Gov’t Shutdown Creates Veteran Wedding Nightmare

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The looming government shutdown has become a nightmare for a veteran couple as it might nix their dream wedding.

Crystal Morales and her fiancé, Dereck Cloutier, served 15 months together in Iraq, and now after more than a year living apart, they are looking forward to their ideal wedding inside Ft. Snelling’s historic chapel.

“It’s just perfect,” Morales said of the chapel. “Everything that I wanted for my wedding, and I can’t … see myself getting married anywhere else.”

At the moment, Morales is busy planning her July 16 wedding, and she has vision in mind of how she wants it to be.

“I have a huge fancy dress; and they like open the doors for me; and I walk through; and they have these candles that are lit up on the pews like all the way down when I walk down,” Morales said.

However, she may not get to walk down that aisle if the state government shuts down on July 1.

The state park where the chapel sits is not considered an essential service and would be shut down if lawmakers can’t figure out how to fix a $5 billion deficit.

“We’ve been planning this for twelve months. This is the first thing that we’ve booked so to hear that there is a possibility that we can’t get married here … it’s super stressful and frustrating, “Morales said.

She says it doesn’t seem fair to be a veteran and to be told that she can’t get married at a military chapel.

Morales is trying to stay positive. Not just for her special day, but for the thousands that would be affected by a government shutdown.

“There is just so many things that could go wrong if they don’t come to a compromise,” Morales said.

She hopes lawmakers understand how much they are hurting people by not figuring out the state budget.

More from Reg Chapman
  • Chuck Finley

    A government shutdown would be unfortunate, but it is incredibly shoddy and misleading journalism to state that, “…she may never get to walk down that aisle if the state government shuts down on July1.” She will still be able to walk down the isle. She can either move the wedding date or place. Not ideal, but if where you get married is more important than getting married you should reconsider.

    • laura

      Chuck it is not so easy to move your wedding date to another day just wait for the govt shut down to be over. It’s not like she is just throwing a party a wedding takes time to plan and it sounds like these 2 people planned their wedding day to be very memorable for both them and their guests and because of stupid politics and both sides fighting worse than my 3 and 4 yr old do, this couple may have their dream wedding ruined. Very selfish of them and shame on you for making this couples wedding dream seem just like a drop in the bucket. Obviously you have never planned a wedding before!

      • Drunken Dissed Orderly

        Their “dream wedding?”

        Puke. Just get married and get on with your lives. It’s not the wedding you’re celebrating, it’s your marriage.

        • I puked too

          Thank you! Can you tell this to all my annoying girlfriends?

    • karen

      and they said “that” isle

      • I Love Puppies

        Which isle? I didn’t think Ft Snelling had an isle. The chapel likely has an aisle, but not an isle. Which, of course, leads to an entirely different discussion. And, seriously, I don’t think guests would have to change plane tickets to go to another location in the cities. Do you have to be like so totally dramatic?

    • Karen

      oh and your going to pay for new invitations for this wedding? and the plane tickets of all the guest attending this wedding because i don”t know about you but i cant afford that and fyi she does have a back place to get married!

      • karen

        oh and your going to pay for new invitations for this wedding? and the plane tickets of all the guest attending this wedding because i don”t know about you but i cant afford that and fyi she does have a back up place to get married!

    • Dustie

      Very cold response from you Chuck, very COLD. These are veterans that served out country well and this is the way you talk. Cold and unfeeling.

      • Reasonable

        Well, I know they like, served, but like, do they deserve special like treatment and stuff for like their wedding?

        Vet or not, girl is hateable.

        But hey, this is your tax dollars hard at relaxation! Good thing that the elected officials have decided that it’s time ti play politics for their party’s self interestest as opposed to doing anything for the best interest of the state and its residents.

        • I Love Puppies

          Ha!!! I like totally love this response.

      • Andy

        I’ve been a Marine for 15 years and am still serving I’ve done 3 tours in Iraq and 2 in afghanistan. Just because you are veteran does not ensure you of special rights in society, especially for something as ridiculous as this, move the wedding, WCCO do you really consider this news worthy?. Dear veterans, stop playing the veteran card every time something happens to you don’t like or to get something you want. Remember a true veteran is humble and does not brag about his service. I think our generation needs to take a page from the WW2 Vets. Very humble and they don’t boast.

