JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Though Hurricane Michael may have put a damper on most Floridians’ plans, one couple did not let the storm get in the way of their nuptials.
It was no ordinary wedding day for Jim and Lorri Beary, who got married Wednesday inside Jacksonville International Airport, of all places.
So what compelled them to get hitched at JAX? Well, it wasn’t their first choice. They planned to exchange vows at the Leon County Courthouse and then fly out of Jacksonville for their honeymoon.
But Hurricane Michael had other plans. Authorities closed the courthouse and a number of other public buildings in anticipation of the storm’s arrival.
“When he told me that the courthouse was closing, I freaked,” said Lorri. “And he calmed me down and then started giving numbers to me of notaries in the area.”
With county offices closed and only a few days to come up with a new plan, they got in touch with Selecia Young-Jones, who agreed to officiate their wedding at the airport.
“I knew that they’d be flying out and I thought, ‘Well, it’s a great atrium and a beautiful place and a public place,” said Young-Jones.
“This is indeed the most unique one I’ve done so far,” she added.
As they exchanged vows in front of complete strangers, the couple said they were reminded of what brought them together: adventure. They’ve gone parasailing, horseback riding and snow skiing.
“So this just fits,” said Lorri. “Flee a hurricane, come get married in the atrium in Jacksonville at the airport.”
The ceremony was brief. But once the marriage record was notarized, it was official. They are now Mr. and Mrs. Beary.
“It’s a relief because the amount of stress that has come over… just a test for marriage,” said Jim.
After the newlyweds’ 10-day honeymoon in Italy, they plan to have a reception with family and friends, and they’re hopeful they’ll return from Europe to a damage-free home.
“I’m ecstatic because I’m now married to the man I love so deeply and he’s my best friend,” Lorri said.