The dream wedding of a young couple has been an unexpected victim of the US government shutdown.
Joy Miller’s vision was to say “I do” in Yosemite National Park, a day she had dreamt about since she was a child. But on October 1 the United States government shut down because Congress could not approve a budget resolution. As a result, Yosemite National Park was forced to close, throwing a spanner in Joy Miller and her fiancé Adam Brown’s romantic plan.
The couple from San Lorenzo, California had spent $15,000 (11,000 euros) on a non-refundable deposit at the Ahwahnee Hotel for 85 guests, when they heard about the shutdown.
“When we heard that Yosemite was going to be closed, I cried for two days straight. It was devastating” said the bride.
The pair had chosen Yosemite for its significance in their lives as they had been camping there every year since childhood and Adam had even proposed to Joy in the park. Following the shutdown they told their story on local television in San Francisco.
Then came help in the form of some fellow citizens. Strangers who had seen their story were touched and decided to help. Bloomfield Farms and Events in Petaluma, California donated the space for the wedding, a venue that normally cost 10-15 thousand US dollars, while San Francisco chef Jen Stakich donated her kitchen and crew to make the wedding dinner.
Chef Stakich, a democrat, said her donation was made for political reasons: “I believe that the country is being held hostage at the moment, Republicans will do anything to prevent people from having access to affordable healthcare, and I am really proud that even though it affects people like Joy in a negative way, the Democrats aren’t folding, and we’re sticking to our guns and we’re not going to let ourselves be bullied.”
Petaluma Brewery donated the beer, a winery donated the wine, a florist donated her design services, and deserts were donated by a local bakery. All together 20 strangers helped Miller and Brown make sure their dream wedding did not turn into a politically-induced nightmare.