- 4 years ago
- Wedding: June 2013
I’d like to share my wedding story. This is a long one!
First off, I am so empathetic to the tens of thousands of people in Southern Alberta that have lost their homes and the few that have lost their lives. It has been a struggle to focus on my wedding when so many others are experiencing personal tragedies and property loss. I am very conscious of the disaster and the long term recovery that our city and many of our residents will face. While I feel a little gulity that the wedding was the focus of my day, I am glad that we were able to offer a little happiness and hope to those close to us.
Some of the damage can be seen here:
Here’s our story:
I have been planning a lovely private mountain top wedding ceremony in Canmore followed by an evening wedding reception in downtown Calgary for 8 months. My wedding was scheduled for Friday June 21.
On Thursday morning (June 20), Canmore was flooded and in a state of emergency. Bridges and highways to the area had been severely damaged and some have collapsed.
Photo from Global News:
Poor Canmore… what a beautiful little town. Luckily, they are receiving significant assistance and will bounce back soon! We had planned for wind, we had planned for rain, but nobody plans for this!
Thursday we spent the day scrambling to re-organize our wedding to be completely Calgary based. We would have our ceremony in front of our friends and family at our reception venue before dinner. Called up everyone and asked them to come an hour early. Reception venue was happy to help us organize a ceremony.
That evening, I went downtown to stay at the lovely Fairmont Palliser with my girlfriends and we were keeping an eye on Twitter all night. Calgary and many other communities nearby had also been put in a state of emergency throughout the day Thursday. Many riverside communities were being evacuated.
We remained optimistic – we were in a dry area downtown that would not be reached by flood waters. On Friday morning I called up my fiance and asked him to drive into the city to make sure there was a passable route for our guests. We found one good access from the south as many of the bridges were closed. Shortly afterwards, the power in the Downtown Core went out.
From The Calgary Herald:
Our reception venue was without power and we set a deadline of 3pm to decide whether or not to go ahead. If the power didn’t come on by 3pm, we could not move forward with our reception plan.
At noon, Global News posted on Twitter that people in the Downtown Core should prepare for a controlled evac. Well, our decision had been made for us. We tossed everything into our suitcases and got the heck out of there immediately. A few hours later, government officials ordered everyone out of the Core.
We spent the next 5 hours with the significant help of friends and family trying to organize a ceremony with a cocktail party to follow at a relative of a friends acreage at a small town south of the city.
Unbelievably, we were able to pull off a passable event in 5 hours. I am pleased to say that we had a beautiful little ceremony with almost all of our guests and were married in the presence of our nearest and dearest.
I can’t believe how much help and support came in from my dear friends and relatives. I am also floored with how much support I have seen from the community to the disaster relief efforts.
We had planned to have our reception this evening at the original location but one day late. Unfortunately the city is still in crisis and will likely not see power in the downtown core for a little while yet. Instead we will go pick up our beautiful wedding cake and dig into it with our friends and family. We are debating moving our painstakingly planned reception dinner to July after the honeymoon, but will weigh our options. We may just donate what we had expected to spend to local relief.
At the end of the day, we are married and our city is remaining strong. We have wonderful friends and family, and could not have asked for a better wedding.