Ella Horch is getting married on Monday. Just not in the place she expected, nor with the flowers she’d chosen, or the food she’d planned.
The 27-year-old Melbourne woman and her fiance James Steer have been forced to start from scratch, cobbling together a back-up plan within a matter of five days, after their dream Bali wedding was dashed by Indonesia’s Mount Agung volcano. The peak in the island’s east begun to erupt on Saturday, spewing a thick cloud of ash into the air that grounded flights, forced the closure of Denpasar airport and the evacuation of thousands of locals.
“Wednesday morning we learned out flight was cancelled. So we had three days stressing about it, looking at every single update trying to work out if we could actually make it there or not,” Horch told Mamamia.
“All our guests were asking, ‘What’s the backup plan?’ But we didn’t have a backup plan. We had a wet-weather plan, but not a volcano plan.”
The couple’s wedding-planning process had already been a whirlwind. They’d cobbled plans for the Semenyak nuptials together within six months, in the hope that Steer’s ailing mother might be able to attend. Sadly, she passed away eight weeks ago of a chronic lung condition.
The haste meant their insurance wasn’t purchased until September – nine days after the Indonesian government issued a travel warning relating to volcano. Their policy is, therefore, mostly void, leaving them out of pocket $20,000.
“I think people can sympathise – especially those who’ve had a wedding – with what it might be like to lose all your plans. And especially given we were going to Bali to have a laid-back wedding – drama-free – and now it’s ended up being the complete opposite,” she said. “We weren’t going there to have a big lavish ceremony or anything like that.”