Fiona forces Nova Scotia brides to adjust their wedding plans
'I like to be optimistic, but I don't know,' says justice of the peace with 3 weddings Saturday
Ashley Laing thought that her wedding on Saturday would be the culmination of years of planning after losing two other ceremonies to the pandemic.
The first wedding she planned had about 100 guests, the second had about 50 guests. Both were cancelled due to COVID concerns and meant lost deposits and rescheduled makeup and hair bookings.
This time, she planned a gathering of 20 people and an outdoor ceremony on Lawrencetown Beach about 40 minutes from Halifax.
Then she heard about the storm.
"With it being cancelled twice already, I was like, 'I'm going to have something small, something simple for us to do,'" Laing said. "And now I get a hurricane."
Laing is one of the several people across Nova Scotia with weddings that might be in trouble this weekend as Hurricane Fiona travels toward the province. While some have cancelled their ceremonies, Laing, and others, have found workarounds.
"I told my mom and my sisters if the roof is blowing off the place, I'm still getting married," she said. She's now planning an indoor ceremony and reception at the restaurant where she and her fiancé had their first date.
Perris Adamski has also scrambled to change her wedding plans. She said planning for her nuptials has been underway since January 2021 and it was the wish of her fiancé to have part of the wedding outdoors.
The pair landed on an outdoor space at the Shubenacadie Tidal Bore Rafting Resort in Urbania, N.S., for the wedding and hoped the weather wouldn't be an issue. It wasn't until a phone call from a friend let her know her plans needed to change.
"My bridesmaid, she messaged me and said, 'Should I bring an umbrella for the weekend?'" Adamski said. "Then she sent me a picture of a map of the storm coming in and I was like, 'You have got to be kidding me."
She said planning her wedding had been quite routine until now. But the storm has forced some last-minute changes.
Now, both her ceremony and reception will be indoors and the sit-down dinner will include some standing room to allow her 90-some guests to fit comfortably indoors.
"We've got a solid plan," she said. "It's not going to be like what I envisioned, but, of course, we're still going to have all of our family there."
Cathy Samms, a justice of the peace, said of the three weddings she's officiating on Saturday, two of them have already brought their outdoor weddings inside.
"The third bride; she's still holding out," Samms said on Wednesday. "She's hoping she can put a tarp up and be OK in the park."
But she expects that by Saturday the third wedding will also need to move indoors.
Samms said she's never worked a weekend of weddings that coincided with a storm of this size before
"I like to be optimistic, but I don't know," she said, hoping that the storm isn't as bad as the forecast shows.
Words from a former hurricane bride
Danielle Letourneau has some advice for those who are set to have a wedding Saturday: "reschedule."
Letourneau said she got married during the first weekend of September 2019 — a day most Nova Scotians will remember for the damage left behind by one of the most destructive storms to hit the region.
Some days ahead of Hurricane Dorian, Letourneau said she was a "ball of anxiety" as her wedding date got closer. She and her fiancé were set to have their wedding at Chocolate Lake Hotel in Halifax.
But before she and her fiancé were able to walk down the aisle, the power went out.
"As soon as the power goes out, everything else is affected. You spend money on having speakers ... DJ's, special lighting, foods … and none of that gets to happen now," she said. "Thousands of dollars down the toilet."
They decided to go ahead with the wedding, which ended up being lit with natural light from outside.
In the end, she said only half of the food could be served because of power problems. As the day wore on, the couple and their guests were "kicked out" of the venue once it started to get dark.
"I didn't want to reschedule because I had family flying in from British Columbia," she said. "Looking back I really wish that I did reschedule."
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