Weddings hang in the balance after hundreds of passengers stranded due to Air Vanuatu collapse

Weddings hang in the balance as hundreds of stranded passengers wait for flights in Vanuatu.

The island nation's national carrier has officially been liquidated with no backup planes on the horizon.

What for many is considered the best time of their lives has for Stacie Richard's sister, become the worst.

"She's really devastated," Stacie told Newshub. "She's heartbroken and really overwhelmed. It's not something we expected."

Her sister Claire is meant to get married in Vanuatu on Monday.

"It's quite special because our parents got married there 20 years ago. It's devastating we can't be there."

Vanuatu confirmed on Friday its national carrier has filed for bankruptcy.

Ernst and Young Australia has been appointed as the voluntary liquidator, but for those with flights booked there are few options.

Flights are cancelled, and Air Vanuatu phone lines are dead.

For Kiwis and Aussies trapped on the islands themselves, another day in paradise could potentially turn into weeks.

"One of my friends has a family wedding that she's missing tomorrow, we don't think she'll get on a flight now," Sal Witchalls told Newshub.

"There's pregnant women here. There are kids everywhere that just want to get home. A couple of days ago we were saying we never want to go home, and now we're hankering for it. The trip has been beautiful, so this is not against Vanuatu, it's against an airline and some dodgy insurers."

Consumer NZ CEO Jon Duffy told Newshub it's disappointing.

"Anyone with flights booked is what's known as an unsecured creditor. Which means all the secured creditors like banks will be in front of them to get refunds."

Ernst and Young said the fleet is grounded while it performs urgent financial analysis on Air Vanuatu, saying they're trying to restore normal flight operations as soon as possible.

"The whole situation is very unusual," said independent aviation commentator Irene King.

"Generally, these issues are about financial restructuring, but the Government has clearly lost confidence in the airline."

King said the reputational damage to Vanuatu is something everyone will be concerned about.

"Air Vanuatu is 100 percent owned by the Vanuatu government with some interesting co-chair and support arrangements with Qantas," she said.

"Tourism in all of these islands is the primary income earner for most of the families there, so the impact on the national economy is extremely devastating. And it's ongoing, not just a single hit.

"There's a potential the airline will come out of the voluntary liquidation in a stronger position, but it's very strange for a government agency."

For those still stuck on the ground those reassurances, come too little too late.

"My sister spent a lot of money that she can't get back for a wedding next week," Stacie said.

"It's really heartbreaking we can't go there and spend the day with her."

Suitcases filled with wedding clothes, now with nowhere to go.