SHIRLEY, N.Y. — A Long Island community is coming together to help a couple who lost their home and most of their possessions in a fire just days before their wedding.
“There’s never a good time to have a fire, but I would say the week of your wedding is probably the worst time,” Amanda Cappiello said.
Cappiello and her fiancé, Nick Ladalia, are thankful they, along with their dog, Chandler, escaped a fire that ripped through their home last Sunday. Now they’re scrambling to piece together their lives and prepare for their wedding Friday.
“The building was like a skeleton. There was nothing left,” Ladalia said.
Fortunately, her wedding dress and his suit were at their parents’ houses, but their rings were in their home. When the fire was extinguished, firefighters went back inside to retrieve them.
“I cried to all of them that our rings were in there, and they were able to pull them out of the wreckage and they were in perfect condition,” Cappiello said.
When a friend created a GoFundMe page for the couple, Heather Cunningham, the founder of the group “Brides of Long Island,” saw the post and knew she had to help ensure their big day was still a success.
“I feel like it’s my job. I feel like I’m supposed to do this for our Long Island brides. I know what it’s like to plan a wedding here and get married here. The stress, the money, the opinions it’s so much,” Cunningham said.
“She’s done so much for us, down to getting his favorite cologne for the day of the wedding,” Cappiello said.
The news spread quickly throughout the community. Hundreds chipped in, replacing clothing and wedding supplies.
“We never thought so many people would step up and donate to us,” Ladalia said.
For now, the couple says they’re staying at a hotel and are looking for another place to live until their condo gets rebuilt.
Cappiello and Ladalia say they learned with support from their family, community and each other, if they could get through this, they can get through anything, and they can’t wait to say, “I do.”