Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 16 October |
Saint of the Day: St. Gerard Majella
Aleteia logo
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Couple marries at the border to ensure both families can attend wedding

marriage

SunKids | Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 10/07/21

With COVID restricting travel between countries, this couple found an unusual solution.

Karen Mahoney learned to ski as a young girl thanks to her friend Brian Ray. Even though the pair lived in different countries — Ray lived in New York and Mahoney just over the border in Canada — their friendship eventually developed into love, with Ray proposing to Mahoney on the ski slopes 35 years later.

With love so long in the making, the pair wanted to marry right away, but the border between Canada and the USA was closed due to the pandemic, meaning close family members wouldn’t be able to attend.

“We didn’t want to wait and have a long engagement. We are so much in love that we couldn’t wait another day to be married,” Mahoney shared with CBS News. They set their date for September 25 in the hope that the borders would be re-opened. Unfortunately, on August 21 they discovered that they would remain closed on their big day.

For Mahoney the news was particularly hard. Although she now lives in New York State, pre-COVID she traveled to Quebec to see her family every week.

“COVID has hit hard. Without being able to hug them for 18 months, it hurts,” she explained. To not have her much-loved family members at her wedding would be doubly hard.

Thankfully a childhood friend, “Border Brian,” stepped up to find an unusual solution. The border patrol agent arranged for the couple to make their vows on the Jamieson Line Border Crossing between Burke, New York and Quebec, Canada, so both families could attend, while staying on their respective sides of the border.

The couple remained on the New York State side, along with their pastor and maid-of-honor. Just a couple of yards away, the bride’s parents and excited 96-year-old grandmother were present to see the couple wed.

The grandmother was particularly moved by the occasion. “I’ve seen her once in two years. So, it was very emotional; we both cried. And she expressed to me later that to witness the happiest day of my life is a moment she would never forget,” shared the new Mrs. Ray.

The couple then went ahead with their original wedding plans in New York State with other guests the following day.

“I got to marry the most beautiful woman in the world two days in a row,” shared the delighted husband.

While it might not have been the initial wedding of their dreams, this couple managed to adapt their plans to focus on what really mattered to them: making their vows in the presence of their beloved family.

Tags:
FamilyInformation about the vaccine against COVID-19Marriage
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Larry Peterson
This is the only officially recognized Marian apparition in the U...
2
Philip Kosloski
A scientist describes the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima
3
NIGHTBIRDE
Cerith Gardiner
Nightbirde finds inspiration in Joan of Arc
4
AVENIDO BROTHERS
Agnès Pinard Legry
Three brothers ordained priests on the same day in the Philippine...
5
Cerith Gardiner
Archbishop gives little girl a beautiful response about why God a...
6
POPE JOHN JOHN XXIII
Philip Kosloski
Vatican II’s primary goal, according to St. John XXIII
7
GETAFE
Dolors Massot
Two sisters become nuns at the same time in Spain
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.