02/13/04 — Couple plans Valentine wedding

View Archive

Couple plans Valentine wedding

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on February 13, 2004 2:04 PM

Valentine's Day is almost here -- a time when sweethearts celebrate their special love. Couples who are engaged celebrate a new love. Couples who have been married for years celebrate a long-lasting love.

One couple celebrating a new love is Nathan Phillips and Jennifer Garrett. They are getting married on Valentine's Day this year.

Nathan, 23, and Jennifer, 22, went to Rosewood High School together, but never dated.

"Then in February of last year, we met one night and started calling each other," says Nathan. "I really don't know what set it off; I just started calling her. Eventually, we started going out."

The couple dated from February to Thanksgiving, then became engaged.

"The day before Thanksgiving, we were sitting on the front porch," Nathan says. "I didn't tell anybody what I was going to do. I got down on one knee and asked her if she would marry me."

Nathan said he had the rings about a month before proposing to Jennifer. "I'd planned on proposing at Christmas, but then I was like 'no, we'll do it at Thanksgiving.'"

Jennifer says she knew Nathan had gotten the rings, but just didn't know when he was going to pop the question. "We went and got a Christmas tree that night and when we got back, he proposed.

"I cried."

Nathan says he felt overwhelmed when Jennifer said yes. "I'm surprised she said yes, as much trouble as I am."

The couple set a wedding date for Valentine's Day because "that's about the only day we could get married," says Nathan.

"I've joined the military and I leave Feb. 24 for Army basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., then to Ft. Lee, Va., for technical training."

Nathan will be stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas.

The couple say they didn't want to get married the weekend before Nathan leaves for basic training and didn't want to wait till he was finished with all his training. So they picked Valentine's Day to marry.

"And it's the sweetest day," Jennifer adds.

Nathan agrees and says it's going to be a memorable day for their anniversary.

"It's been a long-time dream of mine to join the military," says Nathan. "Right now I'm going into the supply field, but eventually I want to try and go into special forces or something like that.

"I know it's going to be hard on us, but Jennifer knows it means a lot to me to do this. She hasn't complained about it yet. Of course she doesn't want me to deploy overseas. I don't want to leave. But if the military asks me to, I'll do it."

"Being a military wife is kind of scary right now," says Jennifer. "I've always lived here in Goldsboro, and I've got to leave everybody. But I'm also excited. I think we'll do good. We'll get to know each other a whole lot more when we're by ourselves in Texas."

The couple will have a Valentine-themed wedding. The bridesmaids are wearing red and the groomsmen are wearing red vests.

They are having red roses and little heart candies.

"Everything's red and white," says Jennifer.

The couple say they have a lot in common. "We do a lot of hunting together and riding four-wheelers and motorcycles," says Nathan. "And she's supportive of me. She's the only person I've found who's supportive of me as much as she is. She helps me with a whole lot of things."

How does the couple plan to keep their love alive for years to come?

"Talking," says Jennifer. "We have a lot of communication now, and that's what does us so much good. We talk about everything."

Nathan says keeping in touch will be a way of keeping their marriage going strong, especially with him being in the military and being gone sometimes.

"I plan on every chance I get while I'm gone to write," he says. "Even if I have to write every day. I'm going to call and e-mail, too.

"I think what we've got going on now, as much time as we're always together, that will help us in the future. Years down the road, I plan on being there for Jennifer, just like I am now."

Jennifer says she and Nathan are always doing little things for each other now, and they'll keep on doing that to keep their marriage special. "Like now, we send each other cards and do little surprises for each other. I make him dinner. He makes me dinner."

Nathan and Jennifer say they see couples who have been married for years and years and think it's "cool to see them married that long and still getting along as good as when they were first married."

"I'm looking forward to it," says Nathan.

"I can see us still walking around holding hands when we are in our 80s," says Jennifer.

Jennifer is currently employed at Mitchell Eye Center and Nathan works with Pro Tel Services.

They will move to Texas this summer.