What happens when two people from deeply musical families get married? Music plays!
During the evening nuptials of Mikah Foster and Travis Cleveland on Sept. 3, 2016, at Christ Temple in Phoenix, members of both sides of the new family sang solos, duets and as a group to usher the young couple into a lifetime of commitment to each other. They were surrounded by friends and family in a mostly traditional Christian wedding, and Rev. Gary Hogan, an ordained minister and Arizona superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI), officiated the ceremony.
Mikah Foster is the daughter of Rev. Jon and Kasse Foster of Phoenix. Her father is an ordained minister through UPCI and works for Cox Communications, and her mother is the music director of Christ Temple in Phoenix. Travis Cleveland is the son of Steve, retired from the city of Tempe, and Susan Cleveland, music director of Phoenix Revival Center. The groom works for the city of Tempe, and the bride works for LogistiCare.
And The Band Played On
Many elements of a traditional wedding could be found at the Foster-Cleveland wedding, but Foster refused to allow any of the music to be performed by anyone outside the circle of their family and friends.
“I didn’t want any strangers playing or singing during our special day,” Foster said.
The wedding began with an instrumental by organist Chase Enquist from the Indiana and pianist Javier (Tito) Rocha, bass player Tomas Najera and drummer Samuel Rocha, all of Arizona. The small band continued playing as Foster’s cousin, Colleen Keyes, and Cleveland’s cousin, Danny Abbot, sang Johnnyswim’s Take the World while the candle-lighters and sign holders marched to the front of the sanctuary.
A chorale made up of 10 of Foster’s family members gathered below the band to sing The Glory of Love, and that song was the official beginning of the wedding for the young bride. The processional began as Rev. Kurt Keyes sang The Lord’s Prayer as the ministers and groom made their way to the platform, and then Rev. Kris Keyes sang Chuck Wick’s Stealing Cinderalla as the bridal party marched to the front. Jake Foster, the bride’s brother, sang I Love You for Sentimental Reasons as their nephew marched to the front of the church bearing a sign that read: “Here comes the love of your life.”
Rev. Delman Sansom, Cleveland’s pastor from Phoenix Revival Center, made remarks about the two. After the bride was given away by her father and the vows began, Foster sang The One He Kept For Me, by Maurette Brown Clark, to her groom. The couple completed their vows as Rev. Hogan read from Rev. M.O. Keyes’ (deceased) Star book. The bride’s mother sang Nat King Cole’s When I Fall in Love as the two lit their unity candle. Foster’s father, Jon, prayed over the couple.
The ceremony ended as Foster’s cousin, Anthony Keyes, sang This is a Lovely Way to Spend an Evening.
How it All Began
Foster and Cleveland grew up around each other, but although they were often around each other at youth camps and church functions, they never actually saw the other until Cleveland’s sister’s wedding in 2014. “The moment I saw him escorting his mother to the front of the church, I knew,” Foster said. “We watched each other the rest of the day.”
The long talks on the phone began then, and Cleveland asked Foster to date him on Dec. 24, 2014. Foster said she had never been able to talk to anyone the way she talked to her future groom. Cleveland proposed on Jan.18, 2016, and the rest of their love song is being written to this day.