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More than 50 couples had booked the resort for their weddings (iStock)

 

Brides from around the Maritimes who booked their weddings at the Stanhope Beach Resort on P.E.I.'s North Shore are scrambling to make new plans after the resort burned to the ground Tuesday night.

It was always Maxine Quigley's dream to get married at the resort, but her fairy tale came crashing down as she heard the news.

"It's been a huge emotional rollercoaster. We didn't sleep very much last night. We've been planning this day for a really long time down to the smallest of details, so we were totally crushed when we saw that the resort was gone," she said.

Quigley was so distraught she took the day off work to figure out Plan B.

After calling 20 different locations on the Island she finally found another venue for her July wedding.

"We're very lucky to have found something else."

Stanhope Beach Resort owner Danny Murphy says his first priority after a fire destroyed the historic inn Tuesday is to help couples that planned wedding receptions there.

Murphy said more than 50 couples had booked the resort for their weddings.

"I feel really, really bad for them because they had picked Stanhope to start their life together," said Murphy.

"That's not going to happen, so we're going to work hard with them too today to get that all settled."

Murphy said he is also working to find jobs within his organization for resort employees. He's not sure at this point if he will rebuild.

Help free of charge

Nova Scotia wedding planners say they sympathize with Stanhope Beach Resort. In 2011, Whitepoint Beach Resort was destroyed by fire. It took a year before the lodge re-opened.

"We just remember a lot of couples scrambling, trying to find a new location to host their weddings, and just really concerned about their guests and the integrity of their day that they had been planning for," said Katelyn Hipson with Elegant Productions.

Hipson and her team are willing to help any of the 52 couples booked at Stanhope Resort, free of charge.

Quigley said her main task right now is contacting all 175 guests who have RSVP'd.

She's decided to email, rather than send out new invitations since she said this whole fiasco is already costing her thousands of dollars.

Provincial fire marshal Dave Rossiter is continuing his investigation into the cause of the fire. Rossiter said it will likely take a few days.