We LOVE Weddings here in the Remnant Fellowship! GOD has brought together over 100 couples in this place since 2002…to be joined in a true Covenant before Him. Each and every Wedding is unique and beautiful in its own memorable way, and we kicked off 2016 with the union of two families who are held in the highest esteem as Leaders in this Church. It was our joy on January 2nd to witness the union of HUNTER DAY and ALLYSON ANCONA. This precious young couple conducted their courtship in every PURE way imaginable being under their parents’ sweet authority the entire time. We praise GOD for these two families the Days and the Anconas and we know that this couple will be a shining example in their marriage! To reflect upon the entire process and the wonderful Wedding weekend, we had the opportunity to reach out to the “Father of the Bride,” Mr. Chris Ancona, to gather his thoughts after what was, truly, an AMAZING Wedding and Celebration. What you are about to read will move you and give you HOPE for the next generation of Saints whom GOD is lifting up!
RN: What is it like having a young man fall in love with your daughter? What did it feel like when you found out that Hunter was interested in your daughter?
CA: Joyful! Allyson is a ‘treasure’ to us because of her heart of love and joyful spirit and we prayed for her to find someone who truly appreciated her personality and tenderness. Allyson was initially dear friends with Madison Day, Hunter’s sister, and always enjoyed being around Hunter because of his child-like heart. When their relationship moved from friendship to courtship, we were very impressed with Hunter’s humility and graciousness in ensuring that he had our blessing and that he would honor Allyson in every way. This gave us complete peace, knowing that they wanted God to be first in their lives and would walk out their relationship in purity.
RN: Could you tell when they first started dating that he was “the one” for Allyson?
CA: Yes! Allyson had been very careful to stay focused on God through her teen years and very much wanted to only give her heart to one person. This focus kept her from being distracted by the world’s push for dating and romance, trusting that God would open her eyes when the time was right. As parents, we very much wanted to nurture this innocence by helping her with what she watched and read as well as her activities. Remnant Fellowship provided such a wonderful environment for her because of the positive pure pressure she witnessed through older teens who also waited on God. When Hunter and Allyson started courting, we knew very quickly that God had brought them together because of how they pointed each other to Him. Their activities were centered around worship and taking Remnant and Weigh Down bible studies together. We also could tell by how they were selfless with one another. Their joy multiplied when they were together and there was no ‘drama’ in the relationship. It was truly a blessing to watch them fall in love.
RN: How do you think raising Allyson in Remnant Fellowship Church prepared her for dating and marriage?
CA: It made all of the difference! When we joined the church almost 14 years ago, our hearts were so stirred by how much Gwen loved God and how clearly her children, Michael and Elizabeth, also had this relationship through her love and training. We wanted somehow to give our children this same chance and we are humbled by what God has done. Through Remnant Fellowship Church we were able to pass down to Allyson, and her brother Jack, how to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength as well as the blessings that come from obedience. She actively put everything into practice and the fruit has been that her heart for God overflows and has turned her into a beautiful woman inside and out, attracting to her an incredible Godly husband. I am so encouraged by the foundation on which that they will be building their relationship.
RN: Living in London, you were obviously not able to witness first hand Allyson and Hunter’s courtship. Was this a concern for you?
CA: Only not being closer to support it, but no other concerns. During the courtship, Allyson was living with our dear church friends, the Gormsens and we were so thankful that we were all ‘one in spirit’ in wanting to see them have God first and a pure relationship while dating. We were also completely unified with the Day family in this and were able to talk openly on how best to encourage and guide their relationship. Hunter and Allyson would skype with us so that we could get to know him more. In addition, the Day family hosted us many times on our trips to Nashville and traveled to see us in England and Europe several times. This not only increased our love for Hunter in getting to know him, but also our love for the entire Day family.
RN: Did Hunter ask for your permission to marry Allyson? If so, how?
CA: Yes! Hunter was a complete gentleman in how he approached his desire to marry Allyson. Since we were overseas, he sent a very gracious email seeking permission. My heart filled with peace when reading the humility of His words, in how he had ‘no expectation’, and how he opened his heart to me to say that he would also ‘treasure’ Allyson like a pearl of great value and that he would always keep God first in their relationship. I had previously had a notion that Allyson would marry later in her life, but I knew that God was bringing this together now because of their maturity in their relationship with Him and I fully trusted that they would be able to do more for His kingdom together than apart.
RN: Parents who have their children married in Remnant always report that the wedding planning process is completely peaceful. Has this been your experience?
CA: Peaceful, would be an understatement :). It is absolutely amazing how God works through the ‘gifts’ in the Remnant. There were countless people who helped, from spiritual guidance, planning, coordinating, decorating, photography, food, flowers, music, etc. We arrived in town a week before the wedding, and we were overwhelmed with how many volunteers pulled everything together for an incredibly beautiful ceremony.
RN: With that said, have there been any wedding planning “curve balls” that you have had to navigate through?
CA: Yes, as we have learned in the Remnant, God is always testing our hearts to see if we care more about something on earth over Him. One curve ball that happened was the bridesmaid’s dresses that we had ordered several months early had still not arrived. We prayed for God’s will to be done, and after calling the company a few times with no clear explanation of when they might arrive, we put the word out to a few girls in the church that we may need to borrow some dresses. Within a few hours, we had collected beautiful black dresses that were all the same style Allyson had selected that had been used in a previous Remnant Fellowship wedding. The girls brought them to church and the bridesmaids were all able to use them. It is so fun to give up control and pass the test. Not only did the substituted dresses fit, but they looked even more beautiful!
RN: Describe your relationship with parents of the groom, Rob and Tiffani Day.
CA: Delightful! We love them so much and are beyond words for how thankful we are for everything they have done for us and our family. They are both incredibly generous to us in every way and we are filled with praise to God for bringing us all together and for this marriage between Hunter and Allyson. We truly love Hunter like our own son and will forever cherish this courtship and wedding experience and as Beth said so well, we are very excited about the Days to come!
RN: What do you hope for Hunter and Allyson’s future?
CA: Even more glory to God in how they will now live out this life together.