PICTURED: The blushing brides and gallant grooms who refuse to let Hurricane Florence ruin their big day, finding new wedding venues (and drier ground) after wind and rain blow away their dream ceremonies
- Rosie Duchelle and Dean Lally had planned to get married on the beach at the Outer Banks in North Carolina, but managed to move their wedding to Baltimore
- Ranesha Wilson and Jeffrey Springer cancelled their beach wedding and all vendors while booking new ones in Columbus, SC in just three days
- Cheryl Vaudreuil and Jayne Dabu moved their wedding date back to November rather than risk guests getting hurt at a Virginia botanic garden
- Hayley Watts and Sam Hajjar dreamed of exchanging vows in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but are back home planning a party in Tallahassee
It is going to take more than wind and rain and hail and fallen trees and gusts exceeding 100mph and falling trees and no electricity to ruin these brides big days.
Millions across North and South Carolina viewed Hurricane Florence as an unwelcome guest after she gusted onto land in the early morning hours of Friday, but few more so than the couples whose weddings had been set to take place this weekend.
These couples were not ready to give up though, and instead of tossing their arms in the air and admitting defeat they instead re-planned the perfect wedding in just a few days time.
Venues were switched, hotels rebooked, flights reverted and dining choices tossed out the window as these couples somehow managed to make their dream wedding happen against all odds.
Home sweet home: Rosie Duchelle and Dean Lally had planned to get married on the beach at the Outer Banks in North Carolina, but managed to move their wedding to Baltimore (couple above)
Tage it: There was also one other big change to make, with the couple ditching their planned hashtag, #RallyWithTheLallys, to one that reflects their new mentatlity: #LallysGoWithTheFlow
Rosie Duchelle and Dean Lally (The Baltimore Sun)
Lally and Duchelle were already in North Carolina for their wedding week when they learned that they would have to be evacuated just days before they were set to sway ‘I do.’
The couple, from Pasadena, Maryland, had dreamed of exchanging vows in the beach in the Outer Banks, but it was not to be as the hurricane drew closer to land and its path became more clear.
Lally called his sisters and told them that the party was off just as they were preparing to head down and join the couple, news that did not sit well with his siblings.
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‘We took 10 or 15 minutes to cry and process it,’ explained one of his sisters.
‘We said instead of telling them cancel, keep the date open because we’re going to work something out.’
And so, they got to work planning a second wedding, having just 48 hours this time as opposed to the two years they spent planing that first ceremony.
The couple got involved, calls were made, and after all that bride and groom along with 150 of their closest friends are all set to party the night away on Friday at The Villa in Beltsville in Baltimore.
There was also one other big change to make, with the couple ditching their planned hashtag, #RallyWithTheLallys, to one that reflects their new mentatlity: #LallysGoWithTheFlow.
They do (and will!): Ranesha Wilson and Jeffrey Springer (above) cancelled their beach wedding and all vendors while booking new ones in Columbus, SC in just three days
Best bride: Wilson said of her husband after this experience: ‘I’ve chosen to marry an amazing man and this is the person I’m supposed to be with’
Ranesha Wilson and Jeffrey Springer (10TV)
A beach wedding was also the dream, and nearly a reality for Wilson and Springer, who were forced to head for drier ground when they learned that Flo was coming to town.
They held out hope for as long as they could, but by Monday they accepted the fact that their toes would likely not be in the sand when they said ‘I do.’
And so they got to work planning a new ceremony to take place a bit further inland in Columbus.
The couple revealed that despite the stress, they have actually had great luck with their venue agreeing to refund their money and airlines working to reroute the flights of family and friends who are flying in for the big day.
This daunting task, which would no doubt end many a relationship, has only served to remind this couple of just how right they were when it came to selecting their soon-to-be partner in life.
‘We’re pretty resilient we just have to remind ourselves this is just a moment,’ said Springer.
Wilson echoed this, saying: ‘We’ll get through this I just think it’s been like tidal wave for right now.’
She then added: ‘I’ve chosen to marry an amazing man and this is the person I’m supposed to be with.’
Flower children: Cheryl Vaudreuil and Jayne Dabu (above) moved their wedding date back to November rather than risk guests getting hurt at a Virginia botanic garden
Higher power: Dabu calmed herself by praying to her late father as the couple began the task of looking into alternate dates
Cheryl Vaudreuil and Jayne Dabu (The Virginian-Party)
The Norfolk Botanic garden was just the place for Vaudreuil and Dabu to make their lifelong commitment in froint of friends and family they had decided last year when they booked the venue.
At the time however the two have no idea that an uninvited guest would tear through the party like a bitter ex, and so on September 15 the two will no longer say ‘I do’.’
It was something that seemed impossible a few weeks back, even as the storm drew closer and closer to land.
‘I started freaking out to Jayne and our wedding coordinator,’ said Vaudreuil.
‘They said,”Don’t worry, don’t worry. This stuff never hits Virginia.”‘
The Botanic Garden shut down Thursday and Friday to the public and said they would assess the damage to determine if Saturday might still be a go for the girls.
They decided to halt that however, fearing for the safety of their friends and family, and quickly rebooked a new date at the same venue.
Dabu calmed herself by praying to her late father as the couple began the task of looking into alternate dates.
They managed to snag a spot in just six weeks on November 4 – the birthday of Dabu’s dather.
Pan-handle it: Hayley Watts and Sam Hajjar (above) dreamed of exchanging vows in the Bklue Ridge Mountains, but are back home planning a party in Tallahassee
Wing woman: Watts is now ‘winging it’ to try and get the flowers, cake, music and everything else in place with just 72 hours for it all to come together
Hayley Watts and Sam Hajjar (Tallahassee Democrat)
The perfect ceremony had been planned by Watts and Hajjar, who two years after getting engaged in the Blue Ridge Mountains were set to say ‘I do’ in the sqame field.
The high winds and hail and rain that is accompanying Florence though has turned that idyllic pasture into a battlefield of fallen trees.
And so the couple is heading back south, and home, to Tallahassee, where the high school sweethearts first met.
There, surrounded by friends and family, they will take the plunge this weekend, with a whole new list of vendors and details that are still being ironed out at the very last minute.
Watts is now ‘winging it’ to try and get the flowers, cake, music and everything else in place with just 72 hours for it all to come together.
‘This is just the wildest thing I’ve ever done,’ said Watts.
‘I had my phone die three times in one day because of the amount calls I had to do.’
And friends and family are fine too, with most from the area and in no rush to head into a storm over the weekend.
‘I’m just thankful that I can be here with friends and family that can help me with everything,’ said Watts.
‘I would have literally had a mental breakdown without them — I would have eloped to Florence or something.’
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