It Takes Two

 In Culture, Feature

A second chance at happily ever after inspires a celebration this local couple will never forget.


The Bride
Rebekah Backowski
39, concurrent review coordinator at Coventry Healthcare/Aetna

The Groom
John Parker
49, president of Parker Public & Media Relations, radio show host on 590 AM “The Man,” certified life coach and professional speaker

Their Story John was at a charity event for Crisis Nursery when Rebekah walked into the room and completely captivated him. He knew instantly that she was someone special. After the two spent some time together and Rebekah agreed to go out with John the following week, she suddenly changed her mind and canceled. The next day, however, Rebekah had a change of heart once more and sent John a text. The couple spent their first date at a Mizzou-Texas Tech football game in Columbia, enjoying each other’s company and getting to know one another. While at the American Football Coaches Association national convention in Nashville, TN, John asked Rebekah to spend the rest of her life with him. It was an intimate proposal, just like Rebekah wanted. She said yes, and the couple celebrated by calling family and friends with the news and then enjoying a night out on the town.

Team Work Though the initial plan was for Rebekah to go dress shopping without John, he kept bugging her to text him pictures of what she was trying on. So, after hunting for dresses twice to no avail, Rebekah invited John along on the third outing. At Clarice’s Bridal, Rebekah fell in love with the first one they found: a simple and elegant lace halter dress with pearl beading on the bodice.

All in the Family Both John and Rebekah had been married before, but they found that their lives and families easily fit together. In fact, Rebekah considers the blending of her and John’s families and friends as one of the most special aspects of their wedding day. Most important to John was giving Rebekah’s father a chance to walk her down the aisle. John’s children, Jordan and Andrea, stood up with the couple, while Rebekah’s sons, Justin and Jacob, served as ushers and her daughter, Hannah, preceded her down the aisle as a flower girl. The rest of the wedding party was filled out by close friends of the couple. The ceremony was performed by Reverend Charles Pennington, one of John’s oldest friends, and Rebekah’s ex-husband and former in-laws were present to give their blessings. The receiving line, a part of weddings during which Rebekah confesses she usually gets impatient, turned out to be her most memorable moment.

Role Reversal For the vows, John insisted that they each write their own personal words. As a public speaker, he was well prepared and prodded Rebekah to work on hers during the three months leading up to their wedding day. Rebekah instead decided to write hers the night before—but they turned out perfectly, and she ended up upstaging her well-spoken groom.

Well Received The ceremony was held at Bethel-Providence Christian Church, followed by a reception at Paul Mineo’s Trattoria. Navy served as the base for their color scheme, with white lilies, roses and fragrant eucalyptus filling the space. According to the couple, the most successful aspect of the reception was the food. Guests still rave about the main entrée, lobster ravioli, and the cake from Lubeley’s Bakery featured three tiers: chocolate, raspberry amaretto and marble. It was decorated with navy accents and the couple’s monogram—and was completely gone by the end of the evening. They also offered guests a signature cocktail called I’ll Have What He’s Having—inspired by the drink they shared on the night they met.

Nothing Better The couple chose traditional processional music for the ceremony with a little instrumental Coldplay and Alter Bridge before and after. John intended to surprise Rebekah with a mystery piece from their parish’s soloist during the service, but Rebekah found out what it was a week before—and gave her wholehearted approval. For their first dance, the couple chose “There’s Nothing Better Than Love” by Luther Vandross and Gregory Hines, a song that held sentimental meaning for both of them. For the rest of the reception, they created their own playlist so guests could relax and enjoy themselves inside and on the restaurant’s patio in the surprisingly mild August weather.









Photo credit: Lori Mattler

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