Couple Who Survived Charlottesville, Va., Attack Get Dream Wedding and Honor Heather Heyer

Marcus Martin (right) hugs his fiancee, Marissa Blair, during a memorial for Heather Heyer at the Paramount Theater on Aug. 16, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va.
Photo: Andrew Shurtleff-Pool (Getty Images)

Everyone recalls that disaster of a Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, Va., last year, when a raging white supremacist used the tried-and-true terror tactic of driving a moving vehicle into a crowd of people, throwing one person up into the air and eventually killing another.

What many may not know is that the man who was hit, Marcus Martin, pushed his fiancee, Marissa Blair, out of the way seconds before the gray Dodge accelerated toward the crowd, perhaps saving her life on that terrible Aug. 12 day.

Marcus Martin being hit during the Unite the Right rally on Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va.
Screenshot: CNN

Martin, whose body flying into the air, feet up, gave us one of the day’s most iconic photos, suffered a broken leg in that attack. Now healed, he married Blair on Saturday.

At no cost.

CNN reports that more than 30 vendors offered their services gratis, giving the couple their dream wedding.


The ceremony was an avalanche of purple, the favorite color of the couple’s friend Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old who died from her injuries at the march.


“Without Heather, this wouldn’t be possible; and if Heather was still here, Heather would definitely be here on the front row,” said Blair.

During the ceremony, Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, led the crowd in a butterfly release in remembrance of her daughter, noting, “She’s watching over those that she loves, and that includes Marcus and Marissa.”


Although they lost a dear friend in the Charlottesville attack, the couple remain grateful for all of the support they received during the ceremony, including a dress, venue, wedding planner and florals.

“It proves hate won’t win, and it proves that there are more good people in the world than there are bad,” said Blair. “And that love will win.”


The “man” charged with killing Heyer and injuring Martin and 34 others, James Alex Fields Jr., has been charged with first-degree murder. He faces life in prison.

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About the author

Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.