Havelock woman to get free wedding after winning contest

Published: Monday, August 19, 2013 at 05:38 PM.

Wedding bells soon will ring for five lucky couples – one of which has ties to Havelock — thanks to an organization that will give them nuptials for free.

Operation Marry Me provides all catering, florists, photographers, facilities, among other gifts. Entries were due in July in time for Veteran’s Day weddings on Nov. 11.

Operation Marry Me is a collective of North Carolina counties that joined forces to offer free weddings to service members every year on Veterans Day, according to the company’s website.

For Patrick Ezel of New Bern, winning the contest was something he thought was a long shot because he’s never won anything in his life, he said.

The journey to winning began for the couple one night when his fiancée, Michelle Zaccardelli, who is from Havelock, was in bed surfing Facebook. She saw an ad and figured she would apply, she said.

“Life went back to normal after we applied — we didn’t hold our breath,” Zaccardelli said. “But now, we get to plan our honeymoon cruise to the Bahamas.”

Zaccardelli and Ezel thought they were only finalists and did a Skype interview. To their surprise, they were told at the end of the interview that they had in fact won the contest.

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