Couple forced out of North Carolina by hurricane weds in Atlanta

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Photo courtesy of Alicia Q Photography 

Despite Hurricane Florence forcing them to abandon their wedding plans at the last minute, a young North Carolina couple is now husband and wife.

Tiffany Gordon and Darick Apitz married in a ceremony in the Atlanta area Saturday, after listeners of a popular Atlanta radio station stepped up to make sure their wedding would still happen.

Tiffany and Darick have had lots of unexpected twists and turns throughout the course of their love story which began in Hawaii more than a year ago. 

"They instantly hit it off after a friend introduced them shortly after Tiffany convinced her job to relocate her to Hawaii," said Mary Melyssa Smith, who's known Tiffany for several years.

The couple's love of country music took them to the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on the Las Vegas Strip last October. When 64-year-old Stephen Paddock fired more than a thousand rounds from The Mandalay Bay Hotel on the crowd of music fans below, Tiffany was among the 851 people wounded from gunfire. She was shot in the leg and Darick, a U.S. Marine, suffered serious arm injuries.

"He broke through a glass window to help save Tiffany. Her bullet went through and through. She was still able to walk, but it was a really traumatic experience," said Smith.

The couple recovered from their injuries and Darick was stationed in Wilmington, North Carolina several months later. He proposed to Tiffany in April and they planned a beautiful beach wedding on an island near their new North Carolina home.

Last week, their wedding plans suddenly changed when Hurricane Florence barreled towards the Carolina coast.

"When we arrived (last) Monday, they wouldn't even let us on the island and we were trying to figure out what to do. People were flying in from all over the country for this wedding, so we thought Atlanta would be the best and easiest place to go since had to evacuate anyway," Smith told FOX 5’s Portia Bruner.

Smith, who is a bridesmaid, posted a plea on her Facebook page that went viral.

Last Wednesday morning, the bride-to-be went on Q100’s The Bert Show to share the couple’s story, and show host Bert Weiss asked his listeners to step up and help them pull off the wedding this weekend.

That’s exactly what happened with a number of businesses donating services.

Here’s a list of those businesses:

The couple married on Saturday at a private VRBO house in Ellenwood. 

"We had no idea this would draw so much national attention, but Tiffany and Darick are really humble people who are just grateful all this could happen so quickly. They're running around now trying to get a new marriage license, but they're just so happy to be getting married this weekend," the bridesmaid said.