MEXICO CITY – Jorge Daniel Huitzil and Erika Castillo Aparicio are spending their first night as husband and wife sleeping beneath a tarp in a makeshift quake shelter.
They had plans to tie the knot this week in a civil ceremony followed by a church service and a reception, but Tuesday's deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake turned their world upside down.
Their apartment building was damaged so severely that it's too dangerous to live there, and the young couple wanted to postpone the nuptials. But then they learned they would lose their slot at city hall — and the 1,019 pesos (about $60) they had paid to reserve it.
"We were not expecting the quake, and we were not able to cancel it, so we had our wedding today," a beaming Huitzil said Friday, Castillo at his side.
Afterward they went back to the shelter in a small plaza near where they used to live. It was little more than a cluster of tents pitched on flagstones beneath sprawling tarps and laundry airing on a clothesline.
Family members and the 80 or so neighbors also displaced from the building helped the newlyweds celebrate as best as they could, under the circumstances.
Two flat cakes emerged for all to share. A man in dreadlocks strummed a guitar and everyone sang the classic Mexican folk tune "Cielito Lindo." To cries of "Beso! Beso!" the couple obliged with a brief, shy kiss on the lips.
Bride and groom were relatively casually clad: She, a white- and light pink-striped sweater with a sparkly necklace and earrings; he, a blue open-collar shirt.
The church wedding is postponed for now, and so is the reception.
"We are still not sure because of our situation," Castillo said. "But life goes on. If we can, well, we'll go ahead with it."