A Charlevoix couple is in the running for a military wedding giveaway at Castle Farms.
U.S. Army Sgt. Zackery Zimmer and Erin Stebe were engaged in January of 2018 and hope to marry after he returns home from deployment and she graduates from college.
Stebe, a 2014 Venetian Queen and Charlevoix High School graduate, said they are behind in votes. The couple is bouncing between the fourth and fifth place in the wedding contest, but they have not given up hope for that dream wedding.
“I am still hoping. I am not going to give up until the voting ends,” Stebe said. “Getting married at the Castle would be such a magical moment. The idea of being married at the Castle gives the bride the feeling of being a princess. I hope my wedding day is like that.”
They are competing against 33 other other couples and voting will end Wednesday (Feb. 13).
Stebe is grateful for Castle Farms and its contest because it gives back to those who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.
“My fiancé is overseas with countless others to protect the freedoms we have and having something in my hometown offer this to military couples is a wonderful way to give back,” Stebe said.
With Zimmer on the other side of the world and Erin finishing up college, planning and budgeting just wasn’t happening. But with Castle Farms wedding giveaway things could go a bit easier, she said.
Stebe then spoke with her fiancé about the contest and entered.
“They say, ‘When you know, you know.’ That’s how it has been since the day I met Zack,” Stebe wrote in her entry. “There was something about him. He had just moved here to finish out his senior year of high school. We ended up dating early on as teenagers in 2012. I was 16 and Zack was 18.”
According to Stebe’s submission, her mother told her not to get involved because he was going into the Army and the odds of them working out were not in their favor. “We dated for roughly over a year, and then things ended between us. Over the years, after we had broken up, we worked on building a friendship,” Stebe wrote. “It was hard, I still loved him, and he loved me. After five years of not seeing each other in person, time finally came around for us to reconnect. We got engaged on Jan. 14, 2018 because, “when you know, you know.”
Laura Stebe, Erin’s mother, said she never gave up on them as a couple.
“From the moment those two met there was just something there,” Laura said. “He has been telling me for five years he is going to marry my daughter and when he comes back from overseas we hope to see that happen. Never give up on your dream.”
The opportunity to win would be amazing, Erin Stebe said.
“Being able to get married when he gets back, would allow us start our lives together. I am currently finishing up school as a nursing student, eager to start life with my soldier when he gets back from deployment,” Stebe said.
Stebe said they are both so thankful for the support and votes.
Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. The winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day.