The bride had no dress, the wedding rings were locked away, the reception venue was washed away—even the spot for the ceremony no longer existed. You would think that would be enough to dampen any young couple’s spirit to tie the knot—but not these two.
Police detective Cori Clark and her firefighter fiance Bryon Hughes had set their wedding date for Oct. 21, 2018, and the bride-to-be had been planning it down to the last detail for the past 12 months.
What they didn’t plan for however, was Hurricane Michael, which was fast approaching Panama City, Florida, the exact spot they were to be married.
Her wedding dress had been handmade by her great-grandmother, which made it all the more special. Because of the hurricane, the shop it was stored in had been evacuated, so she had no way to access it. The wedding rings likewise were locked in the jewelry store; again it had been evacuated.
Being first responders, they both knew the hard work and long hours they were about to endure after the hurricane left its trail of destruction. So they sadly agreed to shelve their marriage plans, but couldn’t quite come to terms with it.
“On October 18th we were talking about everything the storm has taken from us,” Cori wrote in an article published on LoveWhatMatters. “Bryon looked at me and said, ‘Let’s get married. Hurricane Michael has taken enough from us, we can’t let it take this.’ So, the wedding was back on!”
That was when the couple decided enough was enough. They would get married on that day, no matter what.
“I’m glad we stuck to our date. Like Bryon said, we have lost enough, and couldn’t lose this too. Wedding planning is so stressful, and literally everything went wrong for ours. Most people would think that it’s a ‘sign.’ I think it is. It’s a sign that our love is stronger than a Category 5 hurricane.
“To the other brides out there, don’t stress the material things, and don’t let anything stop you from doing what you want to do. I had the time of my life. Although I do wish I could have had my nails done, haha.”
Their wedding took place as the sun set, and amid the debris and smashed concrete, they said “I do.” Cory paid $90 online for a replacement wedding dress, and family that could make it on the day did so.
“My dad flew in from Colorado, and his brother was there, but the rest of our family was unable to make it. Most of our friends who came are first responders. We invited the local first responders, because they’re our family too.”
It really was an “appropriate” setting for the couple who are always there for others after a disaster.
Watch the report below: