Misty and Brandon Valdez planned to say "I do" on May 7 at 1:30 p.m in Fresno, California.
To keep with tradition, Brandon spent the night before the wedding at a local hotel.
On his way to the ceremony, Brandon and his groomsmen got stuck in the hotel's elevator.
Misty Valdez had her wedding day scheduled down to the minute, but nothing went as planned.
She and her now-husband, Brandon Valdez, were set to get married on May 7 at 1:30 p.m. at a small church in Fresno, California. Misty told Insider that to keep the tradition of not seeing one another before the ceremony, Brandon spent the night at a local hotel, the Best Western Clovis Cole.
On the wedding day, Brandon's groomsmen met him at the Best Western to get ready while Misty and her bridesmaids did the same at her house. Everything was smooth sailing until Brandon and his groomsmen stepped into the elevator at the hotel.
"We get into the elevator to come down, and maybe halfway down to the second floor, the elevator just jolts and stops," Brandon said. "We knew it was stuck because the floor counter said we were still on the third floor."
Brandon, his five groomsmen, and a groomsman's son were stuck inside the elevator. One of the groomsmen pressed the alarm button, and someone from the front desk said they would be right up to help, Brandon said. To pass the time, they luckily had provisions: The groomsmen had packed a cooler with White Claws that they planned to drink after the church ceremony — so Brandon decided to pop it open while they waited.
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But hotel help didn't come, Brandon said. After 20 minutes passed, another groomsman decided to call the fire department. There was a wedding to get to.
When the fire department arrived, they had to manually pull the elevator down to the floor to get the group out.
"At one point, we noticed the doors got loose, so we took it upon ourselves to try to pry them open like you see in the movies," Brandon said.
Meanwhile at the church, Misty had no idea that Brandon and his groomsmen were stuck in an elevator. She was simply told that they were running late.
"I even asked one of my bridesmaids if Brandon got cold feet," Misty said. "Since they knew what was going on, they assured me that wasn't the case."
Then, Misty's priest came in to tell her it was a good sign that things were delayed. She finally calmed down, she said.
Misty told Insider that she didn't find out the real reason the men were late until she and Brandon were both standing at the altar.
"Once I got to the altar, Brandon just looked flustered, and that's when he whispered to me that he had gotten stuck in the hotel's elevator," she said. "I was in shock."
Because Brandon and the groomsmen arrived so late to the church, the newlyweds lost precious time to take the traditional posed pictures with their family and wedding parties.
"We both missed out on pictures with our grandmothers, which was disappointing," Misty said.
Brandon also felt like he missed out on the emotions of the day. "I wasn't able to be in the moment because everything was rushed," he said.
The elevator incident caused further disruption to the wedding celebration too. The couple ended up being two hours late to their reception. When they arrived, some of their vendors had already departed, and they had to pay extra to the ones that stayed, Misty said.
For the day to not go as planned hit especially hard. Misty and Brandon went through challenging times since Misty was diagnosed with Lyme disease in July 2020. It felt disappointing to have this day go awry like this, Misty said.
"It was a lot to get to that day, and despite the elevator situation, there was nothing that was going to stop us from getting married," she said. "We worked so hard. When I said 'in sickness and in health' in my vows, that was emotional because we've lived it."
The day after the wedding, Misty reached out to the Best Western Clovis Cole about compensation for the truncated wedding day due to the elevator malfunction. Misty told Insider that a manager initially said there was nothing that could be done before offering a discounted price on one of their suites.
"The manager didn't apologize to me or even act like she was sorry for what happened," she said. "I just wanted some kind of accountability. We weren't asking for much."
After Misty told Brandon that the hotel wasn't apologetic about what happened, he contacted their local ABC News station, which first covered the story. After their story aired on May 11, someone from Best Western's corporate office reached out to the couple and offered them a $500 gift card.
A representative for Best Western confirmed to Insider that they had given the couple the gift card, which could be used at any of the hotel chain's locations.
"On behalf of the entire Best Western Hotels & Resorts' family, we would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Misty and Brandon Valdez on this special milestone in their lives. Whether used for their honeymoon or future travels, we hope Misty and Brandon create special memories that will last a lifetime," the statement read.
Misty said they were happy with the hotel's response after the story went viral, because it's money the newlyweds could use toward their honeymoon.
"We laugh about it now," she said. "It's a story that we can tell our kids one day."
Read the original article on Insider