Durham had originally planned to wed her now-husband, fellow senior airman Michael Davis, the second weekend of September in an intimate beach wedding—but when the waters of Hurricane Irma began to set in on Florida, they were forced to toss their wedding plans aside and were deployed indefinitely to assist with the rescue.
The two were sent to Orange County Convention Center to wait out the hurricane with hundreds of other relief workers before going into the disaster-stricken areas.
The newlyweds got the idea when a friend playfully suggested it during breakfast one morning during their wait. “Hey, why don’t you guys get married during the hurricane?” one of their friends suggested.
“It started out as a joke, and it just kind of unfolded. And it turned out to be really great,” Durham said.
With the help of friends, the two were able to pull together a makeshift wedding. A few guests sported tuxedo T-shirts during the ceremony, one guest found a small bouquet of flowers for the bride, and one of the couple's best friends in the Guard happened to be a notary and officiated the wedding.
Although the bride had already purchased a wedding gown, she kept high spirits despite the situation.
“It was a big poof flowy princess gown. But, you know, I love wearing this uniform, so this works," Durham said of her fatigues.
Durham, 24, and Davis, 26, have been together for five years, after meeting right out of high school. Davis has been in the service for eight years, while Durham joined three years ago.
The two didn't even consider asking for their wedding day off.
“Service before self,” said Davis of the affair.