Charlottesville Attack Survivors Have Purple Wedding In Honor Of Heather Heyer

"It proves hate won't win, and it proves that there are more good people in the world than there are bad — and that love will win."

On Aug. 12, during the counter-protest of the "Unite The Right" White supremacy rally in Charlottesville, VA., Marcus Martin made a snap decision to push his fiancée, Marissa Blair, out of a car's path as its driver purposefully barreled into the crowd. Though Martin was tossed into the air and left with a broken leg, he nonetheless managed to walk down the aisle this past weekend. 


On Saturday, May 12, the couple tied the knot in a ceremony at Walden Hall in Reva, VA. that both celebrated their love and honored their close friend, Heather Heyer, 32, who did not survive the attack that day. 

Blair and Heyer were not only close friends, but colleagues at Miller Law Group in Charlottesville. Several months after Martin proposed at the firm last year on Jan. 31,  the couple, Heyer, and another close friend, Courtney Commander, celebrated the engagement together. 

Commander would later recruit Martin, Blair, and Heyer to join her at the counter-protest against White nationalism that, in an instant, forever changed the friends' lives and the couple's relationship. "You'd think it would have brought us closer together as a couple, and in some ways it did," Blair told the New York Times. "But before Aug. 12, Marcus and I had had one argument. After Aug. 12 we started having six, seven, eight arguments. It wasn't like us." 

The arguments, they acknowledged, were about small, silly things that had never mattered to the couple before. To work through these newfound obstacles, they both visited therapists for months. "It helped," Martin told the publication. "Marissa and I realized life is too short for little petty arguments." 

Ultimately, the experience, and the months of healing that followed, helped Martin and Blair find strength in each other, solidifying their commitment to one another.

To show their support for the couple, Bella Giornata Events, a local company, threw them an all-expenses-paid wedding. "I contacted some vendors I work with often and asked if they may be willing to donate their services," Christina Moore, the founder, said. "I knew we could send the message that love wins, not hate." Blair echoed the sentiment to CNN affiliate WVIR. "It proves hate won't win, and it proves that there are more good people in the world than there are bad — and that love will win," the bride said. 

To honor their late friend, the couple decorated their wedding in in various shades of purple — Heyer's favorite color. The bridesmaids, including maid of honor Commander, wore lavender dresses while the five groomsmen and best woman, Whitley Jones, donned dark suits with purple accents. Blair walked down the aisle accompanied by her brother Dasan Hunt to an altar overflowing with purple wisteria to start the next chapter of her life with Martin, the man who'd saved hers. 



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