Josh Turner + Jennifer Ford — Country’s Greatest Love Stories
Josh Turner and Jennifer Ford celebrate their wedding anniversary on June 14. The college sweethearts met at Nashville's Belmont University, where Turner transferred in August of 1998, after a solid year of dealing with a vocal cord lesion that put him out of singing commission. Little did Turner know at the time that furthering his education would also change his personal life.
In his book Man Stuff: Thoughts on Faith, Family and Fatherhood, Turner recalls that after the breakup of a two-and-a-half-year relationship, he "went out on a few dates, but none of those girls made my heart flutter." Enter fellow student Jennifer Ford, who completely turned his life upside down.
"Meeting her wasn't planned or expected, but our friendship felt completely different," Turner writes "For the first time, I was truly on cloud nine. I can't really explain that time other than to say it was unbelievable."
Still, Turner notes that they took their relationship "real slow;" in fact, Ford didn’t call Turner her boyfriend until they had been dating six months. But the relationship stuck, and he orchestrated a special proposal, in November of 2002, based around a picnic at Nashville's Percy Priest Lake. Turner played Ford a song called "I Can See It In Your Smile," which he wrote especially for her, and then pulled an engagement ring out from his jacket pocket.
"Jennifer said, 'Are you serious?'" Turner recalls in his book. "I said, 'Yes, I'm serious!'"
The pair's June 2003 wedding at Snellville United Methodist Church was huge — 500 people — and boasted a version of the song "Sweet, Sweet Spirit" that the musical couple performed for the occasion. Over the years, in fact, Turner and Ford have kept their musical union as strong as their marriage: The latter has contributed as a keyboardist and backing vocalist in Turner's live band.
"Jennifer isn’t the type to hand a child off to me the minute I get back, but I am very hands on when I get home,” Turner told People in 2014. “I realize she does need a break, and I pitch in and help as much as I can.”
And, as Turner stresses in Man Stuff, his marriage is more than worth the effort.
"We feel blessed to have each other to lean on. I've never given myself the option of leaving Jennifer or vice versa," he writes. "Marriage hasn't been trouble free, but it's been beautiful and powerful. Just like we'd hoped."