Ken and Sethea’s wedding day was a beautiful symbol of God’s faithfulness.
Sethea remembers often telling her clients, who had become some of her closest friends, that things were going to be so much better in her next life. “And nobody said I have to die first,” she would add. Today, she says that God honored that wish by bringing her Ken—her knight in shining armor.
Sethea’s parents had both passed away before her engagement to Ken, but she vividly remembers feeling her mother’s presence while planning their wedding.
“At the time, I kept calling on my mom for help,” Sethea said. “In reality, I was asking God for help, not realizing it. Every time I called out, what I asked would be fulfilled. It was such a beautiful, beautiful thing.”
Sethea had never been wedding dress shopping before, and she found the experience to be simply magical. She found a beautiful gown that fit perfectly, no alternations needed.
Her youngest daughter, Shelsea, insisted that Sethea needed to wear a veil so she would look just like a princess. Sethea protested, but Shelsea was adamant. Sethea eventually gave in and tried on a veil. Shelsea was right; it was the perfect finishing touch.
Shanel wanted to know why her mom hadn’t asked the three girls to be in her wedding. It simply hadn’t occurred to Sethea before, but she loved the idea of including her daughters in the big day and asked them right away.
Sethea found black velvet dresses for Shanté and Shanel and a black dress with puffy sleeves for Shelsea, which Shelsea refused to wear. Sethea still marvels that a girl that small could be so opinionated. To appease her, Sethea had the sleeves removed, added a satin belt, and had a beautiful headpiece made for Shelsea.
“It was just so perfect,” Sethea recalled.
God continued to provide for all the details of the wedding, and, on the morning of November 24, 2000, it seemed as if everything were falling into place. That is, until Shanté refused to do Shanel’s hair.
“Everyone was at the church, and we had this beautiful harpist playing,” Sethea recalled. “I said, ‘We’re not leaving until you fix your sister’s hair.’ We ended up being 45 minutes late.”
Eventually, the three girls, with hair done and black dresses donned, climbed into the limo with Sethea, and her sister and maid of honor, Sarah. To this day, the image of her three girls sitting across from her on her wedding day is one of Sethea’s favorite memories.
The wedding was in a beautiful church that held all of 64 people. “My family took up most of the church,” Sethea laughed.
Two of Sethea’s brothers, Robert and Randy, walked her down the aisle in their father’s stead. One of the sweetest moments of the wedding for Sethea was when she and Ken lit a candle in honor of her parents, and a large ash formed and landed on the minster’s Bible. Sethea and Sarah looked at each other and teared up.
“We knew exactly—it was like my parents both approved,” Sethea said. “It was just so beautiful.”
Ken and Sethea’s wedding day was the start of something new, a symbol of a fresh start for each of them and their families. Ken insisted that their children wouldn’t be “his, mine, and ours.” Ken adopted Shanté, Shanel and Shelsea, and they took his last name. The Baruns were one family now, and it was just the beginning of what God had in store for them.
Seth shares a comical story about attempting to get the Sethea and his new sisters out the door and to the church on time. He also talks about some of his favorite things about Sethea.