Vows that Come from the Heart

There's something about a beach - when the sun begins to set and the sand turns cool between your toes - there's just something indefinably, yet undeniably romantic.

"Who doesn't dream about being married barefooted on the white sands?" asked Krista Davis. "It's just picture perfect."

Davis and Blake Munroe of Comanche, Texas started dreaming of a beach wedding the night he popped the question - and stopped about six weeks ago, reports CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman.

"You couldn't talk to me without me just bawling," Davis said.

"She was very upset," Munroe said.

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf

Davis and Munroe had planned on getting married here in the Florida Panhandle -- the Emerald Coast, as they call it - is the wedding destination of choice for about 20,000 couples annually. But now, many of those brides and grooms are getting cold feet.

"I tell them, 'Please come. Our beaches are OK,'" said Connie Turner Reeder, a wedding planner. "But they say, 'Yea, they're alright now but what about next week?'"

Since the spill, Turner Reeder's phones have been ringing off the hook with cancellations. She says 50 percent of her business has evaporated.

"I love this so much that the thought of not being able to do it is incredibly hurtful," Turner Reeder said.

With the phone as a constant reminder, Turner Reeder can't help but feel despair.

"I know you're concerned about the oil," she told someone who called.

Yet there is hope in the other half who aren't canceling - couples who for whatever reason - are coming here anyway.

At the last hour, our couple from Comanche decided getting married in the Florida Panhandle was not only an acceptable option, it was the right choice. Munroe was actually the catalyst for that. He got tired of hearing his fiancé beach about the beaches and told her this:

"You know, it's not just affecting us. It's affecting everybody that lives on the Gulf that counts on that for income," Munroe said.

"And when he told me that it made me realize… that it's not just about me," Davis said.

She may be the first bride in history to recognize that.

"I was being selfish," Davis said.

Davis thought about how they need tourists here now more than ever. And realized that tar balls or not - their love is the same.

"At the end of the day all that matters is that we're married," Davis said.

Other tougher decisions now lie ahead - but if they navigate those with the same empathy and class they showed here - Davis and Munroe should live happily ever after.

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.