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After Surviving the Deadly Aug. 12 Car Attack, Gordonsville Couple Gets Dream Wedding

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A Gordonsville couple that survived the deadly car attack on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall on August 12 got their happy ending Saturday.

Thanks to Bella Giornata Events and more than 30 other vendors, Marcus Martin and his fiancée Marissa Blair got the wedding of their dreams without having to spend a penny.

Saturday, surrounded by friends and family, Marissa put the final touches on her wedding day look. "It’s indescribable. I’m happy, I’m excited, I’m nervous," she said.

It is a day she didn't think would come because of what happened after the Unite the Right rally on August 12. Marcus and Marissa were on the Downtown Mall when a Dodge Charger plowed into pedestrians. Marcus pushed Marissa out of the way of the car, taking a hit that broke his leg, but saved her life.

"He always said he would do any and everything to protect me and he proved it,” Marissa stated.

"I just had a reaction, not even a thought, just reacting. I can't even explain it,” Marcus said. 
     
Their close friend Heather Heyer was killed in the attack, so they put wedding planning on the back burner. 

Christina Moore, a wedding planner and owner of Bella Giornata Events, heard the couple's story and jumped in to help.

“I can't help them in the courtroom. I can't help them fight the KKK. I can't help racism. You know, I can't fix these things for them. What I can do is make their dreams come true with the help of my friends today,” Moore stated.

She and more than 30 other vendors offered their services to give Marcus and Marissa the wedding of their dreams.

"Even if me and Marcus had got married and August 12 didn't happen, it would never have been anything like [this],” Marissa stated, “This is more than I could have ever dreamed of, it’s amazing."

"We’re really, really grateful,” Marcus said.

The couple insisted one special person be part of the ceremony.  "Without Heather this wouldn't be possible and if Heather was still here, Heather would definitely be here on the front row,” Marissa said.

The bridal party wore purple and Susan Bro, Heyer's mother, led the crowd in a butterfly release in remembrance of Heather. 

"She’s watching over those that she loves and that includes Marcus and Marissa,” Bro said.

After the couple walked down the aisle for the first time as husband and wife, they said their wedding serves as a message for the rest of the world. 

"It proves hate won't win and it proves that there are more good people in the world than there are bad and that love will win,” Marissa said.

Marissa’s reception dress was donated by Annalise Bridal in Richmond. The bridal boutique will be selling the dress at their floor sale. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Heather Heyer Foundation.

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