Cory Geddings realized he had gotten off on the wrong foot with Jaclyn Larson, so he backtracked and tried the whole thing over again.
Cory and a friend were out celebrating his birthday in September 2014 at a Little Rock bar. Jaclyn was out celebrating a friend's recent engagement.
The first time I saw my future spouse:
She says: “I thought he was full of it.”
He says: “I thought, ‘Man, I hope she’ll buy me a drink.’ She didn’t. I bought her one.”
On our wedding day:
She says: “It was just special. We included Tinsley in our ceremony and we had a part where we promised to become one as a family.”
He says: “It was something I had waited for my whole life. I was marrying my best friend and we were becoming a family all together with us and Tinsley.”
The best marriage advice we got was:
She says: “From my uncle. He told us to always put God first, and he told Cory that Tinsley was going to learn more about what a marriage should look like if he was making sure that I was his No. 1 and then comes Tinsley. That’s advice that you don’t always hear, but it really makes sense and we try to make sure we abide by that.”
He says: “Don’t give up. Everything is not easy and it’s not all green pastures, but you just have to be persistent and learn to work with each other and give and take a lot.”
"He and his friend walked up to us and they swore they had seen us somewhere else earlier in the night," says Jaclyn, who had just moved to Little Rock from Russellville. "I was kind of rude and said, 'No, we didn't go anywhere else. This is the only place we've been.'"
It really was the only place they had been.
"We got them confused with someone else," Cory insists. "We really did think we had seen them before that."
Her friend softened the blow.
"She said, 'If you think we're cute, just ask us our names,'" Jaclyn says. "They did this funny little stutter step and took a few steps back and then they walked back up and introduced themselves like normal people. We thought it was really funny and we kind of laughed because they had done this little 'try again' because it clearly wasn't working the first time."
Cory initially started chatting with Jaclyn's friend, and his friend started chatting with Jaclyn.
"And then my friend was like, 'He has a kid, and, uh, I don't like kids. You should talk to him.' And I said, 'OK,'" says Jaclyn, a kindergarten teacher at the time.
They talked for a while and shared a few dances, and at the end of the evening Cory asked if Jaclyn wanted his number.
"I said, 'Um, no, I don't want your number, but you can have mine.' And he goes, 'Oh, OK,'" she says. "He tells me all the time that that was his pickup line. He said, 'No girl actually gives their number if you just ask for it, but if they want to give it to you, if you offer yours first they'll give it to you.' That was his plan."
Cory texted her the next morning while she was in Conway visiting her mother.
"We texted pretty much all day and I was reading my mom all the text messages," she says. "She said he seemed like a nice guy."
Their first date was to BJ's Brewhouse in North Little Rock. Neither had been before, and they decided to meet there for dinner.
"We had our dinner and we shared a S'mores Pizookie," Jaclyn says. "We were just talking and we turned around and they were stacking chairs and we were like, 'Oh, we've gotta go.'"
They talked in the parking lot for another hour after the restaurant closed.
"It was a pretty late night for me," she says. "And we both had to go to work the next day."
They got to know each other for a couple of months before Cory introduced Jaclyn to his daughter, Tinsley, then 6. It was close to Halloween then, and they went to a pumpkin patch.
"She's really, really shy so she was just clinging to her daddy the whole time," Jaclyn says. "We did the whole pumpkin patch thing and we picked out pumpkins and she picked out a small one because she wanted to paint it."
After stopping at the store for paint and a pumpkin carving kit, they headed to Cory's house so Tinsley could paint her pumpkin and Cory and Jaclyn could carve theirs.
Cory and Jaclyn were together as often as their work schedules allowed after that. And after dating for a couple of years, Jaclyn was ready to get married.
"He just kept telling me, 'There's no need to rush. I love you, and when the right time is the right time ...'" she says.
On March 19, 2016, they were tossing a softball with Tinsley and playing catch with Jaclyn's schnauzer, Sophie, when Cory called Tinsley inside. Jaclyn started to follow, but Cory stopped her. He just needed to talk with Tinsley for a minute, he explained. Then Tinsley came out with her hands behind her back.
"She said, 'Hey Jaclyn, I have something for you from Daddy.' I said, 'OK,'" Jaclyn says. "She pulled out a ring box. She didn't open it -- she just showed it to me. I said, 'Well, what is that?' and she said, 'What do you think it is?' I just looked at him and I said, 'Are you kidding me? Is this real right now?'"
Tinsley took that literally.
"She said, 'Well, no, this is not a joke. That would be mean,'" Jaclyn says.
Cory and Jaclyn exchanged their vows on Oct. 28, 2017, in the Hill Barn in Bryant, with Jaclyn's uncle officiating the ceremony.
They live in Bryant. Jaclyn teaches first grade at Salem Elementary; Cory works for the Arkansas Department of Correction.
"He swept me off my feet," Jaclyn says. "I totally was not looking. I was in a place where I felt like I was fine being on my own and I was happy with that, then he came into the picture and all that changed."
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Cory and Jaclyn Geddings were married on Oct. 28, 2017. Cory’s daughter, Tinsley, 10, presented Jaclyn with an engagement ring that belonged to Cory’s great-great grandmother a year earlier. “He swept me off my feet,” Jaclyn says.
High Profile on 12/02/2018
Print Headline: The time was right when she got the antique ring