Couple's Wait for Dream Wedding Pays Off

Frederick News-Post - August 6, 2013

MYERSVILLE — Musket Ridge Golf Club will provide a complimentary wedding for its third Love & Liberty Wedding Giveaway. Hillary and Ben Courter will have the dream wedding they gave up when his overseas deployment date was moved up. They will celebrate their marriage on September 11, 2013 at the award-winning Catoctin Hall at Musket Ridge.

“Ben and I are so excited!” exclaimed Hillary. “When Ben returned from Afghanistan, we could not afford to throw a wedding as originally planned. We are so appreciative of Musket Ridge’s generosity and the vendors that are donating their services!”

Hillary and Ben are high school sweethearts from Clear Spring and their relationship flourished even long-distance when Ben moved to San Diego to be stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. Since then Ben has served in the Marine Corps Infantry for over five years and has been deployed twice, the most recent deployment to Afghanistan. While overseas, he served in a Marine Expeditionary Unit as part of a ground combat element that provided immediate response to any crisis.

They eagerly planned a May wedding. Hillary found a beautiful wedding gown and ordered it along with dresses for seven bridesmaids, two junior bridesmaids, two flower girls and her mother. Out of the blue on New Year’s Day, Ben received orders that would send him to Afghanistan in several months. The couple wanted to be married more than having their dream wedding, so they, along with Hillary’s mother Michelle Jardine, pulled together a small, informal wedding in 6 weeks. Unfortunately, Hillary’s gown had not arrived, along with other dresses ordered.

“We have a closet full of dresses,” wrote Michelle when she nominated her daughter and son-in-law. Michelle kept all the garments, hoping that one day the couple could have the wedding they originally planned. “They both made sacrifices for our country and are so in love — I would love to see them have their dream wedding.”

Musket Ridge created the Love & Liberty Wedding Giveaway in 2011 to recognize the bravery of the military and first responders for the tenth anniversary of both the club and the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. Damon DeVito, managing director of Affinity Management (, which operates Musket Ridge, said, “So many deserving couples were nominated. Hillary and Ben’s closet full of dresses perfectly symbolizes the willing sacrifice of our troops and put a lump in our throats. It’s humbling.”

Musket Ridge will donate a wedding ceremony with mountain views across the golf course. Their 150 guests will enjoy a seated dinner reception in the light-filled Catoctin Hall.

Several vendors have donated their services to the couple. Hillary will receive a professional makeup application courtesy of Aaren King of MADE Makeup. The bridal party’s makeup will be done by Trinity Salon and Spa, which will also style hair for Hillary and the bridal party. Officiant Norman Ross will perform the ceremony. Bruce Pike of Dynomite DJs is providing music for the reception.