MISSION COMPLETE: Military couple gets their dream wedding with no cost to them
SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — An Army staff sergeant and his bride had their dream wedding with no cost to them on Veterans Day thanks to the organization Operation Marry Me Military.
SSgt. Stuart Moore has been in the Army for six years, and he has earned countless commendations and medals, but he said one of the biggest moments of his life is marrying his girlfriend Courtney, and that’s exactly what he did Wednesday with the help of the Brunswick County community.
Moore said he met Courtney while he was stationed in Fayetteville. They had been dating for eight months.
“I said, ‘Let’s go to the Japanese steakhouse,’ and we have been on one long first date ever since,” Moore said.
From the first date to the first steps down the aisle, it was a journey made possible by Operation Marry Me Military.
Wendy Hilliard, Brunswick County Operation Marry Me Military director, said the organization puts together weddings for servicemen and women using donated services.
“I’m a wedding planner, so we have donated all of our services,” Hilliard siad.
Hilliard said a number of Southport and surrounding area businesses and individuals donated their time and services to make this wedding happen.
“Everything for a typical wedding, from the food to the music to the flowers to this venue, everything is donated,” Hilliard said.
The services totaled more than $40,000. Alecia Davis-Geddings, Operation Marry Me Military founder, said that is a small price when you compare it to military service.
“What Operation Marry Me Military is able to give them, it does not compare to what they give us,” Davis-Geddings said.
Artist Missy Ronquillo said she understands that all too well. She donated her time and talent to live paint the ceremony.
“I grew up in a military family, and my dad is a veteran, and I just felt like it was a wonderful way give to back,” Ronquillo said. “I just can’t think of a better way to spend a Veterans Day.”
For Moore, his wedding day is made even more meaningful because it’s Veterans Day.
“My father and mother are veterans,” he said. “All the way back nine generations we’ve served. We’ve had people that have lost their lives in service, so the roots really run deep.”
Roots that have made a man the new Mrs. Moore can be proud of.
“Stuart is everything I’ve ever wanted that I didn’t know I wanted,” Courtney said. “He’s really supportive, and everything that I do, he is right next me.”
The newlyweds said they appreciate everyone who donated and are thankful.
Military members are encouraged to apply for a wedding through Operation Marry Me Military. Davis-Geddings said they have fewer military members applying because they think won’t get it or they don’t deserve it.
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