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Couple have uptown wedding
Since Risa Odum-Clark moved to Martinsville three years ago, she's spent all her time uptown. She lives in a lof tin the Jefferson Plaza, and she works just a couple of blocks away at the Community Dental Clinic. She feels so at home in uptown Martinsville she wanted to get married there as well. ( Photo by Kim Barto)
Bride-to-be Risa Odum was in love, and she wanted her wedding to reflect her sentiments.
She was in love with uptown Martinsville — so that’s where she and fiance Chris Clark had their wedding. On May 5, they took their vows on the stage of the Rives Theatre; they sat together on the Big Chair for portraits; and the wedding party made a procession from the Rives to the former social services building, where the reception was held.
The couple spend much of their lives uptown, so it made perfect sense. They live in a loft in the Jefferson Plaza. Odum (now Odum-Clark) is a dentist at the Community Dental Clinic.
The Tazewell native moved here in 2009. She met and fell in love with Martinsville native Chris Clark, the son of James “Kook” and Debbie Clark and the grandson of late George and Barbara Clark and Harold and Pauline Clark. He is a chemistry and physics teacher at Carlisle School.
“The whole three years of my life in Martinsville have been uptown,” she said. “This community really has taken me in.”
Originally, the couple wanted to have their wedding at the former Henry County courthouse. The construction on the landscape project disrupted the site, so their dreams moved three blocks east, to the Rives Theatre.
Rives Coleman, William Baptist and Johnny Buck of Arts at the Rives pulled everything together, she said — even though the theater had a concert the night before.
“They bent over backwards for us,” Odum-Clark said. Until last week, “There never has been a wedding at the Rives.”
Before the ceremony, guests ate fresh-popped movie popcorn as they watched a video slideshow about the bride and groom on the big screen. The aisle the bride walked down started with the miniature-light-encrusted hallway to the theater.
She wore her mother’s gown from 1980. The veil was her great-grandmother’s. All of the wedding flowers were hand-made in fabric by the bride’s sister, Letisha Odum of Tazewell.
Pastor Carl Keith performed the ceremony on the stage. Letisha Odum was the maid of honor, and bridesmaids were Christina Benton of Richmond, Christin Donnelly of Baltimore, Casey Snyder of Virginia Beach and Fawzia Bennett of Roanoke.
Jamie Clark was the best man, and the groomsmen were Brent Dalton of Richmond, Webb Donald of Pulaski, Matt Dunn of Richmond and Dennis Bender of Martinsville. Letisha Odum’s son, Lakin Odum, was the ring bearer. The ushers were Jonathon Clark, Lee Nelson and Charlie Fu.
Virginia King played violin, Amanda Dalton played guitar, Kelly Edwards sang and Jamie Anderson played keyboard. Brook Powell coordinated the wedding.
Afterwards, guests gathered around the Big Chair area across the road as the photographer, Kim Barto, snapped shots, including several of the bride and groom on the chair.
Next, the wedding party and guests strolled a block over to the former social services building for the reception.
Its owner, Steve Rucker, is renovating the building at 20 E. Church St. He plans to house an antique store on the ground floor, Odum-Clark said, and the building was beautiful. It was freshly painted, its original tin ceiling in fine form.
Odum-Clark gushed over the decorating Mary Lewis Johnston did. The two women know each other through their involvement with the Boys and Girls Club. The rustic decor in shades of brown and ivory included grapevine, twigs, mason jars tied with rope, old bottles and Spanish moss.
Ratatouille Catering provided the reception meal. The Daily Grind scooped ice cream for the guests at the wedding.
Odum-Clark’s parents are Larry and Teresa Odum. Her grandparents are Sue Fisher and the late Vondalen and Warren Odum.
With all of the wedding day action on East Church Street, the couple balanced things out with a rehearsal dinner the night before on the west end of uptown, at Hugo’s.