California wildfires force local couple to change destination wedding plans

Couple chose ranch in Malibu as venue

DETROIT – When Ian Kennedy got down on one knee in June, he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Cassidy Callow. She said yes, and the wedding planning began.

“We wanted to do something different, have a destination wedding,” Callow said. “Give our family and friends a vacation on top of the wedding."

The couple chose a beautiful ranch in Malibu as their venue. They would wed on Nov. 16, 2018. 
“Knowing Michigan’s weather, we thought, 'We’ll pick California; it’s always sunny there,'” Kennedy said. 

But a week before their “I Dos,” tragedy struck in California. Malibu was right in the path of the raging wildfires.

“Friday I found out the second I woke up,” Kennedy said. “Fires in Malibu. Then we got all the phone calls and texts from people coming to the wedding.”

Not only was their venue in the path of destruction, AirBNBs reserved for family and friends were burned.

“We couldn’t have 53 people taking flights when the area was evacuated,” Callow said.  
So, the day before they were set to leave, the bride and groom made the decision to regroup and get married in Detroit. That’s when the real work began -- with family helping to try to get vendors. 

The family sat down at Atwater Brewery Monday, using it as ‘wedding central,’ to work to nail down important details. The good news, Ian and Cassidy found a venue, the Whiskey Factory in Detroit. The rest seems to be falling into place. 

“My brother being a photographer, he was able to get in contact with tons of local vendors for flowers and caterers,” Kennedy said. 

The wedding will now be a whole lot different than what they initially envisioned, but this couple is taking it in stride, saying this is their first lesson in marriage.

“Apparently we can deal with stress,” Kennedy said.

“He still makes me laugh,” Callow said. “We learned things don’t always go as planned. We still have each other and we still have our loved ones.”

Cassidy and Ian were so thankful for the help they received in planning a Detroit wedding in a few days, they want to help those affected by the fires in California. 

How to donate: United Way of Ventura County, text UWVC to 41444

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