Like most couples, Rodolfo Melgoza and Anthony Chavira planned a dream wedding. A destination wedding. One with their closest family and friends in Puerto Vallarta.
Little did the San Francisco men realize that Hurricane Patricia – the "strongest hurricane on record" in the Western Hemisphere – was going to smack the city a day before they planned to say, "I do."
Despite the threatening storm, the couple stayed calm and even upbeat.
"They say rain is good luck," Melgoza said in an exclusive interview via FaceTime Friday afternoon. "So a hurricane? I mean, you know? We’re going to be together forever. Right?"
The Category 5 hurricane prompted a state of emergency in parts of Mexico, and the tourist magnets of Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo are directly in the storm's projected path.
Early Friday morning, everyone in the wedding party received notices on their beach resort hotel doors urging them to evacuate. The couple, along with friend Tim Ramos of San Mateo, were moved from their hotel to a bus, then to an elementary school serving as a community shelter.
Ramos said the wedding party tried to flee the city, but realized they had to stay put because all flights were canceled. Now they're trying to enjoy the moment, playing softball and basketball.
After nine years as a couple and a year of wedding planning, the two men have no intention of abandoning their dreams to tie the knot, no matter the 200 mph winds headed their way – or the fact that their photographer couldn't catch a plane to document their bliss. On Friday, he was stuck in limbo at Los Angeles International Airport.
"We have nothing to worry about. We’re all together," Chavira said. "The ceremony’s at 5 o’clock."