Couple gets married at US-Canada border so 96-year-old grandma could attend


  • A New York couple brought their wedding to the US-Canada border when Covid-19 restrictions made it difficult for the bride to have her family at her US wedding.
  • Karen Mahoney used to visit her family in Quebec every week but Canada closed its border when Covid cases surged.
  • The brde’s parents and her 96-year-old grandmother was able to attend Karen’s border wedding with Brian Ray.

Karen Mahoney used to visit her family in Quebec every week. But when Covid-19 cases surged, the borders closed, adding pressure on her wedding plans.

Karen was set to marry Brian Ray in New York, where they are now based. The couple met when they were young when Brian gave Karen some ski lessons.

Thirty-five years later, Brian proposed to Karen on the ski slope. 

Photo Credit: Karen Mahoney

“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 told CBS News. “So, we planned it for September in hopes the border would be open.

The pair found out the US-Canada border would still be closed on their wedding date, September 25. That means, Karen’s family couldn’t travel to the U.S. for the event. 

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

Photo Credit: Karen Mahoney

Enter “Border Brian,” the couple’s childhood friend who got his nickname from his job as a border patrol agent. “Border Brian” said he could help the couple secure a special wedding location. 

“I’ve known him longer than I know her,” Brian said about his friend and Karen. “He was more than accommodating and willing to be there for us.”

“He was off-duty at the time and … let the other agents who were on duty know what was going to transpire,” Karen said. “He arranged so that it would be uninterrupted.”

Photo Credit: Karen Mahoney

“Border Brian” arranged for Karen and Brian to get married on the Jamieson Line Border Crossing between Burke, New York and Quebec, Canada. The couple stood on the New York side in their white wedding gown and tuxedo. With them was Karen’s maid-of-honor and their pastor.

Karen’s parents and her 96-year-old grandmother were on the Canada side.

“She was extremely excited,” Karen said about her grandmother. “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.”

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Photo Credit: Karen Mahoney

The couple had their planned wedding with the rest of their guests the following day. It was a unique wedding weekend.

“I got to marry the most beautiful woman in the world two days in a row,” Brian said. 

Congratulations, Karen and Brian!

Source: CBS News


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