CHARLOTTE – A couple from Charlotte who have been on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19 will have a marriage beyond their wildest dreams in about a month.
Wedding planners, who were losing money hand in hand during the height of the pandemic, decided to volunteer their resources to help a firefighter and nurse who have already given so much.
“We still don’t believe it,” said Emily Bellow.
She was still in awe on her second trip to Separk mansion in Gastonia.
“We were like, ‘Wow, that is too good to be true,’ Bellow told Channel 9.
The mansion is one of the main wedding venues in the area, and people save for years to celebrate their weddings there.
Bellow and her fiancé, Cody McCray, will get the mansion, a photographer and flowers – for nothing.
“I feel like we’ve hit the wedding lottery,” Bellow said.
In March of last year, McCray, a Charlotte firefighter, along with other firefighters were among the first to respond to calls from people showing symptoms of COVID. Bellow was a nurse practitioner at Novant Health, seeing the impact of the virus on patients.
“It was fair, there are no words,” she said. “I have never experienced anything like this in my career before. And I hope I never experience something like this again.
The couple heard that Separk and other planners dealing with many wedding cancellations wanted to raffle a wedding at no cost to those fighting to keep everyone safe.
Bellow and McCray won.
“Because, you know, at a time when everyone is struggling, they decided to give,” Bellow told Channel 9. “And the fact that they are giving us this gift is just amazing.”
When the world stopped, Bellow and McCray didn’t imagine the plans would restart like this.
“So the fact that they were able to give us the wedding of our dreams, there are no words. I mean, I still can’t believe this is real life every day.” , said Bellow.
The operators of Separk Mansion have said that they and other wedding vendors want those who are fighting in dire circumstances to know how much they are valued.
“I speak for all of us when we say… thank you for everything the community has done for us through it all,” Bellow said.
Bellow said she and her fiance had originally planned an intimate wedding with their closest friends, but Separk Mansion can accommodate up to 250 people for a wedding, so Bellow told Channel 9 they can expand their roster. guests and invite more friends and family to join them on their special day.
(SEE BELOW: The community mobilizes to offer a dream wedding to a homeless couple in Charlotte)
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