Many young couples dream of having a lavish wedding with friends and family.
An even bigger dream? Having that wedding—and the honeymoon—paid for by someone else.
Heather Hatfield and Patrick McCarthy of Odenton are in the running to tie the knot for free, after entering the Mix 107.3 Wedding in a Week contest.
The pair, both of whom are teachers in Anne Arundel County, are finalists to receive a free wedding and are now encouraging the public to vote.
The winner of the contest will receive a wedding extravanza complete with reception, dresses, tuxedos and flowers, plus a 5-day honeymoon to Key West. The only catch: the couple must be prepared to be married on Jan. 24.
Officials from the radio station were evidently charmed by the Hatfield and McCarthy's story. Both spent years working in South America as teachers and volunteers, then met later at a leadership conference at the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center. Hatfield is a teacher at Arlington Echo, while McCarthy teaches Spanish at Meade High.
"When I first met Patrick, I was drawn to his giving nature," Hatfield said. "Aside from having a big heart, he's just a big kid. We just enjoy each others' company and having simple things ... and I love that I can spend so much time with him and it never gets old."
They both shared a love of South American culture and the Spanish language, as well as a strong desire to help others.
"I was pretty ecstatic we were even chosen to be finalists," Hatfield said. "If we were to actually win a wedding that was paid for, it would be really special, and we need that because we really want to travel to South America and give back."
There are five couples entered into the Mix 107.3 Wedding in a Week Contest.
Members of the public are encouraged to vote online for their favorite. Voting closes on Jan. 17 and the winner will be announced on Jan. 18.