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Security at APEC conference in San Francisco ties up couple's plans to get hitched

APEC security ties up couple's plans to get hitched
APEC security ties up couple's plans to get hitched 02:43

SAN FRANCISCO — The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference — also known as APEC — has placed San Francisco in the global spotlight and while cleaning and beautification efforts have put a damper on years of negative headlines for the city,

Meanwhile, the security requirements that come with hosting dignitaries during APEC has caused a new world of chaos for residents, business owners and even a couple getting married in the security zone.

For brides Juniper Breese and Anna Schirripa, that chaos has caused headaches for their wedding that falls the Saturday after the conference ends.

"We knew about a month ago that it would likely cause some confusion. And then we really found out a couple weeks ago that it would severely impact it," Schirripa told CBS News Bay Area.

ALSO READ: More stories on the APEC Summit

They booked the University Club for their wedding months ago, nestled atop the steep California Street.

But this week, it was in the middle of one of the APEC secure zones due to its proximity to the Fairmont hotel where dignitaries — including President Joe Biden — are staying for the conference. Their venue stands surrounded by tall barricades preventing any unsanctioned vehicles from passing through.

"The University Club has rooms that our guests are staying in many of whom are flying across the country and ridesharing to the area with their luggage where do they go? Some of them can't lug their luggage uphill and currently that's the only option," Schirripa explained.

While guests won't have to deal with entering a barricaded area, they will have to make the trek up California Street as cars are only allowed at the bottom of the hill to drop guests off.

Two special guests of the wedding were spotted hauling their luggage up the steep hill — Breese's parents.

 "I'm getting my steps in and I'm going to have to work off whatever I'm going to have for dinner," said Breese's mother.

But not all participants can get to the venue by foot. One of their top concerns, the couple says, is their vendors getting to the club as well.

 "Any vehicle bigger than a minivan has to go to one of the piers to get searched by the Secret Service and sealed and locked down before it can come into the zone. And so, depending on what our truck our florist needs to use, we might need to get our flowers searched by the police," said Breese.

From the moment they heard of the inconvenience, the couple began making calls to conference and city leaders for more information. But they continue to receive mixed messages about access to the area.

In a call to the Secret Service, Schirripa explained she "heard the most harrowing voice saying 'United States Secret Service,' to which I respond 'so sorry but real quick we're getting married in Nob Hill next week.'"

"We're kind of comfortable with just wait and see we won't know until it happens," she explained.

It's optimism and flexibility they're relying on to make it down the aisle. But with these hurdles, their marriage is off to an even stronger start.

 "I think that honestly it makes me really happy that we're the ones getting married," Breese said, holding Schirripa's hands. "We've both risen to the occasion and faced this head on and we're really ready for the honeymoon airport security is going to be a breeze."

The conference formally concludes on Friday, but it remains unclear how long the barricades will remain around Nob Hill as dignitaries and diplomats slowly depart San Francisco.

Officials have said they expect the barriers to be removed by Saturday evening.

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