Dennis Hurley and Elizabeth Sarenana recently said “I do” at the Car-Mart of Morrilton, Arkansas where Dennis is the General Manager. While it certainly wasn’t a traditional setting, getting married at the dealership was the ideal location for their April 5 wedding.
“We’re a non-conventional couple, and this actually was a ‘meant to be kind of thing,’” says Dennis, who grew up in Morrilton. Dennis and Elizabeth wanted a casual wedding celebration that focused on things important to them – friends, family, fun – and Car-Mart.
“It made perfect sense since Car-Mart is an important part of our lives,” continues Dennis, while adding the Car-Mart staff was enthusiastic when told a wedding would occur at their work location.
And, then it was full steam ahead for this DIY wedding. “With the help of the staff, friends and family, we put it all together,” says Elizabeth. “Bit by bit. Piece by piece. It was Pinterest-inspired. From the centerpieces to the photo booth for photos with the bride and groom, it was a truly a community effort.”
Here comes the bride
“Just before we started the ceremony, the lights automatically popped on,” Dennis smiles. “It was magical, and then my bride walked down the aisle.”
Through a line-up of vehicles – red Dodge Dart, blue Nissan Maxima, blue Dodge pick-up, gold Chevrolet pick-up – and serenaded to Anne Murray’s “You Needed Me,” the bride made her way to the ‘front porch’ of the building where the couple exchanged their vows.
Taking advantage of the facility, the car lot served as the dance floor with flags on the vehicles in four corners and lights strung up for ambience. The wedding cake was served under the carport where nearly 30 guests enjoyed a two-tiered wedding cake and a BMW-shaped groom cake.
“It was so beautiful,” says Elizabeth. “It was like something out of the movies. As I walked down the aisle, I thought we have it all right here with our wonderful friends and family.”
The beginning of their love story
It was happenstance that the couple met. Elizabeth was a massage therapist. Dennis was a paramedic. He needed a massage and thanks to local phone directory, he discovered her clinic’s phone number.
Ultimately, Dennis realized Elizabeth was ‘something else.’ He asked her to the movies. “That went pretty good, so we went out again,” smiles Dennis, who added that while he lost a massage therapist, he gained a girlfriend and soulmate.
Three years later, while on a hiking trip to Pinnacle Mountain, Dennis kneeled on one knee and popped the question. She said yes.
Fast forward to the wedding, the day before and the day after their wedding day was rainy. “Our day was a bright, beautiful, sunny day,” says Dennis. “It simply was an amazing day from start to finish. And, each day has gotten better since then.
“I’ve always told Elizabeth I never knew this level of happiness was out there. I’m happier today than when I went to sleep last night,” he continues. “It [wedding at Car-Mart] was us. We’re not conventional, traditional people and this wasn’t a conventional wedding. It was wonderful.”
“We were able to tell the word that we love each other,” Elizabeth says. “We wrote our own vows and we were both were in tears. It was so beautiful.”
“And, without Car-Mart, we couldn’t have done this, and we thank Car-Mart for allowing us to hold our wedding at the dealership,” adds Elizabeth. “It was a perfect setting.”
Indeed, the wedding – at Car-Mart – turned out amazing, more amazing than either of them could imagine.
The road to Car-Mart
Another fortuitous occurrence landed Dennis at Car-Mart. He interviewed for a job at Car-Mart while on a military base in the Middle East in early 2015 where he was helping to build the first civilian Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system in a combat area. Dennis passed the interview and was offered the job as a Manager-Trainee in Russellville, Arkansas. Three months later, he was named General Manager at the Car-Mart of Morrilton, his hometown.
“It was a ‘welcome back Kotter’ thing,” laughs Dennis. “This is my home. I love it here. I know everyone. Life is good. The Lord has blessed me with a wonderful job and a beautiful wife.”