UNION COUNTY, Tenn. — Three years ago, Rick Carter was a lieutenant in the Texas Prison System. From the day he saw Jean Carter, who worked in the dental office, he knew she was the one for him.
"First time I saw her I told her friend of mine that I'm gonna marry her one day," Rick Carter said. "I kind of joke around and say that we met in prison."
The couple moved back to Maynardville, Rick's hometown, and got engaged last October. On Saturday, they decided to get married.
"We wanted to feel normal life as it should be so we decided to go ahead and do it now," Rick said.
The couple was originally planning for a wedding around Christmas.
"With everything that's been going on lately it kind of hindered everything that I was planning for," Jean told 10News. "So we got married on the fly!"
It was a small backyard wedding with just family because of coronavirus concerns and social distancing.
Jean said her shoes did not fit and her hat didn't match her dress, but nothing was going to stop their big day.
"I wore flip flops to make it work," Jean said with a laugh. "I threw the hat aside and I put on some pearls."
The Carters just wanted a chance to exchange their vows.
"As long as you've got the two people that you love and your family there, I think that's all that matters," Rick said. "Us getting married was just proof that we're going to do what we want to do. We're just doing it in a different manner than what we're used to."
Rick and Jean Carter said their wedding wedding is proof that there is still hope and joy in an otherwise unfamiliar time.
"The most important thing was for me and him to be together, virus or no virus," Jean said. "Take control of your life. Don't let this consume your life... Do what you do normally, just safely."