At 6 p.m. on Oct. 12, Brenda Cureton Smith, owner of Great Skin Spa & Facial Club, will marry Malcolm Hunt, a manufacturing production manager, at Ruthe Jackson Center in Grand Prairie. As she prepares for the big day, Brenda talks about how she and Malcolm met and got to know one another, about the wedding and about the joys of a marriage that takes place between people closing in on their senior years.
A courtship begins … Malcolm and I met on a dating site from a well thought out and thorough profile of what we were looking for in a mate. We were very specific about our personalities, goals, likes, and how we view life, love, relationships, partnerships and what we wanted for the future. I listed a series of pictures that showed the different sides of my personality, which included one with my sister and I with my eyes crossed (Gotta have humor, right?). We are both Christians and want to attract such. It was two months before we met in person. We met at a time that I experienced great loss. After caring for my mom long-distance, who was stricken with Dementia, she passed away. We were very close; I spent so much time healing, praying and learning to live life again, so I was mentally physically and spiritually prepared to think with my head vs my heart. When Malcolm and I did meet, which was on Christmas Day, we both knew that there was a strong possibility that our encounter wasn’t the type you hear about from some reported dating site experiences. Our first date was spent at my sister’s house on Christmas, among family, so that I could see his behavior among family, which is something very important to me. That date followed much time chatting, casual dinners and even taking Malcolm out of his element – Malcolm is a healthy eater and not a big “going out to eat kind of guy,” so we went to a pizza restaurant. However, the date that most impressed me and him (funny) was New years Eve! We had planned to go out and see the fireworks and hoopla, and I was wiped out – I own and run a retail business (Great Skin), and the day drained me of my energy. So we were sitting talking, and I fell asleep right there on the couch before our date and woke up after midnight only to discover he just held me and let me sleep and gave me a kind, warm smile and said, “do you feel better? You were so tired!” I knew then that he understood me, where I was in life, and he had proven that the big muscular arms he had – I asked him early on “Are they Safe” – were, in fact, safe.
The next phase … Malcolm and I spent an incredible amount of time communicating, really communicating, and we got to know each other very well – values, family, upbringing, how we view the world, ourselves, dreams and aspirations. We are both realists – very hard workers, come from big families, have earned everything we have and are both givers – as well as caregivers of others. We had both accepted that it’s time to live, love and laugh a bit! However, we also understand, as a couple that’s at a non-traditional marriage age, that the decision you make to connect your life with another is an important one, and we took all into consideration as we decided to do life together, and it’s been so fun. I meet so many women in my daily work or life in general who have been married for many years and I’ve learned from them – in terms of what makes for a happy marriage and partnership. One commonality is they say it takes communication, respect, having fun and respect. I’ve also met so many women in my practice that married at a later age in life, and they are having big fun, loving well and experiencing the second half of life with a partner! So even with some of the scary stories we hear about dating sites, there can be some good outcomes – of course, that means doing your due diligence and preparing to date, meet, marry (if that is what one wants). Being single can also be very rewarding and fun when you learn to love and embrace yourself and find enjoyment in everything you do.
Preparing for the wedding … We are so excited about preparing for our wedding. Neither of us attended prom or had big weddings, so our wedding is going to make up for all that we missed. Our theme is the “Royal Wedding of Malcolm & Brenda.” However, there are some challenges to planning such a wedding in terms of selecting gowns, venues, etc. that wouldn’t mirror weddings of traditional-age brides or grooms. We worked with experts in the field of wedding readiness like Terry Costa, who picked the most gorgeous, nostalgic gown fit for a princess, but could be worn by a 59-year-old and still look fabulous. We are using a wedding dress alterations company, Altered for the Altar, as well as Cake-aholics, European Floral Designer, Weddings & Creations, and Dress Up, where they offer an amazing selection of bridesmaid and bridal party wear without breaking the bank. We do appreciate what Arlington and Grand Prairie has to offer and found the most fitting venue for an outdoor garden wedding and reception area and ballroom for the dinner and dance.
About the venue … The Ruthe Jackson Center is named after a noted community organizer and former Grand Prairie city councilperson and is a beautiful venue with old Southern Texas Charm that is run beautifully. It has a gorgeous outdoor garden area for the wedding, a beautiful and huge ballroom with chandeliers and amazing space for guests to enjoy. It is managed by Chery Allwood, an experienced designer/wedding planner who helped us plan an incredible wedding. Our wedding reception will feature a love affair ball after dinner with a company that provides entertainment to please the masses – Next Level Entertainment with DJ Leonardo. They get everyone up dancing with light, smoke and sparkler shows. The evening will conclude with their bubble machine, sparklers and a 1936 vintage car from Blue Diamond Limousines.
The wedding party … Our wedding party is huge! It’s reflective of our family size on both sides. The Matron of Honor is Chemika Jackson, and the Best Man is Dymond Williams. We’ll have eight bridesmaids and eight groomsmen. We plan to have over 200 people attending.
When she and Malcolm exchange vows … We are so excited about being pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Hunt, and we are planning to celebrate greatly and live the rest of our lives, living, loving and laughing!
Honeymoon plans … We are going on a nice long cruise after our wedding to wind down and relax.