Leeds couple with £20,000 dream wedding 'heartbroken' after Thomas Cook collapse

A Leeds couple's dream £20,0000 wedding is hanging in the balance after the collapse of Thomas Cook.

By Joe Cooper
Tuesday, 24th September 2019, 11:20 am
Luke and Melissa.
Luke and Melissa.

Luke Kernachan, 27, and Melissa Staniland, 26, have been planning their wedding in Cancun in Mexico for three years.

-> Leeds family's devastation after Thomas Cook holiday is booked with money left by late in-lawsThe couple, who have been together for seven years and live in Wortley, are 'in bits' after staying up all night waiting for the news, according to Luke's uncle, Leeds businessman Terry George.

"They are both in tears and have had to take the day off," said Terry. "They are in bits. Three years of planning their dream wedding and to have that shattered is really traumatic.

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Luke and Melissa, front, with Terry, and Rosemarie (left) and Melissa's mum, Julie.

"It's like there's been a death in the family."

Although family members are hopeful they will get their flight and hotel money back through the Atol scheme, the couple found out this morning that beach-side wedding, booked separately with the hotel, will not be covered by their insurers.

-> This is what will happen to stranded customers following Thomas Cook collapseThey are now faced with the dilemma of not going at all or spending more money to fly with a different airline to salvage the wedding ceremony.

Luke's mum, Rosemarie Kernachan, told Radio Leeds the couple were 'heartbroken and devastated' after the travel agent went bust.

"We've been worried to death, it's just a nightmare," she said.

"Up to early hours of the morning we were hopeful, but I think deep down I knew. My phone went off at 3am and bankrupt, gone, dreams are shattered."

Adding to the awful circumstances, Rosemarie has not yet told children in the family who were looking forward to the holiday.

-> Wedding party of 45 people from Yorkshire left stranded at Manchester Airport after their flight to Jamaica was cancelled"Liam, the four-year-old, is autistic, it's taken a year's worth of preparation. How do you say we're not going?

"The first thing Liam said this morning was 'five more sleeps till my birthday and eight more days to Mexico'."

The couple and their family have already taken out loans to afford the trip.

Claiming back through the Atol scheme could take several weeks.

"They are going to try to get out," Rosemarie said. "They weren't going to this morning - they were heartbroken, sobbing, they felt sick.

"Do they lose it or spend more money to go? I don't know where they're at.

"I know we are just one family with one dream. I know there's thousands losing an employer, but it's so hard when it's your own.

"All the poor people who worked for them, their families, their homes, it's just horrible isn't it."