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Vanquished by hurricane, unlikely hero saves these radio DJs’ elopement

When a tropical storm threatened to ruin a wedding, insurer Faye stepped in to save the day

By Jon Stojan

Two men take part in a wedding ceremony in Central Park
From Left to Right: Adam Geinitz, A.J. Steele and Jeremy Ortega. (Image: Provided)

Unforeseen circumstances can get in the way of a lot of things, but true love has a way of persevering. Denver radio DJs Adam Geinitz and Jeremy Ortega met more than a decade ago, and have been together for years. Their recent wedding is a story of triumph over unexpected challenges — a triumph that would not have been possible without some equally unexpected assistance.

Plans go awry

Their big day was set in stone, or so they thought. Geinitz and Ortega initially envisioned tying the knot in Italy, but the pandemic made preparations and international travel difficult. In 2021, the couple visited Puerto Rico and fell in love with the island. It seemed a change of plans was in order: San Juan, with its beautiful centuries-old architecture, would provide the backdrop for a more logistically feasible and budget-friendly elopement.

The ceremony was planned for September 2022. At the insistence of their station coworkers, the couple bought coverage from travel insurance provider Faye after booking the necessary flights and the perfect hotel. But nature had other plans …

First, Geinitz and Ortega flew from Denver to New York City knowing Puerto Rico was experiencing some tropical storms, but no severe weather seemed to be on the horizon.

A couple stand hugging on a bridge in Central Park
Jeremy and Adam (Image: Provided)

Some find truth in the old adage, ‘When it rains, it pours.’ For Geinitz and Ortega, however, the reality was much worse. A storm was not only brewing, but also threatening to spiral into something more catastrophic. In fact, while in the air, they found out their connecting flight was cancelled, and that they’d have to stay in New York City overnight.

The next day, while the couple was still in New York, a Category 4 storm named Hurricane Fiona took shape in Puerto Rico. Torrential flooding, extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure, and an island-wide power outage were among the devastating results. The president even declared a state of emergency.

Needless to say, the hotel that Geinitz and Ortega had booked was now in a no-go zone. Their second rebooked flight to San Juan was cancelled as well. And so were all outgoing flights to Puerto Rico – at least for the time being.

The couple thought they’d return to their DJ jobs that week. The wedding was off … Or was it?

Faye to the rescue

Unbelievably, when all seemed lost, the couple’s travel insurance provider was there to provide a helping hand. After their first flight was cancelled and Jeremy and Adam found themselves stuck in New York City, Faye instantly reimbursed them $200 each for the inconvenience through its digital-payment card, Faye Wallet. This was $400 for the first night alone, which the couple used to pay for their last-minute NYC hotel.

Faye repeated the feat when their second flight was cancelled. The couple was also able to claim $300 each per day, thanks to the trip-delay portion of their policy. Funds were used to pay for more weather-appropriate clothing, as fall in New York is anything but tropical Puerto Rican weather.

The assistance was certainly useful, but financial reimbursement alone could not restore the couple’s wedding plans. Feeling defeated, the couple contacted Faye to say that they had no choice but to return to Denver. It was at this point that the saga took an unpredictable turn. Faye’s customer-experience team suggested that Adam and Jeremy could get married where they were: New York City. 

Of course, last-minute changes to elopement plans pose no shortage of logistical challenges, all of which require quick solutions. For example, the process of securing a marriage licence from the city clerk in a different location than originally intended.

“Making sure Adam and Jeremy were able to go through with their big day was never a question” – Faye cofounder and CEO Elad Schaffer

But Faye’s team rose to the occasion, hitting the phones to find answers to any question that stood in the way of a New York marriage certificate. Amazingly, the certificate was obtained despite a five-month waiting list at city hall. And though Faye isn’t in the business of planning weddings, they took extraordinary measures in an extraordinary situation. 

Even more amazingly, it turned out that Faye’s head of business development, A.J. Steele, was ordained. In other words, he was in a position to officiate the wedding himself — a responsibility he was all too happy to take on.

“Making sure Adam and Jeremy were able to go through with their big day was never a question,” said Faye cofounder and CEO Elad Schaffer. “It was something we knew we had to do. Even though our business is about protecting our customers’ health and travel investments, there are things that transcend our usual responsibilities, things we’re happy to do if at all possible. This wedding was one of them.”

A group of smiling men stand by a lake in Central Park
“Even though our business is about protecting our customers’ health and travel investments, there are things that transcend our usual responsibilities” (Image: Provided)

What began as a process of financial reimbursement and assistance had officially taken what can only be described — in the best possible way — as a more personal turn.

The special day

By this point, Adam and Jeremy had been in New York City for 72 hours beyond the time at which they would have exchanged vows in Puerto Rico. Within a few short days, an unfortunate situation had reversed itself and given way to something special. After all, San Juan is beautiful, but so is the location where the wedding ceremony ultimately took place: Central Park. It was yet another arrangement made possible by Faye.

Fortunately, Adam and Jeremy were able to call upon a couple of local friends to serve as witnesses. With Steele there to guide them through the ceremony, the result was a beautiful experience for everyone involved. Geinitz and Ortega became the Geinitzes.

Now that they are back in Denver, with almost $3,000 in claims reimbursements from their travel insurance provider, Adam and Jeremy can look back on a unique whirlwind of an experience. The world has changed a lot during their years together, and even their handful of days in New York City in September 2022 included a dizzying series of ups and downs. But through it all, their love for one another remains.

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