BRADENTON BEACH, Fla. (FOX 13) - It's a love story that FOX 13 happened to catch on camera. Thousands of Good Day Tampa Bay viewers were able to watch, along with invited guests, as a local couple tied the knot on Bradenton Beach.
The Bradenton Beach weather camera captured the happy couple's ceremony on the morning of July 4.
"Beautiful, gorgeous! Congratulations to this happy couple who we have no idea who they are," chuckled Meteorologist Dave Osterberg during Thursday's Good Day show.
FOX 13 was able to track down the newlyweds in person, and as it turns out, there's a special story behind the lovebirds' Fourth of July nuptials.
"Me and her are both active-duty military. We both serve in the Navy," explained Miguel Rodriguez, the elated groom.
At just 19 years old, both Hope and Miguel Rodriguez have dedicated their lives to serving their country. However, for the Manatee County natives, the Fourth also serves as the date that started everything.
"This is the day we got together," said Miguel. "At 16 years old, we got together."
With Hope stationed in California and Miguel in Maryland, their relationship has been far from easy.
"We never kept each other back from joining the military. It's something we both wanted to do," said happy bride Hope Rodriguez.
But their hard days apart made their early morning ceremony all the more sweet for the patriotic couple.
"Even though the fireworks aren't for us, we say it's for us," joked Miguel.
The Fourth is now forever a celebration of not only their freedom, but also their love.
"I love her," said Miguel.
"I love him so much," added Hope.
The couple plans to spend the rest of the week at Disney World before heading back to their respective bases.
They hope that when it's time for their new orders next year, they will finally be stationed together.