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Couple's Dream Wedding Canceled Due To U.S. Government Shutdown

posted 7 Oct 2013, 06:39 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 7 Oct 2013, 06:40 ]

California couple whose dream Yosemite wedding was canceled due to government shutdown gets second chance thanks to good samaritans.

PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 06, 2013) (REUTERS) -  It was supposed to be her dream wedding - bride to be Joy Miller was supposed to marry her fiancé, Adam Brown, in Yosemite National Park. He had proposed there; she had dreamed of it since vacationing there as a child. It was meant to be.

But then came the U.S. government shutdown.

On Tuesday (October 1) the United States government had to shut down because congress could not pass a continuing budget resolution. Thousands of civilian workers were furloughed, numerous services were cut, and national parks were forced to close, throwing a wrench in Miller and Brown's plans.

The couple, from San LorenzoCalifornia, had already spent $15,000 dollars (USD) on a non-refundable deposit at the Ahwahnee Hotel and had arranged rooms for their 85 guests, who were traveling from out of town, when they heard of the shutdown going into effect late Monday.

"When we heard that Yosemite was going to be closed on Monday, and our wedding was on Sunday, I cried for two days straight. Two days straight. It was devastating," says bride Joy Miller.

"Yeah, I didn't know what to think at first, I was in shock, I knew this meant everything to her, we'd been planning and saving for a whole year," adds groomAdam Brown.

The pair had chosen Yosemite for its significance in their lives and relationship.

"I proposed to Joy in Yosemite, and it's just a wonderful, beautiful place. The scenery, the vistas, everything is beautiful, and Joy's beautiful, and we wanted to have it there," says Brown.

"And I've camped there for about twenty years since we were kids, so it's always been special to me; me and my best friend used to sneak into the Ahwahnee [hotel] when we were little girls and pretend we were getting married, so it was actually going to be my childhood dream come true," added Miller.

Then came help from some fellow citizens who had seen a story of the couple on the local television news in San Francisco. Bloomfield Farms and Events inPetalumaCalifornia donated the space for the wedding, which normally costs between $10,000 and $15,000, and San Francisco chef Jen Stakich, who owns catering company Fuddhism, donated her time and kitchen facilities to throw a menu together, in a very short span of time.

"I found out about it on Thursday night, so I had about 48 hours to buy all the food, cook everything, and organize a crew, and show up today," says chef Jen Stakich, of Fuddhism in San Francisco.

For Stakich, a Democrat, the reason for her donation was purely political.

"I believe that the country is really being held hostage at the moment, I think that Republicans will really do anything to prevent people from having access to affordable healthcare, and I'm really proud that even though it affects people like Joy in a negative way, I'm really proud that for once, the Democrats aren't folding, and we're sticking to our guns, and we're not going to let ourselves be bullied," says Stakich.

Stakich wasn't the only vendor to pitch in: Petaluma's Lagunatis Brewery donated the beer, Benzinger winery donated the wine, and a florist donated her design services. Cakes and deserts were also donated by a local bakery, and a band donated their performance. In all, 20 strangers donated their time and services Miller and Brown, to make sure that their dream wedding didn't turn into a nightmare thanks to the inability of the United States government to keep itself running.

"I feel really bad for people that didn't have somebody step up like we did. We would have been sitting at home sad and had all these friends and family in town with nothing to do and we would have always remembered for the rest of our lives that our wedding was ruined, and instead, we've chosen to take the path of 'wow, the American government couldn't get it together and shut down, but we had all these people step up'," says Miller.

The current budgetary standoff between Democrats and Republicans, which began at the start of the new fiscal year on Tuesday (October 1), is the latest in a series of budget fights between Obama and GOP.

In the past, Republicans have insisted on spending cuts as the price for budget deals or lifting of the government debt limit. Their current stand is aimed at derailing the president's landmark healthcare reform law, known as Obamacare.