In anticipation of the havoc that Hurricane Irma was about to wreak on Florida, rescue workers were placed on standby, waiting to see what help would be needed following the unpredictable storm. One military couple was deployed to Florida to help in the aftermath of Irma’s destruction but were instead welcomed with the one thing they never expected from the terrifying storm.
Lauren Durham and her fiance Michael Davis are both senior airmen with the Air National Guard. They were deployed indefinitely to assist with rescues after Hurricane Irma unleashed her wrath on Florida. However, while the hurricane was destroying lives, Irma did the exact opposite for this engaged couple, giving them the one thing they never expected during such a devastating time.
The couple was set to be married during the second weekend of September but were instead faced with the reality that they were being deployed to Florida and forced to put their wedding plans on hold. Although they were heartbroken that they had to cancel their blissful wedding plans, they knew that God needed them to do something more important – save lives.
Once they arrived in Florida, the couple headed to the “Orange County Convention Center to wait out the hurricane with hundreds of other relief workers before being sent into the state’s most devastated regions,” according to SF Chronicle. However, before they would rush into the hurricane to try to save Floridians, Irma gave them the very thing she took away – their wedding.
It all began as a joke when a friend asked during breakfast, “Hey, why don’t you guys get married during the hurricane?” At first, they simply laughed it off, but things quickly began to unfold, and before they knew it, they were getting married, “wearing their fatigues in a hangar filled with rescue vehicles and paramedics,” according to Fox News.
Right there, in the middle of a storm, this couple celebrated one of the most beautiful aspects of life — love. Along with some longtime friends from the service, some strangers from across the country, several folding chairs, and a bouquet of orange flowers, they were married by a friend.
“It started out as a joke, and it just kind of unfolded,” Durham admitted. “And it turned out to be really great.” She continued, “We have plenty of snacks. MREs do have Skittles in them, so we’re pretty excited.” Although she wanted to wear her “big poof flowy princess gown,” she admitted that she loves “wearing this uniform, so this works.”
This just goes to prove that good can come out of times where it seems that hope is lost. These two service members only further proved how heroic they are by giving up the glamor of the most important day of their lives, only to spontaneously do it in a hanger just moments before heading out into danger to rescue others. They completely define what it means to “make the best of it.”
When it comes to a wedding, all that really matters is that the couple loves one another. It’s not about dresses, flowers, guests, or traditions. Marriage is about love, service, and sacrifice. This couple has a great grasp on all three, and it will likely result in years of wedded bliss that not even the most perfect wedding celebration can ensure.