NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News native Drew Holt met his fiancée, Talli Gay, on a dating app back in 2020.

“Online dating for the win!” said Gay, who is a Texas native.

When Holt proposed last Christmas, the two immediately started planning their dream wedding in Hilton Head, S.C.

“I’m a planner. I like to have backup plans for my backup plans,” she said.

But Holt and Gay never would have imagined they would need the backup plan they came up with earlier this week when the Southwest Airlines woes forced them to reroute their wedding plans.

The bride’s parents and bridesmaid were scheduled to fly in from Dallas on Thursday, just in time for the couple’s rehearsal dinner. But then the flightmare started — and the airline was canceling more than 2,000 flights per day.

“I got a text [Tuesday] from Southwest saying their flights had been canceled,” said Gay. “No other information. I still don’t know about my refunds. But I’m not really concerned about that. Southwest has some bigger fish to fry. So we started looking for other flights.”

Some of their guests were able to rebook on American Airlines.

But the bride’s family also put together a special flight — flown by none other than the bride’s father, Don Gay. Gay is a retired professional rodeo cowboy with eight world championships to his name. Now that he’s retired, he says flying is a hobby of his.

“The one and only thing I like doing other than rodeo and riding bulls, is flying airplanes,” Gay said.

“My dad is gonna fly he and my mom here in his Twin Cessna so he can walk me down the aisle on Friday,” said the bride.

“I was going to go on the airline and was just gonna relax and so she calls me all in a fluster southwest canceling the flights all in a fluster and I was like, ‘Never fear, that’s why I got an airplane,” he said.

The bridal party took off from outside Dallas on Thursday morning and landed safely Thursday afternoon. Maybe it’s the wedding bliss talking, but these two don’t have a bad word to say about the airline that caused them the last-minute stress.

“It’s just really unfortunate because Southwest is a great airline. Their employees are great. I know they pride themselves on customer service. They’re having a tough time right now, and there’s a lot of people they’re going to have to make right with. But I’m sure they will come back from this,” said Gay.

But for their honeymoon? These newlyweds will be sticking to ground transportation. They’re driving to Graceland.

“We’re driving home through Memphis. We’re gonna stop and take a picture in front of Elvis’ birth home in Tupelo,” she said.

No matter what, these lovebirds say they will be grateful just to be together and have their special day.

“I like to hope for the best. At the end of the day we’re here, we’re gonna get to get married in front of all our family and friends,” Gay said.