A Christmas Story

December 20, 2022

There's something special about Christmas.  It's the time of year to celebrate love, peace and joy. It's also the most wonderful time of the year for.... a Christmas Wedding! You might even ask Santa to make a surprise visit at your reception.

We were surprised when our groom Dustin WAS Santa! He was dressed in a white-fur trimmed red jacket and pants with a broad buckled belt, matching hat, and black boots. After the "I Do's" he placed a classic red velvet cape trimmed in white over his bride's shoulders. So sweet.

We were curious about the Santa theme and asked Joni to tell us more. She shared the story of their "Santa Life".  And also shared the wedding theme was loosely based on "The Santa Clause 2" movie. Yes, it's spelled correctly and refers to the "Mrs. Clause" in Santa's contract.

Dustin has always wanted to bring excitement and joy to people during the holidays. For the past three years he's been doing that by being Santa Claus at special events, as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army and making home visits. He started gaining a fan base last year when he appeared in the local newspaper for helping the Statesville Police Department deliver Christmas presents in the community. Santa Dustin is beginning to be recognized by children and adults whenever they go out. This year he was invited by the town of Troutman to participate in the annual Christmas Parade. Joni was by his side as Mrs. Claus, although the "Mrs. Clause" hadn't yet taken place.

Dustin and Joni got engaged last Thanksgiving. Choosing the wedding date was easy. Their favorite holiday is Christmas. They originally wanted a Christmas Eve wedding. After much discussion they decided it would be unfair to their families and friends to attend on Christmas Eve. They chose December 9, 2022, giving them plenty of time to honor the "Mrs. Clause".

Joni wanted to tie in the military somehow because Dustin, and most of Joni's family are either Active or Veterans. They chose Chaplain Brad Borders from Purple Hearts Home to be their officiant.

No one said planning a wedding was easy, they just said it was worth it when you finally walk down the aisle into the arms of the love of your life.  Joni and Dustin did have the magical wedding they hoped for, but not without challenges.

You would never know they navigated the grief of losing a friend who was to be in the bridal party. A short time later, two family members passed within weeks of each other.

A few months later it's a wedding dress disaster; major alterations needed.

When the wedding dress dreams went awry, it was enough to make Joni want to elope. Dustin convinced Joni to press on. She could still have the wedding of her dreams. And she did.

Joni said "my dreams for a small intimate wedding doesn't hold a candle to the magical night Dustin gave me"

There first day as husband and wife was spent as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. After getting up at 8:00 AM they attended "Breakfast with Santa" at a local church. Afterwards, the Mooresville Fire Department drove them to their next destination where they delivered Christmas cheer to another community. Next they dashed across the county to a private Christmas party to hand out gifts.

Joni and Dustin's theme of  "The Santa Clause 2" movie was fitting. Yes, Santa Dustin married Joni. Most importantly though, the film is about love and family. Joni and Dustin's shared passion for family and community is a common bond. They will continue to bring love and joy as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Their goal is to focus on children in need, and those in the system.

Wishing you all the best Joni and Dustin. May your dreams come true.