Enjoying a destination wedding takes months of planning. There are flowers, plane tickets, and the overwhelming pressure to pick the right venue. Complicating the task is the fact that every detail has to be ironed out from hundreds or thousands of miles away. But even after months of preparation, once the big day arrives, the bride and groom are no longer in control. From a robbery during the ceremony to an explosion after the reception, these are some destination wedding disasters that will make you consider just going to city hall.
Guests were robbed during ceremony
Several guests reported missing items from the safes in their hotel rooms. (Photo: Thinkstock)
During this wedding ceremony in Tulum, Mexico, vows were read, rings were exchanged, and more than half of the guests were robbed. Judge Thomas Culver and his family traveled from Fort Bend County, Texas, to Mexico to celebrate his daughter’s wedding. After the ceremony, one of the guests reported items missing from the safe in his hotel room. Soon, at least 20 found themselves in the same boat. All told, more than $100,000 in cash and property was stolen in a heist that rivals something from Ocean’s 11. The family reported the theft to the Eurostar Blue Hotel, but their complaints fell on deaf ears. “Obviously, the first thing that I would hope would happen would be a legitimate investigation into this major crime,” Culver told the Fort Bend Herald. “This was not an isolated theft from a single room at a cheap hotel. This was a planned, executed, major crime.” Unfortunately, Culver and the other wedding guests were unable to reclaim their belongings and checked out of the hotel early. His daughter and son-in-law stayed in Mexico for a few more days before deciding to fly back early due to safety concerns.
A natural disaster and food poisoning ruined their wedding
Keeley and Terry Ford never could have predicted that a hurricane and food poisoning would ruin their wedding night. (Photo: Keeley Ford)
This wedding was a perfect storm of unfortunate events — literally. Keeley and Terry Ford had both been married before, so they didn’t want to make a big deal about their wedding. They decided to go somewhere hot and exchange vows, attended by a small group, at the Meliá Caribe Tropical Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. What they couldn’t have predicted was a hurricane that caused flash flooding on the night of their wedding, forcing them to take cover in their rooms after dinner. They also couldn’t have predicted that just hours after their ceremony, the bride, her husband, and five guests would get sick with a stomach bug causing diarrhea and vomiting. The bride told the Daily Mail that they had been served raw meat and were left bed-bound for days. The couple later won a £50,000 (almost $80,000) payout from Thomas Cook UK and Ireland.
Flights canceled two weeks before the big day
Melissa Nadon had to plan a whole new wedding just two weeks before her big day. (Photo: CTV News)
They always say that the early bird gets the worm. But in this case, the early bird got totally screwed. Last May, Melissa Nadon and Johnny Guiney decided to leave their home in Canada for an exotic wedding in Cuba. They had booked their plane tickets one year in advance, but two weeks before the wedding, Melissa got a startling email saying that the flights for the couple and their 30 guests had been canceled. “I read it like three or four times, not believing what I saw. And that’s when I had my total meltdown,” Nadon told CTV News.
Their travel agency, Sunwing Vacations, apologized and gave everyone a full refund. Still, the couple had to scramble to redo all the details they had spent a year planning. The couple were able to find another travel agency, which organized their wedding at another resort in Cuba. However, the new wedding date was on a Monday, not the Saturday they had planned for. As a result, their invitations and celebratory T-shirts had the wrong date. “They really ruined my day. I’m still very angry, but I’m trying to get past it. I’m getting married. I’m excited about that,” said Nadon.
All of their guests missed the ceremony
Can I get a witness? Simmone Edwards and Samuel Hibberd were forced to get married without their guests. (Photo: Simmone Edwards)
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes food poisoning. In 2009, Simmone Edwards and Samuel Hibberd decided to get married in the beautiful Dominican Republic with all of their friends and family watching. Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be the case. However, when they arrived at the Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana, they were told that their wedding was scheduled for Dec. 5 — three days before any of their guests would arrive. With little choice, the couple said their “I do’s” without any of their family present. Luckily a slot opened up on Dec. 11, and they could have a second ceremony with their guests present. Perfect, right? Nope. At the second ceremony, the wedding party was suddenly struck with diarrhea, stomach cramps, and vomiting. “I was so ill on my rescheduled wedding day that I vomited three times outside the restaurant where we were eating and almost fainted,” Edwards told news site Get Reading. “It completely ruined what was supposed to be the best day of my life.”
There was an explosion at the resort
The resort after the explosion (Photo: CTV News)
A dream wedding quickly turned into a nightmare for one Canadian family. Brad Laforge was in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, celebrating his daughter’s wedding with 70 other guests. The ceremony went fine, but the next day, the wedding party had a big surprise when there was an explosion at the resort. “I heard the explosion, felt a shockwave, and saw an orange glow and heat coming at us,” Laforge told CTV News. Photos from the scene of the explosion show the ceiling completely collapsed inside a restaurant, shattered glass covering the tables, and a fire raging just outside the building. In addition to suffering a shock, the members of the wedding group were left to locate their loved ones on their own because the resort offered no assistance. They had escaped the blast with cuts and bruises, but months after the wedding, some were still getting physiotherapy for their injuries, and others were receiving counseling.
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