Durham frontline workers tie the knot after winning free dream wedding from Cates Farm in Orange County

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Sunday, December 6, 2020
NC frontline workers tie the knot after winning free wedding from Orange County farm
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Steve Gustafson and Jennifer McClay won the free Cates Farm wedding back in November after having to cancel their May wedding plans due to the pandemic.

ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A North Carolina paramedic and emergency room worker were able to tie the knot in a free dream wedding thanks to Cates Farm.

Jennifer McClay and Steve Gustafson were originally planned to be wed back in May. By April, their first wedding venue was shuttered. The couple could not get in touch with some vendors and ended up losing thousands in deposits.

Durham frontline workers win free dream wedding from Orange County farm

"There was nothing I could do about it," Gustafson said. "There's no sense in getting angry over something I can't do. I can't control it. I just was worried about her because she was upset and depressed."

A colleague, Hannah Bentley, heard about the Cates Farm contest and wrote a letter that wowed the vendors.

McClay's interview with Cates and his wife further sealed the deal. The two were awarded the free wedding, which took place on Nov. 28.

"To hear Steve, honestly, talk about how much he loves her and how much she puts herself on the line every day," Jennifer Cates said. "And to hear her talk about how hard Steve works, then it was, 'Okay, that's easy!'"

Gustafson is grateful to say the least.

"Everybody's taken a hard hit this last year, the last couple months, six months. For them to come out and do that is, it's beyond words," he said.

McClay had a similar reaction.

"For them to step up and give their talent and time and product for free is wonderful because they're rehabilitating just like we are," she said before adding, "So I'm humbled."