Wedding surprise makes Veterans Day even more special for Army couple

FRISCO -- Jesse and Marie Smith seemed unbothered Saturday afternoon, just hours before they were scheduled to say "I do".

"We actually met in Afghanistan," Marie explained.

It all made sense then.

We know Veterans Day is about giving thanks for the heroes who enable us to enjoy the freedoms we have, but it's also a good time to hear the stories our heroes bring home. Many times, they have nothing to do with war.

This is one of those.

"It was winter so we all were covered from head-to-toe in our winter gear," Marie Smith said, describing the first few days she saw Jesse. "He always had sunglasses on so whenever he took them off all you could see were his blue eyes. We didn't actually ever have a full conversation with each other until we got back to the States."

Jesse and Marie met in the US Army.

For one of them, at least, the feelings were immediate.

"She didn't want to be tied down," Jesse Smith laughed. "I had to convince her."

"I kept fighting the dating because we're in the military, we're so young, he's going to be the one that ends it all, and he was," Marie added.

They got married in a Georgia courthouse shortly after they started dating, but Jesse made a promise.

"I promised her that after our five year anniversary we could have an actual ceremony," he said.

In steps Frisco's Verona Villa. As a new wedding facility, they wanted to start with a bang so they did a sweepstakes called the Hero Wedding Giveaway. The Smiths wrote their story, and it was selected.

"That you could find love under circumstances like that in the deserts of Afghanistan under difficult conditions, the heart wants what the heart wants," said Verona Villa Owner Jason Young.

And Saturday night, on Veterans Day, Jesse and Marie get their dream wedding all expenses paid.

And it feels like the first time all over.

"We're nervous and excited," Jesse laughed. "It'll definitely be special."