Kristen Bransby and Kyle Smith have a lot to be thankful for this year; the newlyweds are lucky in both love and life. They won the Money Pages Ultimate Wedding Package!
The couple started dating in 2008 when they were working together at Adventure Landing. As they got to know each other, they were surprised to learn that they’d crossed paths more than once.
“When we started dating, we found out we had actually met each other several times before we ever worked together,” Kristen, 22, said.
“Her cousin and I graduated together in the same class and I used to visit; she was the bratty little girl running around annoying us all the time,” Kyle added.
For the proposal, Kyle set his sights high — sky-high. In November 2011, he took Kristen on a helicopter ride over Vilano Beach for her birthday. During the ride, the chopper swooped close to the shore so she could read “Will you marry me, Kristen” dug into the sand below. The entire time he was “freaking out hoping that the rain didn’t wash the letters away,” but Kyle, a professional EMT and volunteer firefighter who comes from a long line of servicemen, kept a cool exterior.
“He didn’t even show that he was stressed at the time. He did a good job,” Kristen said.
Like many, Kyle and Kristen approached wedding planning with a keen eye on the costs.
“We weren’t raised with a silver spoon in our mouths, we both come from middle-class families,” Kyle, 26, said. The young couple was actively prioritizing wedding expenditures when Kyle’s brother suggested they enter the Money Pages contest.
”I said to him, dude, why not; the worst thing that’d happen is that you’d lose,” said Kyle’s brother, Justin Smith, a Duval County firefighter.
The rest, as they say, is history.
“I remember I was actually at work [on Valentine’s Day] when he called me to tell me we’d won … it was very exciting and almost overwhelming,” Kristen said. “I really didn’t believe it at first.”
Rather than hoarding all the prizes for themselves, this kind-hearted couple generously gave some of the loot to the runners-up, including thousands of dollars toward the wedding location, one of the largest prizes.
“I don’t think they had a venue yet; I’m pretty sure it helped them out a ton,” Kyle said.
Kyle and Kristen said “I do” on September 22.
The wedding of their dreams didn’t break the bank, a fact for which they remain incredibly grateful. Kyle said, “We’re still to this day thanking people [for voting for us].”
If you know of a wonderful wedding story for “I Do, I Do,” please email your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtesy of Dorothy Bransby, Jacksonville.com
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