It has to be everyone’s worst travel nightmare: arriving at baggage claim only to find that your suitcase hasn’t arrived.
Well, imagine that happening, but also it’s your wedding the next day…and your entire outfit is in the bag.
That’s what happened to Lucia Baratta, who arrived in Orkney, Scotland, with her fiancé John Sessions, from Seattle on Monday to find that her suitcase had gone missing and she was without a dress, shoes or make-up for her big day.
The owners of The Kirkwall Hotel, where the couple were staying, immediately posted a Facebook appeal for help from local residents, in the hope that someone might have something they could lend the bride.
In an unexpected flurry of kindness and generosity, offers from local residents began to pour in.
There were twelve offers of wedding dresses in the bride’s size (following some mild confusion surrounding American and English size conversions), veils, shoes, make-up, nail varnish and even a bouquet.
One person even had a wedding cog – a traditional Orkney wooden circular drinking vessel which is filled with spiced alcohol and passed around to guests by the bride and groom.
Within two and a half hours, the hotel posted to say that the bridge had found everything she needed from the kind offers:
The bride and groom got married yesterday afternoon, filling their quota of ‘something borrowed’. The bride, Lucia, wore a simple white dress lent by a former bridal shop owner, with a plaid shawl and a pearl necklace, and her husband, John, wore a matching kilt.
After the wedding, the bride posted a video to the Facebook site, saying:
“To my wonderful bridges of Orkney, I wanted to thank you for the joy you’ve provided me today.”
She went on to say: ““It turns out I am not a size 8 in the UK – more like a 10-12. So I am really grateful for the dress that fit but I would have been absolutely honoured to wear any of your gorgeous dresses. I know they tell the story of your life and it’s a story I will share too. All the love you provided for me will never ever be forgotten. Hope you know how much it means to me. Please come to Seattle, Washington, I’ll take good care of you. I love you, Lucia.”
The hotel also posted on to the Facebook page that it was touched by all the well-wishers and offers to help.
If you ever need to regain faith in humankind, this story should help. And it also shows that, perhaps all the stress we put ourselves through before weddings isn't entirely necessary - all you need is love.