Gov't Shutdown Keeps Parents From Daughter's Dream Wedding

The ceremony was going to be held in Yosemite, but all the national parks are closed as Congress wrangles over a budget

By Kyler Jae and Kim Baldonado
|  Friday, Oct 4, 2013  |  Updated 11:54 PM PDT
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A Thousand Oaks couple set to be married on Friday was forced to plan their wedding in one day after the government shutdown closed the site of their originally planned venue, Yosemite National Park. Only half of the invited guests will be able to attend their Friday wedding with the bride’s parents and brother among those unable to attend. Kim Baldonado reports from Agoura Hills for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 4, 2013.

Kim Baldonado

A Thousand Oaks couple set to be married on Friday was forced to plan their wedding in one day after the government shutdown closed the site of their originally planned venue, Yosemite National Park. Only half of the invited guests will be able to attend their Friday wedding with the bride’s parents and brother among those unable to attend. Kim Baldonado reports from Agoura Hills for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 4, 2013.

The days-long government shutdown has forced a Southern California couple to rearrange a year’s worth of wedding plans in a single day, and the change means several important guests won’t be able to attend.

“It’s disappointing because my parents aren’t here so they won’t get to see it and my brother’s not here,” Cleo Tung said through tears. “So, a lot of people I care about won’t get to be there.”

Tung and her fiancé, Matt Locascio, spent a year planning their dream wedding in Yosemite National Park.

But because of the shutdown, in its fourth day Friday, the park is closed, and the pair had to plan an entirely new wedding in one day.

They will marry Friday evening at the Cornell Winery in Agoura Hills, but it’s not the same.

Yosemite holds a special meaning for the Cleo and Matt, but this isn’t the first time the park has let them down.

“Originally, I was going to propose there, but then they had the Hanta virus scare,” Matt told NBC4, “so, this is strike two.”

The pair said Yosemite National Park has been accomodating and is helping them reschedule their dream ceremony for May 2014.

Matt and Cleo are just two Americans experiencing the pangs of the shutdown as Congress wrangles over the national budget.

The first federal shutdown in 17 years has furloughed an estimated 800,000 government workers, cut access to social benefits for women and children, and is costing some $12.5 million for every hour it drags on, NBC News reports.

And with House Democrats and Republicans at a stalemate as of Friday evening, it appears partisan gamesmanship will keep the shutdown talks at a standstill.

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