Young couple die in Kansas crash a day after wedding

Image source, Facebook
Image caption, Rebekah and Austin met in South Africa in February

A teenage couple have died less than a day after being pronounced husband and wife by a judge in Kansas.

Rebekah and Austin Wesson, both 19, were killed after their pickup truck swerved off a dirt road on Saturday near the bride's family home.

Instead of a formal wedding ceremony in September, the couple's families are now planning a joint funeral.

The couple met in Austin's native South Africa while they were both doing Christian missionary work.

"It is with an unbearably shattered heart that we inform you that our darling daughter, Rebekah Christina, went peacefully into the arms of her loving Savior," Rebekah's mother, Rachel Bouma, wrote on Facebook.

The happy couple drove from Clearwater, Kansas, with the bride's mother to the Sedgwick County Courthouse in Wichita for the brief ceremony on Friday.

On Saturday, on what would have been their first full day of marriage, Rebekah bought the ingredients for a pork chop dinner and was making plans for their wedding reception, Mrs Bouma told the Washington Post.

Image source, Facebook
Image caption, The cause of the crash is under investigation, police say

They had planned to exchange their vows in the bride's backyard, and serve their guests pizza with a bonfire nearby for guests to roast marshmallow-and-chocolate treats.

But now Rebekah's sisters, who were going to be her bridesmaids, will wear their blue bridesmaids dresses to the funeral, the family tells local media.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, police say.

The couple met in February in Cape Town - where Austin worked as a surf instructor - while Rebekah took part in a gap year programme called World Race.

She had previously been on mission trips to the Philippines and Albania, her mother told local media.

The couple spent much of their courtship using video messaging apps to keep in touch from nearly 9,000 miles (14,500km) apart.

In June, Austin received a student visa to come to the US, and later that month proposed marriage.

The couple had planned to move to Michigan to attend university.

Image source, Facebook