Weddings tend to be big family affairs, but this La Puente, Calif., couple never could have predicted just how instrumental their family would become in ultimately helping them get down the aisle.
One family member in particular, Cameron Scheuplein, who is not only the groom’s best man but is also the bride’s uncle, really came through in a clutch after the nearly-newlyweds had their home burglarized on March 8, just one week prior to their wedding.
“They ransacked the house, completely turned everything upside down,” Cameron Scheuplein, 33, told GoodMorningAmerica.com of the burglary that left the groom, Ray De Santiago, and bride, Christina Scheuplein, without the $6,000 cash savings they stored in their home to help pay for the upcoming big day.
“Ray lost his job two months ago, so his budget was already very tight,” Scheuplein added. “He was very stressed this last weekend about getting through the week. It was just crushing. It was actually show-stopping.”
The couple, whose home was broken into along with seven others in their neighborhood, was suddenly left frantically trying to think of every way possible they could cut corners on all the costs.
“They were considering no flowers, I was going to get ordained because they couldn’t afford the officiant, and they were thinking of having friends run the bar because they couldn’t afford the bartenders,” said Scheuplein.
Being the best man, he just wasn’t going to let that happen.
“I’m dually invested in this wedding. I care a lot about both of them,” he said.
With a little quick thinking, he turned to social media by setting up a fundraising page on gofundme.com, soliciting friends and family to donate whatever they could to help make this happy couple’s nuptials still happen without a hitch.
And boy, was it successful.
In just two days, the $6,000 goal was already exceeded by friends, family and even complete strangers flocking to help the distressed lovebirds.
“We were just very flabbergasted by the help,” De Santiago, 33, said of the overwhelming and unexpected support. “We still can’t believe how quickly all these people, even strangers, were willing to help.”
Not only will the couple get to go through with their original plan for an Italian-style wedding at a villa in Sierra Madre, Calif., but now, as the fundraising totals have reached more than $7,000, they’re also planning to put the additional funds to good use.
“We’re going to use that money that’s exceeding to buy a home security system and get a nice safe to put our valuables in it to protect our home from any future problems,” said De Santiago.
As for the bride, “It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the last 72 hours,” she said, but more than anything, she’d like to thank everybody for all the love, support and generosity they received during this stressful situation.
“I’m so overwhelmed with emotion,” said Christina Scheuplein. “We went from a period of devastation to going on and being able to do these wonderful wedding things without having to stress.
“I can’t express my love and emotion for everybody that came through for us,” she added. “I still am in so much shock about how all this came about.”