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Story highlights

Amatrice was supposed to hold its 50th spaghetti festival this weekend

Rescuers and demolition teams are working in 34 degree heat

One couple held their wedding Sunday as planned

(CNN) —  

They had been planning the perfect wedding for more than a year. The dress, the suit and the venue were all reserved.

And then four days before the big day, part of the church crumbled in an earthquake.

Still, Ramon and Martina Adazzi tied the knot Sunday in the town of Acquasanta Terme, near the epicenter of a devastating earthquake in central Italy that has killed at least 291 people and flattened entire villages.

The couple were heartbroken when their celebrant told them the church’s altar was covered in debris. Cracks had formed up the walls, and 16th-century frescoes had torn open and crumbled. The building was not usable.

“At first I was shocked. We’ve been organizing this for more than a year,” Martina Adazzi told CNN.

But the couple vowed to carry on with the ceremony.

“When Don Giovanni said the church was not safe, I told my wife: I want to celebrate my wedding there because they need a moment to think of other things now,” Ramon Adazzi told CNN on the day of the wedding.

“I love the city. I love the people. Why would I take my wedding to another city?” he said.

So despite the ongoing aftershocks they moved the service to a village square, with the green Marche mountains and the town’s fractured buildings as their backdrop.

The wedding – attended by dozens of people, including some from as far away as Brazil and Canada – was a brief moment of joy in the grim central Italian quake zone and a testament that life does indeed go on.

“Of course I was worried and nervous. And I didn’t want to create even more problems for the village,” Martina Adazzi said. “But everyone has been so wonderful and welcoming.”