        Another Veteran

    • minnesota

      I agree with you Chuck, it does not matter if you served this county, or if you are just the average person on the street. If you are truely in love, it does not matter where you get married at.

    • Alicia

      They would get married regardless of which place it is at. That’s not the point. The point is that these normal people happen to be vets and would like to get married in a military chapel. She’d walk down the aisle of a bus to get married. She never once said she wouldn’t get married, you are misconstruing the point of the story.

      • Frank

        If they wanted to get married in a military chapel they can find one on a base. The Fort Snelling chapel has long been abandoned by the military and given to the state in 1960.

  • Victim Du Jour

    Just leave a Key to the church with a State trooper and let the couple have their day.

    WCCO and their tug on womens fairytale strings For DFLers gimmick.

    You don’t need state employees to operate a church.

    • Victim mentality

      You, VDJ are an stereotyping, blinder-wearing, idiot.

    • James2

      I have a dream for wedding and it’s still illegal shutdown or not.

    • Dustie

      Well, V Du J, this is a state facility and there are consequences for a GOP legislature that doesn’t know the meaning of negotiation and compromise.

      • Victim Du Jour

        Consequences? Like this corny Network Tele-victim show? The GOP passed a budget bill for this Church. Sorry to burst your Corporate Monopoly on public opinion bubble.

        The ball is in Daytons court

        • Dustie

          The ball is in the court of negotiation and compromise – both the Legislature and the Governor need to participate in this process – that’s how a Democracy works.

          • Rico Suave

            The GOP just delivered another big batch of compromises 2 days ago which the governor promptly rejected. Proving that when liberals says the word compromise, what they really mean is “give us our way”. Personally I think this is one of society’s biggest problems: Not knowing how to function without government help at every turn. Just the fact that there are people out there who can’t figure out how to have a wedding without depending on the government is a whole other symptom of what’s wrong with America these days. Good grief, figure it out. Have your wedding. Be resourceful. Do something without needing your hand held at every turn by your government. People do stuff like this every day without the government. They’re called conservatives. Try it, it’s fun. That is, unless your goal is to raise an entire generation of government dependants. Just don’t cry to me when your government fails you and you can’t figure out how to survive without help. Stay thirsty my friends.

  • Doug

    Let the Patriot Guard volunteer to keep the chapel open, believe me they will be there and so will I to support this couple. The guard will clean everything up and no state money spent..

  • northern minnesota

    All these stories about everything being ruined if the gavernment will shut down. What if they don’t shut down. All this talk about bad.

  • JB

    First we tried to use fear abotu a shut down, now sympathy? I knew this paper gave low blows tryign to sway public opinion, but never thought they would go this low. All this jsut to get the governor to back off on a tax increase durign a recession. Come on CCO, cut the governor some slack, I mean he is only trying to steal from the minority to pay for his votes. Cut the gov some slack.

    • Jason

      Thats the way I see it.

  • StraycatStrut

    Gov Moron just needs to sign a $34 BILLION budget…… and get to leading the state and give confidence back to the state where necessary employees running the state can plan a life. Seems the “Govenor” does not want it any other way but his way thus he’s holding the budget hostage…. hard to work with per usual.

    • Vern

      He cannot sign what he vetoed. Go take a lesson in civics. When you have to stoop to name calling it is a reflection of what you are.

  • JustSayin

    “Like, like, like, OMG” Whadda ditz.

  • JKB

    Minnesota’s gov seems to be taking lessons from Wisconsin’s Gov Walker!! Theyre both bulheaded in their own way. Walker does seem to want what is best to reduce the staes debt, while Mn gov wants to lay more burden on the taxpayers by demanding higher taxes.. If the couple wants to get married, there are always alternatives. Cross the river to WI, get married there, then have a mock wedding at the church, followed by the rest of the festivities, if desired.

    • Cry me a RIVER!

