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Coronavirus forces Arizona couple to postpone their wedding

(Photo by Corina Madruga and Brandon Ramsey)

PHOENIX — Corina Madruga and Brandon Ramsey of Tolleson had been planning their wedding for about a year. The date was set for April 2 at the Whispering Tree Ranch in Laveen, Ariz.

“It had an outdoor setting with the mountains surrounding — it had everything we wanted,” Madruga said.

They invited 100 of their closest friends and family.

“The thing I was looking forward to the most is my grandfather was my best man,” Ramsey said. “He was traveling from San Antonio to be there when I got married.”

But earlier this week, they had to make the heart-wrenching decision to cancel their wedding amid growing coronavirus fears. They were concerned for their elderly relatives who are most vulnerable to the disease and those traveling to the wedding from outside the state.

“It was extremely hard. I’m not going to lie,” Madruga said. “I pretty much cried all day that day, and I really didn’t want to talk to anybody that day. I just wanted to cry.”

The couple said they constantly monitored the news about the coronavirus.

“When they first announced it, we didn’t really think it was going to cause an issue with our wedding,” Ramsey said. “But then it constantly started getting worse and worse and everything started shutting down.”

At first, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that no gatherings with 50 people or more take place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, they had to disinvite 60 guests.

They still wanted to move forward with the wedding. But when the CDC recommended groups no bigger than 10 should gather, they had no choice but to cancel it.

And with the owners of the Whispering Tree Ranch retiring and closing the venue in the fall, they thought they wouldn’t be able to reschedule. But after seeing so many weddings getting canceled, the owners decided to push back their retirement.

“So we got to reschedule our wedding,” Ramsey said.

The couple now plans to get married through the court on April 2 but will have their wedding celebration in October.

“Even though we will legally be married, I think it’s important for our friends and family to come and to witness us even exchange vows for a second time, because they’re part of our lives.” Madruga said.

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