Bride-to-be Kimberley Grant has spoken of her devastation after her dream wedding in Santorini was almost wrecked by the Thomas Cook crash.
The mum-of-two and her fiance Adam Badat jet out to the Aegean paradise tonight - but only after forking out an extra £2,100 on new flights to save their big day from cancellation.
“We’re both heartbroken,” said fitness instructor Kimberley, 32, from Leyland. “We’ve had to borrow money from friends and relatives just to make sure we can get out to Santorini.
“I feel like it’s all gone wrong and it’s really taken the gloss off what should have been a wonderful occasion.”
READ MORE>>> Penwortham family say holiday is ruined by uncertainly over Thomas Cook collapse
Kimberley and Adam, who run AK Active in Lostock Hall, had been saving up for more than a year to pay for their Greek wedding.
They were scheduled to fly out with Thomas Cook on Thursday, along with Kimberley’s two children aged 14 and eight, Adam’s best man, his mum, his 86-year-old grandmother and her 94-year-old partner.
But they woke yesterday to find Britain’s oldest travel company had gone bust, putting their wedding in danger.
“We heard nothing from Thomas Cook, not even a text or an email,” said a tearful Kimberley. “We just saw it on TV.
“We found ourselves facing the prospect of either raising more than £2,000 to book seats for all eight of us on another airline, or having to cancel the whole thing altogether.
“There are 11 other people flying out there for the wedding on other airlines and we couldn’t let them down. Imagine going abroad for a wedding and the bride and groom don’t turn up?
“So we’ve had to scrape together as much money as we can just to buy more flights. But Adam’s best man can’t make it now, so that’s very upsetting.
“We have managed to get flights at midnight tonight. But they aren’t direct. We’ve got a stop-over in Athens going out and we come back via Geneva.
“With two elderly relatives and two children to look after, it isn’t going to be easy.
“But at least we should get there.”
Kimberley hit out at Thomas Cook for not giving prior notification to customers before the company collapsed at 2am yesderday.
“They must have known flights and holidays were at risk in the days leading up to this, yet they never sent us even an email to prepare us for the bad news,” she said.
“We were just hit with this three days before we were due to fly out to our wedding and with very little time - or money - to make alternative arrangements.
“It’s just not us, it’s thousands of others who have had their holidays ruined.
“We had to work hard to save up the money to pay for this wedding and now we have nothing left. We won’t have any spending money while we’re in Santorini - I can’t even afford to have my nails and make-up done on the day.
“Fortunately the hotel is paid for. They’ve been brilliant. I had to ring them and explain the situation and ask if they could accommodate us all for an extra night.
“We are going to try and make the best of a bad situation and hopefully enjoy our big day.”