Ben Crowe and Noelle Brown’s wedding Saturday was captured in this painting by artist friend Tess Darling.

Daughter's perfect day

    I might be a little bit biased considering one of my beautiful girls was at the altar, but Saturday’s ceremony with Ben Crowe and Noelle Brown tying the knot was the greatest wedding since Jesus turned water into wine.
    From the complete look of joy on Noelle’s face as I walked her down the aisle, to the two seconds it took for Ben to be reduced to tears while reciting his handwritten vows, this wedding had everything anyone could ever want. We cried in happiness during the ceremony, then laughed when they gave us a Zoolander-like pose before kissing. We ate, drank, danced and laughed to our heart’s content, then gave the happy couple a fairytale canoe sendoff from Asheville Outdoor Center into the French Broad River.
    A source close to my daughter (hint: it was her) said Sunday, “I can honestly say yesterday was the best day of my life.”
    As a dad, does it get any better than that? (The correct answer is, “No, sir, it does not.”)
    And on Monday, they flew to Rome. (Not the city in Georgia, but the historical one in Italy.) From there, it’s onto Greece and happily-ever-after land. I couldn’t be happier for them, and I also couldn’t be happier to call Ben my son-in-law. He’s a good man, and those are in rare supply.
    The entire weekend was particularly special for my family. Seven folks flew in from Denver to attend the festivities, and for more than just an amazing wedding.
    On Thursday, we ventured down the Blue Ridge Parkway to Mount Mitchell State Park, which is where my mom asked that her ashes be taken so she can watch over the rest of us. Up the trail, you’ll run across a sign on “The Mighty Black Mountains.” A little trail near the sign ends in a drop off the beaten path, with flowers below and mountains above.
    That’s where, through glassy eyes, we said goodbye to mom. And her late husband, Paul. And her favorite dog, Tramp, along with two cats, Kiki and Rascal. She would be happy to know they all made it with her at a place she loved to visit.
    There we prayed – that my mom would be reunited with her beloved mom, who left this world for her heavenly home less than three months later. We thanked God for blessing us with the many stories we’ll continue to share until the end of time.
    While my family has lost a lot this year, we’ve found a new group of folks to call family. Ben’s dad, Tim Crowe, was a starter on Georgia’s national championship football team in 1980, so we spent plenty of time eating his family’s secret Brunswick stew recipe while discussing the greatness of Herschel Walker and how sports – not unlike family – build a camaraderie that never goes away.
    As the time grew late and the music finally was turned off, I hugged Noelle – still the little girl who always had a special blanket with her, the one I rocked to sleep at night – and asked her how she felt.
    “Seeing everything you’re ever wanted and planned for come to life,” she said, voice trailing. “It’s just perfect.”
    Which is exactly what she deserves.
    David Brown is publisher of the Cherokee Scout. You can reach him by phone, 837-5122; fax, 837-5832; and email,; plus follow him on Twitter @daviddBstroh.