Air National Guard couple ditch white wedding for fatigues as Irma nears

ORLANDO, Fla. — Lauren Durham had a poofy white gown and plans for an intimate seashore wedding ceremony on the second weekend of September. As an alternative she acquired married in fatigues, with no make-up, in an enormous hangar crammed with rescue automobiles and paramedics simply hours earlier than she would rush right into a hurricane to attempt to save her fellow Floridians.

She and her fiance, Michael Davis — each of them senior airmen with the Air Nationwide Guard — have been deployed indefinitely to help with the rescue. They let their out-of-city friends know they’d in all probability miss their very own wedding ceremony and headed to the Orange County Conference Middle to attend out the hurricane with lots of of different aid staff earlier than being despatched into the state’s most devastated areas.

They have been consuming breakfast with some pals Sunday morning, and one stated, “Hey, why don’t you guys get married in the course of the hurricane?”

Durham stated: “It began out as a joke, and it simply sort of unfolded. And it turned out to be actually nice.”

Dozens of individuals — some longtime pals from the service, some strangers from throughout the nation who got here to help with the rescue efforts — arrange folding chairs. A number of discovered tuxedo T-shirts to put on, regardless of the closure of all of the shops on the town for the storm. Somebody got here up with a bouquet of orange flowers. Their greatest pal within the Guard occurs to be a notary and officiated.

They don’t assume they’ll have the ability to provide you with a cake, however that’s OK: “We’ve loads of snacks. MREs do have Skittles in them, so we’re fairly excited,” Durham stated.

Her wedding ceremony gown had already been bought — ready for her at house. “It was an enormous poof flowy princess robe,” she stated, then gestured down at her fatigues. “However, you realize, I really like sporting this uniform, so this works.”

Durham, 24, and Davis, 26, met proper out of highschool, and have been collectively for 5 years. Davis has served for eight years, Durham for 3.

They’re not fairly positive how their households will really feel once they discover out they acquired married in entrance of a rack of rubber rescue boats.

“I feel it is going to be fairly a shock for them,” Durham stated, “however I feel they’ll perceive, it was very, very impromptu.”

It by no means occurred to both to attempt to beg off obligation for his or her wedding ceremony.

“Service earlier than self,” Davis stated, and it is going to be a terrific story to inform their youngsters in the future.

As she gave her identify to reporters, Lauren Durham, she forgot to…

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