FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – A Tarrant County couple received the wedding of their dreams—almost for free—thanks to the kindness of strangers.
Shane and Brandy Toon were married last Saturday, near Lake Murray in Ardmore Oklahoma, in front of 35 family members and friends.
Shane’s grandmother performed the ceremony.
The couple already has two young daughters and were planning to get married one day soon.
They found reason to speed it up though; Shane’s mother was recently diagnosed with inoperable cancer.
“The [doctors] don’t give her too much longer,” Shane said.
His mother’s wish was to see her son get married. Without much money to spare, the couple went online to see if they could offer to trade for goods that would help make the day special.
Brandy turned to a private group on Facebook, called ‘Beg, Borrow, Trade Fort Worth’.
There are about 800 members in the group, who can only join through a referral. But several other communities have similar pages.
The members trade unwanted or unneeded things, from toilet paper or to clothing, to books or furniture, in exchange for items they do need.
Buying or selling is not allowed.
“Instead of asking for everyday things like toilet paper and diapers, we said, we need burlap and lace [for decorations],” said Brandy.
When word spread on the Facebook page about why the couple was in need, Brandy and Shane realized that people did not just want to trade — they wanted to give.
A baker made three flavors of cupcakes. Someone donated a bridal dress fit for the casual theme. Other people chipped in with décor.
Fort Worth photographer Heather Dills offered her services, and even rented a car to drive up to Oklahoma to photograph the ceremony.
“I was kind of pushy about it. Like, you need a photographer there. [Brandy] was like, ‘I do, but I can’t afford one.’ I said well, I’ll do it,” Heather said.
Heather says the ‘Beg, Borrow, Trade’ community is like an extended family.
“The community is just awesome. They have donated things for foster children, cancer patients, all kinds of things. It’s all about community,” Heather said.
The Toons now plan to pay it forward.
“They gave us a wedding we would have never been able to have, without the generosity of this group,” Shane said.
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