Monday, October 19, 2015

A Tactical Pair have a Bikes Blues and BBQ Wedding

Chad and Niki Neal of Oklahoma
By Niki Neal, Oklahoma

December 17th 2013 was a day that would change my life forever… It was the day I met the love of my life. Chad Neal showed up for our first date with yellow roses and kissed me right after saying hello. I knew he was different from that moment. That was the moment I fell in love with him and we haven’t been apart since. It’s not easy to find someone who thinks like you and loves everything you do. But when you do, you hold on to them and cherish every moment together.

Since I’ve met him, he has shown me a whole new world of adventure! He had two passions when I met him… His jeep and his bike! I personally had never experienced either before. The first time he put me on the back of his Dyna Wide Glide, I was very nervous. But after the first five minutes, I was in love! The freeing feeling of being on a bike, with the warm sun on my face was amazing! I was hooked! He took me to my first BBBBQ last year on the Dyna. It was awesome! I loved it as much as he did. Unfortunately the small passenger pad on the back was excruciatingly painful to me, so on our second day of the rally he traded it in for our Heritage Softail Classic. Now we can ride all day long, take trips all over and we both can enjoy the ride!
Chad and I are very patriotic and we love our country. Chad is an Iraq veteran and left that country with a broken back. But he doesn’t let that hold him back, a trait I admire the most. Another great trait is his ability to not just dream, but make those dreams a reality. In December of 2014 we fulfilled a dream of ours when we opened our store Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear and Gun Range in our hometown of Oktaha, OK. Chad proposed on our grand opening day as I was cutting the ribbon. Saying I was happy could not even begin to describe me that day!

After the excitement and things had settled down, I asked him what kind of a wedding he wanted. We both have been married before, and like most weddings his were planned by the bride. I wanted our wedding to not be just what I wanted, but what he wanted as well. We threw around a lot of ideas, but nothing really seemed right. Months went by and we still had no idea what we wanted.

At this point I was ready to just give up and go to the court house. When I said that Chad got quiet. He didn’t say anything for several hours and I thought I had made him mad with that suggestion. He finally came up to me and told me he came up with the perfect idea! “Let’s get married at Bikes, Blues and BBQ!”

It was the perfect idea and he already had it all arranged and us scheduled for September 25th at 4:15pm on center stage when he told me his idea. He knew I would love the idea before he ever said anything. Over the next several months we planned the event. I was given a beautiful wedding gown by a dear friend, so we went with “biker formal” attire. I even bought white high heeled leather boots to wear!

The day of our wedding arrived and I loaded all five of our children up in our friends van and Chad rode the bike. We left in plenty of time however we never expected an accident on the highway. So we were running late when we parked the van behind the Baptist church at the corner of Dickson St. and College Ave. So with five children trailing behind me, I took off running down Dickson Street, trying to make it to our wedding on time. I was instantly regretting those high heeled boots! We eventually made it, just ten minutes late, and completely out of breath. But when I saw Chad standing there waiting on me in front of the stage, I knew it was all worth it. And while we were on the stage saying our vows, I knew that this was the best wedding ever. As we rode up and down Dickson Street on the bike after, with everyone clapping and cheering, I knew I was where I belonged… behind the man that I loved… on the back of his bike!

Wedding photography: Proof of LifePhotography by Leslie Burchett