      It’s simple
      MN’s governor is almost in tears (see WCCOs lovely photos) while WI’s Governor stands upright and gets the budget balanced.

  • Bill

    If the voters had elected Tom Emmers, they would be having their wedding without problems.

  • Jason

    Looks like we are grasping at straws. Sorry if you dont get marrried. Are we all led to believe this is a difficult choice. Shut it down. Or sign the budget. Incompetent govener. Or dont do anything and build a stadium. Loser.

  • Drunken Dissed Orderly

    Good grief, you can’t make every single issue into a Republican vs. Democrat argument. Both sides are wrong. Therefore, if you exclusively support just one political party, you are also wrong. The fact is, this article isn’t about politics. It’s about a selfish woman who has a vision of her perfect princess wedding, and she’s dragging her would-be husband into her vision. It sounds like she wouldn’t really care who the groom is, as long as the setting is what matches from her day dreams as a 14 year old.

    If she wants to marry this guy, marry the guy and live out your fairy tale life. The wedding isn’t the important part anyway.

    And a somewhat off-topic aspect of weddings that I can’t comprehend is the fact that some people are willing to go 25k into debt over a party they can’t afford to begin with. Is it the wedding or the marriage most women want? Hmmmmm. Who is this REALLY about…

    • Mark D

      Honey, can you get your daddy on the phone?

      We need to tell him, most folks don’t care about your wedding.

    • karen

      its about a couple who fought for freedom for this land and now they don”t even have the freedom to get married where they want to that is not right!

      • Mom of a bride

        No, Karen, they don’t have the right to get married where they want just because they served. That’s one of the blessings of being in America. We don’t have to worry about the military just taking what they want simply because they’re military.

        My daughter is the bride of the other couple that has booked the chapel on this date. What did we do when we realized we might have a problem? We rallied the bride and groom’s family and hit the internet and started making phone calls to see what was available. Within an hour, we had several other options found. It’s more important that a ceremony take place rather than a wedding.

    • Karen

      first and for most you know nothing about the woman who fought for you freedom you ungraetful person! she should be allowed to get married anywhere she wants she fought for her freedom as well as everyone else in the U.S. and she is the most unselfish person i know and i have known her since she was 12 so before you start running your mouth know what your talking about oh and by the way she is not in debt over the wedding she budgets her money very well and can afford her wedding and she can spend her extra money on what ever she would like so get a life and you sound like a winner with your ridiculous name (Drunken Dissed Orderly) go drink another Beer you loser oh and her man wants this and is just as upset as she is fyi

      • Dave

        Wow! Karen you get the award for the longest run-on sentance I have ever seen in my life!! Puncuation has escaped you, as well as practical sense. This is just a fluff story about how horrible a govt shutdown will be. Shut it down, everyone who is self aware should be just fine for six monthes easy.

      • Drunken Dissed Orderly

        Nice run-on sentence. Take a breath you freak.

  • so what?

    Another individual story broken out to gain more bias. I don’t care about your wedding. I don’t care how long you planned it and the fact one of them is a vet is not swaying me either. Thank you for joining the all volunteer military. If he was drafted maybe I’d have some sympathy but roll with the punches and move along.

    • julie

      What a heart felt (barf) story.

    • carolmarierust

      And you think because it’s volunteer military, you don’t lose time from your life or be just as dead as when you are drafted. So maybe the press is using the vet card, but it is their day that has been planed for a long time. And yes, I’m a vet who doesn’t talk about the things I’ve seen and done.

      • so what?

        @carolmarierust no of course they lose time from their life, and they volunteered to do so. They knew it going in. My thought is when I join the military I expect that there is a very likely possibility that I will be killed and I plan from there. It is the military not a library after all. The military knows the deal going in and they absolutly do not expect special treatment. The end of the story is they may loose out as many others not covered in the victim of the day headlines will for other unrelated reasons. That is why wedding insurance exists. I come from a long line of military vets some drafted some not. Some have multiple gun shot wounds and some not. Some with bronze stars and some not. Some got spit on upon return. They most certainly did not expect special treatment. Tying in government spending, special treatment, weddings and the military is formulaic and shameful.

