Miss Miranda Diane Hillis and Mr. Lance Allen Banken were united in marriage at 3 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2006, in a beautiful, candlelight ceremony at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dexter. The double-ring ceremony was officiated by Deacon Jim Long. Parents of the bride are Mr. Greg Hillis of Essex and Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Gant of Dexter. Parents of the bridegroom are Mr. and Mrs. John Banken of Dexter. Grandparents of the bride are Mr. and Mrs. Danny Hillis of Essex, Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Snider, Mr. and Mrs. Aubrey Gant and Ms. Winnie Spickelmier, all from Dexter. Grandparents of the bridegroom are Ms. Mabel Ferguson, the late Joe and Clara Banken, all of Dexter, and the late Peter Tandski of Huntington, Va.
The sanctuary was set with spiral candelabra filled with stargazer lilies and white and pink roses. The unity candle was ordained with ferns and pink roses. As you entered, the aisle was adorned with white lily bouquets attached to the pews with white organza ribbon and pink satin ribbon. The windows were filled with tall, floating candles accented with pink tulle.
The guest book table, in the entryway of the church, was decorated with a small bouquet of white roses, pink satin ribbon and a small bouquet of white roses, pink satin ribbon and white tulle. Attending the guest book and handing out programs were Brittney and Shanna Gant of Dexter, sisters of the bride.
MaryRuth Boone provided the ceremonial music. She accompanied vocalist Sarah Jones of Dexter, friend of the couple. She sang "There is Love" and "In This Very Room". Jay Roberts of Dyersburg, Tenn., played the trumpet for the bride's entrance song, "Trumpet Voluntary". Andrea Essner, friend of the couple, performed the special liturgical readings for the ceremony.
Escorted by her father, the bride wore a formal gown in white matte satin. The corseted, strapless bodice was embroidered soutache, delicately ordained with crystal and pearl beading. The A-line skirt was lightly decorated with iridescent sequins, crystal and pearl beads. The back of the gown featured an old-fashioned carriage back, semi-cathedral length train accented with the same beadwork from the bodice. She wore a floral tiara with iridescent crystals, and a white single-layer, fingertip length veil was attached to the back. The bride carried an open-cut bouquet of delicate white roses wrapped in white satin ribbon.
As the newly married couple made their way out of the church, family and friends greeted them with poppers filled with silver streamers. A white stretch limousine was waiting to take them to their reception.
Meghan Gallen, of Ballwin, close friend of the couple, served as maid of honor. Bridesmaids were Halona Link, of Dexter, sister of the bride; Natalie Pickerel, of Bellville, Ill., friend of the couple; and Leslie Noles, of Dexter, sister of the bridegroom. The attendants wore two-piece chocolate-colored satin ensemble trimmed in pink sorbet satin. The ensemble featured strapless tops in different styles and A-line, tea length chocolate satin skirts. The bridesmaids all carried open-cut bouquets of pink roses wrapped in pink tulle. Accessories for the evening were gifts from the bride. Flower girls included Elise and Alexa Noles and Annie Banken, all of Dexter, and all nieces of the bridegroom. They were sweetly dressed in white organza, empire-waisted dresses with wide chocolate satin sashes that tied in the back. The dresses were delicately decorated with small chocolate-colored flowers spread throughout the skirt. The flower girls wore baby's breath halos in their hair and dropped fresh pink rose petals over a lace runner for the bride's entrance.
Jason Banken, of Dexter, brother of the bridegroom, served as best man. Groomsmen were Jason Alsup, of St. Louis, friend of the bridegroom; Nole Curry, of Cape Girardeau, friend of the bridegroom; and Trey Noles, of Dexter, brother-in-law of the bridegroom.
Ushers were Brandon Williams, of St. Louis, and Jamie Jackson, of Cape Girardeau, both friends of the bridegroom. Ethan Noles, of Dexter, nephew of the bridegroom, served as the ringbearer. The men of the wedding party wore single-breasted tuxedos by Jean Yves, which featured a pink diagonal stripe satin formal Windsor tie and black horizontal accordion-pleated vests. Their boutonnieres were single pink roses with the bridegroom's being a single white rose.
The mother of the bride wore a lavender color, floor-length organza dress with tea straps and a matching scarf. The mother of the bridegroom wore a sage-colored, floor-length organza dress. The bodice was embellished with pearl bugle and diamond cut beads. The mothers were both escorted in together by the bridegroom to light the candles on each side of the unity candle. The mothers and grandmothers wore corsages of pink roses, white organza ribbon and accented with ferns.
A dinner and dance reception immediately followed at the Elks Lodge in Dexter. It was an elegant setting of round tables with floor length white cloths and fresh flower arrangements on each table. The arrangements were placed in tall 14" crystal vases. They included stargazer and Japanese lilies, white and pink roses, and ferns. Down the middle of each table was a chocolate and pink table runner with a pink tulle ring accented with white lights. The entry way was decorated with a white archway lusciously decorated with greenery and white columns accented with white lights woven throughout. The head tables were placed on the stage with the bridal cake directly behind them. The six-layer cake, made by Pat Robinson, of Dexter, was decorated with pink and chocolate-colored polka dots scattered throughout with pink ribbon at the bottom of each layer. Kristi Banken, sister-in-law of the bridegroom, topped it with a large brown letter "B" that she made. The bridegroom's cake, made by Trisha Vandeven, of Bloomfield, was in the shape of the couple's dog, Lucy, a black and brown Chihuahua. The Elks Lodge prepared the delicious food for the dinner. Accenting the food tables was a large bouquet of stargazer and Japanese lilies, long-stemmed white and pink roses, and a variety of ferns. An ice carving, by Andy Dirnberger, of Sikeston, friend of the family, was the centerpiece of the food table. Reception hosts were Ronnie and Shelia LeGrand and Kenny and Debbie Essner, all of Dexter, and friends of the family. Musical Moments, of Perryville, provided the sound system. Greg Banken, of Gregory's Creations, cousin of the bridegroom, was in charge of the reception arrangements. Trisha Vandeven, cousin of the bride, was in charge of church arrangements and assisted with wedding coordination. Joe Craig was the photographer. The event was videoed by Earl and Rosemary Young of Dexter, friends of the family.
The bridegroom's parents provided a rehearsal dinner, which was held at the Hickory Log Restaurant, in Dexter, with Gregory's Creations providing decorations for the occasion.
The newlywed couple spent their honeymoon on a cruise to the Mexican Riviera. They will be making their home in Cape Girardeau.
This wedding did not meet The Daily Statesman's 30-day requirement for publication for free publication of wedding announcements and therefore is being printed for a charge.