Race against time … Jodie Hughes and fiance Jon BottBride-to-be Jodie Hughes never imagined her plans for an intimate wedding in the Dandenongs would be dashed by a volcanic eruption in Iceland.
Nanjing Night Net

But that’s the situation the 34-year-old Melburnian now faces, as she remains stranded in England with her wedding dress, 17,000 kilometres from the wedding venue.

Ms Hughes and her English fiance Jon Bott, who live together in England, are due to marry in a small ceremony near her parents’ Mount Dandenong home next week.

Race against time … Jodie Hughes and fiance Jon Bott

Race against time … Jodie Hughes and fiance Jon Bott

She was due to fly to Melbourne tomorrow, in time to meet the priest, arrange the flowers and carry out last-minute wedding preparations.

But the couple are among the hundreds of thousands of travellers whose well-laid plans have been shattered by the huge cloud of volcanic ash that continues to paralyse air travel across much of Europe.

Before they even walk down the aisle, their vows of “in good times and in bad” are being put to the test.

“What else can you do? If nothing else it’s going to be a memorable wedding,” Ms Hughes said.

“When air travel was shut down on Thursday I thought they can’t possibly close the flights throughout Europe for more than a day or two.

“But as it went on, I thought there’s no way I could have predicted this.”

Ms Hughes, who works in nuclear medicine, said she was due to fly out of London on Tuesday morning with one of her bridesmaids, while Mr Bott, 35, was scheduled to leave on Friday ahead of their May 1 nuptials.

Now it appears likely her flight, like thousands of others, will be cancelled.

Making the situation worse is the fact that other stranded travellers will be fighting for limited seats on rescheduled flights in the coming week.

She is now trawling the internet for possible flights to Australia from Italy or Spain.

“If there was something I could be doing I’d feel much better, but if I book train tickets to Rome or something, and they’re not very common at the moment, there’s no guarantee that that airport would be open by the time I got there,” she said.

Despite the setback, Ms Hughes remains upbeat. After all, she has waited patiently for her wedding day since the couple started dating nearly six years ago.

“He proposed in a little place in Scotland called Dry Island. He had been given a deadline though,” she said.

“We’d been going out for a long time, we’d been living together for a while, and I said ‘are you really serious?’

“He did eventually propose. He’s a lovely guy and I’m just hoping that we can get the wedding that we want.”