Musket Ridge opened for play the week of 9/11 and created the Love & Liberty Wedding Giveaway to recognize the bravery of our military and first responders, and as a way of giving back--a small token of our appreciation for all the sacrifices made by veterans. The Love & Liberty Wedding Giveaway is open to couples where at least one person is an active members of the US military, veterans who served post 9/11, and active first responders. The winning couple receives a complimentary wedding at the award-winning Catoctin Hall on Monday, September 11th, 2024.
Nominations are now open and the deadline for entries is April 15, 2024. Please click the link below to nominate a couple for this year's giveaway.
Musket Ridge donates a wedding ceremony with sweeping mountain views across one of Maryland’s most beautiful and highly rated golf courses. 150 guests enjoy a seated dinner reception in the light-filled Catoctin Hall and exquisite food with superb service. Musket Ridge waives the venue fee and donates all food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Here are the stories of some past Love & Liberty Wedding winners:
Elizabeth met Timothy while caring for his father at George Washington University Hospital. Shortly after Timothy deployed to Libya, his father passed away. Elizabeth became the point of contact with Timothy, forwarding her condolences along with notes and memories of Timothy’s dad’s last days via Facebook. A long distance love was blossoming, and bloomed upon Timothy’s return home. Timothy had a deployment to the Republic of Georgia in August, rather than October as previously ordered. The sudden change in orders means Elizabeth and Colin will not wed on 9/11, as was planned. Rather, Musket Ridge was accommodating moving the wedding to spring when Colin returned home from duty.
Michael was a Senior Airman in the Squadron of the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard and his fiancée, Lindsay. Catoctin Hall at Musket Ridge helped the couple wed before Michael's training abroad. Michael is a cargo loadmaster whose unit was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and the Air Force Expeditionary Award in 2013 for its dedication in moving military cargo and personnel in an unprecedented rapid unit swap in Afghanistan and Spain. His unit was able to move over 350 personnel including cargo and aircraft in 25 days, when no other unit had ever accomplished a unit swap in under 45 days. Michael was awarded the Air Reserve Meritorious Service Medal.
Hillary and Ben celebrated their marriage at Catoctin Hall by having the dream wedding they sacrificed when his overseas deployment date was moved up. Hillary had already ordered her wedding gown along with bridesmaid and flower girl dresses when out of the blue Ben received orders that would send him to Afghanistan in several months. The couple was soon wed in an informal ceremony; unfortunately, none of the ordered dresses had arrived. Hillary’s mother kept all the garments, hoping that one day the couple could have the wedding they originally planned. 'One day' came true - Hillary and her bridal party wore those dresses as she and Ben exchanged vows.
Jacqueline and her fiancé Justin were two first responders that had also completed several tours of duty in the military. Jacque served in the military for over 10 years and is a flight nurse in the Air Force Reserves. She was deployed twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, most recently returning from Afghanistan in May 2012, and currently is a critical care nurse at Loudoun Hospital. Justin joined the Marine Corps after 9/11/01 and served as a helicopter Aviation Ordinance Technician through 2005 and completed three deployments to Southeast Asia. Since then he has been a Patrol Deputy for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
Eddie was in the Army from 2000-2008, first stationed in Europe where he then re-enlisted to deploy with the 101st Airborne Division to the Middle East and various other sensitive assignments. Eddie is a service-disabled veteran now working for the Department of Defense. He met Christine through an Army buddy and proposed on May 20, 2011, the couple’s five-year anniversary. Originally planning to go to the justice of the peace or eloping due to financial constraints, Eddie and Christine wed on 9/11/11 at Catoctin Hall among 150 friends and family.
Melissa and her fiancé Jason both grew up not far from Musket Ridge. They met via an online dating app, went out for sushi, and quickly knew that they were destined for each other. After several years of a commuting relationship, they decided to move together when Jason was offered a job as Patrol Officer with the Charlottesville, VA Police Department, fulfilling his childhood dream of going into law enforcement to help people improve their local communities. Unbeknownst to them, sleepy little Charlottesville was only one month away from making national news as a flash point between the “Unite the Right” rally participants and counter-protestors which led to dozens of injuries and the deaths of three, including two law enforcement officers in addition to counter-protestor Heather Heyer. It was baptism by fire for Jason who worked in the communication center on the day of the rally and was shocked to see idyllic Charlottesville turn violent. A wedding, one of the ultimate symbols of love, seems an appropriate response.