Military Couple Wins Free Wedding on 9/11
"I am very excited, not nervous, but very excited," Hillary Courter said.
Hillary will marry U.S. Marine Sergeant Ben Courter on September 11th, but it was Hillary's mother who delivered some surprising news to the couple.
"I had a number of missed calls from my mother-in-law, and I thought something very bad had happened to a relative. I was finally able to get a hold of her, and she told me that we had a free wedding, and I love free things, so I was very happy," Sgt. Ben Courter said.
Michelle Jardine, Hillary's mother, wrote a letter for Musket Ridge Golf Course's Love and Liberty Wedding Giveaway.
"My husband was upstairs asleep. He works crazy hours and was upstairs sleeping," Jardine said. "I was downstairs and just going, 'Ah! Ah!' I called Hillary. Hillary and Ben had no idea that I had ever entered them into the contest."
The couple won a $15,000 wedding and reception, complete with food, free of charge.
Ben and Hillary are high school sweethearts and have been together for seven years. They finally get to have their dream wedding in front of 110 people.
"It's awesome because not everyone can afford the dream wedding that they want, so being able to get this big wedding here at Musket Ridge is amazing," Hillary Courter said.
Hillary and Ben had a wedding planned in 2011, but his deployment date in Afghanistan changed. The young bride kept her wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses. This story touched those at Musket Ridge.
"It's so infectious here. The feeling is so wonderful that we can do this and that we do do this, and once you meet the family and they're here and we're in preparation for the wedding, it's just exciting. It feels good because as you know all servicemen give so much of themselves," said Bonnie Swanson, with Musket Ridge Golf Course.
Those at Musket Ridge say the September 11th wedding is a way to give back to those who protect the country.
"It's very humbling. People are very supportive all over the place all the time, but this is kind of something I never expected," Sgt. Ben Courter said.
It's something this young military couple never expected but something they embrace as they begin their lives together.