Bethany Hamilton, whose story of courage and survival after losing her left arm in a shark attack while surfing inspired a nation, entered a new phase in her life: marriage.
Hamilton and Christian youth minister Adam Dirks, who met through mutual friends at Hamilton’s church, announced their engagement in the spring and were married Sunday in front of 300 guests on a secluded hilltop on the north shore of Kauai, near the small town of Kilauea, where Hamilton grew up, People Magazine reported.
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“I look forward to being the best wife that I can be for Adam and to starting our new adventure together,” Hamilton, 23, tells People. “I love surfing, but getting married doesn’t even compare. This was definitely the best night of my life.”…
The wedding party (13 bridesmaids and eight groomsmen) as well as the bride and groom were all barefoot for the ceremony. The happy couple wrote and said their own vows. Her ring was white gold with two-carat diamond. His was made from local koa wood and titanium. Their first dance was to Ben Harper’s “The Three of Us.”
Hamilton's tweet on Sunday said it all:
"Today was the most beautiful, wonderful best day of my life! God is more than good. Excited to live life with my husband Adam Dirks!"
As for the honeymoon, Hamilton told Us Weekly, "We're gonna get a cabin; it's going to be cute."
In October 2003, Hamilton lost her arm in the tiger shark attack at age 13. She wrote about her experience in a 2004 autobiography “Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board." A movie based on the book was released in April 2011.
"I always felt it would be hard for me to meet someone because I'm different," she told In Touch magazine. "To say I was completely comfortable looking at myself in the mirror and seeing one arm would be a lie. I just had to trust in God and know that he had someone special for me."
Hamilton, 23, told People she plans to continue her surfing career and motivational speaking.
“[Adam] and I love to live healthy, active lifestyles, and we hope to share that with others,” she told People in an earlier interview. “I’m excited to go on some adventures with him as well.”
Photos from Facebook.