Military couple ties the knot at Nahant Country Club Estate — for free
Kady Hammons and Joaquin Gonzalez exchange vows at the Nahant Country Club on Sunday. The officiant is Jessica Downing. At left is Amelia Gonzalez and at right are Juliana Gonzales holding Piper Gonzalez, Natalia Gonzalez, Avery Gay and Alessandra Gonzalez.
NAHANT — Love is in the air at the The Nahant Country Club Estate.
Carrying a bouquet of marsala lilies and peach peonies, U.S. Air Force veteran Kady Hammons married Staff Sgt. Joaquin Gonzalez on the grounds of the mansion. The couple won a free wedding in a contest held by The Nahant Country Club for military couples.
“We didn’t think we’d be able to have a wedding,” said Hammons, 29. “I knew if we didn’t win this wedding, we would have had to go to the courthouse or something. We have too many kids, and we have to pay for college and stuff.”
The couple has six daughters together.
Hammons, a North Carolina native, joined the Air Force in 2010. Four years later, she and Gonzales, a Texas native, were stationed in Japan within a week of each other, but they didn’t cross paths for 2 1/2 years.
They met by chance when Hammons hosted a morale party for her air men and Gonzalez attended to support one of his troops. The pair became friends almost immediately, but lost touch. Years later, they bumped into each other in a grocery store, and the rest was history.
“I got out of the Air Force to be with him — so we could be together,” said Hammons, who is also a nursing student.
Gonzalez, 34, has three daughters and Hammons has two. Each has been married twice before. Together they welcomed their sixth baby girl six months ago.
“It feels like we’re doing it right this time,” she said. “Like the third time’s the charm.”
The intimate ceremony included less than three dozen guests and was held outdoors on the grounds of the mansion.
The Nahant Country Club was built in about 1825 by Frederic Tudor, the ice king, as a summer cottage. Tudor made a fortune shipping ice from New England ponds to warm climates across the globe.
The seven-acre estate has space for the couples to have either an indoor or outdoor ceremony.
“In this line of business, we meet a lot of military couples,” said Yasmene Driscoll, owner and operator of the country club.
Oftentimes their plans change and they need to reschedule dates and other details because of their military obligations, she said.
“They’re just trying to get married and have one normal, civilian day,” she said. “There’s not many ways that I can give back to them, but this I can do. I can use my tools to give back to them.”