Usually, when you think wedding crashers, you picture uninvited guests hoping to score some free cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. But as rowdy as such pests can be, they’re nothing in nuisance value compared to the “100-year floodwaters” that recently crashed a wedding in New South Wales.
Kate Fotheringham and Wayne Bell were set to wed on a Saturday in March this year, but Mother Nature decided to throw a huge spanner in the works. The night before the nuptials, she R.S.V.P.’d with an epic deluge that left much of the town of Wingham where Fotheringham’s family live at least partially underwater.
With the only bridge between Fotheringham’s home and the wedding venue impassable—and with the bride and groom trapped on separate sides of the divide—it looked as if the ceremony would have to be postponed.
Miraculously, however, despite the soggy circumstances, the determined pair succeeded in tying the knot on their appointed day.
“It took three months to plan the wedding, 12 hours for it go to hell and six hours for it come together again,” Fotheringham told The Guardian. “I had accepted the fact it was going to be raining and I was wearing gumboots, but I didn’t know how I was going to deal with a one-in-a-hundred-year flood and a natural disaster.”
After some frantic social media posting, the couple was able to snag a helicopter from a local TV station to ferry the bride and her family members across the swollen waters.
In less than an hour, Fotheringham, her crew, and her wedding dress were safely on their way, but when they touched down on the other side, there were still hurdles to overcome.
Fortunately, most of the guests had camped out near the groom. Unfortunately, the caterer, makeup artists, and wedding singer were sidelined by the storm. Thanks to a reverse situation where a caterer and hairdresser due for weddings across the bridge were instead stuck in town, those bases were fortuitously covered.
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Other than the women in the bridal party having to do their own makeup, the ceremony went off as planned.
Update, I made it to the church and married the love of my life! Affinity Helicopters in Port Macquarie came to the rescue and made sure we all got there. This is the bridge that blocked us from making the 5minute drive into town! What a day! #fotherbellwedding #floodwingham pic.twitter.com/u7OlsFsTjQ
— Kate Fotheringham (@KatelFog) March 22, 2021
Only 15 minutes behind schedule, the couple was officially hitched. With nowhere to go, the reception turned into something of a celebratory marathon, continuing into the next day.
While the new Mrs. Bell admits the situation was so far-fetched as to be almost beyond belief, she credits her kin’s wherewithal for making what could have been a disaster into a triumph instead. “I can’t believe that we pulled it off,” she told The Guardian. “My family is incredible. We’re not ones to back down from something difficult, we can deal with a challenge—or 10.”
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Perhaps the courageous couple should have changed their vows to read, “And what God has joined together, let no flood set asunder”?
(WATCH the video about the amazing wedding below.)
This Australian bride-to-be had to be airlifted to her wedding after her farm was left stranded by dangerous floods.
— Channel 5 News (@5_News) March 22, 2021
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