It has been a little over six years since I first met Ciara Sleeth. Back then she was barely 14 years old and very shy, but she had a huge love for all things trucks! Ciara became interested in trucks without ever having had anyone in her family being involved in the industry at all. Eventually, she started taking photographs and writing, and became an occasional contributor to 10-4 Magazine. Currently attending the University of Northwestern Ohio and studying diesel technology, Ciara hopes to one day be an owner-operator with her own truck, which she plans to drive and maintain herself.
Ciara and her younger brother Curtis were home-schooled by Leah, their mom, so when Ciara showed such an interest in show trucks, Leah found and bought Bette Garber’s first book “Custom Semi Trucks” for her as a gift and part of her education. My husband Roger and I were blessed to be one of those featured in that book and Ciara loved our truck. She also found some articles I had written, along with photographs I had taken, and knew we shared many common interests, so she reached out to me. Her family brought her to Louisville, KY so we could meet face-to-face at the next MATS show. Long story short, we became close. She is a very important person in my life and always will be, so when she announced her upcoming nuptials, there was no way we were not going to be there!
It was a gorgeous fall afternoon in northern Indiana, the last day of September, and Roger and I were just turning into the venue about half an hour before the wedding was to start when my phone rang – it was Ciara. She told me that they had just been in an accident and she needed her mom to call her right away. I asked her if she was okay and she said yes, but she needed her mom to come and pick her up, as Katelyn, the owner and driver, had to wait on the police and couldn’t drive her car, as it was in bad shape. I did as she asked, of course, and after assuring Leah they were alright, I told her what had happened.
The accident delayed the wedding about two hours, which turned out to be fortunate in a way, since I ended up having to sew her back into her wedding dress while we waited for her mom and Katelyn. The force of the impact had thrown Ciara so hard forward, in her complete wedding regalia (dress, hair, makeup, shoes), that it ripped her dress completely down the seam along the zipper in the back. She was such a trooper, as I repaired the damage!
Once her nerves settled and the shaking stopped, she was, once again, the excited bride. And what an entrance she made! Never, in all my years, have I been to a wedding where the bride made such a dramatic entrance. It was one for the record books, to be sure, and not one of us who attended will ever forget.
From Miss Sleeth to Mrs. Coney in front of a covered bridge on the beautiful grounds of an old prairie school, one of our own tied the knot to the love of her life, Andrew, who is also studying at the University of Northwestern Ohio, in addition to being in the National Guard. It was a beautiful ceremony at sunset, officiated by the groom’s grandfather, John Coney. The venue, filled with old farm equipment, barns, beautiful pastures and trees, and a major U.S. highway where big trucks passed intermittently to be seen and heard throughout the evening, was so Ciara. Her father Rodney proudly walked her down the aisle to her groom, and Curtis choked up with pride as he watched his big sister get married. It was beautiful and emotional, just the way weddings should be. Many close family and friends were in attendance, to support the newlyweds and their new life together.
There was a reception held following the ceremony in a barn on the property where we had a wonderful dinner with a whole roasted BBQ pig with all the fixins! It was delicious. Ciara had chosen dark purple and black as her colors, which were present in the decorations inside the barn, as well as her flowers, and both Andrew’s mom and Ciara’s mom wore purple. One of the sweetest things they did, which I had never seen done before, was when it came time to place the wedding ring on one another’s fingers, they each turned back to their respective grandmother (whom they had given the rings to prior to the ceremony) to get them from, thereby including that third generation into the ceremony. It struck me as a very touching thing to do.
It was a beautiful wedding, a wonderful reception and a great day – even despite the aforementioned car accident. We really enjoyed ourselves. It was the first time we got to meet Andrew and he seems like a terrific guy. One thing is for sure, he adores our Ciara, so as long as he’s good to her, he’s good with us! Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Coney, and best wishes from your entire 10-4 family.