Engaged couple plans early wedding in just five hours after fleeing Alberta wildfires
Andy Johnson, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Friday, May 6, 2016 10:54PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 6, 2016 10:57PM EDT
For an engaged couple in Fort McMurray, the disaster that has wreaked havoc on the community could have become a nightmare, delaying their wedding and adding stress and tension to an already tumultuous time.
But Carlos and Carol Moran managed to emerge from the ashes and prove that love can prevail even over seemingly disastrous circumstances.
The couple, engaged to be married in 10 days, were in separate locations when the evacuation order came. Carlos was in Beacon Hill, while Carol was in Timberlea, and neither knew when they would see each other next.
"You feel pretty helpless," Carlos told CTV Edmonton. "What can you do, there's just so much destruction and chaos... will I see her again? And there's the desire to race back and see her."
Carol added: "He said, 'You have to get out from there,' he's calling me: 'You have to get out, you have to get out!'"
Both were transported to different locations in Edmonton, but decided they couldn't remain apart any longer, and starting their life together was more important than anything else.
Though Carlos wasn't able to get their wedding rings before escaping the fire, he did manage to get their wedding licence, and the couple made the spontaneous decision to get married the next day, rather than wait the 10 days until their planned nuptials.
"We didn't want to be separated anymore," Carol said simply.
It helped that a pastor from their church had also ended up in Edmonton, and offered to perform the ceremony.
And then their friends put the word out to the community, even getting their story on local radio. People -- many of them strangers to Carlos and Carol -- came through with a donated wedding dress, a tuxedo, even rings to exchange during the ceremony.
In fact, the entire wedding came together in just five hours.
"In the midst of a terrible situation, today is a joyful day," said the pastor who performed their ceremony -- a simple but beautiful backyard-style wedding the couple didn't think was possible.
"Thank you to all the people who helped us, I'm grateful," Carol said.
The future is still uncertain. The couple isn't sure what they'll be returning to when they go home once the evacuation orders are lifted.
But none of that seems as important as the decision they just made.
"We're together," Carlos said, and both agreed that's all that matters.
With a report from CTV Edmonton's Ashley Molnar