KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — Ben Gerard had done everything to prepare for his wedding on Sept. 18, but a few days before the ceremony he realized there was a problem.
“My brother texted me, he said, ‘What marriage license did you get?'” Ben told News Channel 11. “I said, ‘Tennessee.’ And he goes, ‘Um, think of where you’re getting married at.'”
Ben and Ashley Gerard, both Kingsport residents, had planned to marry at their home church in Gate City, Virginia, which meant they needed to secure a Virginia marriage license or get legally married in Tennessee.
Ben said their pastor was qualified to marry them in their home state. All he asked for was a location.
“We recommended Chick-fil-A,” Ben said.
“Because he eats here like every day,” Ashley chimed in.
The couple brought along their family to serve as witnesses, but as regulars, they had a few others cheering them along too.
Dining room host Debbie Marshall said she wasn’t surprised to see Ben and Ashley in the dining room that day, but she couldn’t believe that they had chosen to get married there.
“I said, ‘You picked Chick-fil-A over any other place?'” Marshall told News Channel 11.
The couple still held a ceremony at their Virginia church a few hours later. Marshall and her husband were in attendance.
“We treat people when they come in like our extended Chick-fil-A family,” Marshall said.
The Gerards say the restaurant will always hold special memories.
“I mean, no matter where the Lord takes us, I’m sure we’ll make our way back to Kingsport and eat here at Chick-fil-A because this is where it happened,” Ben said.