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“It Was Very Emotional.” Couple Gets Creative To Tie The Knot Across International Border.

couple getting married across us-canada border

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench into a lot of wedding plans.

Like many people who live along the 5,525-mile border between the U.S. and Canada, Karen Mahoney and Brian Ray were used to crossing back and forth all the time. In fact, when they first met, Karen lived in Quebec and Brian lived in New York.

The couple met on the ski slopes when they were kids. Brian taught Karen how to ski, and their love blossomed from there. Thirty-five years after that fateful lesson, Brian got down on one knee on the very same mountain where they first set eyes on one another.

“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,” Karen explained. “So, we planned it for September in hopes the border would be open.”

Madly in love, the couple started planning their wedding. Karen had moved to New York to be with Brian, but she used to visit her family in Quebec at least once a week. When the border closed due to the pandemic, Karen was unable to go back to her home country to see her parents or her 96-year-old grandmother, and she missed them terribly.

“COVID has hit hard,” Karen said. “Without being able to hug them for 18 months, it hurts.”

Both families prayed the border would reopen in time for their wedding on September 25, but on August 21, they got bad news. The border would remain closed to tourists. That’s when Brian decided to call in a favor from a very old friend.

Brian has known his friend, who is also named Brian, for even longer than he’s known Karen. His friend now works as a border control agent, earning him the nickname “Border Brian.”

The groom-to-be called him up and explained the situation, and Border Brian jumped at the chance to help his old buddy!

“He was more than accommodating and willing to be there for us,” Brian said. Working on his day off, Border Brian arranged for the couple to get married on the Jamieson Line Border Crossing between Burke, New York, and Quebec, Canada.

Border Brian told the other border agents about the event so the nuptials wouldn’t be disturbed. Meanwhile, Brian and Karen said their vows with their pastor and Karen’s maid of honor in New York, while Karen’s parents and her grandmother watched from the Canadian side.

The family was not allowed to cross the border, but they could still hug and celebrate this major milestone together in the flesh!

Karen’s grandmother was “extremely excited” to see her granddaughter on her special day.

“I’ve seen her once in two years. So, it was very emotional; we both cried,” Karen said. “And she expressed to me later that to witness the happiest day of my life is a moment she would never forget.”

The next day, Karen and Brian had a reception in New York to celebrate with their other guests. In the end, it worked out even better than they’d hoped. “I got to marry the most beautiful woman in the world two days in a row,” Brian said.

Aw! What a wonderful way to make sure everyone was included. It’s good to have friends like Border Brian!

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