An American couple who traveled to Skye for their dream wedding ended up having to wear clothes donated by kind Scots after the airline lost their luggage.
Amanda and Paul Riesel flew over 4,000 miles from Orlando, Florida, to the UK on Monday, June 20, only to find out their luggage was missing.
The couple were left devastated after realizing their wedding dress and suit were still in the US when they were due to tie the knot on Skye in the Highlands yesterday.
Amanda, 40, and Paul, 37, had spent over £12,000 on the trip which they had been planning for over two years.
They were ready to call the whole wedding off until Amanda’s photographer, Rosie Woodhouse, appealed to locals to help the couple out – with just hours to spare.
In just a few hours, dinner lady Amanda had been offered a selection of eight wedding dresses in her size, and 37-year-old Paul was given a kilt.
The bride-to-be managed to source make up from a local chemist and had luckily carried the wedding rings and flowers in hand luggage.
In another kind gesture, photographer Rosie even invited the couple back to her friend’s house for a meal due to most of the restaurants in the area being closed.
Speaking today, mum-of-two Amanda said: “We didn’t know the luggage hadn’t made it until we were in Inverness.
“We got to the luggage carousel to see it was completely empty and our bags were not there.
“It dawned on me that we would have to cancel and there was nothing else I could do.
“Rosie did all of this, I was oblivious to all the work that went on in the background.
“We woke up to this beautiful thing orchestrated for us.
“Because of her perseverance we got married.
“By 10am on Tuesday there were eight dress offers. In the middle of the night people responded, one woman even dropped off normal clothes to help.
“It was imperfectly perfect. It was exactly what we needed without us knowing what we needed and wanted.
“There will never be enough words for us to express how grateful we are.
“We are so envious of you all (Scots) to have these as your people and community.
“There were no strings attached, it was just a pure and genuine love for complete strangers, it speaks volumes for the community.”
Amanda and Paul had flown from Orlando to Philadelphia before getting on a connecting flight to London.
They then hopped on their next flight to Inverness where they later found out their luggage was still stuck in Philadelphia – where their belongings still remain.
Rosie’s initial plea to help the couple on Facebook on Monday read: “Skye friends, wedding emergency!
“Bride and Groom for tomorrow have had a nightmare journey of delays and cancellations.
“They have just arrived in Skye but their luggage is lord knows where.
“Do any Skye ladies have any wedding attire size 22ish?
“Groom is 42 waist, 3 xxl shirt.
“Moran taing (thank you).”
The post quickly received dozens of comments from members of the Skye community hoping to help.
One local said: “Fantastic. Love the Skye community so much. Incredible story and well done to you.”
Another added: “Thank you so much for posting this – it was so wonderful to see the community pulling together.
“A huge congratulations to Amanda and Paul. Truly a wedding to remember!”
A third wrote: “Amazing, well done Skye guys, you make dreams happen.”
While a fourth commented: “I’m just reading all the lovely offers of help. There is so much kindness on Skye.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.