A North Carolina couple served as flower girl and ring bearer in a wedding 17 years ago. And on September 19, they walked down the same aisle as bride and groom.
“We are all in shock as to all the attention that this is getting,” the groom – Adrian Franklin of Gastonia, N.C. – told ABC News. “There was a picture that my mom posted on Facebook and we’re glad that it’s good news going out and not bad.”
Franklin said that he and his wife Brooke first met in church as grade school students before they were tapped to participate in their parents’ friends’ wedding.
“I had a crush on him from the start,” Brooke Franklin said. “He absolutely could not stand me. He said I got on his nerves. I’d tried to play with him at school and at church, and he just didn’t want much to do with me at all.”
He added: “Every time our paths would go separate ways, we’d reconnect.”
“He really started to come around in middle school,” Brooke recalls.
The two started “dating” in their early teens after Adrian asked Brooke if she would be his girlfriend. He wrote the message with his finger on her back, and she guessed what it was. But she didn’t comment for a while, leaving Adrian hanging.
Finally, he asked, “’Well, Brooke, are you going to say anything?” and she replied, “Well, you didn’t write a question mark.”
That memory emerged again years later when Adrian proposed marriage.
“Before our wedding day, Adrian says, “I had some friends ride by in a boat with a sign that said ‘Will you marry me Brooke,” Adrian said. But he intentionally left off the question mark.
He then got down on one knee. “I asked her to marry me and I said, ‘Here’s your question mark.'”
Two weeks ago, the couple said their vows at South Gastonia Church of God — the same church where they walked together in a bridal party as five-year-old classmates. But their feelings were different this time. And Adrian was smiling from ear to ear. Among their 300-plus guests was the bride from that wedding.
“We forgot that we were in the wedding together and she brought the photos to us,” Brooke said. “She just thought that was the neatest thing. She was really excited.”
The Franklins said they have photos from both ceremonies displayed in their home. They also said they hope to share the photos with their children someday.
Now 21 and 22 years old, the couple says they’ve been told they’re too young. “That’s all right. We accept that,” Adrian said, “But at the same time we know it’s God-ordained and for God to bring our steps together this far, we know our steps have been ordered by the Lord.”