Nova Scotia

Dorian just 'a sideshow' to this Cape Breton couple's wedding

Two Cape Breton couples made the best of Saturday's bad weather as they tied the knot just as Hurricane Dorian arrived on the island.

Jaclyn and Scott MacKenzie weren't the only ones to tie the knot in defiance of Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian made a dramatic backdrop for Jaclyn and Scott MacKenzie's wedding photos. (Applehead Studio)

They say it's good luck to have rain on your wedding day, but what about a hurricane?

Jaclyn and Scott MacKenzie will find out. They were saying "I do" just as Hurricane Dorian started to hit Cape Breton Island on Saturday.

"The hurricane was just a sideshow… to our happy beginning," said Scott MacKenzie.

Dorian approached the region as a Category 2 hurricane and made landfall near Halifax on Saturday evening as a post-tropical storm with hurricane-strength winds.

Before tying the knot, the couple headed to downtown Sydney to take a few photos, which led to some dramatic shots by videographer Jason LaFrense.

"On Charlotte Street in Sydney, it's like a wind tunnel there anyway, so when we brought them out for a couple quick shots… the veil was blowing, the umbrella was flying," he said.

LaFrense said despite the desire to have sunny skies on your wedding day, the best shots often come from overcast or dramatic skies, and that's exactly what the couple got.

Jaclyn MacKenzie agrees.

"It was a once in a lifetime experience for sure," she said. "Not too often do you get a hurricane on your wedding day. There's one point in that video where my veil is sticking completely straight up in the area and it made for a great shot and some great memories."

The couple spent the afternoon taking photos, but by the time of the 7 p.m. wedding ceremony, the storm was starting to pick up.

Backup power option: flashlights

"We were just hoping that we would still have power for the ceremony and if not, we were just going to use some flashlights," said Jaclyn MacKenzie.

"Once we were in that room, we couldn't really tell what was going on outside, we were definitely in the moment," added Scott MacKenzie.

The Sydney firefighter said a co-worker of his, Dan Bennett, was also getting married on Saturday and the two couples kept in contact throughout the day.

"They were making sure we had power because if not, they were going to invite us up to their reception so we could all have a good time together," said Scott MacKenzie. "But everything went well… and everybody got married."

Dan and Faith Bennett moved their wedding ceremony indoors to escape the hurricane. (Submitted by Dan and Faith Bennett)

Bennett said he and his wife's plans changed as they were supposed to have an outdoor wedding, but ended up at the fire hall on Grand Lake Road in Sydney. He praised their wedding photographer for getting soaked in the process of shooting their photos.

"We were laughing," said Dan Bennett. "We actually had a good time in the wind and rain."

Unfortunately, many of their colleagues were unable to attend their weddings because they were on call for the hurricane.

But Dan Bennett said that's just as well as the firefighters were already split between the two weddings.

About the Author

Brittany Wentzell

Current Affairs Reporter/Editor

Brittany Wentzell is based in Sydney, N.S., as a reporter for Information Morning Cape Breton. She has covered a wide range of issues including education, forestry and municipal government. Story ideas? Send them to brittany.wentzell@cbc.ca

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