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Hurricanes and coronavirus can’t stop Louisiana couple’s wedding

Emily Kitfield and Taylor Pascale moved their wedding three times due to the pandemic and two hurricanes that hit almost the exact same spot in weeks.

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Emily and Taylor Pascale exchange their wedding vows outside the home of Taylor’s parents in Grand Lake, Louisiana, which was heavily damaged from hurricanes Laura and Delta (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Emily and Taylor Pascale exchange their wedding vows outside the home of Taylor’s parents in Grand Lake, Louisiana, which was heavily damaged from hurricanes Laura and Delta (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Emily and Taylor Pascale exchange their wedding vows outside the home of Taylor’s parents in Grand Lake, Louisiana, which was heavily damaged from hurricanes Laura and Delta (Gerald Herbert/AP)

A couple in the US who moved their wedding three times because of the pandemic and two hurricanes that hit almost the exact same spot within weeks of one another have got married.

Most couples might have wondered whether the forces of nature were against them after so many delays but Emily Kitfield and Taylor Pascale were even more determined than ever to tie the knot.

And in a small ceremony in Grand Lake, Louisiana, on December 5 surrounded by close friends and family, Emily finally got to wear her lace-covered wedding dress and marry Taylor.

“What better time than now, I guess. I mean, we finally reached the end of hurricane season. So it’s not like another storm could get in the way of it,” Emily said.

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Emily and Taylor Pascale exchange their wedding vows outside the home of Taylor’s parents in Grand Lake, Louisiana (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Emily and Taylor Pascale exchange their wedding vows outside the home of Taylor’s parents in Grand Lake, Louisiana (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Emily and Taylor Pascale exchange their wedding vows outside the home of Taylor’s parents in Grand Lake, Louisiana (Gerald Herbert/AP)

“Come rain or hell, we were getting married,” Taylor said.

Taylor, 22, and Emily, 23, were originally going to get married in October.

The couple have been together for nearly four years and have a one-year-old son, Kayson, who toddled around the wedding ceremony getting into mischief.

But Taylor said worries that there might be another coronavirus-related lockdown caused them to move the ceremony to August 28.

Then Hurricane Laura, a Category 4 storm, slammed ashore just miles from Taylor’s parents’ home, where the couple live.

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The wedding site outside Taylor Pascale’s parent’s home in Grand Lake, Louisiana (Gerald Herbert/AP)

The wedding site outside Taylor Pascale’s parent’s home in Grand Lake, Louisiana (Gerald Herbert/AP)

The wedding site outside Taylor Pascale’s parent’s home in Grand Lake, Louisiana (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Instead of getting married, the family evacuated to Texas.

Taylor remembers coming back with his two high school age brothers to put a cover on their damaged roof and finding his neighbourhood of 20 years almost unrecognisable.

Taylor’s family had to gut a large portion of their house and buy a trailer.

Some members of the family are now living in the trailer while others, including Taylor and Emily, are staying in an addition to the house the family built before the hurricane that survived.

Emily’s dress, which had been in the addition, came through Laura unscathed.

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Nicole Caswell talks to her daughter Emily before her wedding, inside the home of Emily’s now in-laws (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Nicole Caswell talks to her daughter Emily before her wedding, inside the home of Emily’s now in-laws (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Nicole Caswell talks to her daughter Emily before her wedding, inside the home of Emily’s now in-laws (Gerald Herbert/AP)

They rescheduled the ceremony for the October week that turned out to be when Hurricane Delta hit the Louisiana coast just a few miles from where Laura had made landfall.

Then they considered February – on the anniversary of when they first met – but with coronavirus cases climbing again, they decided not to delay any further and pulled together a ceremony in a matter of days.

In the end, they invited a small circle of about 20 family and friends to gather at the Pascale home as they tied the knot between two oak trees on the family’s property.

“They wanted to get married this year … no matter what. And we were just like, ‘OK, we’re supporting you. We’re doing this’,” said Taylor’s mother Julie.

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Emily and Taylor Pascale kiss after exchanging vows (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Emily and Taylor Pascale kiss after exchanging vows (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Emily and Taylor Pascale kiss after exchanging vows (Gerald Herbert/AP)

A high school teacher who has taught all the Pascale boys and is also an ordained minister performed the ceremony as three bridesmaids in maroon dresses and groomsmen in jeans and maroon shirts watched.

The ceremony was a bright spot in what has been a tough year.

Taylor has Type 1 diabetes, which has made him and Emily especially worried about the virus.

He stayed home from work for three months at the beginning of the pandemic.

Taylor’s grandmother also broke her hip during the Hurricane Laura evacuation.

Taylor’s mother looked through the small crowd assembled for the ceremony and ticked through the damage to everyone’s homes.

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Emily Pascale takes her wedding vows with Taylor Pascale (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Emily Pascale takes her wedding vows with Taylor Pascale (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Emily Pascale takes her wedding vows with Taylor Pascale (Gerald Herbert/AP)

Houses gutted. Families staying with relatives.

She said that at a time of so many challenges, it is important to find the beauty in moments like the wedding.

In the end, an intimate ceremony at home felt right, Emily said.

“It felt more natural for it being here. I mean, we met here. It feels like home here,” Emily said.

“Honestly … we couldn’t have picked a better way or place to do what we did.”

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