A Do-It-Yourselfer Says 'I Do'

updated 06/13/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/13/2005 01:00AM

It was a match that "Hollywood couldn't have scripted," says the groom. In March 2004, when she shook hands with J.J. Carrell, the family friend who had sent the producers of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition the tape that persuaded them to rebuild Martha Walswick's home in Yorba Linda, Calif., "something came over me," says architect Constance Ramos, 36. "I said, 'I'm in love with that guy!'"

"That guy" was a widower whose wife, Kelley, had been Walswick's close friend; just before a brain tumor claimed her life in '03, Kelley had asked J.J. to help care for Walswick, a mother of nine whose own husband also had a lethal brain tumor. Care for her he did—and he fell in love along the way. Though Carrell (a U.S. border patrol agent) and Ramos struck up a friendship on the Makeover set, "things took off really fast" after his family encouraged him to follow up, he says. Four months of courtship, complicated by Ramos's travel schedule, were followed by a proposal last July; on May 6, they were wed before 130 guests at Saint Elizabeth Seton Catholic church in Carlsbad, Calif. Unlike many brides, Ramos never broke a sweat-even when, the week before, she had to rip up and alter her wedding dress. "That's one of the things I love so much about her," says Carrell, 36. "A lot of that stuff would freak out other women, but she rolls with it."

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