Community saves couple’s wedding day after fire
Elizabeth and Jake Landuyt say their wedding was like a fairytale.
“The ceremony was perfect,” Elizabeth said.
“Everything we could have dreamed of,” Jake added.
That is, until Elizabeth’s father was giving his speech during the reception. “Just a minute in, he was interrupted by some of our guests,” she said.
The cottage next to their wedding venue on Mackinac Island, Michigan, caught fire and everyone had to evacuate the area. The newlyweds had to abandon their reception.
“I didn’t know where we were going,” said Jake. “I just figured we had to walk away from that.”
“So we just started heading toward the church,” Elizabeth said.
It was the church where they’d just been married. Now, they prayed for everyone’s health and safety. Their prayers were answered. In the end, no one was hurt and even the building was saved.
While they were in the church praying, angels were swooping in from all over town. First, the chef at the venue took all 120 meals — which were only partially prepared — and instructed the staff to bring them to safety at the restaurant next door.
“We just ran with it,” said one staff member. “We just cooked it, sauced it and off down the street it went,” said another.
They served the meal at a resort that had event space available. What they didn’t have, another restaurant provided.
Another issue: Mackinac Island doesn’t have cars, so the migration of the wedding had to be done manually — powered by the sheer will and kindness of strangers. A bellhop volunteered to bartend. A lady on the street carried a box of flowers. In less than an hour, the bride was back to blushing.
“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 and one that, while we don’t necessarily recommend, it’s a day and an experience that we’ll cherish forever,” Jake said.