Carolina Bride

June 27, 2012

Lucky in love

A last-minute deployment leads to an impromptu proposal and a lifetime of love.

A couple meets. They fall in love. A man gets down on bended knee. If a formula were to be written for the steps leading to "I do," it would probably go a little something like this. But when Megan Cross and Corey Ham met at a mutual friend's wedding, the road before them would not be paved so predictably. Four months after the friend's nuptials, the two began dating. After about a year, and with plans to get engaged on the horizon, Corey – a Marine – discovered that he was about to be deployed one final time before his military career came to a close. With just three weeks to spend together before his 10-month tour, and a previously discussed summer engagement in their minds, the couple headed to Wilmington to go ring shopping. After dinner at one of Megan's favorite restaurants, Corey took up tradition, got down on one knee and asked, "Will you marry me?" With Corey now overseas, Megan enlisted her parents and Cortenay Matters of Carolina Wedding Designs to assist with the wedding planning. Their help proved to be of particular benefit as Megan became hospitalized for two weeks for complications surrounding her lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis. "I was hospitalized with IV antibiotics for pneumonia and a staph infection in my lungs," Megan recalls. "Corey was notified and called me from an emergency phone almost every day. Even from thousands of miles away, he comforted me so much. He is my strength and calm." Despite the setbacks, Cortenay, Megan and her family planned an elaborate wedding, each moment captured by the photographers of In His Image. Carolina Chamber Players cued the ceremony as Megan walked down the aisle wearing a Martine Liana trumpet-style gown from J Major’s Bridal Boutique to greet her soon-to-be husband. "I was so overwhelmed walking down the aisle," Megan says. "I was looking into his eyes, smiling and feeling completely happy and content. It is an almost indescribable feeling!" The couple exchanged vows and rings – his from Brownlee Jewelers – then it was off to the reception where Split Second Sound kept things lively amid a backdrop of brilliant pinks, reds and greens provided by The Place for Flowers and Classic Party Rentals. After the festivities, Megan and Corey spent nine days in Hawaii, catching up on some much needed R & R, taking in the exotic scenery and reflecting on their perfect day. "To have all my friends in one place, with family and bridesmaids that came from Hong Kong, Seatlle, Raleigh, West Virginia, Florida and Alabama, is just the most amazing feeling. I felt so loved, and I know Corey did as well," Megan says. Today, Megan and Corey are enjoying finally being together stateside. "After a long deployment, it's the little things that mean the most," Megan explains. "It's nice to have a full-time partner in life!" And this life, like her love, is something Megan doesn't take for granted. "To say we are lucky in love truly fits us. When I was born in 1985, cystic fibrosis was a childhood disease, and the average age of living was around 18-20 years old. My parents weren't sure if I would live long enough to get married. I feel lucky to have my health and to have found my love."

Featured vendors

The Place for Flowers

Brownlee Jewelers

Split Second Sound

Carolina Chamber Players

In His Image Photography by Julie

Rental provider
Classic Party Rentals

Wedding consultant
Carolina Wedding Design

Wedding gown
J Major’s Bridal Boutique

Continue reading real wedding stories! Up next: ’Whirlwind engagement'

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