Scottish islanders save American couple’s wedding after their luggage is lost | Scotland

It was a perfectly imperfect wedding that has earned the Scottish Isle of Skye an international reputation for friendliness.

Amanda and Paul Riesel flew more than 4,000 miles from Orlando, Florida, to get married on Skye, in the Highlands.

It was a wedding that had been planned for two years and cost the school meal counselor and her groom more than £12,000.

But their dream began to fall apart after their plane was diverted to Philadelphia, a detour that led to a three-day delay, with the couple stranded at several airports along the way. Paul said: “We were all unlucky along the way. It was delay, delay, delay.”

The exhausted couple finally arrived at Skye at about 11pm on Monday, the night before their wedding, to find all their luggage had disappeared.

Without a wedding dress or suit, they were ready to call off the wedding. “We didn’t know the luggage had made it until we got to Inverness,” said Amanda, happily carrying the wedding rings and flowers in her carry-on. “We got to the baggage claim and saw that it was completely empty and that our bags were not there. It dawned on me that we would have to cancel and there was nothing else I could do.”

But they had counted without the determination of their local photographer, Rosie Woodhouse, and the friendliness of the islanders. “I told them I was confident I could make this work,” Woodhouse said. “Skye is a great place.”

Shortly before midnight Monday, Woodhouse posted an appeal on a Skye social media site. At 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, she was inundated with offers of help. By 10am, Amanda had eight wedding dresses her size to choose from — and Paul had a full kilt set.

Amanda managed to buy makeup at a local drug store and Woodhouse fed the couple a home-cooked meal at her home.

“Rosie was doing all this, I was not aware of all the work going on in the background,” Amanda said. “In the middle of the night people responded, one woman even took off regular clothes to help. We woke up to this beautiful thing orchestrated for us. We got married because of her perseverance.

“Every person Rosie introduced to us and offered to help us will forever have a place in our hearts,” she added. “The people of Skye will become famous in Orlando because we will tell anyone who will listen that they are the reason our love was cemented in a perfectly imperfect wedding day. There will never be enough words to express how grateful we are.”

Amanda said fate must have had a hand in her lucky day as she ended up wearing the dress of a local school meal counselor. “Broadford’s local diner lady, Theresa, owned my dress and I’m a diner lady at home too,” she said. “Wearing it meant even more to me, knowing it came from someone who loves and nurtures her students just like me.”

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