marsh, who is the district manager, was available to officiate and eager to perform her first wedding since becoming a Universal Life minister.
It was an offer they felt they simply couldn’t refuse.
“I love being spontaneous and figured what could be more adventurous than marrying the love of my life at a Kay Jewelers. So, I jumped at the opportunity,” Mr. Wallace said.
They set a new date of Jan. 23 and the store manager of the Memorial City Mall location, Melissa Carolyn Vicent, posted in a Facebook group called Bride to Bride asking if any vendors could pitch in. A number of them quickly came forward, providing cake, décor, a pre-wedding hotel stay at a resort on Lake Conroe and a Florida honeymoon.
They married at a Kay Jewelers store in Katy, Texas, about a half-hour from Houston. The store was closed during the ceremony, which had 14 masked attendees, including the bride and groom and the bride’s mother.
“The groom was quite nervous delivering his personal vows. So that was adorable,” Ms. Marsh said. “The people who donated decorations came through. So, the store looked especially festive.”
In order for the couple to have some weddings photos without masks, many more were taken outside at a local park where the store hosted a mini-reception after the ceremony.
Ms. Ethridge and Mr. Wallace are planning to have another reception in January 2022 for a larger group of family.