On Oct. 16, 1989, Valory Nicole Armstrong (Nicole) was born three months premature. “We didn’t know if she was going to make it,” says Nicole’s mother, Teresia Clark. “The whole community rallied around us and now, everyone just loves Nicole. She’s our miracle baby. She is spoiled to death, but she has always been a good kid and never a minute’s trouble.”
Nicole’s father, Greg Clark, might disagree that Nicole never caused trouble. After all, when she was a freshman at Beauregard High School, Nicole got caught up in every father’s worst nightmare: she had a boyfriend that was a senior.
“Nicole wasn’t even allowed to date until she was 16, so he spent two years coming over to our house to eat dinner so he could see Nicole,” says Teresia on Nicole’s older boyfriend.
That boyfriend was Kyle Stephen Armstrong, and he was patient. First he waited until Nicole was old enough to date, then he waited for her to graduate from high school. One year after her high school graduation, Kyle took Nicole back to the spot where he had asked her to be his girlfriend: Toomer’s Corner. At Toomer’s Corner, Kyle got down on one knee and proposed. Nicole said yes, and they were married on June 20, 2009.
A close-knit family, Teresia and Greg live on the same street in Beauregard, Ala., as Teresia’s extended family. As a tribute to this strong family connection, the wedding and reception were held at the home of Bobby and Shirlene Parker, who are Nicole’s grandparents. “Everyone on Nicole and Kyle’s side of the family is local. Plus, people have been rooting for Nicole since the day she was born, so the wedding was big,” says Teresia.
The couple was married in front of 450 people by Nicole’s pastor from Providence Baptist Church, Dr. Rusty Sowell. They took their vows in an outdoor ceremony surrounded by hundreds of summer flowers that were arranged and interwoven wherever space would allow. Nicole had an old add-a-pearl necklace that her grandmother had completed for her wrapped around her bridal bouquet, a new wedding dress, a borrowed hair clip, and some tiny blue rhinestones on the bottom of her shoe that spelled the words, “I do.” Because it was an outdoor wedding, Nicole’s family provided guests with special touches, like bottled water with custom labels featuring the names of the bride and groom, and wedding programs that doubled as hand fans with the words, “love yesterday, today and forever,” inscribed on one side.
The reception took place around the pool, which was filled with floating candles, and guests enjoyed an assortment of food and danced to music by DJ Vibes. When Kyle and Nicole left the reception, they went straight to the airport where they flew to Cancun, Mexico, for their honeymoon.
In keeping with tradition, the couple lives in a home in Beauregard that is down the street from Nicole’s family. Nicole is currently working toward completing her dental hygienist certification, and Kyle is finishing his degree in civil engineering at Auburn University.