"Now that the weight has lifted, love has surely shifted my way."
That's Christina Davidson's favorite line from Martina McBride's latest single, "Marry Me," a cover of Train's 2011 pop hit. Now that Davidson has found true love again after overcoming the tragedy of her first husband Paul's untimely death, those words have never felt more true.
McBride and Train's Pat Monahan will perform "Marry Me" as Davidson and Frank Tucci exchange vows onstage during the ACM Awards on Sunday (April 1) in Las Vegas. Both the bride and groom lost their spouses in 2009 and met at a support group in their hometown in New Jersey.
"For me, that line sticks because Frank and I had so much weight on our shoulders after we lost our spouses -- all the pressure of being single parents and not wanting our children to think life was sad," Davidson told CMT.com. "Now that we are getting married, the weight has lifted. I'm not gonna lie to you. This is bittersweet. I will never forget Paul. I will always have a hole in my heart. But this new chapter is about us falling in love again and blending our families."
McBride is looking forward to the wedding and singing the song with Monahan.
"'You wear white, and I'll wear out the words "I love you." That's my favorite line from the song. It's just so beautifully written, the whole song," McBride said Wednesday (March 28) in an interview with CMT.com. "I also love the line, 'Marry me today and every day.' Because it's not just about this day. It's about every day. You want to feel like you want to be married every day."
And McBride is honored to be a part of the wedding on the awards show.
"It's gracious of Christina and Frank to do this, honestly," she said. "I feel like they're doing something great for all of us. A wedding is such an intimate, momentous occasion you want to share with your family.
"I think about planning a wedding and how nervous you are and all the things you think about before you walk down the aisle. I'm really protective of them. And I want it to feel more like a real wedding and not just like a television show."
The whole story brought McBride down memory lane. McBride's own wedding was 24 years ago in Wichita, Kan. Her colors were mauve and ivory. Her dress had a bow in the back, with a bustle. After laughing while describing her '80s-style wedding, McBride said the best part of the ceremony was knowing she'd chosen the right person to wed.
"We love each other, and more importantly, we like each other," she said of her husband John, who proposed after they'd only been dating a month.
For Davidson's wedding, McBride said she'll be choosing her own dress later this week.
"Normally, you pick something for an awards show because you really want to stand out," she explained. "But I want to stay to simple. You don't want to wear something that might upstage the bride."
Davidson's dress, on the other hand, will stand out gorgeously. It is an Oleg Cassini design she found at David's Bridal in New York.
"It's not too full," she said. "It fits like a glove. When I tried it on, it was so pretty. It was the fourth one I put on. It didn't even need to be altered, and I was just like, 'Are you kidding me?"
She will also be wearing the jewelry she wore at her first wedding.
"Why not take a piece of it with me?" she said. "It's part of who I am."
Davidson and Tucci have written their own vows to exchange on the MGM Grand Garden Arena stage in Las Vegas.
Before the ceremony at the ACM Awards became a possibility, Davidson was just planning a small wedding at the Atlantic City Country Club. Her sons, 2 and 4, were going to give her away.
"Our children are our life, but this trip is about us finding love again," she said. "My parents will be watching the kids back in Jersey. And they'll all be watching it on TV."
Davidson's horoscope in a recent issue of the Philadelphia Daily News stated, "Your life is like a country song."
She feels like that is true -- today and every day.
"Going through what I went through and going to bed alone each night and waking up in an empty bed each morning, that was rough," she said. "But I was in control of how each day would be. I had a choice. Would it be a good day or a bad day?
"I'd think about the Martina song, 'Blessed,' every time I woke up and put my feet on the hardwood floor and now when I hear my sons laughing. I was seven weeks pregnant when my husband went canoeing, and he never came home. This doesn't happen to me. This happens to other people. But it was me. Now this is [also] me that this is happening to. It gives me so much hope."