Love is in the air.
A newly engaged North Charleston couple practiced their future wedding ceremony on an April 18 Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Dallas on their way back to the Lowcountry.
Joi Ellington, who was proposed to by now-fiance Tron Williams during a long weekend stay in Las Vegas, played out her walk down the wedding aisle on the plane aisle, a makeshift veil on her head and flowers wrapped in a wet paper towel in her hands.
Flight attendants Jeremy Oree and Valencia Suggs organized the event after hearing of the couples’ engagement when they boarded. Over the intercom, Oree asked passengers to pull the shades down on their windows, while Suggs summoned Ellington, 38, and Williams, 41, to opposite ends of the plane.
Oree played the “Bridal Chorus” on his cellphone into the intercom as Ellington approached her husband-to-be.
Though formal wear wasn’t on the agenda, everyone did wear masks for the occasion.
“Valencia and I always do things like this on the plane when we fly together,” Oree told The Post and Courier. “During this time, it kind of makes people feel a little bit better about flying. We are just trying to make people forget about what’s going on in the world and enjoy themselves.”
Oree, who grew up on Sullivan’s Island where his parents still reside, said he and Suggs have organized around 20 ceremonies of this nature onboard flights and have also celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and other big events.
When he found out about the Charleston connection, he said he knew he had to do something special.
Ellington, who works for the school district, and Williams, an electrician, met at a Mount Pleasant gas station a little more than three years ago.
Ellington said she was in a relationship with somebody else at the time, but Williams said to her, “You’re so beautiful. God told me you’re going to be my wife.”
She initially shrugged it off, but after exchanging numbers, the two became friends and then started dating.
North Charleston couple Joi Ellington and Tron Williams got engaged in Las Vegas and then practiced their ceremony on a Southwest flight back to the Lowcountry. Local Lens/Provided
Ellington said the trip to Las Vegas was a complete surprise orchestrated by Williams, who simply told her he was taking her out to dinner. Instead, he blindfolded her and drove her to the Charleston International Airport.
When they arrived in Las Vegas, Ellington said there was a stretch limousine waiting for them outside, which took them to a presidential suite at The Venetian Resort. A gondola ride, spa day and whirlwind of wining and dining ensued, said Ellington.
She still didn’t know that Williams was going to pop the question until the last day of the trip, when he knelt in front of the Bellagio Hotel’s fountain display with a view of the Eiffel Tower restaurant and asked her to marry him.
Ellington said it still really hadn’t sunk in when she boarded the flight home the next day, but the practice ceremony onboard made it feel like a reality.
“I was really nervous,” Ellington said. “I had butterflies in my stomach, but it was amazing. It made me smile from ear to ear. I guess I can envision what the day is really going to be like now.”
Oree and Suggs are both getting an invitation to the wedding, which will be some time next spring in Charleston, said Ellington.
This content was originally published here.