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Monarch collapse leaves £15,000 dream wedding couple stranded at airport

14 members of the 30-strong wedding party left stranded at Gatwick airport after the collapse of Monarch airlines (Tony Kershaw/

A couple’s £15,000 dream wedding on a private Gran Canaria island is in ruins following the collapse of Monarch Airlines.

Alan Jee, his bride-to-be, Donna Smith, and 30 members of their family were told just 10 minutes before they were due to board their flight from Gatwick airport that it had been grounded.

The father of two said: “My missus is in tears.

“I have got 30 people here, they have travelled from all over the country, I’ve spent £12,000 to £15,000.

“Monarch have just told us we have to book new flights with other airlines, I am going to really struggle to do that.”

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Gutted groom Alan Jee says his plans for a dream wedding to Donna Smith are in disarray (Tony Kershaw/

Alan said the cost of trying to get on alternative flights might price them out of going. He said fares had risen from around £120 return to £480 return as thousands of people scramble to try to salvage their holidays.

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The 42-year-old builder and the rest of the wedding party had travelled to Gatwick airport in the early hours of Monday and were all set for a 5.30am departure.

Then, a public address announcement informed passengers they would be going nowhere.

‘We have been left high and dry… it’s all ruined’

Alan, from Bournemouth, was set to marry Donna, 40, on Saturday, but that looks unlikely now.

“We have been left high and dry,” he said. “We were meant to be seeing the wedding planners tomorrow, my missus was getting her hair done on Wednesday, it’s all ruined.

“We have been engaged for two years, I wanted everything to be right. We hired out a private love island, it is shaped like a little love heart.

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“We might have to sleep in the airport to see what we can get later in the week, all my family have coaches booked and paid for so they are stuck here, too.

“Even if we do get out there we will have probably spent all our money on hotels, I can’t believe this has happened,” he said.

Monarch officially collapsed at 4am on Monday, leaving 110,000 people stuck abroad. The future travel plans of about 750,000 others have been left in disarray following the demise of the UK’s fifth largest holiday airline.