Speed Reads

making it work

New York couple weds at border crossing so Canadian family can be part of the big day

Having first met 35 years ago on a ski slope, Karen Mahoney and Brian Ray figured they'd waited long enough to get married, and agreed to a very short engagement. Only one thing stood in their way: the closed U.S.-Canada border.

The couple lives in New York, but Mahoney's parents and 96-year-old grandmother live in Quebec. Before the pandemic, she was able to make weekly visits back home, but with the border closed, those trips came to an end. Mahoney and Ray set Sept. 25 as their wedding date, holding out hope that the U.S.-Canada border would reopen by that time, allowing Mahoney's family to travel to New York. When they realized this wasn't going to happen, their friend, a Border Patrol agent, stepped in with a suggestion.

He told the couple if they got married at the closed Jamieson Line Border Crossing between Burke, New York, and Athelstan, Quebec, Mahoney's family could watch from Canada. Mahoney told CBS News her grandmother was "extremely excited" to see her and "expressed to me later that to witness the happiest day of my life is a moment she would never forget." Mahoney and Ray still held their planned wedding as well, with Ray telling CBS News, "I got to marry the most beautiful woman in the world two days in a row."