She said ‘yes!’: Firefighter stops the Georgia Strawberry Festival Parade to propose

She said 'yes!'


REYNOLDS, Georgia (41NBC/ WMGT)- A Taylor County firefighter nearly lost his life three-years ago. Cody Carpenter says God gave him a second chance with a speedy recovery and finding the love of his life.

If you have never been one to believe in love at first sight, you may think twice after reading this. One love tale begins by a couple locking eyes one-year ago at Reynolds’ Georgia Strawberry Festival. This couple says if it wasn’t for God, this story wouldn’t have a happy ending.

“March 15, 2015, I’m a volunteer for Butler Fire Department and we had got a call for an airplane down. I wish I could tell you more. I remember getting in my car and putting the key in the ignition,” Carpenter said.

His vehicle wrapped around a tree and it took first responders nearly two hours to cut him loose.

“I stayed in the hospital a total month,” he recalls.

Carpenter’s future wasn’t looking so promising. A year later, things were falling back into place and Carpenter was back serving his community.

“Me and my fiancé met at the Strawberry Festival,” Carpenter said.

“His fellow fighters that he’s known that he’s had a class with at the firehouse in Butler, they were talking together and I told him I said who is that you’re talking to he’s kind of cute,” Tori Spidal said.

In a small town like Reynolds, word got around they were asking about each other.

“He actually added me on Facebook later that night, so we didn’t get to meet that day, but that’s when I first say him,” she said.

One year later, at the place they first locked eyes, in front of 10,000 people during the festival’s parade, Carpenter got down on one knee.

“I had no idea I was like what are you doing. I was actually video-tapping him coming up to me and I just thought maybe he was going to take me for a ride on the truck,” Spidal said.

“I knew I wanted to marry her,” he said.

“Kept everything a secret. We flew her sister from Texas down. Everything was secret up until that moment she had no idea,” he continued.

“I have a whole Pinterest board planned out,” she said.

Spidel says they’ve had a venue booked since April. They’ve known they wanted to get married, they were just waiting on him to pop the question. The big day is October 20, 2018.


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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.