In a time of pandemic, love is in the air on Canada-U.S. border

VANCOUVER (Reuters) – Christina Kelly did not picture marrying her American sweetheart in the Peace Arch Park – a 42-acre (17-hectare) stretch of manicured lawns and neatly trimmed garden beds at an otherwise unremarkable border crossing in the Pacific Northwest.

Kelly, a 28-year-old Canadian legal assistant from Vancouver, had been crossing back and forth between British Columbia and Washington state to see her boyfriend without a hitch for two years.

The start of the coronavirus pandemic, and the closure of the Canada-U.S. border in March 2020, forced a change of plans.

Where many couples have reluctantly put off weddings, Kelly and her now-husband, who is in the U.S. Navy, decided to proceed anyway and tied the knot two months ago in the one place where they have been able to see each other during the past year.

“We would have gotten married at some point,” she said. “But (COVID-19) had to speed things up.”

It “wasn’t my ideal wedding,” Kelly said, recalling how she shivered in her white wedding dress in the cold and muddy park, as her mother, the groom’s mother and some of the couple’s friends from both sides of the border looked on.

But she now realizes that it was, in some ways, the perfect setting. “The park has been my life for the past year, (the only place) where I can see my husband. For us to be able to get married there, it was very memorable.”

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