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The happy, dusty couple

A desert sandstorm crashed Gus and Jennifer Luna’s storybook garden wedding, forcing the officiating judge to cut short the vows, pronounce them man and wife and send everybody indoors to the reception.

The wedding party had gathered under a decorative arch in Florence, Ariz. and were just starting their planned ceremony — which included a “sand ceremony” in which each poured a vial of sand into a bowl, signifying their becoming one.

Suddenly, the wind picked up, the bride’s veil whipped the judge’s face and visibility dropped to zero.

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“I looked up and I saw this big wall of dust coming,” Gus told Phoenix ABC15 TV.

Around Phoenix, such a sandstorm is known as a “haboob,” a term used in the Sudan, Africa, for fierce dust storms that blow in from the Sahara. They are usually created by the collapse of a thunderstorm. Winds begin to whip in a direction opposite to the storm’s travel, creating a wall of dust or sand — and they often approach with little to no warning.

Although the ceremony was cut short and many guests had already fled inside, the judge told the groom he could kiss the bridge. He did, but admits “I was thinking ‘Let’s get it over with. We’re eating a mouthful of dirt,” Gus recalls.

The bride has taken it all in stride.

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

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