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Keeping traditions alive
Couple's wedding shadows that of grandparents
4 Wedding 1
Daniel Damron, 23, and Nicole Avery, 23, light a commitment candle in the presence of family and friends at the couple's June 28 wedding. They were married at Dawsonville's historic courthouse, where Avery's grandparents married over 50 years ago. Billy King, Avery's grandfather, officiated the wedding. - photo by Adam C. Stapleton

A half-century ago, Billy and Maryann King married at the courthouse in Dawsonville. Saturday, the Kings watched their granddaughter, Nicole Avery, 23, marry Daniel Damron, 23, at the same, now historic, courthouse.

Billy King, who is also a pastor, performed the ceremony, watching as his granddaughter stood in the same spot where he and his wife stood 50 years ago to commit their lives to each other.

Diane Avery, Nicole's mother, was pleased with how accommodating Dawson County was with their request to use the courthouse, which dates to 1860, for the wedding.

"The commissioners were great and very cooperative," she said.

To garner approval for the wedding site, the family asked the board of commissioners for permission. The family's request was approved on the spot.

"It was very easy,"  said Nicole. "We went to a commissioners' meeting and they were very nice about it."

She thought marrying at the courthouse would be a special way  to honor her grandparents' long-lasting marriage.

"It was my idea," she said. "Since my grandpa is marrying us, it means a lot to me. I hope to remember everything about my wedding day."

Billy King was equally as thrilled to perform his granddaughter's wedding.

"It's a real honor to marry them," said King, who just became a pastor last year and now serves as the associate pastor of Morning Side Baptist Church in Winder.

In addition to performing his granddaughter's wedding, King also baptized her and Damron in 2006, shortly before becoming a pastor.

"God has really blessed our family in the things he has allowed us to do," said Maryann King.

The Kings were married in 1957. Maryann King said she has not been back to the courthouse since her wedding day.

Billy King said he's only been back once, in the early 1970s to get a copy of their marriage license.

"It was a little strange being back in that courthouse. It's amazing that the courthouse building has been there as long as it has," said Maryann King.

"It definitely brought up many sentimental memories for sure," she added. "We are very proud that our granddaughter decided to marry there."

The Kings attribute their successful marriage to truthfulness.

"The No. 1 thing is to always be honest with each other. If you never lie to one another you will never have to tell another lie to cover that lie up," said Billy King.

The Kings imparted that advice to the newly married couple.

Nicole is currently taking online classes through Penn State to become certified in paralegal work.

Damron works at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center as a floor technician.

The Avery/Damron wedding was a small and intimate affair with traditional vows said in front of family and close friends.

After the wedding, the couple honeymooned in Helen and will make their home in Dawsonville.