One Gales Ferry, Conn., couple went from ashes to “I do” — all within one whirlwind of a week.
When Brian Osborne and Megan Hunley’s home caught fire on April 14, leaving their entire house and the majority of their belongings completely destroyed, it put a lot of things into perspective for the couple who were planning to wed, but hadn’t yet gotten officially engaged.
“A fire like that makes you think about life in a totally different perspective,” Osborne, 34, told GoodMorningAmerica.com of the unexpected tragedy.
Instead of letting their tragic loss get the best of them, the couple found a way to remain positive throughout the situation, all thanks to one item that was recovered from the ashes.
“I had the fireman go back in to look for the ring,” Osborne said of the engagement ring he had hidden inside the home to someday give Hunley. “I told him where it should be, and when he walked back out, it was in his hand. The top of the box was all melted, but the ring was perfect inside.
“I didn’t even know what to say,” he added. “I was just speechless.”
At that moment, the couple decided they weren’t going to focus on the past, but instead use the burnt home to mark a brand new, fresh beginning.
With the help of many close family and friends, they threw together an impromptu wedding in less than a week. And instead of hiding all the horrible things that had happened to them just several days earlier, they chose to embrace the fire-ridden details.
“We decided what’s the point of even waiting?,” Osborne said of tying the knot on Saturday. “You don’t need to have the pretty dress or a nice tuxedo.”
The happy couple not only married in the same sooty sweatpants, shorts and t-shirts they were wearing when they escaped the flames, but they also held the ceremony right in front of their scorched, yet symbolic home.
“We figured we’d do it right where we ran out to,” said the groom. “What better place to do it than right here, to be a whole new beginning?”
The newlyweds were joined by 40 guests, including Osborne’s two children who had also safely made it out of the burning house, in addition to the several members of the Gales Ferry Volunteer Fire Company who had helped the couple battle the flames.
And as for the lack of flowers and fancy decorations, Osborne explained, “For our situation, it made us realize all that stuff doesn’t matter. It’s what’s in your heart that matters.”