Hurricane Maria derails wedding plans for Puerto Rican couple

'Love cannot be defeated,' evacuee says

By Vanessa Araiza - Reporter

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Mayra Rodriguez had the perfect wedding planned and was just weeks away from walking down the aisle with her fiance, Danny, when everything changed in an instant.

"We almost had it all. Everything. Waiting for that big day to come and, you know, feel that emotion and that happiness brought to life," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez, 25, of Puerto Rico, was set to get married on Oct. 7. Her dad would have been the officiant, but during Hurricane Irma, he had a stroke that affected the right side of his body. 

While he was in rehab, Hurricane Maria came barreling in and destroyed Puerto Rico.

It ended any plans for a wedding. 

"Hard. It's really hard for us," Rodriguez said. 

Because of her father's condition, she and her family left the island for Central Florida. 

Her fiance stayed behind to help his family. 

"Thankfully, he is really understanding in the process and he was like, 'No, I understand, you need to go. You need to be supportive. You need to help him.'"

The couple spent close to $10,000 on the wedding that never happened.

Now, any extra money is being spent on her father's recovery and building a new life in Florida. 

She and her fiance want to get married in Central Florida, but limited finances and little knowledge of the area are making it difficult. 

"Words cannot express the full love that we have for each other and how even though there are barriers and situations. Barely, we're starting, we're not even in the marriage step. We're not in the easy tasks. But love cannot be defeated," Rodriguez said.

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