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Winnipeg couple puts together new wedding in a day after storm ruins original plans

Yasmir Montoya and Joelle Pastora Sala planned a whirlwind wedding in less than a day after the storm changed their original plans.
Yasmir Montoya and Joelle Pastora Sala planned a whirlwind wedding in less than a day after the storm changed their original plans. Richard Cloutier/Global News

This weekend’s big snow wasn’t enough to stop Joelle Pastora Sala and Yasmir Montoya’s big day.

After a year of planning, the Winnipeg couple were just 48-hours away from their dream weekend wedding in Riding Mountain National Park when the skies opened up Thursday.

By Friday, the winter storm that toppled trees and knocked out power for tens of thousands of Manitobans had left the highways to Riding Mountain snow-covered and treacherous.

READ MORE: City of Winnipeg asks for provincial aid in storm aftermath

It wasn’t looking good for the couple’s wedding plans.

“The roads were horrible and the news headlines were starting to come in about how there was going to be this snowstorm of the century,” said Sala.

“We definitely started panicking a little bit.”

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After one of their guests who had attempted the drive ended up in the ditch, the couple knew they had to cancel the wedding.

READ MORE: Roughly 13,000 without power days after snowstorm pummels Manitoba

But that’s when their friends and family stepped in — with less than 24-hours before the big day, they started organizing a new wedding.

“They all came together,” Sala told 680 CJOB Tuesday.

“We’ve been together for 15 years, so I think everyone was not going to let this weekend happen without us getting married.”

First, they had to pick a new venue.

Their options on very short notice included a police station, a karate dojo or the Masonic Temple — they chose the Masonic Temple.

Sala’s dress, Montoya’s tuxedo and the flowers were in Winnipeg, so that wasn’t a problem, and Sala’s cousin — who just happens to be a chef — was somehow able to prepare a menu for 155 guests within hours.

READ MORE: Here comes the bear: Furry wedding guest crashes Tennessee couple’s nuptials

After finding musicians — and a few shopping trips for supplies — the couple’s whirlwind wedding was pretty well set.

“As we were practicing and having our rehearsal, folks were downstairs decorating,” laughed Sala, whose boss stepped in to officiate.

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“Everyone was coming together … and we were trying not to panic.”

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Amazingly, nearly all of the couple’s original guest list was able to make it to watch the newlyweds tie the knot at their hastily prepared big day.

“The wedding must go on,” laughed Montoya.

“We’re incredibly blessed and incredibly lucky to have everybody support us.”

Snow storm downs wreaks havoc in Portage la Prairie, Man.
Snow storm downs wreaks havoc in Portage la Prairie, Man.