A couple who was forced to postpone their wedding twice due to COVID-19 finally got the chance to say “I do” — in front of the whole nation!
After delaying their wedding two separate times, Army Major Jose Perez and Heather Hathaway Miranda finally tied the knot on Wednesday in front of their family and friends, Good Morning America reported.
But these were no ordinary nuptials, as Perez and Miranda got the chance to say their vows to each other during a live ceremony in Chicago on GMA. Making it even better, the wedding was officiated by co-host Michael Strahan.
The couple was later serenaded with a performance by singer Ne-Yo before receiving a honeymoon trip to Aulani, the Disney resort and spa in Hawaii, and complimentary flights from Southwest Airlines, the outlet reported.
“I’m just so glad that we’re healthy and we’re here,” Miranda told the outlet of her wedding, which was arranged by GMA and the United Service Organizations Inc. for National Military Appreciation Month.
Long before a wedding was on their mind, both Miranda and Perez told GMA that they had gotten out of previous marriages and didn’t believe another one was in the cards.
But in 2018, all that changed when Perez decided to go to a friend’s birthday party — an event he told GMA that he almost skipped out on.
“I was hesitant to go,” Perez recalled to the outlet. “Immediately, when I got there, I saw Heather.”
Added Miranda: “Our eyes started locking and he started flirting and winking and smiling.”
Sparks immediately flew between the pair, who spent the entire party getting to know each other. They continued their serendipitous meeting later that night by driving to Lake Michigan and sitting by the shore, according to GMA.
It wasn’t long before Perez knew he had met his future wife.
“I said, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to have this woman in my life,'” he recalled to the outlet. “I knew that she was the one.”
Six months later, Perez popped the question overlooking the same spot where they had fallen in love, according to GMA.
“I was very nervous, like most people. I was trying to surprise her,” he told the outlet. “I said, ‘It took me 50 years to find you. I can’t find any other way than to ask you to marry me.'”
For Miranda, saying yes was a no-brainer.
Not only was she in love with Perez, but the single mom was also looking for someone who could be a supportive father figure to her son Jade Leo, then 5 — and Perez delivered.
“He’s taken him as his own child,” Miranda told GMA of Perez. “Their bond as father and son is so beautiful.”
The couple initially planned to wed in Mexico, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they had to postpone their wedding twice due to travel restrictions and the loss of loved ones, according to the outlet.
“It’s devastating to go in and have to modify your guest list because people have died,” Miranda explained to GMA. “You have to remove names. It’s not Mr. and Mrs. anymore.”
Added Perez: “We were devastated. We couldn’t show our joy.”
After all those challenges, Wednesday’s ceremony was even more joyful for the pair as they professed their love for one another and finally tied the knot.
“I vow to make you laugh out loud and laugh with you,” Miranda said in her vows. “I am proud to become your wife and partner.”
“I waited for 50 years to find true love,” added Perez in his vows. “I fell in love with you. I want to forever hold, cherish, foster and protect that love.”
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