Claire Ellyn Steele and Daniel James McLaughlin were united in marriage Sept. 20, 2014, at the US Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. John W. Mabee of Midland, Texas, officiated at the ceremony.

The bride is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Edgar Steele of Graham. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Rosie Steele, the late Edgar Steele, and the late Leon and Dorothy Harvey, all of Graham.

Dear friends, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Byerly, stood in as honorary grandparents for the bride since none of her grandparents were able to be at the wedding.

The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James Stephen McLaughlin of Midland, Texas. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. James D. McLaughlin and Mrs. and Mrs. B.L. Young, Jr., all of Midland, Texas.

Given in marriage by her parents and escorted by her father, the bride wore a modified A-line silhouette gown by Justin Alexander with a V-neckline and cap sleeves featuring Alencon lace and tulle over satin.

The gown had a V-back neckline with satin buttons covering the zipper to the end of the chapel length train.

Image source: red formal dresses

The waist was accented with an intricately beaded belt.

The bride’s bouquet was composed of green hydrangeas, mango mini callas, red berries, orange roses, and dark purple stock.

A brooch belonging to her late grandmother, Mrs. Dorothy Harvey, was entwined into the bridal bouquet.

A sixpence presented to the bride by her Bible Study teacher, Mrs. Mickey (Judy) Wilson, was placed in the bride’s shoe.

Music for the ceremony was provided by the renowned organist for the US Air Force Academy, Dr. Joe Galema. The uncle of the bride, Mr. Dan S.Steele, sang the arrangement of the Lord’s Prayer by Malotte.

M’Laci Webb of Midland, teaching colleague of the bride, served as maid of honor. Bridesmaids included Stephanie and Rachel McLaughlin, both sisters of the groom from Midland, and Heather Vander Wyst of Goldsboro, North Carolina.

The bridesmaids wore short gowns of plum with sleeveless bodices and round illusion mesh necklines each fitted with a feminine side cascade and back ruching.

They carried nosegays of flowers similar to the bride’s bouquet.

Best man was Eric Vander Wyst, US Air Force Academy roommate of the groom, from Goldsboro, North Carolina. Groomsmen were Joel Steele, brother of the bride, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Zack Deck of Midland, and Nick Wilson of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

Mackenzie Crow of Graham assisted the bride with programs and the guest book.

The bride and groom exited the chapel through a military sword arch staffed by the US Air Force Academy Cadet Wing Honor Guard.

A reception was held at Doolittle Hall, the home of the association of alumni of the US Air Force Academy.

The reception space was decorated with shades of gold and plum. Indigo Sky of Colorado Springs transformed the space with lighting, draping, and crystal chandeliers. Krave Catering of Denver, Colorado, catered the social hour and the wedding buffet.

A traditional white wedding cake and a dark chocolate groom’s cake were created by Iced and Dazzled of Colorado Springs.

Guitarist Wayne Wilkinson provided the music for the social hour. Marci Hureau of DJ Dazzle served as master of ceremony for the reception and played music selected by the bride and groom as they greeted their guests.

Floral arrangements for the reception were by Rhonda Nichols Floral Design.

The entire event was overseen and coordinated by Sarah Viera Event Planning of Colorado Springs.

The groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner for the wedding party at Mackenzie’s Chop House in Colorado Springs on the eve of the wedding.

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lunsford hosted a bridesmaid’s luncheon at Arnold Hall as the bride and her party prepared for the wedding ceremony.

The bride is a graduate of Graham High School, and she graduated from Texas A&M in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She has been employed as a teacher of children with special needs.

The groom graduated from Midland Classical Academy and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the US Air Force Academy in 2009. He is a captain in the US Air Force and serves as a pilot.

After the couple departed their wedding reception in a chaffered white 1959 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud limousine, they spent their wedding night at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.

They enjoyed a honeymoon on the island of St.Croix in the US Virgin Islands. They have made their home in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

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