GLENDALE (CBSLA) — Wedding delays are among some of the unforeseen challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Excluding limited circumstances, most weddings are planned in advance, with details like venues, outfits, pre-marital festivities, and the wedding party all carefully selected.
Kristina Ortiz and Kenton Harris, of Glendale, got engaged in 2018 booked their wedding for Halloween 2020 on the Queen Mary — what they considered the perfect spot.
“They only book 18 months in advance and we booked 22 months in advance and they made an exception for us and we absolutely fell in love with it,” Ortiz said.
Like other attractions and businesses around the world, coronavirus has forced the Queen Mary, a historic hotel in Long Beach, to keep its doors shut, which also caused a delay for Harris and Ortiz’s dream wedding.
The couple said they received an email from a company employee that they would be fully reimbursed due to the unexpected wedding cancelation.
They told CBS2/KCAL9 that to date, they still have not been reimbursed and are still out of their nearly $20,000 deposit, causing financial strain as they deal with work, school and raising their daughter amid a worldwide pandemic.
“They have more of our money than we have of our money,” Ortiz said.
The couple says in order to get their money back, they have to go through Los Angeles-based investment and development firm Urban Commons, the ship’s former operator.
Urban Commons is currently facing financial issues and has told the couple their accounts are currently frozen, saying the following in a statement:
“The Queen Mary is a flagship hotel that we believe will quickly recover once the current pandemic is under control and the ship’s operations resume… We ask for patience during these unprecedented times that have caused normal operations to collapse.”
Harris and Ortiz have secured an attorney who filed a lawsuit against the company.
Meantime, they’re still planning to tie the knot on their special day — Oct. 31, 2020 — it’ll just look a little bit different than planned.
Right now, they say they’re thrilled about getting married, but remain concerned about the money they’ve lost, so they can still have that intricately planned wedding day they’ve hoped for.
“We just want to replenish our wedding fund with our wedding fund money so in the future we can have that dream wedding,” Ortiz said.
The couple says another last-resort option they have is to reach out to officials within the City of Long Beach, which owns the Queen Mary.
Queen Mary did not immediately respond to CBS2/KCAL9’s request for comment.