Whoever said that rain on your wedding day was good luck probably had drizzle or a light rain in mind. So when Hurricane Florence flooded Marine Cpl. Jordan Taylor and fiancée Jilia Arroyo’s wedding venue, the couple was forced to have a quiet, last-minute ceremony at a Catholic church near Fort Hood, Texas. Missing would be the photographer, the cake and the flowers.
But Taylor’s mom Stacee, an Air Force veteran and Army spouse, had other ideas. Although she was unable to leave South Carolina, she called on her Texas-based military spouse friends.
In less than 24 hours, Taylor and Arroyo were having their wedding with all the trimmings, surrounded by a group of military spouses.
Stacee Taylor had messaged friend and military spouse Theresa Johnson, and asked her one question; “Do you know of a photographer?'”
But instead of just finding a photographer, Johnson phoned a Navy wife friend, Mindy Brewster, and asked for help, then posted a message to her Facebook page asking the military spouse community to step up. And step up they did!
Johnson drove several hours to be at the wedding and stood in as a surrogate mom. Talk about something borrowed! The groom’s grandmother, who lived locally, was the only member of his family able to attend.
Brewster, a former wedding planner, took point on making arrangements, while Marie Reed showed up with a film crew to capture the day for posterity. The bride’s family provided the food for the last minute reception.
For Reed, Brewster and Johnson, showing the couple that the military community is there when you need it was the most important message they could share with the newlyweds.
Brewster knows first-hand about last-minute weddings: she had one of her own in 2003 before her husband deployed to Iraq. “It may not be the most perfect day, but it’s going to be the most memorable day.”
Reed wanted the bride to see the support, and be ready to pay it forward.
“I want her to know, ‘Welcome to military spouse life, and know that you have a community that will rally behind you,’ ” she said. “If you have a need, [know] that we’re there, but also be there for other people, because you will meet them along your journey and people will need help.”
For the groom’s mother, technology intervened. Stacee Taylor was able to watch the wedding over Facebook livestream.
“ All I asked for was a photographer,” said Ms. Taylor. “I’m just overwhelmed by my military spouse community and how they just took it and made it their own.”