Family opens fireworks stand to raise money for daughter's nuptials: 'Weddings are not cheap'

Kristine Solomon
Bride-to-be Sarah Ashley hugs her dad, Heath Bryant, at the family's fireworks stand. (Photo: Courtesy of 5newsonline.com)
Bride-to-be Sarah Ashley hugs her dad, Heath Bryant, at the family's fireworks stand. (Photo: Courtesy of 5newsonline.com)

An Arkansas family has banded together to open and operate a neighborhood fireworks stand in a spontaneous effort to raise money for one very lucky daughter’s upcoming wedding.

Heath Bryant told KSFM he’s always wanted to provide his daughter Sarah Ashley with the wedding of her dreams — but with her actual August nuptials fast approaching, reality started to sink in.

“Weddings are expensive,” said Bryant. He and his wife work as teachers and also for a church, according to THV 11.

With just a month to go, the dad knew he knew he needed to brainstorm a dynamite way to make ends meet. And then it hit him: Independence Day is coming up, so he’d sell fireworks — and he’d recruit his wife and kids to run the business with him.

That’s how the Bryants — along with their children — ended up opening TNT Fireworks in the parking lot of a Walmart, in the town of Springdale. The dad announced the new venture in an enthusiastic Facebook post on June 29.

“Buy fireworks and help us get these two married!” Bryant wrote alongside a photo of the bride-to-be and her fiancé, Marcus Rutherford. He advertised that all proceeds would go toward the wedding, and the family would even be giving away a $150 fireworks package to one lucky winner.

Sarah Ashley said she was skeptical when her father first proposed his big idea, but she soon concluded, “If anybody can make something like this work, it would be him.”

Luckily, the whole family loves fireworks, so they were totally on board with the plan. They’ve been taking turns spending late nights at the stand and even rearranging their personal schedules to accommodate the business, Bryant said.

"It's been great seeing our family come together because really it is for Sarah Ashley,” the dad told ABC 13, “but all of our kids are excited for her getting married. Our whole family is and wanted to make this happen for her.”

While Sarah Ashley sees the humor in the situation, she’s eternally grateful for her family’s generous gesture. “It is definitely a tent with some explosives inside it,” she said, “but it really is just such a picture of their love for me, and it's really really sweet to see.”

Since its launch, the fireworks stand has taken on a life of its own on social media, where the family is getting offers from far and wide. “We were planning on heading over tomorrow! But now that you’re famous… we may not wanna battle crowds,” one neighbor playfully commented.

“How can I contribute from Oklahoma if I can’t come buy fireworks?” asked another.

And the owner of a nearby wedding venue, the Atrium, even offered a barter. “If you’d be willing to travel to Branson,” she wrote, “we’d love to give you a discount on our venue if you do a firework display!”

The wedding may not be for another month, but suffice to say, sparks are already flying.

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