No storm is going to stop this couple from tying the knot.
Jaime Gurnavage and Ryan Gordon of Suntree, Florida, are still planning to have their Cocoa Beach wedding Oct. 8 at 5 p.m. despite Hurricane Matthew. And yes, it will be right on the beach.
“We’re definitely going to have a beach wedding no matter what,” Gurnavage, 34, told ABC News. “I have been planning this wedding for the past year, down to every last detail, from a whimsical wedding on the shore of Cocoa Beach to the classic beach-chic reception with an amazing Caribbean dinner spread with a magical floating sky lantern send off into the night’s sky overlooking the ocean to finish off the evening.”
The determined bride has been in touch with her wedding coordinator from their venue, Ocean Landings Resort, who told her the resort will most likely reopen for business on Saturday.
“It’s closed Thursday and Friday. But she’s saying it’ll probably plan to open tomorrow,” said Gurnavage. “We expect it [the hurricane] to move past this evening. My fiancé and I expect to head back to Brevard County tonight. My dad said if there’s a lot of debris on the beach he’ll grab a bunch of guys and get a rake and rake out the sand.”
The couple evacuated to Orlando along with their guests who were already in town for the nuptials. But the show must go on.
“We’ve just been hanging out here until they open up Ocean Landing again,” she explained. “I have about 20 or 30 family members that were coming down from Pennsylvania. That’s where we’re from. They had hotel room reservations for Ocean Landing where the wedding is going to be.”
As for her vendors?
“The photographer just spoke with me and wanted to make sure it’s still going on and I said, ‘Yes,’” said Gurnavage. “I just need to speak with the caterers, but they said they’re just very ‘go with the flow,’ so everything should be fine.”
And the officiant?
“The officiant is a close friend of the familym and they live on Merritt Island,” the bride said. “They’re still planning to come even though they lost power. They just hunkered down in their home.”
And the dress?
“My dress is at my mom’s house in Melbourne,” she said. “She just spoke to her neighbors, and they still have electricity over there. So everything’s good with the dress.”
And all the guests?
“The only guests that have had to cancel are the ones who had to evacuate out of the state and they’re not sure they’ll be back in time,” she explained. “I had family members that literally drove into the storm. My uncle and my aunt and my cousins are driving right now from Pennsylvania. They literally drove into the storm to come see me. That’s how close-knit we are. We’ve been through a lot and nothing’s going to stop us now.”
The lovebirds are adamant about keeping their Oct. 8 wedding date for both sentimental and logistical reasons.
“A lot of people asked if we would reschedule, but everything’s engraved with 8th of October,” said Gurnavage. “And my fiancé really wanted the 8th because when you turn it on the side it’s the infinity symbol. I feel like it was meant to be, and it’s in the stars and we’re going with it.”
Although the couple had to cancel their Friday rehearsal dinner, “the wedding is not beyond our control,” the bride-to-be said.
“My family is very close-knit, and we will go to the ends of the earth for one another, that's just what is happening!” she added. “My family that is here has been scrambling to help me with last-minute details and arrangements, while the rest of them are literally driving into the storm because their flights were cancelled. We are Gurnavages and we can get through anything! I also have a very special angel -- my Grandfather Walter -- that I am positive he has been up there pulling strings!
“We will persevere,” she said.