The pandemic spoiled their anniversary plans, until a flight crew came to the rescue

The COVID-19 pandemic ruined a Yukon couple’s plans to renew their wedding vows aboard a Caribbean cruise early last month, but an Air Canada flight crew stepped in to give them the surprise of a lifetime.

Sharon Shorty and Derek Yap celebrated their 15th anniversary this year. They had planned to have their cruise ship captain officiate as they renewed their vows.

But the pandemic put an end to that plan, as the cruise was cancelled.

Instead, Shorty and Yap decided to make the best of their spring holiday with a trip to Palm Springs, Calif., on March 15.

On the Air Canada flight down, Shorty told the story to a flight attendant.

“I said, ‘By the way, can any captain do weddings or vow renewals? Can a captain from this flight do that?'” Shorty recalled. “And she goes, ‘Yes, he can.'”

There was even a pillow on hand for the rings. (Submitted by Sharon Shorty)

The flight attendant then asked if Shorty wanted to renew her wedding vows. Shorty said yes. She said it caught her and her husband off-guard.

About 10 minutes later, the captain came out to greet them.

“First he came out without his hat, and the flight attendant said, ‘No, no, no, there is going to be pictures, captain — you go back and put on your hat,'” Shorty said.

Shorty said even though she and her husband have been together for 17 years, they were both really nervous. 

She said there was a pillow for the rings. A passenger sitting behind them volunteered to be the photographer.

“I was so surprised, happy and grateful at the same time,” said Yap. “It was really heartwarming.”

After the vows were read, the couple was showered with airline gifts — a bottle of champagne, fancy napkins, snacks and a card. 

Some wedding gifts from the flight crew. (Submitted by Sharon Shorty)

The couple says they’ll never forget the thoughtfulness of the flight crew.

“It was just during the crisis, a moment of celebration,” said Shorty. “It brought tears to my eyes and maybe some other people.”

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