Forced To Cancel Their Wedding Due To The Pandemic, A Cornelius Frontline Worker And Her Fiancé Now Prepare For The Dream Ceremony They Deserve

CORNELIUS, NC. — Kayla Fortner and Jose Arellano met at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino while working. The Cornelius couple began dating, and Jose popped the question in December 2019 with plans to get married in October 2020. The global pandemic changed that. Kayla was working in the ER at Atrium Health Cabarrus and six months pregnant with the couple’s first child.

“We were just also freaked out; it was honestly traumatizing,” Kayla says.

Forced to cancel their original wedding plans, Kayla’s mom found a $40k Dream Castle Wedding Giveaway for frontline workers launched by Jackson County, where Kayla and Jose are from.

“So she had run across it, and she’s like you should apply, and I’m like no mom I would never win that I have no luck.”

The couple submitted a video anyway to enter the giveaway, introduce themselves, and explain how the pandemic impacted them. They made it to the final five.

“I kept telling her, you know, hey babe, I know we made it to the top five come let’s not get her hopes up tell me there’s a lot of competition,” says Jose.

After more than 9,800 votes were cast, the couple won a dream wedding to be held on November 4th at Castle Ladyhawke at Bear Lake Reserve. The all-inclusive mountain wedding will include catering, décor, entertainment, photography, and more.

“Honestly, we were just planning on eloping and going somewhere since we had our daughter. There wasn’t going to be no fairytale wedding in the picture, that’s for sure,” Kayla says.