Coronavirus News: Frontline workers proceed with weddings despite pandemic

OYSTER BAY, Long Island (WABC) -- Frontline workers across our area are deciding not to postpone their weddings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We don't know how long this is going to last," said FDNY firefighter Patrick Chiarel, of Hicksville. "We want to be able to move forward with our lives."

Chiarel married his now-wife Carlie Chiarel, a respiratory therapist at St. Francis Hospital, in Oyster Bay May 1.

"It's something good through all the bad," Carlie Chiarel said.

Nassau County Police Officer Christopher Chiofolo and Francesca Chiofolo had postponed their April 18 wedding to September.

In March, Francesca Chiofolo came down with the coronavirus.

By early April, she was feeling better and they decided to proceed with their original wedding date.

"It just felt like we needed something good in our lives," Christopher Chiofolo said.

They were also married in Oyster Bay.

"We just wanted to celebrate something good and we wanted to see a little light in this darkness right now," Francesca Chiofolo said.

Town of Oyster Bay Clerk Richard LaMarca said throughout the past two months he has been marrying many couples with frontline workers.

He is aware he's now permitted under state law to officiate weddings virtually, but he said he owes it to couples, especially frontline workers, to officiate the weddings in person.

"These people everyday, they're saving lives. They're helping us, so the least I could do was help them in anyway I could," he said.

LaMarca also did the wedding for FDNY firefighter Peter Abbondondolo and Danielle Coutieri.

Coutieri said they had considered postponing their wedding, but had fallen in love with a wedding date of April 4.

"What was important to us was we wanted to be husband and wife. We wanted to be married," Coutieri said.

Abbondondolo says being married during this time provides a sense of comfort.

"I always do look forward to coming home to her," he said.
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