Happily ever after for a Bakersfield couple


Jessica Gonzales and her new husband Elijah Gonzales tied the knot Friday with the help of the community. 

Just months before their dream day, a nightmare turned their lives upside down.

Last October, the couple lost everything when a fire tore through their home, causing them to postpone their wedding years in the future.

“The day after the fire we went back there and prayed and we asked God to support us in this,” Jessica Gonzales’s dad Randy Crabtree said.

When photographer Makenzie Hollar heard the couple’s story, she looked to fellow wedding vendors to make their dream a reality.

“I was just like we got to get them a wedding because we have to get them focused on rebuilding their home,” Hollar said. “Because that’s what’s going to happen after the wedding. The wedding day is going to be over and they are going to have a home together. So this relieved all the financial stress so they could purchase more things for their home to start over.”

Sixteen vendors donated everything including the venue right on the Kern River, the flowers, music, entertainment and more, making it possible for Randy Crabtree to walk his only daughter down the aisle.

“Words can’t describe how amazing it was to me,” Randy Creabtree said. “It was something I’ve always looked forward to and I’m very blessed to be there to do it. Look at this support. It’s just great, it’s beyond words.”

Everyone at the wedding credited the Bakersfield community for making it possible.

“When they wanted to come together for my sister and now brother-in-law it was amazing to see the community of Bakersfield do what they did,” Jessica Gonzales’s brother Scotty Crabtree said.

The newly married couple said the community taught them the power of generosity.

“Always always keep giving to the community because it’s very important and it changes people’s lives,” Jessica Gonzales said.

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