Lieutenant’s love wins wedding package
Columbia resident Lt. Stephen Johnson proposed to Jessie Gudgel, and three weeks later they were married, thanks to his entry in a contest sponsored by the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show.
Johnson, the son of Jerrie and Lonnie Gross and Stephen and Cindy Johnson, entered his bride-to-be in the contest, saying of 28- year- old Gudgel, “I always try to do the best things for Jessie because she is so deserving of good things in her life. She is an RN at the chi ldren’s hospi tal and works 12-hour shifts car- ing for children who are admitted with very serious problems. She pours sweat and tears into her job and is of ten qui te emot ional about cases that require her special attention.”
That entry touched the hearts of the judges, and the couple was chosen to be married March 2 at 8 p.m. in the middle of the show, which was being held in The Park Expo and Conference Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. About 30 of the couple’s friends and family were able to attend the service, held in the middle of the Belgard Gardens.
“ It was fabulous,” said Sharon Gudgel, the mother of the bride. “They had been planning a June or July wedding, so we did some quick planning. But it all turned out beautifully.”
The br ide is the daughter of Richard and Sharon Gudgel of Columbia. She is a graduate of University of South Carolina Nursing School and is employed by Palmetto Heal th Richland Chi ldren’s Hospital in Columbia. Johnson, 30, was educated at Palmetto Military Academy and has been in the military for 10 years. He will be attending flight school at the U. S. Army Aviation Center at For t Rucker, Alabama, in July, and is currently serving on duty as rear detachment commander for the 1st of the 151st At tack Reconnaissance Battalion in Columbia.
The couple received more than just a ceremony. The pr ize package included a $1,000 Ashley Home Furniture gift certificate, an officiant for the ceremony, music provided by the Charlot te Flute Choir, br idal and wedding party floral corsages and boutonnieres, a honeymoon picnic package, a wedding cake created by Tizzer ts Custom Cakery, jewelry, a wedding album, hair styling and makeup for the bride and br idesmaid, and many more goodies.