CNY natives race against Hurricane Irma for wedding in Florida

Katie Burgwin and Andrew Menter say many guests had to cancel flights

JAMESVILLE (WSYR-TV) - Katie Burgwin grew up in East Syracuse, just down the street from her school sweetheart Andrew Mentor.

She always dreamed of marrying him on a beach in Florida.

"Siesta Key was the first beach I visited when I was 19. I told Andrew that we needed to get married here," she recalls.

The wedding was scheduled for this Friday....just as Hurricane Irma inches closer to the Sunshine State, a place they now call home.

"Right now we are just rolling with the punches and it is really sad because our siblings can't be here with us," Birgwin says.

"Our guest count went from 85 Central New Yorkers for a destination wedding, down to 25," Menter adds. "We're blessed to have those who are here with us, but it's sad."

Katie's aunt Julie is among those forced to cancel the trip and stay in Central New York this weekend.

She knows people may wonder why the couple picked September 8 as their wedding day on a Florida beach, right in the middle of Hurricane Season.

"Katie started dating her husband-to-be, Andrew, in 8th grade and it was the anniversary of their first date. Ten years. So, that's why they picked it," Julie Birgwin explains as her voice cracks.

Her daughter, Katie's cousin, was supposed to be in the wedding party. She had to cancel the trip too.

"The wedding has now been moved up to tomorrow (Thursday) night and they are going to try to seek shelter on Friday and Saturday," Julie Birgwin adds.

The danger they've seen in Irma's wake has already forced the young couple to adapt their idea of a fairytale.

"I wanted to get married on our 10-year anniversary forever and always," Menter says. "You know, there is nothing we can do. You know, nothing will stop our love."

They're hoping to stream the nuptials live online so friends and family can watch from afar.

"Ten years in, we're not going to let Irma stop us," the bride-to-be adds.


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