When Erica Dyer went

about making her wedding

website at mywedding.com,

she did something that

didn’t surprise her friends.

Along with the rest of the

wedding party, she listed

Karen Kingsbury as her Matron of Honor. Dyer, 24, is a

longtime Kingsbury fan

and has quoted Kingsbury’s books frequently in

a journal of letters to her future husband

that she’s kept since she was 17.

So Dyer posted a photo of herself and

Kingsbury taken at one of Kingsbury’s

events, and beneath that she wrote simply:

Matron of Honor—Hopeful.

For a while, everyone who knew Erica

had a good chuckle over her wishful thinking. “About a month later, my mom told

me I should write Karen and at least let her

know that she was my Matron of Honor,”

Erica says. “So I emailed Karen, but the

whole thing was never meant to be serious. I knew Karen would never even have

time to read my email.”

But that day, Kingsbury was sitting bedside

with her husband, who’d undergone surgery to repair a hole in

his heart. “I had more time than

usual to read letters from my

reader friends,” she says. “Of

course the subject line caught

my eye. ’Matron

of Honor?’”

Kingsbury

showed her

husband—who

has since completely recovered—and he

noted that the wedding was

smack in the middle of

Kingsbury’s upcoming tour

to promote her novel Take

Four.

“You’ll be on the road, anyway,” he told

her. “You should do it.”

Kingsbury has a mission statement when

it comes to writing books and dealing with

her fans: Always love and serve the readers.

So it took only a minute for Kingsbury to ?re

off an email to Dyer.

Erica, I’m honored you would ask—even if

this is all a little tongue-in-cheek, Kingsbury

wrote. Still, you have to live outside the box

sometimes, so maybe my husband is right.

Where’s the wedding?

Within hours of receiving Kingsbury’s

email, all of Odessa, Mo., knew about Dyer ’s

shock and disbelief : She writes a column for

the local paper, where she detailed the saga

of events, and she teaches Spanish at the

local high school—so literally she told

everyone she knows. Aside from her

column, Erica kept all of her friends, family

and wedding party up-to-date on her

website at mywedding.com.

On June 25 in an old church with stained-

glass windows in Odessa, in front of

400 guests, Kingsbury made good on

that promise.

As a gift to the bride and groom,

Kingsbury’s publisher, Zondervan, and

mywedding.com sponsored a three-day

pre-honeymoon trip to New York City. Erica

and her husband, Ryan Shippy, were able to

go to Broadway shows, sightsee and enjoy

time together.

“It’s a dream come true,” Dyer says. “A day

doesn’t go by I don’t tell someone the unbelievable news—my favorite author was my

Matron of Honor!” FF

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About The Author

The author of more than 50 novels, #1 New York Times Bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is America’s favorite inspirational storyteller. Many of her novels have topped national bestseller lists, and there are more than 25 million copies of her books in print. Her novels have also been adapted to the screen, including Like Dandelion Dust, The Bridge, and A Time to Dance. Her popular series starring the Baxter family is being developed as a television series.