Storm crashing P.E.I. weddings planned for the weekend

As it became clear that Hurricane Dorian would arrive on P.E.I. Saturday, two P.E.I. brides-to-be faced a difficult decision.

'I thought he was absolutely insane'

Nick van Ouwerkerk and Rebecca Dawson will be married on Friday, instead of Saturday. (Nathan Rochford)

As it became clear that Hurricane Dorian would arrive on P.E.I. Saturday, two P.E.I. brides-to-be faced a difficult decision.

"Up until yesterday we weren't sure if it was really going to hit and how bad it was going to be," said Rebecca Dawson. She and Nick van Ouwerkerk were scheduled to be married Saturday afternoon.

"We put it off as far as we could and then yesterday morning we had to pull the trigger and change it altogether."

Dorian is not expected to still be a hurricane when it comes to P.E.I. Saturday afternoon, but the winds of 50 km/h with gusts to 100 and as much as 100 millimetres of rain are not ideal for a wedding, and impossible for the plan to be outdoors under a tent.

Katie Wakelin was facing the same decision. She and her fiancé, Justin Pollard, made their decision to change the date Wednesday.

"I was actually sitting down for a relaxing meal with just my mother when Justin called me and said, 'How about we switch the wedding?' And I thought he was absolutely insane," said Wakelin.

Frantic phone calls

Both Dawson and Wakelin had backup plans in case of bad weather, but neither wanted to be married in a hall. They both decided to move their weddings to Friday.

"My poor mom didn't really know what was going on until she got home and everyone was decorating the tent in her backyard," said Dawson.

Wednesday was the most stressful day.— Rebecca Dawson

There were frantic phone calls to caterers, the tent provider, hair stylists, photographers, and, of course, guests.

Many of the guests were already on the Island and ready to go. Dawson had to find a new caterer, Wakelin had to find a new hair stylist, but both were surprised at how easily they were able to make the shift.

"Wednesday was the most stressful day, not knowing what was going to happen," said Dawson, of the time she spent watching the forecast and wondering what she was going to do.

"Wednesday was 100 times more stressful than yesterday, once we had a plan in place and started making phone calls."

With the storm not expected to start in earnest until Saturday afternoon, both weddings should have time to have everything cleared away, and for the happy couples to begin to settle into married life.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Island Morning and Sarah MacMillan


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