Couple gets married on flight after cancellations ruin wedding plans

The captain welcomed passengers to the flight and the wedding.

April 28, 2022, 4:56 PM

As the captain welcomed passengers boarding Flight 2690 en route to Phoenix and he also welcomed them to the wedding of Pam and Jeremy Salda.

The Saldas envisioned a small celebration in Las Vegas to legally tie the knot, but after canceled flights, they took their vows 37,000 feet in the air with the help of hundreds of strangers.

PHOTO:	Pam and Jeremy Salda were traveling to Las Vegas to get married when their flight was cancelled. With the help of the pilot's captain, flight crew and other passengers, the two were married about 37,000 feet in the air.
Pam and Jeremy Salda were traveling to Las Vegas to get married when their flight was cancelled. With the help of the pilot's captain, flight crew and other passengers (including an ordained minister who married the couple), the two were married about 37,000 feet in the air.
Courtesy Chris Mitchem

The couple has a destination wedding in Mexico scheduled for August, but they planned a small ceremony in Las Vegas to be legally married in the U.S. The bride and groom went to the airport dressed and ready for an evening ceremony at a chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada with a plan to go straight from the airport to the altar.

"We're waiting on our next plane and we just start seeing the weather delays ... and more delays, and it's getting pushed back," Pam Salda told ABC News. "We're getting stressed because we have to be at the chapel at 9 p.m., we're the last one of the day."

As the couple waited through delays at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport on Sunday, the help of a stranger set into motion a different plan.

PHOTO:	Pam and Jeremy Salda were traveling to Las Vegas to get married when their flight was cancelled. With the help of the pilot's captain, flight crew and other passengers, the two were married about 37,000 feet in the air.
Pam and Jeremy Salda were traveling to Las Vegas to get married when their flight was cancelled. With the help of the pilot's captain, flight crew and other passengers (including an ordained minister who married the couple), the two were married about 37,000 feet in the air.
Courtesy Kaitlyn Manzer

A man named Chris Mitcham, who was also on his way to Las Vegas, happened to have his flight canceled, too. Mitcham, who is an ordained minister, offered to help the couple get married if they missed their appointment at the chapel.

With the help of their new friend, they booked another flight departing from a different airport in hopes of getting to Las Vegas that night. The couple and Mitcham hurried to Dallas Love Field Airport and boarded their Southwest flight to Las Vegas with a connection in Phoenix.

PHOTO: Pam and Jeremy Salda were traveling to Las Vegas to get married when their flight was cancelled. With the help of the pilot's captain, flight crew and other passengers, the two were married about 37,000 feet in the air
Pam and Jeremy Salda were traveling to Las Vegas to get married when their flight was cancelled. With the help of the pilot's captain, flight crew and other passengers (including an ordained minister who married the couple), the two were married about 37,000 feet in the air
Courtesy Kaitlyn Manzer

While boarding, the captain of the flight noted the bride's gown and asked if they were going to get married in Las Vegas, the plane's final destination.

"And I said, well, we're going to try, but if not I think I'm just going to get married right here on this plane. And he said, really? I was like, yes," Pam said. "And he goes, okay, we can do that."

"The captain himself says I've been a pilot for 33 years and 20-plus of that has been with Southwest," Pam said. "And never once have I been asked to have a wedding on the plane."

Strangers and the flight crew on the plane then began to prepare for the midair ceremony.

PHOTO: Pam and Jeremy Salda were traveling to Las Vegas to get married when their flight was cancelled. With the help of the pilot's captain, flight crew and other passengers, the two were married about 37,000 feet in the air.
Pam and Jeremy Salda were traveling to Las Vegas to get married when their flight was cancelled. With the help of the pilot's captain, flight crew and other passengers (including an ordained minister who married the couple), the two were married about 37,000 feet in the air.
Courtesy Kaitlyn Manzer

"As soon as we kind of get up to the altitude, people can start moving around. I'm telling you, the flight crew, they just spring into action," Pam said. "They're taking toilet paper and making streamers at the front. They made Chris [Mitcham], the officiant, like a little sash out of snack packets and they clipped it together with cocktail spears."

In addition to decorations, they helped set mood lighting using the plane's call lights and downloaded "Here Comes the Bride" to be played while the bride walked down the plane's center aisle.

Other passengers help with the occasion, too. Mitcham was a former TV producer and had video equipment to capture the special moment. Another woman onboard was a professional photographer, who offered to take photos of the ceremony. One passenger passes a notebook around for other attendees to sign, the Saldas said.

"She made it a guest book, and it got passed to the entire plane," Pam Salda said. "They didn't just write the names, they wrote sweet notes [...] and they wrote their seat number and their name."

Another passenger offered a leftover doughnut to serve as a makeshift wedding cake, which the bride and groom split in half and fed to each other. Pam noted that most of the passengers seemed fine with the wedding.

"Everybody couldn't have been more kind, more nice," Pam Salda said. "We obviously delayed the drink service, but no one seemed to care."

Southwest said that it was "thrilled" to be able to help the couple get married. A flight attendant onboard even stood in as maid of honor for the ceremony.

The couple tied the knot, and the flight crew provided free drinks for attendees on the plane.

PHOTO: Pam and Jeremy Salda were traveling to Las Vegas to get married when their flight was cancelled. With the help of the pilot's captain, flight crew and other passengers, the two were married about 37,000 feet in the air.
Pam and Jeremy Salda were traveling to Las Vegas to get married when their flight was cancelled. With the help of the pilot's captain, flight crew and other passengers (including an ordained minister who married the couple), the two were married about 37,000 feet in the air.
Courtesy Kaitlyn Manzer

"We offer our congratulations to the newlyweds and well wishes on their new life together," Southwest said in a statement.

The couple said they were approached by many passengers who said that being onboard for the wedding was exactly what they needed after a stressful travel period, and they are glad that their wedding brought joy to others.

"I think they had experienced some delays and weather things as well, and so everybody was kind of feeling the stress, but everybody couldn't have been nicer and sweeter and just said how what a great experience it was," Pam Salda said. "And that's what we like about it is hopefully we brightened somebody's day."

Related Topics

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events