GREENEVILLE - The city of Greeneville is where Heather Tilley and Lee Heath live, but not where they planned on getting married, however, thanks to an article in “The Greeneville Sun” and the kindness of strangers and friends, this couple will have a wedding they'll never forget.
Heath and Tilley watched this week as Hurricane Matthew threatened their wedding destination on the Georgia coast.
They were supposed to get married Friday on Tybee Island in Georgia, near Savannah and Hilton Head.
"We were looking at a day or two before and the news saying, 'Matthew's going to hit right here and it's going to be bad, you don't want to be there,'" Heath said.
An evacuation order sealed the day-- and the couple was left without a wedding.
One of their friends reached out to “The Greeneville Sun,” which published an article about the couple's plight.
Local photographer April Lane saw the story on Facebook.
"They're from my hometown here of Greeneville, so I thought I would help them. I mean, the hurricane came through and that wasn't their fault at all, so I had to do something,” Lane told WBIR 10News.
She connected them with nearby Nolichuckey Bluffs Cabins and its pristine glass chapel. She’s also taking the couple's wedding photos at a discount.
"She was amazing to us yesterday and really just wanted to make sure that we had a place to get married,” Heath said.
Because while the couple will get a refund from their coastal wedding expenses, they don't have that money now as business owners flee the hurricane's path.
"Yes, our wedding is a victim, but there's people who are far worse off than we are. And, like I said, I'm just glad at the end of the day I'm going to get to marry him," Tilley said.
The two are profoundly grateful to everyone who offered help.
"We have the most amazing friends in the world,” Heath said.
"We got a wedding in less than 24 hours out of nothing, and it's just amazing,” Tilley said.
Another perk of getting hitched at home? Friends who couldn't make it all the way out to the coast will now be able to attend the wedding in Greeneville.
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