Hurricane Ida evacuees tie the knot in Houston: 'When people and things are meant, it's going to be'

When the couple couldn't get back home for their big day, they looked to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to help them here.

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Friday, September 10, 2021
True love story: Hurricane Ida evacuees tie the knot in Houston
Even a category 4 hurricane couldn't stop this Louisiana couple from tying the knot. Here's how they made their wedding day special in Houston, despite the devastating storm.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- We're hearing more stories about how Houstonians have stepped up to help people from Louisiana affected by Hurricane Ida. This one is a love story.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston helped two people running from the storm walk down the aisle.

It's safe to say Janella Perrilliat and her husband Byron did not have the wedding she planned.

"I know if I would have been at home, I probably would've been a bridezilla," she said.

The couple's big day came five days after Hurricane Ida devastated the city of New Orleans. Like thousands of people, they evacuated to Houston.

"Knowing that you planned a wedding for hurricane season, you always have that in the back of your mind," she said.

There were no resources and there was no way the couple could get back to their parish for a ceremony.

That's when Janella asked the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston if they could keep their date and get married in Houston.

"We've been together a significant amount of time, and we've worked too hard not to at least do something," said the newlywed. "The storm hit, but at least we could have a piece of happiness somewhere."

Father Tom Rafferty is the vicar for clergy.

"We found a priest and a parish to do it at the last minute, and it worked out beautifully," he said.

They had to check paperwork and procedures, but ultimately, he said he believes the wedding at St. Thomas More was God's plan.

"Just to be a part of God bringing two people together, blessing them, giving them God's grace... They just trusted in God and trusted in us. I think they're going to have a great future together," said Rafferty.

"When people and things are meant, it's going to be," said Byron. "As long as you have your heart set to it. She shows me that every day. We both show each other every day. The funny part about it is that it works."