TWELVE months ago, Simran Grewal and her fiance Anmol Sahota started planning the wedding of their dreams.
Both from Indian families living in Sydney, they wanted their celebration to be spread over four days to keep in with tradition.
Starting off with a pre-wedding on day one, followed by a Henna party, ceremony and finally the reception — the pair envisioned a destination wedding. A place where family and friends from all over the world could meet and celebrate their three year relationship over the course of four days.
And so with the help of family, the young couple were able to raise enough money to fund their Balinese wedding weekend.
“We really wanted to do a small wedding … but that blew out to 200 people … Indians can’t do small weddings,” Ms Grewal told news.com.au.
“We wanted somewhere with culture … different and beachy. Bali ticked all the boxes.”
But last week, all their plans — along with more than $70,000 — went up in smoke, after flights in and out of their venue were cancelled due to the Mount Agung volcano erupting.
“Everyone got stuck in transit,” Ms Grewal said.
“It was a mess … heartbreak … there were so many questions from everyone. Some were coming from America and Canada … my phone was blowing up.”
The pair, who were forced to cancel their Balinese plans while stuck in Kuala Lumpur airport, made the decision to plan a last minute celebration in Sydney for anyone who could still make it.
“If you had spoken to me the day before yesterday I would’ve been crying,” Ms Grewal said.
“We are a middle class family … and we’ve spent a lot of money. To lay it out in the first place was hard. Now, all that money is stuck in Bali.”
Ms Grewal said more than $70k was tied up with vendors in Bali, who the couple claim won’t refund any of the costs.
The pair, who scrambled to find suitable venues in Sydney so they could still get married, will have their ceremony in north west Sydney on Thursday, followed by a reception on Friday.
Without taking out insurance prior to the volcano warning, the pair are unlikely to get back all of their spend.
“All the vendors want to keep a per cent of the payment,” she said.
“The videographer will give the money back, but the photographer won’t. My dad is in conversation with the manager of the hotel [for the guests] which has been escalated to the general manager.
“We are just shattered it was called off.”
Last week, Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin flights to and from Bali were cancelled due to the ash cloud created by the volcano.
Melbourne couple Ella Horsh and James Steer were involved in similar circumstances, and were forced to cancel their Balinese wedding plans after none of their guests were able to land in Denpasar.
Since Monday, Qantas and Jetstar were able to resume flights to and from Bali, as the lingering ash cloud caused by the erupting Mount Agung started to clear.
Ms Horsh and Mr Steer, who were able to arrange a last minute wedding in Melbourne on Monday, were not covered by insurance — like Ms Grewal and Mr Sahota. They were not covered by insurance as they’d purchased their policy after warnings were issued by the Indonesian government.
“The magnitude to make this wedding amazing. Put my parents out of pocket,” Ms Grewal said.
“I’ve never experience something like this on my life, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”