Musician Shaun Booker has to laugh about the first time she met John Semel because she doesn't remember it. (He reminded her they had met before during their second meeting, which Booker does recall.) After flirting back and forth at several of her shows, Semel requested Booker sing "Midnight Train to Georgia" one night and later asked for her number. He continued showing up at her performances, once even spending $70 on cab fare from Powell to Long Street to see her play.
The couple married May 23 at Vonn Jazz & Blues in Crosswoods near Worthington. Booker, who has a 13-year-old son, was featured as a single in Columbus Monthly's May 2008 cover story. In the interview, she listed several qualities she looked for in a man and "John kept proving himself, little by little," she says. "Being an entertainer, I meet people all of the time. I was raising a son by myself. I really wasn't dating. I wasn't going to put another guy in my son's life that wasn't going to be there." Of Semel's first meeting with her child, Booker says, "At the end of the day, my son came up and group-hugged John and I. In my heart, I knew it meant he approved."
The couple became engaged on Christmas Eve last year and began planning their spring nuptials. Booker, who says she's not a "traditional girl," chose Vonn Jazz & Blues because "I've always said this should be my house." She adds that the reception, which included 60 guests, "was basically a jam session." An interesting note about the couple's first dance: One of Booker's students, Brian Stevens, whom she is training for an "American Idol" audition, performed "I'll Stand by You."
Booker says her favorite memories from the day include her two brothers. Her younger brother, who officiated the ceremony, held underneath his Bible a picture of their deceased parents, which he presented during the wedding as a memorial. Her older brother walked her down the aisle.
Of her new husband, the bride says, "He swept me off my feet. I'm a tomboy and he melted me."
The newlyweds reside in Columbus and are looking forward to a Hawaiian honeymoon in November.