Nicole Vejar knows a little something about weddings.
And she knew, when she heard the story of a Paradise couple that lost virtually everything in the Camp Fire except the bride’s wedding dress, that she had to do something to help.
Vejar is the Wedding Planner/Assistant Food and Beverage Director at the Oakdale Golf and Country Club and she will be heading to Chico to help put on a wedding for the affected couple this weekend.
“It’s pretty amazing how everyone has come together,” Vejar shared on Monday afternoon. “A lot of the (Country Club) members have come together, donated money, people have donated food, and a photo booth.”
The wedding of Joey Best and Megan Janko is now going to be in Chico and Vejar said the couple decided against postponing it because many friends and family coming in from out of state already had their travel plans made.
The wedding will be Nov. 24 and despite losing their homes, a family business and facing a long road to recovery, the couple will be facing that future together.
“The community has stepped up tremendously,” Vejar reiterated. “A caterer has offered their product and services, free of charge, Sierra Nevada is donating their beer. I am going up there to coordinate the whole wedding, setting it all up, and will be the point of contact. I am providing all of the linens and décor.”
A GoFundMe has also been set up for the couple and Vejar said donations continue to come in for that even as the countdown to the wedding is on.
Vejar said she was able to get in contact with the couple working through Fox40 News, where she first heard about their plight. A venue in Chico offered the couple use of the facility for free.
“Now we’re trying to raise money to pay for the rest of the flowers and then the rest of the money I am wanting to give to them directly,” she said of hopefully having some excess funds to help the couple get started on rebuilding their lives.
“They were going to get married on a covered bridge; that burned down. They lost everything. I feel awful for everybody,” Vejar said.
But in the midst of tragedy, she said people that this soon-to-be-married couple will likely never meet have embraced them from afar.
“The whole town has been great, I feel like we live in such a wonderful community,” Vejar said. “They don’t even know the people.”
And yet, they are more than willing to help out.
Donations are being accepted at the office of the Oakdale Golf and Country Club; donors can specify the funds are for the Camp Fire Wedding, said Vejar.
“My two bosses, Rick and Chris, are going up with me to help me set up,” Vejar added, with General Manager Rick Schultz and Food and Beverage Director Chris Carroll both making the trip to Chico.
“I think it is going to go great; I think they will have their dream wedding,” Vejar noted. “I want them to get a nice little honeymoon in, too, and get away from this for a while.”