Senior Preps for Future Wedding
Marriage is not the typical worry of an eighteen-year-old girl in her senior year of high school; however, for Alexis Bailey, planning a wedding is constantly on her mind.
July 2, 2011, was the day that changed everything. Chuck Childers, Bailey’s boyfriend of almost two years, told her he wanted to go walk and take a look around Fort Chaffee. When the two arrived at the Fort Chaffee Amphitheater, Bailey was surprised to find her older sister waiting with a video camera. Walking a little further, she noticed a cardboard heart on the ground surrounded by rose petals with a ring in the middle.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all, being so young. It was kind of surreal; it doesn’t hit you until later on,” Bailey said.
Bailey was completely surprised. Childers is a United States Marine stationed in Camp Pendleton, California. The time they spend together is limited to whenever he is on leave and can come visit. Bailey had not really considered marriage previously, although she sometimes wondered where the relationship was heading.
“There were moments that I hoped that God had put him in my life for that reason, but I wasn’t for sure,” Bailey said.
According to Bailey, wedding planning is going well. She knows what she wants, but it is hard to plan with Childers being gone for weeks, sometimes months, at a time. The colors will most likely be navy blue and white to match Childers’ uniform. The ceremony, scheduled for some time during the summer of 2012, will probably be a small gathering at the courthouse with just close family and friends. Later they plan to have a bigger, more traditional wedding so that they can invite more people. As for the dress, it has already been chosen.
“It’s the first thing I did. Once you try it on, you know it’s the right one,” Bailey said.
Once they are married, the two will move to California. Bailey will live on base, and she plans to attend college through Columbia Online. She will immediately become a housewife, and her future plans may include a career in psychology.
“I’m going to deal with situations an adult would usually have to,” Bailey said.
Bailey, from her previous visits, already knows other Marine wives that live at Camp Pendleton. Her sister will also be especially helpful, because she did the exact same thing, marrying a Marine at a young age and moving away.
“The fact that she’s been through it really helps. She understands the difference between a regular life and a military life, so she knows what I’m going through,” Bailey said.
Upon hearing about the engagement, most people were excited and really happy for the couple. As with any situation, there were critics, but their remarks do not bother Bailey at all.
“It’s not about what people think; it’s about God’s plan for your life. And you shouldn’t put an age limit on marriage. When it’s right, it’s right,” Bailey said.
For now, most plans cannot be finalized because Childers has been deployed overseas and will be gone anywhere from six to ten months. The couple could not be more excited; they are ready to start spending the rest of their lives together.
“In the end it’s not about the wedding anyway; it’s about marrying the one you love,” Bailey said.