3 Beaufort couples have chance to win wedding at Best of Beaufort Bridal Show

charley@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 16, 2012 

  • The Best of Beaufort Bridal Show 2012 is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1500 Queen St., Beaufort. Admission is free with registration. Winners of the Lowcountry wedding giveaway will be announced from 2:30 to 3 p.m. Details: 843-379-9800, susan.basile@hilton.com, www.beaufortbride.com

A fairy tale wedding on the beach or overlooking the water will be awarded to one of three couples who are finalists in the The Best of Beaufort Bridal Show 2012's Lowcountry Wedding Giveaway.

The free bridal show, featuring area vendors, will be held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1500 Queen St., Beaufort. The winners will be announced at 2:30 p.m.

"We are giving away a true Lowcountry wedding," said Jamie Leigh, event and wedding planner and owner of the Green Room & Garden, who had her own beachfront wedding 20 years ago.

The three finalists are: Jason and Casey Parker; Shannon Harmon and Ross Vezin; and Dana Domino and Edwin "Eddie" Aiken, all of Beaufort.

Leigh, who interviewed the couples with Susan Basile, director of sales, Hilton Garden Inn-Beaufort, said they both teared up when hearing the couples' stories.

"The best part was to interview so many couples in love," Leigh said.

The Lowcountry wedding package includes a wedding planner, makeovers for the bridal party, a photographer, a Lowcountry boil, music and the honeymoon. The couple will only be required to send out the invitations, she said.

More than 50 couples entered the contest in which the top three finalists were selected after in-person interviews with the bridal show coordinators.

This week, the finalists will be interviewed by deejay Joel "The Kid" Garrett from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday on The Coast Radio during Bride Week.

SHANNON HARMON AND ROSS VEZIN

While working full time -- he's a Beaufort firefighter and she's a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office technician -- these soul mates are pursuing master's degrees.

Vezin volunteers for the Make-A-Wish foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association camp for children and Camp "Can" Do, a summer camp for burned children.

"His passion for helping others is inspirational and truly remarkable," Harmon said.

The couple met after her mother introduced them. His proposal, written on the front window of a firetruck, is remembered by Shannon as the "best day of my life."

DANA DOMINO AND EDDIE AIKEN

Domino and Aiken met in 2007 when he was putting himself through college and she was a single mother of two.

"My sister never thought she would get married or meet anyone that would want to marry a woman with two children," wrote Lindsay Burns, Dana's sister, in nominating the couple. "She put her heart into my wedding 10 years ago, thinking she would never marry or have a wedding of her own."

Today, with Dana in nursing school and the addition of their own daughter, there is little money for a big wedding.

"They deserve a wedding to celebrate the love they have for each other and to celebrate the family they have become," Lindsay wrote.

CASEY PARKER AND JASON PARKER

The Parkers say they are are overdue for a real wedding.

The couple met in 2002, became friends and then eloped in July 2006 after his first deployment.

Due to finances, Jason's surgeries and deployments with the U.S. Marine Corps, their dream wedding has yet to become a reality.

"They are grounded in their faith and love and are truly an inspiration to those around them, especially my husband and I," said Ashley Towe, a friend who nominated the couple. "They truly deserve and opportunity like this."

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