Marine, wife enjoy dream wedding they missed two years ago

Ben Courter and his wife, Hillary recently celebrated a vow renewals ceremony at Musket Ridge Golf Club in Myersville. The ceremony was provided by the club's Love & Liberty Wedding Giveaway. The giveaway was launched in 2011 to recognize the bravery of the military and first responders on 9/11. Staff photo by Bill Green

A couple who missed having their dream wedding two years ago celebrated their marriage by renewing their vows at Musket Ridge Golf Club in Myersville.

Two years ago, Marine Ben Courter and his wife, Hillary, sweethearts from Clear Spring High School, planned a wedding while Ben was stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California.

A five-year veteran of the Marine Corps, Ben received orders to Afghanistan, his second deployment, disrupting their plans. Hillary’s mother, Michelle Jardine, helped coordinate a small, informal wedding before Ben left.

For the original wedding, Hillary not only had her gown, but also ordered dresses for seven bridesmaids, two junior bridesmaids, two flower girls and her mother.

“We have a closet full of dresses,” Jardine said.

When Jardine heard about Musket Ridge’s Love & Liberty Wedding Giveaway, she sent in a nomination for her daughter and Ben.

“They both made sacrifices for our country and are so in love, I would love to see them have their dream wedding,” Jardine wrote in her nomination to the giveaway program.

Damon DeVito, managing director of Affinity Management, which operates Musket Ridge, said the giveaway was launched in 2011 to recognize the bravery of the military and first responders on 9/11.

“So many deserving couples were nominated,” DeVito said. “Hillary and Ben’s closet full of dresses perfectly symbolizes the willing sacrifice of our troops and put a lump in our throats. It’s humbling.”

DeVito commended Bonnie Swanson, wedding coordinator at the golf club, for making the event a memorable one for the couple.

Hillary received professional makeup and hairstyling, and food and music were provided for the couple and their guests.

For details about Musket Ridge, visit www.musketridge.com.

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