Neighbors Pitch In to Save Wedding After Fire

The bride and groom kissing. Newlyweds with a wedding bouquet, holding glasses of champagne standing on wedding ceremony under the arch decorated with flowers and greenery of the outdoor.

Photo: Getty Images

Elizabeth and Jake Landuyt’s reception had just begun on Mackinac Island, Michigan. As the bride’s father was giving his speech, he was interrupted with news of a fire. The cottage next to their wedding venue was in flames and everyone had to evacuate.

After abandoning their reception, the newlyweds returned to the church where they tied the knot to pray for everyone’s health and safety. Their prayers were answered, no one was hurt in the blaze and while they were there, the community pulled together to save the reception. The chef from the venue took the 120 partially cooked meals and had staff prepare them at a restaurant next door. Someone found a resort with available event space and the party was moved there. A bellhop volunteered to bartend and a woman on the street helped carry boxes of flowers.

In less than an hour, the reception was rocking again, all thanks to the kindness of strangers. Even more impressive? There are no cars on the island, so everything was done on foot! “To have them pick up the reception out of ashes, in a very literal sense, made the wedding better than we ever could have imagined,” the groom says, “and one that, while we don't necessarily recommend, it's a day and an experience that we'll cherish forever.”

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