KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — Hurricane Ian had a Grand Rapids couple canceling their destination wedding in Florida just days before it was supposed to happen.
Morenas, a new event venue in Kentwood, rescheduled its grand opening celebration so the couple can get married in West Michigan.
The bride Lauren Scott and her groom Kingsley Amlalo were planning to get married in Jacksonville, Florida, with around 40 guests traveling for the occasion.
“We were going to have a ceremony on the beach and a small reception at a private room at a restaurant also on the beach,” Scott described.
But the hurricane made travel to Florida difficult and the couple did not know what sort of event they could put on while the area was under a state of emergency.
“I was devastated because I knew there’s no way… we can ask our guests now to try to travel into a hurricane. We can’t travel into a hurricane. The only logical thing to do at that point was to cancel it,” Scott said.
The Florida venue was only available next Friday but most of the guests could not make it.
“We could have sat back and just waited until next week and went with three people,” Amlalo said.
But the bride and groom decided not to give up and started reaching out to venues in metro Grand Rapids.
They soon got a call from the owner of Morenas.
“I started telling her the story about what happened and she is like, ‘OK, I definitely have to try to help you now,'” Scott said.
The space is still planning to have a ribbon cutting on Sunday but decided Saturday’s grand opening had to be rescheduled.
Tanisha Kuykendall, the manager of Morenas, said the venue was touched by Scott and Amlalo’s story and wanted to help a bride and groom in need.
“It is really rare to get everything together within a matter of a couple days,” Kuykendall said.
While wedding plans are often made more than a year in advance, Morenas’ owner found vendors to make it possible in less than two days.
“Like 36 hours flat she had everything: like the caterer, the food, the bartender, like everything and so it’s been amazing,” Scott said.
With the event now closer to home, more of the bride and groom’s friends and family will be able to join them. They are beyond grateful for the community support.
“It means to me that there are still good people out there that are willing to cancel all of their plans just to help you out, so that means a lot,” Scott said.