Horse Trough Falls. Photo courtesy of Jack Anthony.
CLARKESVILLE, Ga. -- They were hoping for a beautiful wedding at a spot close to both their hearts. But a year's worth of planning has now been thwarted by, of all things, the government shutdown. The couple's venue is on federal property. Kayla Parker and Daniel Ott never thought they'd become glued to television news right before their wedding.
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"I've been watching it closer than I've ever watched the news before," Parker said. "We never would have thought it would affect us so strongly," added Ott.
They wanted to be married in front of the waterfall where he proposed to her. Horse Trough Falls, the place that had become a special spot for both of them after they'd revisited several times.
"We just love it there, it's so beautiful," Parker said.
Unfortunately the waterfall is located on a campground in the Chattahoochee National Forest, on land maintained by the US Forestry Service. That means the gates were closed when the government shut down. With their dates already printed on glassware and decorations, the couple thought about sneaking past the gates.
But they have older family members to think about, so they'll postpone the wedding a week and see what happens. Beyond that, Parker said she doesn't want to wait anymore.
"When we first heard about it I cried for three days," Parker said. "Hopefully one day it will be a funny story to tell our kids when one of their weddings has a hang-up. We'll say, 'Yeah, well did the government shut your wedding down?'"