This time 3 years ago Matt and I found ourselves in quite the stressful situation.
We had spent months planning our destination wedding to the Mayan Riviera along with approximately 40 guests accompanying us from BC, Alberta, Ontario and Washington State. We were due to leave in one week and then... the swine flu hit.
At first it wasn't a big deal. Sure, alot of people were getting sick, but we weren't about to change our wedding around at the risk of catching a flu bug. We probably wouldn't catch it anyway. But then the government stepped in and stopped all travel to Mexico, causing all our flights to be cancelled; basically cancelling our entire wedding.
The travel company offered us last minute trips to Jamaica and Cuba. Sure, we would have to re plan our entire wedding but the resorts were similar and we could probably pull it off. But within 12 hours of making those offers they were retracted, and we were told we would have to reschedule our Mexico trip for months down the road. We explained to them how this wasn't possible. Our guests had booked time off work for this trip and put money into it, we weren't going to reschedule. They told us, 'too bad, we aren't giving you your money back.'
Thankfully, CBC news got ahold of our story through our travel agent and immediately set up TV and newspaper interviews. You can read the news story on us here . *just a side note - we never said we were going to file a class action lawsuit. I guess that sounds a bit more dramatic though doesn't it* After we had been on the air a couple of times we got a call saying that if we stopped talking to the media, the travel company would refund our whole parties money. No problem, we just wanted our money back. Nothing like a little bad publicity to do the right thing eh?
Now that everyone had their money back, what were we going to do about a wedding? We had several options. We could have a last minute wedding here, but we felt like it would turn into a 'pity party' event. Already when we saw people we knew they were giving us the sad head tilted to the side look followed by, "I am so sorry..." line. No thank you. Thats not what I wanted for my wedding day. Matt and I considered running off to Greece and eloping. Seriously. We actually considered this. But our friends and family had been so supportive through the whole situation that we really wanted them to be a part of our special day.
So we decided to try for another location. First place that came to my mind was Hawaii.
...to be continued...