Hurricane evacuees forced to evacuate venue, recreate wedding in Birmingham


BIRMINGHAM,Ala. (WIAT) — Edwina Rogers and Greg Neimeyer had the perfect Jekyll Island wedding all planned. They’d been preparing for their nuptials for two years. The date-October 8th. This weekend, though, Hurricane Matthew ruined that plan. The storm made landfall just a day before the big event, forcing evacuations on the island.

When the couple’s flight landed from their home in Washington D.C., they found their venue deserted, their hotel reservations cancelled. They immediately went to work, trying to find another city for their wedding. In the end, they decided on Birmingham.

“It’s centrally located and it has a case of the cutes,” said Rogers.

The couple had stayed at the Westin at Uptown before, so they called the hotel, hoping for good news.

“We called the Westin and said, ‘Can we have a wedding there Saturday night?’ and they’re like, ‘You’re kidding, aren’t you?’ And we’re like, ‘no,'” Rogers said.

The Westin made it work, though, using the couple’s dream wedding itinerary to recreate as much of it as possible.

“Their hospitality has been absolutely remarkable, absolutely extraordinary. In less than 24 hours, they were able to get us a violinist, everything imaginable,” said Neimeyer.

On Friday, they were visiting a florist and getting their Alabama marriage license, making it to the judge’s office with little time to spare.

“We had 20 minutes,” said Rogers.

About thirty of the couple’s original fifty guests will still be able to attend the wedding. In fact, twelve of them live here in Birmingham.

“I think there’s only two places in the United States that this can happen. Number one is Las Vegas. Number two in Birmingham, where you can create an instant wedding, lock stop and barrel, one stop shopping, in a 24-hour period,” Neimeyer said.

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