Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
Matthew Brown and Katherine Johnson of Orem were one of four finalist couples competing for the grand prize in a wedding contest.

OREM — Bride-to-be Katherine Johnson now has to buy her own wedding bouquet, and she and fiance Matthew Brown won't be posing for pictures with movie stars. But no worries. They're just excited to get married — even without the red carpet.

Johnson and Brown were finalists in an all-expenses-paid wedding contest as part of the premiere for the upcoming Patrick Dempsey movie, "Made of Honor."

The grand prize, which went instead to Michelle and Shaun of Camp Hill, Pa., is a groom's tux, a Selia Yang wedding dress, bridal flowers and diamond wedding bands, plus a six-day honeymoon trip to Paris and Venice with $10,000 cash and a $3,000 gift card to Bed, Bath & Beyond.

"All I can say is that we're happy," Johnson said. "We wish we would have won, but we're happy either way. We're not devastated. It's going to be just fine. We're just as excited for the wedding in August as we would have been for the wedding in New York."

The couple had first submitted an essay, then a video, which earned them a slot as one of four finalists competing for the grand prize.

Now, instead of rushing to a celebrity-style wedding in two weeks, they'll keep planning their Aug. 9 wedding in the Salt Lake LDS Temple, with a reception in Brown's back yard in Orem. They also get a $1,000 gift certificate to Bed, Bath & Beyond for being finalists.

"I was surprised that we got so far," said Johnson, who watched the announcement on "Entertainment Tonight" Monday at work. "Who would have thought that a little couple from Orem, Utah, could get into the finals of a national contest?"

After being named finalists, the couple set up a Facebook group, encouraging members to vote for them online, which was how the winner was picked.

Brown, who has been accepted to the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona, said officials at the school even called him, cheering him on and relaying the news that everyone there was voting for him.

"We're very thankful, especially to everybody who voted for us," Brown said. "It was definitely a lot of fun, something really different."

Despite dreams of traveling and paying off student debt with the prize money, there's a bit of relief, too, as the couple was trying to work with their LDS bishop to figure out how to arrange a temple sealing.

Plus, two weeks is not much time to get a wedding together, Johnson added. And now the entire family can be involved, not just the few allowed guests.

"I pretty much told my mom, 'Your prayers were answered,"' Brown said. "She laughed pretty hard."

"We're a little disappointed, but we're still OK," Johnson said. "We still get to get married. We'll have a blast and it will be such a fun story."


E-mail: [email protected]