ATLANTA - Love conquers all, even a hurricane.
Despite Hurricane Florence bearing down on the eastern U.S. coast, a young North Carolina couple won’t let the storm stop them from getting married.
Tiffany Gordon and Darick Apitz have had lots of unexpected twists and turns throughout the course of their love story. They met in Hawaii more than a year ago.
"They instantly hit it off after a friend introduced them shortly after Tiffany convinced her job to relocate her to Hawaii," said Mary Melyssa Smith, who's known Tiffany for several years.
The couple's love of country music took them to the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip last October. When 64-year-old Stephen Paddock fired more than a thousand rounds from The Mandalay Bay Hotel on the crowd of music fans below, Tiffany was among the 851 people wounded from gunfire. She was shot in the leg and Darick, a U.S. Marine, suffered serious arm injuries.
"He broke through a glass window to help save Tiffany. Her bullet went through and through. She was still able to walk, but it was a really traumatic experience," said Smith.
The couple recovered from their injuries and Darick was stationed in Wilmington, North Carolina several months later. He proposed to Tiffany in April and they planned a beautiful beach wedding on an island near their new North Carolina home.
This week, their wedding plans were suddenly changed.
A storm named Florence started brewing in the Atlantic Ocean and formed into a powerful hurricane barreling toward the Carolina coast.
"When we arrived Monday, they wouldn't even let us on the island and we were trying to figure out what to do. People were flying in from all over the country for this wedding, so we thought Atlanta would be the best and easiest place to go since had to evacuate anyway," Smith told FOX 5’s Portia Bruner.
Smith, who is a bridesmaid, posted a plea on her Facebook page that went viral.
On Wednesday morning, the bride-to-be went on Q100’s The Bert Show to share the couple’s story, and show host Bert Weiss asked his listeners to step up and help them pull off the wedding this weekend.
That’s exactly what happened with a number of businesses donating services.
Here’s a list of those businesses:
- Day of Wedding Coordination: Sumeta from One H’ART Events
- Catering: Piu Bello Pizzeria
- Flowers & Centerpieces: Palate Catering & Design
- Videography: Samuel Degrace of Degrace Imagery
- Bartender: Valeen Ramirez of Sip Sip Hooray
- Tents, Tables, Chairs, Linens: Tents Tents Tents of Cumming, GA (Also Tammy with Events of Atlanta)
- Hair: Emma Hutto with Salon W Parkside in Woodstock
- Wedding Cake: Jamine with Gracious Plenty in Roswell
- Photographer: Alicia Q Photography
- Make-Up: Vigilante Cosmetic
- DJ: DJ Word with Pure Entertainment
- Plates, Silverware, Glasses: We Rent Atlanta
They will get married on Saturday as planned at an undisclosed Airbnb outside of Atlanta.
"We had no idea this would draw so much national attention, but Tiffany and Darick are really humble people who are just grateful all this could happen so quickly. They're running around now trying to get a new marriage license, but they're just so happy to be getting married this weekend," the bridesmaid said.
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