No one could have know in 1993 when Alice Shepherd and Isaac Bullin posed in an Elkin High School Class of 1993 photo as the class mascots at the age of 5 that 24 years later the two would get married, but that’s what happened Saturday.
After auditioning for the roles of boy and girl mascot for the Elkin High School Class of 1993 at the age of 5 and getting them, Shepherd and Bullin’s lives ran parallel through much of elementary, middle and high school, the couple said Thursday as they enjoyed lunch in downtown Elkin at Southern on Main before the wedding weekend festivities began.
“I sang, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,’” said Shepherd of her audition song. Bullin said his vocal option of choice was “Happy Birthday.”
The two ended up in the same kindergarten class, that of Gail Stanley, who attended Saturday’s wedding, and were in five of seven years of classes through Elkin Elementary School. Shepherd played trombone in elementary school and Bulling played trumpet.
When they got to middle school, Shepherd went the way of athletics, while Bullin chose to stick with band. Then in high school, Bullin transferred to East Wilkes High for his junior and senior years where he gave up band and opted to play football.
Even in their high school jobs, the two weren’t far apart, with Shepherd working at Diana’s Bookstore when it was on West Main and Bullin working at Royall’s across the street. But they never ran in the same crowd.
Now a second-grade teacher at Lindley Elementary School in Guilford County, Shepherd said her students love to go through her yearbooks and look for the two of them and see if they wrote in each other’s books that year.
After graduating high school, Bullin went off to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro while Shepherd opted to stay at home and save money by attending Surry Community College. She later transferred in to UNCG also and the two ended up in the same Greek mythology class, with her as a junior based on credit hours and Bullin as a senior.
It was during this time the two began hanging out with a group of friends going out for wings and beer.
After Bullin graduated from UNCG, he moved back to Ronda to work with his aunt, but it didn’t take long for him to decide he missed the activity of the city and his friend found him a job and he moved back to Greensboro. “I enjoyed working for my family, but there wasn’t a whole lot Elkin offered, so I moved back and moved in with a buddy.”
Shepherd said the two ran into each other while they were walking their dogs at a park in Greensboro, and after finding themselves hanging out all the time, they decided to give dating a try.
“Four years and a week later, we got engaged,” Bullin said.
School and work weren’t the only places the two were so closely connected, it was destined from the beginning as Shepherd said they were born 10 days apart at the Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital.
The plan for Bullin’s proposal was to pop the question after dinner at the beach as the two walked on the pier, but when they got to the pier it was very crowded. He said he suggested the two walk along the beach. After a failed attempt at a picture taken by some teenage boys also walking on the beach, a selfie was suggested by Shepherd.
So as Shepherd lined up the camera for the selfie at sunset, Bullin slipped the ring out and held it in the picture without her knowing. After she looked at the picture and saw the ring in the photo, she told him he better get on one knee.
The couple, joined by 118 of their family and friends, gathered Saturday evening at the Blessing Chapel at Camp Cheerio in Glade Valley, where Shepherd was a camper as a youth. Her bridal portraits had previously been taken at the first cabin she stayed in there as a camper.
Following the wedding, the reception was held at Coley Hall at The Liberty in downtown Elkin.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.