June is traditionally known for blissful summer nuptials, yet on June 30, 2018, a different June bride graced an intimate vow renewal gathering. As Katrina L. Long-Currie and Malcolm L. Currie Jr. stood in the grandeur of the Oakleigh Garden room at the Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel and Spa, the rich history of their marriage, the battles they have waged and the commitment they share were felt by all in attendance. Theirs is a story of love, triumph, hope, forgiveness, restoration, kindness and, most of all, resiliency.
Much like the Battle House has been preserved and restored to its original grandeur, this Gautier, Mississippi, couple has shared a similar journey. As the Curries stood, all eyes could see the strength of their almost quarter-century union. The passionate exchange of their vows left the officiants, Apostle Nadine Wilson and her husband, Apostle Jimmy Wilson, briefly speechless from the genuineness that flowed from their hearts.
Katrina walked down the aisle draped in gold and red while Malcolm eagerly and tearfully awaited her arrival. The moment was far removed from the hard times they have shared. Katrina, diagnosed with systemic lupus, at times could not lift her head from her pillow nor properly care for herself. During this time when her body was ravaged with pain, Malcolm rolled up his sleeves and got in the trenches with her.
With her husband working full time, with no adult help in her care, Katrina recalls that Malcolm would bathe her and clean up when she became violently nauseous from chemotherapy, steroids and other medications used to treat her condition. Even as steroids caused rapid weight gain, and medications stripped his wife of her hair and strength, Malcolm continued to be a light in bleak times. Katrina was told that she would not see her 40th birthday, yet the couple’s faith has been their shelter through life’s storms.
Aside from Katrina’s sickness, the couple’s son, Isaiah, was undergoing chemotherapy and taking many medications for his juvenile rheumatoid arthritis — with which he was diagnosed at age 1; he is now 21. Their eldest son, Gustavus De Vaughn, was severely asthmatic and sickly, too, but recovered; he is now 25 and married with a thriving family.
Katrina recounts how much Malcolm shouldered as his family leaned heavily upon him. She also credits his love, kindness and support for allowing her to soar in her aspirations and dreams. Their boys who attended, Isaiah and Joshua (age 16); and Gustavus, who watched virtually; agreed Malcolm always has been their hero.
Despite illness, financial strain and various other struggles, Malcolm’s heart has been — and will always be — with Katrina and their family. In times when so many throw in the towel, they see a bigger picture called legacy and the importance of covenant. According to Malcolm, over the span of their 22-year marriage, “We dove into a mystery, and I want to explore and see all that God has for us.”
“We have learned to forgive, as Christ forgave us, and show grace in abundance,” he adds. “Katrina is a gift, and every day I am amazed that this beautiful, precious and amazing being is my wife. I often stare in disbelief as I am in awe at her beauty and how remarkable she is. I am grateful.”
Malcolm shared that his wife’s strength has pushed their family to higher heights and deeper depths, praising Katrina’s compassion, love, giving spirit, intelligence and strategic capabilities. He beamed and glowed as he shared how Katrina is a forward thinker, a believer in prayer and faith and a woman with tremendous class and integrity. He also emphasized that she is a wife who propels her loved ones to destiny and builds them emotionally, spiritually and in every area.
“It is easy to say ‘I do’ still to her,” he says. “My heart and deepest parts of me belong to this woman.”
The Currie family has an undeniable bond, built on faith and strength, and have a lot of fun together playing games, talking trash about sports teams, playing jokes on one another and generally sharing the goodness of life.
In Malcolm’s words: “This is my family. This is our story, and we have a lifetime to continue to write our beautiful story. Prayerfully, our story serves as hope for others.”
Ceremony and reception venue: Oak Leigh Garden Room, The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel and Spa, Mobile, Alabama
Florist: The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel and Spa, all bouquet roses and pearls; rhinestones provided by Abbie Home
Caterer: Cake, fruit-infused water station on credenza and array of refreshments provided by The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel and Spa.
Hair and makeup: Katrina Currie is a licensed barber and professional makeup artist (www.promakeupcreations.weebly.com, (228) 313-2889)
Videographer and photographer: Hal M. Todd of Simple Elegance Portraits and Portraiture
Jewelry: CEO of Queen B’s Boutique LLC., Whitney Bovastro.
Shoes: Jeweled soleless Sandals Gifted by Deborah C. Quave, author of “The 30-Day Word Challenge”
Wedding gown: Illusion long-sleeve embroidery tulle gown by Meier Collection Inc.
Tux: Groom wore Ralph Lauren cream suit from Saks and silk tie by Elfeves.
Musician/Entertainment: The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa
Clergy/Officiant: Apostle/Pastor Nadine Wilson, Extraordinary Church of Pascagoula
Rentals, Cake, Transportation: The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa
Invitations: Private Ceremony Pictorial Announcements by Hal M. Todd of Simple Elegance Portraits and Portraiture
Rehearsal dinner: The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa
Lighting: The Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel & Spa, Hal M. Todd of Simple Elegance
Photography: Hal M. Todd of Simple Elegance