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Couple delays wedding so groom’s sister with Down syndrome can attend as their maid of honor

Planning a wedding is probably one of the most stressful stages of getting married. Regardless of being the love of each other’s lives, couples often find themselves disagreeing over some things they want at their wedding.

But for Chris Garafola, it’s all pretty simple. The soon-to-be-married model only had one non-negotiable for the wedding—for a very special guest to be there during the big day, even if he had to wait for it to happen.

Chris, 33, and his fiancée, fellow model Tatiana, 30, agreed they wouldn’t have their wedding ceremony until Chris’ older sister, Brittany, received her COVID-19 vaccine.

Brittany has Down syndrome, and Chris says her health was a “main priority” for both of them, even if they planned to have an intimate wedding ceremony with only their immediate family and friends as the guests.

After the long wait, Brittany, 35, finally got vaccinated in March. That meant Chris and Tatiana could finally get married!

On Sunday, they crossed off one very important thing on their to-do list. In a video call, the lovebirds asked Brittany to be Tatiana’s maid of honor. The happy moment was captured in a video posted on Chris’s YouTube channel.

“And guess what, Brit? You’re gonna be there with us,” Tatiana added.

During the call, Chris first told his sister that they will be getting married next Friday. Upon hearing the news, Brittany couldn’t help but shriek with excitement.

“And guess what, Brit? You’re gonna be there with us,” Tatiana added.

“I am?” Brittany asked, incredulous.

“Yeah, and you know what I wanted to ask you? Can you be my maid of honor?” Tatiana proposed.

Brittany let out a resounding yes! She kept nodding her head and saying yes. And when Chris told her they would be flying to Florida for the wedding, Brittany got even more excited and did a little happy dance.

“I wanted to give her the biggest hug and kiss! I was fighting back my own tears — it was such an emotional moment,” Chris, who previously starred alongside Gisele Bündchen in a Falabella commercial, told PEOPLE of the moment.

“Seeing how excited and moved she got, reinforced how much she truly loves us,” he continued. “I don’t know how I got this lucky having Brittany as my sister — I just love her so much.”

Chris always makes sure Brittany knows how special she is. In 2017, he surprised her with a birthday photoshoot after telling him she wanted to be a model too.

“For me, my purpose here is to make sure my sister has a good life, is protected and is healthy,” he told PEOPLE at the time. “Her happiness is my happiness, and that has held true from when we were kids to today.”

Having his sister at their April 2 wedding “means the absolute world” to him because she has been his best friend since day one. And even when he’s married, that won’t change at all.

“The moment Tatiana and I started dating, I explained to her that Brittany and I would always be a package deal,” Chris said. “Luckily for me, she said that she wouldn’t have it any other way — she loves Brittany with every fiber of her being, too.”

Indeed, Chris is one lucky man for having two best friends who love him very much. Brittany is fortunate as well to have a brother like him and a little sister in the person of Tatiana.

See Brittany’s adorable reaction to Tatiana’s maid of honor request in the video below.

You can follow Chris on Instagram where he regularly shares his life with Brittany.

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