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It's a hot August afternoon, and Daryle Singletary is standing at the altar and looking toward the door of Lovely Lane Chapel, a beachside church in St. Simons Island, Ga.
Suddenly, he catches the eye of his bride-to-be, 26-year-old surgical nurse Holly Mercer. She smiles back at Daryle, brushes away a tear and tightly clutches the arm of her father, Terry. As a slight ocean breeze floats in through the doorway, father and daughter walk slowly down the aisle, pausing to take in the warm smiles of over 130 guests.
"She is such a beautiful bride," says a choked-up Daryle, taking in the sight of Holly, who's dressed in a simple, white strapless Jasmine gown and white satin-edged veil.
As she takes her place next to Daryle, he leans over and whispers, "Don't be mad if I don't look at you." He grabs his guitar, sits down in a nearby chair and sings, "She's a Woman," a song he wrote with his friend Billy Lawson.
"I knew he was going to sing something that he wrote, but he didn't let me hear it beforehand," Holly later recalls. "So it was a big surprise."
"I was probably the most nervous about the song," says Daryle, 32, whose mid-'90s hits include "Amen Kind of Love" and "Too Much Fun." "I wanted it to be perfect because she had done so much to plan the wedding. I didn't want to flub my part."
During the traditional ceremony, Danny Callahan, Holly's pastor from her hometown church in Waycross, Ga., offers words of inspiration. "Daryle and Holly are writing their own song," says the pastor. "It starts from this day forward."
After the wedding, the guests wave as the couple - who met at a team-roping event nearly three years ago - climb into a horse-drawn carriage, which carries them to the Beach Bed & Breakfast, where the reception is underway.
"We had the most awesome caterer," says Holly. "I was afraid we would be too busy to eat so I asked my mom to fix us a picnic basket to take up to our room later."
That turned out to be a great idea. "We never sat down!" laughs Daryle. "All we did was meet and greet. It was worse than one of my shows."