Government Shutdown 2013: Weddings canceled in D.C.
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - It’s no stroll in the park for couple Mai Lien and Mike Cassesso, as they walked along the majestic marble of the Jefferson Memorial on Tuesday.
Instead, they gripped each other’s hands tightly – otherwise, they might have a breakdown.
"As we were driving over, I was telling Mike that this was going to be really emotional for me...seeing all the barricades, said Mai Lien. "Knowing this is where our wedding was supposed to be and now it's not going to happen is really heartbreaking."
The devastated bridegroom, 29, had only wanted to give his bride the world: "She started planning our wedding two weeks before we got engaged," he said.
But just two days ago came the regretful RSVP – and it wasn’t from one of the 125 guests. Instead, it was sent by the National Mall and Memorial Parks.
"It was just cut and dry -- 'you cannot have a large gathering on the mall; you can't have a permit if the government is shut down; it has to be terminated," explained Mike.
The government shutdown translated into lost deposits on chairs, flowers, and photographers, as well as a frenzy over what to tell guests who were supposed to fly in Tuesday.
It was unbelievable to the couple, who says their love affair bloomed amongst the cherry blossoms.
"We had our first date at the Jefferson Memorial," said Mike.
Their second date? At Monticello.
"T.J. -- he's a big part of our relationship," laughed Mai Lien. "He factors in big in our relationship. We thought it would be special to have our wedding come full circle."
Gone now are the plans for rose petals and white paper. In their place are black barricades and police tape. With just three days to ‘I do,’ the wedding has officially been crashed by lawmakers.
"This is a great example of how there are unintended, unforeseen consequences of shutting down the government," said Mike.
The couple's reception venue has now offered a place for the wedding, and it also seems as though television networks have come courting.
It's possible that this couple may end up doing this wedding on live TV.