Government Shutdown Shuts Down Weddings

government shutdownThe government shutdown has impacted thousands of people in many ways – and some of these ways reach beyond the obvious financial burdens and hardships. This shutdown, the first since 1996, has included the closure of all National Parks and the need to turn away as many as 750,000 national park visitors each day.

While this is certainly depressing and frustrating for tourists – it’s even more so for those who had planned their weddings to take place at a National Park. And this is the experience that quite a few are facing right now.

Christopher Dunn, for instance, and his fiancé, Christy Nash, have been planning a dream wedding since February that would take place at Yosemite National Park in California. Since they can’t get married there at the moment, however, they have decided to postpone the big day until May of 2014. As Dunn explained, “We fell in love in Yosemite and that’s where we want to marry.”

Similarly, Zach Kouwe has been planning to wed Drake Lucas at the Awahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. And it is supposed to take place on October 13th. More than a year ago, Zach Kouwe, a PR consultant, and Lucas, a writer for Human Rights Watch, planned their perfect wedding.

Yosemite officials said that they would help to relocate the wedding to Tenaya Lodge outside of the park, but Zach Kouwe said that, “It’s definitely not the same – the Awahnee is a really gorgeous old hotel and the scenery there is beautiful.”

They hope to continue to have their wedding on the day they planned. As Lucas wrote, “At the end of the day, I will be married to someone I love, and that’s the thing I most look forward to.” Lucas had some advice for the government. As she wrote, “So, Congress, if I can just share a little of the advice I’ve been given during my engagement, I might be able to help us all out. It’s called compromise. I hear you have to do a lot of it in marriage, and it seems to me that you should have to do a lot of it in your job, too. You can’t just give up if you don’t get your way. And you have to pay your bills on time. Because we are in this for the long haul and there are enough real problems we will have to weather — there is no need to create ones you can prevent.”

Time will tell how these issues, and the many others created by the government shutdown, will be resolved.


James Fishman has been involved in the world of online magazines for more than 15 years. He helped launch Sunstone Online and continues to improve the magazine as site editor and administrator. His writing focuses primarily business and technology. To be in touch with James, feel free to contact him at james[at]

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