Couple's Cyprus wedding saved after Thomas Cook collapse
PUBLISHED: 13:04 26 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:51 26 September 2019
The stepmother of the bride and a travel agent worked around the clock to save the day after a Norfolk couple's dream wedding was threatened by the collapse of Thomas Cook.
Mundesley couple Eleanor Marsden, 30, and her partner Darren Clark, 37, had been looking forward to the wedding of their dreams in Cyprus next week.
But their plans were ruined when the holiday firm ceased trading having failed to negotiate a rescue deal.
As the operation began to bring home 150,000 Brits, Miss Marsden and Mr Clark had their entire package cancelled including flights, hotel and the wedding.
"Eleanor wanted a sunshine holiday and beach wedding, and the easiest thing was to book a package with Thomas Cook through Premier Travel," explained Miss Marsden's stepmother Christine, who lives in Dereham.
"Things were going smoothly until we heard about the crisis talks. Eleanor was absolutely devastated and we didn't think we'd be able to salvage anything because it was all booked through Thomas Cook.
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"It was then a mad dash to try and sort something else out and find wedding availability. We needed a venue, hotel, flights - everything."
Amid disastrous circumstances, the dream was kept alive after Mrs Marsden sought help from Laura Toll at Premier Travel in Dereham, where the initial booking had been made.
"Laura suggested researching alternatives, but it was so difficult matching everything up," added Mrs Marsden.
"On Monday we were seriously panicking when we found out about the collapse. To do it this year the wedding could only be next week because my son-in-law is self-employed and booked up until Christmas.
"I went back to Premier Travel and Laura had been there since 7.30am putting together a list. After dozens of calls, crashed websites and several hours, we finally managed to get everything lined up."
With a new trip booked the family must wait several weeks for a refund, but are grateful to have found a solution.
"It has been frantic and stressful but we finally got there and we cannot thank Laura and the people at Premier Travel enough," said Mrs Marsden.
"Had it been a holiday it would've been disappointing, but we couldn't let this go. Eleanor is absolutely ecstatic and we have one very happy bride and groom."