In today’s world, many people turn to music, Broadway or Hollywood movies to find a touching love story that they can invest their hearts and minds into and watch grow from beginning into forever. Fortunately for Will and McKenzie, they need not travel far to experience their own story that would begin as young children and advance into a lifelong commitment that they would make to one another.
Will Thompson and McKenzie Irons first met when they were eight years old as competitors for the Athens Dolphins Summer Swim League. They would compete for many years afterwards and would remain distance acquaintances as they passed through elementary and middle school. When both entered into high school, McKenzie remained active with her studies and area swim team, the Sea Dragons, while Will focused also on his studies and on other sports. Although not sharing one single, high school class together throughout their time at McMinn County High School, Will always found McKenzie interesting and wanted the chance to know her better. It wasn’t until their Senior year that Will took a leap of faith and rejoined the swimming world with the intention of hopefully catching McKenzie’s eye. Both were highly dedicated athletes and spent the majority of their free time in the pool practicing or competing in biweekly swim meets. It was during this season that McKenzie recognized her mutual feelings for Will. The two became inseparable from that moment on.
Graduation day came and passed and the pair prepared to go separate directions for school. McKenzie was to attend her first year at Cleveland State Community College, and Will was to begin his first year at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to pursue a career in engineering. The two felt passionately enough that with hard work and dedication, their relationship would remain strong despite the long distance. After she completed her first year at Cleveland State, McKenzie realized that she too bled orange and white and would join Will in Knoxville to pursue a degree in marketing for her remaining three years of schooling. Year two was down and change was in motion. The pair received amazing news that Will had received an opportunity to intern at Nissan in Nashville, TN. Although excited for this honor, Will and McKenzie realized that long distance would now not only be a thing of their past but also their present. The remained focused and began to put plans into motion on how their relationship would work while living in two difference cities. During his time in Nashville, Will would travel every weekend to Knoxville to visit McKenzie. It was in these moments that they realized that they both were in it for the long haul.
The two remained diligent. McKenzie graduated UT Knoxville and returned back to Athens to begin her career. Will returned to UT for his final year or school. The couple remained semi-long distance but this time, McKenzie had a ring on her finger which made it all worthwhile. On May 19, 2018, with friend, family, and the Holy Spirit surrounding them, Will and McKenzie became officially inseparable once again. Every part of their day was filled with laughter, smiles, warmth, love, and Jesus. The two wed at Central Baptist Church by the pastor and grandfather of McKenzie, Mike Bernard. A reception was to follow at the Bernard Residence in Riceville, TN. On display under a big white tent stood a gorgeous cake that was designed by Will and McKenzie who were inspired by a doughnut the two shared at a bakery in Knoxville. The mother of the bride, Melodye Irons, hand-made and decorated the cake herself. The bride wore an eloquent flower crown that was designed and created by her dad, Gary Irons. In the corner of the tent, a vintage photo bus stood so guests could create and cherish the memories made. The room was filled with joy and fun as guests enjoyed dancing and a shrimp broil that was prepared by church friends. It was truly a day to remember.
Now that the excitement has settled, the two live a quaint live in Niota, Tennessee. McKenzie is a local photographer for the Athens and Knoxville areas and Will is an engineer for Titan Implements in Decatur, Tennessee. The two are so incredibly excited for their God’s plan for their life and are ready to take on all of life’s adventures.