Local couple invites strangers to their wedding for a good cause

Posted at 10:57 PM, Aug 05, 2016

It was an open invitation - a local couple welcomed all of southeast Wisconsin to their wedding. It was a celebration of their love for each other, and for a cause that hits close to home.

“When you connect with someone like we have connected, it’s just special,” says the groom, Scott Van Roo.

“Whatever you think love is, this is it,” adds the bride, Carla Miller. "This is what people should want and expect. Don’t accept anything less.”

Scott and Carla have known each other for 20 years, but only started dating a year ago. Now, they’re madly in love.

Instead of going to the courthouse to make it official, they exchanged vows in front of family, friends, and hundreds of complete strangers at Hart Park in Wauwatosa Friday evening.

They had to get approval from the city to hold a public event. They paid for bands to perform, and brought in a beer tent. They also recruited food trucks. All of the money raised goes to a cause close to Scott’s heart, as a retired Milwaukee firefighter.

“Over the years, I've seen my fair share of burn victims - especially children -  and it's never easy to see,” he says. “It sticks with you. The money being raised here goes toward a camp that helps kids get over the emotional trauma of being burnt, and not looking like anybody else."

"When he mentioned it, there was just no question in our minds, this party with a purpose is what we had to do to celebrate our wedding,” Carla says. “This is his passion. He’s got such a great heart.”

After they were pronounced husband and wife, a special guest showed up to say thank you. Mia Camarillo suffered severe burns in a kitchen accident. Thanks to Scott and Carla’s wedding, she gets to go to burn camp this year.

“I’m really excited for camp,” Mia says. “Thank you.”

A perfect example of true love, paid forward.

Scott and Carla are already planing to invite everyone back for their one-year wedding anniversary party next year.

If you’d like to help their burn camp cause, visit