  • Kim

    Just because every little girl has a fairy tale dream about her wedding does not make her selfish or only in it for herself. Do you actually believe this couple called the newspapers and reporters crying about their wedding? I am going to guess it was the press who contacted them and wanted to share their story. Many of the negative comments have been posted by men who either have never been married or we not very involved in the process, just leave it all up to the little woman! No, you cannot just change dates and locations without great difficulty and breaking contracts. Not to mention families paying for plane tickets. Simple thoughts for simple minded people. Then the person who posted the comments and spelled many of the words incorrectly, brillian, you should spend more time on your GED and less time on video games. And as for the military who have and are proudly serving this great country, yes they do deserve special recognition for their dedication and selfless service to each and everyone of us. I am proud to be part of a military family, God bless each and everyone of them!

    • Karen

      well she is my Best Friend and she did not go to the press they came to her and asked her how she felt and she was just telling them her feelings!

    • Drunken Dissed Orderly

      “Many of the negative comments have been posted by men who either have never been married or we not very involved in the process, just leave it all up to the little woman!”

      How on earth would you know that information?

    • Brandi

      How would the press know or even care she’s getting married?
      Stupid thinking

    • jen

      I made a comment about her whinning.

      I’m happily married, graduated fromSaint Cloud State, proud homeowners and happily employed.

      Get real, you can get married in Vegas or at a courthouse, private ceremony, etc.

      Let me guess, your lazy, and no one has told you so, because their shy.

    • Drunken Dissed Orderly

      “Just because every little girl has a fairy tale dream about her wedding does not make her selfish or only in it for herself.”


      That is PRECISELY what that makes it. The little girl fairy tale part has to get dropped once the girl reaches puberty and figures out there’s a big bad world out there to live in and the wedding DOESN’T MEAN SQUAT. Celebrate the marriage, not the ceremony.

  • julie

    It’s easy to figure out

  • e lee

    I am so over the newpapers and their reporting. Move it to a park. Let the government shut down. The media is feeding these “Oh poor me” stories. Slapping childrens pictures on the front page and saying I can’t live without the goverment giving me money. Playing the veteran card over and over in the media. Time to put on our big boy and girl pants and deal with it. You will figure out a solution.

    Wife of a Veteran, Daughter of a Veteran & Sister of a Veteran too!

  • Gary Lee

    Such compassion being displayed. Dare I ask, if it was your wedding, or your daughter’s wedding, or your son’s wedding, would you be calling the couple all of those names when their plans were disrupted? This is not the end of the world for this couple, but it is a major disappointment. These days a couple may typically spend many thousands of dollars and months of preparation on a wedding. Will their lives be ruined if they cannot have their wedding in the church they want? No. Will they have spent a lot more money, time and effort to get less than they expected than the tax difference between the two budget proposals represents for the typical Minnesotan? Yes, they will. So in at least one sense of perspective, they have more skin in this game than most of the people taking pot shots at them. And that has nothing to do with whether they are veterans or not.

  • Jeannie

    Try being one of the thousand employees being laid off, who cares about this couple. There’s more important things going on in this world. This topic is boring, she’s selfish, me, me, and more me attitude.

  • Lets guess

    First we have grandma being kicked out of the nursing home. Today the disappointed bride. Maybe tomorrow we will read about the welfare family of 6 just off the bus from Chicago.

  • psmcbrayer

    I am a veteran and I am not here to rain on this couple’s plans. I hope things worked out for them. I would just like to take this opportunity to let people know that any major event involving spending large amounts of money, bringing in people from out of state, etc. should be INSURED with event insurance. Despite potential disappointment, it saves your event if events beyond your control force changes in venue, reception location, cancellation due to extreme weather (i.e. hurricanes, blizzards, etc), rescheduling, or a vendor goes bankrupt, taking off with your deposits (yes, it did happen to one bride I know!) It is worth the cost for some peace of mind…consider event insurance. And no, I do not sell it, but I sure did buy some for my daughter’s wedding next year.

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