Arizona Couple’s Wedding Smothered By Sand Storm

By Suzan Clarke

Oct 25, 2011 8:52am
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ABC News

Gus and Jennifer Luna had an unforgettable wedding day after their outdoor nuptials were crashed by a monster sandstorm.

The pair were gathered at the outdoor venue in Florence, Ariz., on Sept. 10, and were just starting their vows. Suddenly, a strong gust of wind blew in. Followed by another. And another.

“I looked up and I saw this big wall of dust coming,” Gus Luna told ABC 15 TV of Phoenix.

In a video of the ceremony posted on YouTube the couple can be seen being buffeted by the high winds and dust. The increasing force of the gusts tossed the bride’s veil around her head.

The sandstorm is known as a “haboob,” which comes from the Arabic word for “wind.”

Ironically, the nuptials included a sand ceremony — in which a couple pour two separate bottles of sand into one bottle to symbolize the union of two lives and families.  The pair had just started to perform that portion of the ceremony when the wind intensified, darkening the surroundings with dust. Within seconds, visibility was nearly totally obscured, and the two were being blinded by the airborne grit.

The judge quickly completed the ceremony, pronounced the pair husband and wife, and allowed them to exchange a brief kiss.

“You see the trees swaying in the back and you see nothing after a while. I was thinking ‘let’s get it over with.’ God. We’re eating a mouthful of dirt and everything,” Gus Luna recalled.

The bride has taken it all in stride.

“At first, I was a little upset about it, but at the same time, what are you going to do? It’s the weather,” she said.

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