Holy Name hosts first wedding since fire

July 31, 2009 (CHICAGO) For the first time in months, wedding bells rang out Friday afternoon at Chicago's Holy Name Cathedral. The man and woman, Michael de Franco and Sarah Yoho, were the first couple to be married in the landmark church since a fire heavily damaged the sanctuary in February.

When the two first heard about the fire in the church, they were concerned they would not be able to get married there. That's when the groom wrote a letter to church officials telling them how important it was to get married in the cathedral. Copies of the letter were made and handed to the general foreman and workers who oversaw the reconstruction for the cathedral to inspire them to finish on deadline.

Nothing could stop the couple from getting married at Holy Name Cathedral, not even the devastating fire last February. The 30-year-old bride walked down the aisle with her mother to meet the groom in the first wedding since the devastating fire.

"It's not only special because it's the first wedding back; it's special because we have two people who [belong]," said Holy Name Cathedral's Fr. Daniel Mayall.

The couple met two years ago at a wedding in Ohio. They courted for six months by mail, and when both moved to Chicago, they attended Holy Name.

The groom says he was not a bit nervous and that to be married Friday in the cathedral meant a lot to him.

"It' s a place where our love grew, and it's a very special place for us," said de Franco.

ABC7 Chicago spent time with the bride Friday as she prepared by getting her hair and make-up done so that she could look perfect for her wedding. The former Chicagoan shared how important it was for her to be married in the city and at the cathedral.

"We would go to mass every week together, hand in hand, in the beautiful cathedral, and say our prayers. We fell in love in Chicago, and Holy Name was part of that love," Yoho said.

The 'old-fashion girl,' as she likes to refer to herself, bought her wedding gown in Chicago. She was a little nervous putting on the gown and shoes, but what a picture it made when she was finished getting dressed.

"I'm very, very excited, and I'm marrying the man of my dreams," said the bride.

The wedding started promptly at 2:30 p.m. Friday, and the priest announced how everyone worked hard to make the day possible.

The couple says they will be moving to New York. However, they say Chicago and Holy Name Cathedral will always hold a special place in their hearts.

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