MACON, Ga. (FOX 13) - It was supposed to be the best day of a Georgia couple's lives, but it ended up also being the worst.
Just hours before their wedding, flames tore through the bride and groom's home, destroying nearly everything. One of the groomsmen, Erik Spell, who lives in Tampa, raced inside to wake the sleeping groom and get him out safely.
Despite all they were dealt, the couple was determined to walk down the aisle. Photos and videos from the day capture a blissful newlywed couple enjoying their first moments as husband and wife.
"You just see them look at each other and there's just so much love there," said Spell.
But the vows Caleb and Catherine Fuller took last Saturday were put to the test hours before they ever said: "I do."
"It was just kind of a flood of emotions," Spell recalled.
The night before the big day, Catherine was staying with her maid of honor. Caleb stayed at their home in Macon, Georgia with a few groomsmen.
"We sent him to bed and I'm just hanging out with his brothers, catching up," Spell recalled. "Then I saw some kind of transient light bouncing off of the house, and then I heard a crackle, like wood burning."
That's when Spell spotted the spreading flames. He darted inside to wake Caleb.
"I jumped over the fence and ran inside, ran upstairs, ran into the bedroom where he was, was yelling his name and got him awoke," Spell said. "Smoke was starting fill up the room. So, we ran down the stairs and got him out."
In a matter of minutes, everything was gone.
"You think about somebody losing their entire life, their wedding gifts, their animals, all the memories and photos and stuff that they had that they were just building together," Spell continued, "and to start their lives now with nothing is heart-wrenching."
Catherine and Caleb held each other tight as they watched firefighters work, thankful he was safe.
"It was like, 'Oh my gosh, you're alive,'" Spell recalled.
But one thing flames couldn't destroy was their love. They vowed the wedding would go on.
"The officiant was going through the vows and everything and says, 'for richer, for poorer,' and they kind of look at each other and it's almost kind of like a bittersweet chuckle of, 'you know, we're here,'" Spell said.
For better, for worse, the newlyweds were still able to cruise away for their honeymoon, proving that home truly is where the heart is, as long as their hearts are together.
"Life is so precious," Spell added. "You can never appreciate life as much as when you see someone go through that and everyone be OK."
While they're away, the community and strangers from all over are making sure the Fullers have something to come home to. In a matter of days, more than $10,000 has been donated online.