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Tammy Raines was rushing through Atria in Elizabethtown in her daily duties helping residents and planning activities for the retirement community when she saw her daughter standing in the hallway holding flowers.
Confused about why the young girl was there, Tammy looked around.
Her eyes fell upon her boyfriend, John Patterson, whom she had passed without noticing.
Tammy’s surprise was complete when John proposed to her in the hall.
The couple met at Atria when John worked in maintenance there.
Later, when John sold cars, Tammy made a wrong turn into the car lot.
John gave her directions and asked for her phone number.
That was three and a half years ago.
The beginning of their relationship at the retirement community and Tammy’s closeness to the residents and staff made it seem like the right place to make the November proposal, John said.
“She loves the residents here,” he said.
It wasn’t long before Tammy, who has taken her husband’s last name, said she wanted to be married there, too.
She said the residents and staff are as close to her as family and she wanted them to be present on her special day.
“We love one another as you would a family,” she said. “They help me as much as I help them.”
Tammy’s Atria family even helped plan the wedding. She said she only had to buy a dress.
Residents played a keyboard and sang “Tell Me Why” and “Glory of Love” during the nuptials Friday under an arch on a patio behind the building.
Tammy said the residents responded well when they learned she was getting married.
“They were, I think, as excited as we were,” she said.
Tammy said her wedding day was made better because of the outpouring of love she received from her Atria family.
“I don’t believe there are words to describe (it),” she said. “It really makes you feel blessed.”
John thanked the residents for their help and support.
“They went above and beyond,” he said.
Resident Karen Bryant was glad to hear the wedding would be at Atria because many of the residents otherwise could not attend.
“I was honored that (Tammy) wanted to include us,” Bryant said. “She’s like an angel from heaven.”
Tammy deserved a wonderful wedding with people who love her, Bryant said.
“Tammy’s as beautiful inside as she is out.”
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.