Here at Modern Gents, we were searching for a way to give back in a unique and meaningful manner while remaining true to our belief that love has no price. We decided that we wanted to throw dream weddings for couples who had been through immense adversity.
Watch the story unfold below!
In comes the couple that kickstarted it all, Carlos and Jackie. They are living proof that love can overcome any obstacle. Carlos is a marine corps veteran who had both of his legs blown off while he was deployed. Despite the massive change in their relationship, Jackie and Carlos were able to overcome their situation and prove to the world that, with love, anything is possible.
Originally, Jackie was under the impression that we had invited them to do an interview for a documentary piece on military couples. Little did she know we were about to surprise her with an all expenses paid dream wedding...
18 and Deployed
Jackie and Carlos had been together since they were only teenagers in high school. "We've known each other for half our lives," they like to say.
Carlos joined the Marine Corps when he was eighteen, but he told Jackie and the rest of the family that he would be doing admin – not combat. "He told me that he was going to be doing admin and that he would be safe on base, " Jackie told Modern Gents.
Once he arrived, he called Jackie to tell her that some things had changed and he would be going out into the field. "She was furious," Carlos admitted.
Carlos was a combat engineer. His job was to find explosives before anyone else stepped on them, "Either I find it, or I step on it." Carlos explained.
After an accident occurred within his group that he was unable to stop, he vowed to himself to protect his guys in his unit, telling Jackie that he didn't know what it was – he just knew he had to protect them.
Life Changed... In an Instant
The day of the accident, Carlos had no idea what would happen.
A friend and him were walking back, making small talk about what they were going to do when they got back to base. His friend needed to use the bathroom, so Carlos and him parted ways. It was then that the explosion occurred.
Carlos jumped down into a little trench, focused on getting back to camp. It happened in an instant, he was blown upwards and hit the dirt in seconds. Carlos recalls the accident, "Next thing I know I'm face down in the dirt and I'm like what was that?"
He explains the feeling as the tingly feeling you get when your foot falls asleep, it was running up and down his entire thigh. His legs were unsightly. Carlos explained the scene he saw in raw detail: "It looked like somebody put my legs through a meat grinder."
Though the journey to the hospital was a hazy one, Carlos remembers some vivid details about that day.
Carlos' admitted that his biggest fear was that he had only just proposed to Jackie. The thought of dying terrified him. "We hadn't even started a family yet," Carlos revealed.
Jackie received the news from Carlos' mother. After rushing over to Carlos' house, she recalls his sister handing her the phone. When Jackie asked Carlos how he was feeling, Carlos responded with, "Oh you know – just a little kick every now and then!"
During the interview Jaquie sighs and shakes her head, a small smile on her face. "I was like this guy...he got blown up and he's already making jokes!"
The Road Ahead
After the accident, Carlos' first thoughts were all about Jackie. "If I did die..." Carlos became a little choked up. "We hadn't even started a family."
When Carlos first returned back home, he never talked much about what happened that day. This was hard on both of them. Carlos explained it as not wanting to put his burden on Jackie, which is why he kept things from her.
Jackie knew it was eating him up inside and said throughout this they learned that communication is key. "I told him that you need to talk to someone, it doesn't necessarily have to be me. Talk to one of the guys that was there that will understand, but you need to talk to someone, you need an outlet."
Carlos and Jackie are part of a small percentage of couples who stay together after such a tragic accident. Many veterans who lose a limb while they are deployed are not so lucky.
"When it first happened I was like...crap. I'm missing legs, how is she gonna feel about me?" Carlos admitted as Jackie smiled at him. "I was thinking about her. I felt guilty."
"I wasn't going anywhere," Jackie laughed. "I was like, good luck buddy."
Originally, Jackie was under the impression that the two of them were being interviewed for a documentary piece on military couples.
Mike and Myran, the founders of Modern Gents Trading Co., were introduced to Carlos and Jackie through a friend of theirs. After hearing their story, they knew that there was nobody more deserving of a dream wedding than them.
As the interview was wrapping up, Myran revealed that the documentary piece was actually a lie. A confused Jackie looked at them, not realizing her dreams of having a wedding were about to come true.
"We heard about your story," Myran admitted. "You guys have gone through so much adversity and everything. Being married men ourselves, we know how it is," gesturing towards himself and Mike. "We want to throw you guys a wedding, all expenses paid for by us."
An excited and emotional Jackie began to tear up, clearly shocked at the good news. Carlos, seeing Jackie's reaction, smiled from ear to ear.
Everything Comes Together For Love
Modern Gents was fortunate enough to work with other companies who were also touched by Carlos and Jackie's story. Some of them happily gave their services and goods free of cost, others were more than willing to offer a generous discount.
Jackie and Carlos got the full wedding experience: the two of them went cake tasting at Michelle's Bakery, picked out their wedding dress and suit & tie at The Proposal Bridal Boutique, and scoped their venue at Tennessee Gardens.
Guests cheered with their craft beer and mixed drinks courtesy of Escape Craft Brewery and J. Riley Distillery, and ate their fill of delicious food thanks to Gwen Marlowe Foods & Catering.
Everyone hopped in to take a photo booth picture provided by The SnapBar and admired the flowers that decorated the venue that Hockridge Florist graciously helped with.
In the end, Jackie and Carlos were able to celebrate their special day amongst their loved ones, all expenses paid for. When it comes to facing adversity, nobody has it in the bag more than these two.
Carlos and Jackie, thank you for being a symbol of hope for love to people all around the globe. Modern Gents could not have chosen a more deserving couple to start their dream wedding series.
A Special Thanks
Thank you to all the vendors who helped contribute to Jackie and Carlos' special day! We absolutely could not have done this without your generosity and time!
- Michelle's Bakery
- Tennessee Gardens
- Escape Craft Brewery
- J. Riley Distillery
- Gwen Marlowe Foods & Catering
- The Proposal Bridal Boutique
- The SnapBar
- Hockridge Florist
What does "love has no price" mean to you?