I have heard few love stories that are more whimsical than those of my military friends. I always thought that my husband Jamie and I had an extraordinarily bizarre journey to the altar (and beyond), but throughout the last few years I’ve heard countless stories from fellow military couples about their unique (and often unbelievable) course of events that led them to where they are today. I’m thrilled to feature a new story every week in a series called We’re Not So Crazy After All: A Military Love Story. If you’re interested in being featured in this series, please email me at WhimsicalSeptember@yahoo.com.
“We met the evening of Thanksgiving 2006 at the National Debutante Cotillion and Thanksgiving Ball. To be honest, I have no idea how I was invited to it. I was a debutante in North Carolina, and apparently I was just randomly selected for the national ball.
A big group was invited from West Point, the Naval Academy, Norwich, Citadel, Maine Maritime Academy, and a few other military schools. My now-husband Brian came with West Point’s escort committee. I was at one of the parties for it that evening and there were not a lot of people there because most people went and spent the evening with family or friends that lived in the area.
After getting a little bored, I decided to go back up to my hotel room, change clothes, and party with some of the people I had met the previous evening. I was in the midst of changing when my phone rang; it was a Georgia area code. The only reason I answered was because I thought it was my best friend from high school.
It wasn’t; it was a guy named Russell. My mom told him to call me and tell me to come back to the party since all the West Point cadets had just shown up. So I changed back into my dress and went back down.
I walked around with my cousin for a bit as more and more people trickled into the party. At one point I made eye contact with this super cute guy (Brian) but immediately thought he looked like an jerk and kept walking. About five minutes later Russell asked my cousin to dance and Brian asked me. I told him that I didn’t really know how and he said “that’s okay, me neither” (he was a professional swing dancer).
So we danced, and I fell in love.
When the song was over I ran back to my mom gushing about him. Brian and I spent the rest of the evening dancing, talking, and just having fun. We spent the next three days hanging out in this unbelievably gorgeous and fun setting. We kept in contact after we left and talked every day. A few weeks later he invited me to come up to West Point for 500th night (their junior year ball), and the rest of our relationship is history.
Now let me tell you about the crazy events leading up to our wedding! We got engaged the summer after we both graduated college (June 2008). Brian was going to be heading to Korea in January 2009, so we knew we had to pick a wedding date in late January, early February 2010.
We opted with February 13, 2010, but there was a conflict with the venue I wanted since it was a club that hosted a member’s Valentines Day dinner. I put a deposit down anyway and we waited until he signed into Camp Casey (Korea) to change the date. So after 6 months of contacting vendors and putting down deposits I had to call everyone back and change the date to January 30, 2010.
Thankfully, no one wants to get married during the winter, so getting all of the venders that we wanted wasn’t a problem.
We had a bit of a hiccup with the groomsmen since a lot of them were military. There were several that couldn’t make it due to deployments or due to just being posted somewhere really far away and the costs associated with travel. Then a few others had family things or whatever going on so they backed out. We were able to get a full wedding party, so it wasn’t the end of the world. Our best man even came in from Alaska!
As the wedding drifted closer and closer I was so absolutely touched by how many of our Army friends had responded that they were coming. It was a small miracle!
Since Brian was in Korea I literally had no help from him planning the wedding. None! He flew back to the states on January 25, 2010 and we got married on the 30th. The Thursday before the wedding was gorgeous, sunny and 65 degrees. Friday was nice too but a bit chillier.
One of our groomsmen had dropped his uniform off to be pressed on Thursday. Well, the skies opened up on Friday night during the rehearsal dinner and dumped five inches of snow on us! It doesn’t snow a lot in Raleigh, so the entire city completely shut down! We couldn’t get the uniform and all of my vendors were calling to say they were canceling! It was chaos.
My mom arranged transportation for the band to and from the wedding, she went to pick up the cake and flowers, and we had 75 people that said they were coming not show up. Talk about money down the drain. The dry cleaners also were also closed, so we couldn’t get the groomsman’s uniform. I spent the morning calling the dry cleaner’s home number trying to convince him to let us come get it. After about an hour of phone calls from various people he finally called me back and said we could come get it.
After all of the sudden drama, everything was absolutely gorgeous and our wedding was a total blast.
After the wedding we didn’t take a honeymoon because the unit that Brian was joining at Fort Lewis (WA) was in Afghanistan, and he was going to join them. So two weeks after we got married he moved out to Washington while I was still in grad school in Florida. One of us flew across the country every weekend until he deployed. We’ve been married almost five years and still haven’t taken a honeymoon!”
Marianna and Brian are currently stationed in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Brian has completed two tours in Afghanistan throughout their marriage. They have one awesome little guy, their handsome two year old son Mikey.
Thank you Marianna for sharing your story!
More Military Love Stories:Carrie & Brendan
Katie & Matt
Kayla & Danny
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Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo