A homeless couple from Tampa, Florida, who have been together for 22 years were able to experience a dream wedding, thanks to $20,000 in donations from the community.
“It was a Cinderella story,” Evelyn Barlett, the bride, told ABC News. “It was the happiest moment of me and Rocky’s life. I was breathless.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 5, 2016
Evelyn and Rocky Barlett, both 56, exchanged their vows in a chapel at the Cross Creek Ranch, the owner of which allowed them to use the venue free of charge.
Nancy Spooner had heard about Evelyn and Rocky’s story on the local news. When she made calls to photographers, bakers, and other wedding vendors, they also gladly pitched in their goods and services for free.
Among the donations were a tux and wedding dress, a limo, and a three-day stay at the Hilton hotel.
“I was left speechless by the compassion of this community,” Spooner told ABC News. “But, really, Evelyn and Rocky were as much of a blessing to us as they say we’ve been to them.”
The couple is originally from Ohio, and became homeless three years ago, living in a makeshift camp out in the forest.
A homeless liaison officer for the Tampa Police Department had told a local news station about the couple’s story. Although they were together for 22 years, they couldn’t even afford a $93 wedding license, according to WLFA.
The officer decided to fundraise for the couple to get them a wedding, and the donations came flooding in.
After the wedding, the Barletts won’t be returning to their camp in the woods. They’ve been given the keys to a duplex apartment, where they’ll stay until they can get back on their feet.