Diaries Magazine

Love Prevails – The Wedding Will Go On!

Posted on the 22 October 2013 by Meltingmoments

On Friday my little brother married the girl of his dreams. It was a very different day than we all imagined it would be. After a year of planning, organising and fine tuning all the little details that go in to planning a wedding, it was all changed in the blink of an eye.

My story begins on the Thursday night before wedding day. My husband, also the best man, had gone to the pub with the groom and groomsman for some wedding eve drinks. After getting the twins in bed, I had been rushing around like crazy packing bags, organising everything B1 and B2 would need for a stay at my in-laws house, while doing the normal daily tasks involved when you have two and a half year twins. Finally I crashed on the lounge after most things were packed to watch a little TV and scroll through Facebook. What I saw next on my screen made me sit up and hold my breath, a post from the bride Katie. She was already up at the wedding venue, Rafferty’s resort at Lake Macquarie, with her bridesmaids and family. Her post:


With the caption: Ummmm… Fires are getting a bit close!’

I had not seen or heard any news all day. If the TV is on in our house it is on ABC2 until after the twins are in bed. I vaguely knew there were a few fires in the area but I had no idea they were so bad. I quickly switched over to the news channel and was shocked to hear the news of houses lost and could not believe the extent of the fires.

The next update I read from Katie was at 8:43pm:

‘Well we have been evacuated. Everything is in the car and we are at the meeting point. Hopefully the wind doesn’t change and it will pass.’

What came next were many messages back and forth between family and friends. None of us could believe this was happening. I nervously stalked Facebook and waited for more updates.

At 9:36pm from Katie: ‘The police have just advised that we are safe but to stay at the evacuation point until further information.’

An update from one of the bridesmaids:

The reception hall has become our evacuation center, hoping the fires pass and we can get some sleep before the wedding x Katie being Katie is still in high spirits’.

I am told at one point they were all down on the water’s edge waiting to be evacuated by boat.

Then finally at 10:34pm: ‘We are back at the accommodation but have left the car packed.’

My hubby soon got home and we discussed the events of the evening before crashing into bed. Not knowing what tomorrow would bring, but knowing we had to get going as soon as possible to get up there to Katie, after all we had the Groom!

In the morning we quickly got up to get the show on the road. While I started breakfast I checked Facebook for any more news. A new update from one of the bridesmaids earlier that morning:

4 hours sleep is all we need right? Back to the evacuation point we go!!!!

We rushed to feed and dress B1 and B2 between checking messages and Facebook posts. We threw everything in the car and dropped the twins at my in-law’s house. Then it was straight to my parent’s house. My hubby was driving up with the boys and I was jumping in the car with my parents. While driving, again on Facebook, I saw updates from the bridesmaids and my mom about a change of location and a new meeting point. Thank goodness for mobile phones and Facebook. It was our means of mass communication to all the anxious guests who would be traveling that day.

As we drove down the street we saw a very nervous looking groom standing in the middle of the road trying to get reception. We all went inside and I was told that Rafferty’s was out. They had been asked to leave and told there was not much chance of a wedding taking place there that day.

A new meeting place was decided, The Apollo International Hotel, Charlestown.

So we took off to make our way up, not knowing what we would find once we arrived. Not knowing if we would be able to get there at all due to road closures. We all listened nervously to the radio, waiting for any updates about the fire in the area.

Finally we arrived and were very pleased to find a beautiful hotel open and fully functioning.

We made our way inside to my brother and hubby to find out the latest. The ceremony would definitely be at The Apollo. It was deemed to unsafe at Rafferty’s. They would make the call at 2pm whether there was any chance of still getting back there for the reception that night.

So hubby booked a room for the boys to get ready. The hotel gave them the Bridal sweet. If Rafferty’s was decided to be out, the bride and groom would stay there that night.

I was told the ceremony area was being set up out in the garden. The hotel staff were also organising a small room where the guests could have some drinks and canapes prior to the ceremony. The chef got to work and more staff were called in. What they had thought was going to be a quiet Friday for them now consisted of a wedding!

We began to get ready. This was a sight to be seen. The mother of the groom and his three sisters were rushing like crazy to do their hair and makeup. We were in the boy’s room for a short time until the photographer arrived and we were kicked out for the boys to get ready and have ‘getting dressed’ photos. So it was into the foyer of the hotel with bags, makeup and hair straighteners in hand. We continued to get ready in the foyer, then a disabled toilet then in a small conference room. Guests were arriving. A party dress, thongs and half curled hair is a great look to be running around with in public.

The call came and Rafferty’s was deemed to unsafe for us to return at all. There was disappointment before slight relief that we knew the plan now and could all get on with it. We would have the cake and a few speeches after the ceremony at The Apollo. A reception would be planned at a later date.

Since that meant our planned, pre-paid accommodation at Rafferty’s was now out too, we all began booking rooms at The Apollo. After I was fully dressed myself, I ran around helping others finish their hair and makeup. A call came from my husband to find some food for the boys as they had had no lunch. I grabbed a few small plates piled with canapes and took them up to them.

As the planned MC for the night, I began to think about the speeches. If we were still having them we would need a microphone. The DJ! Was he still coming? I asked Luke and he said that yes he was still coming according to the bridesmaids and that he should be here. I grabbed Luke’s phone and called the lovely Susanna (bridesmaid) to find out the deal. She said yes he was on his way last she knew and should be there. I hadn’t seen him so I ran back downstairs to search fora ‘DJ looking’ person. I had a name but no idea what he looked like. I searched around with no luck and eventually the lovely staff asked if everything was alright. I explained I was looking for the DJ but couldn’t find him. They took me down to the ceremony area to help me look. I walked out through the door to see a beautifully set up ceremony area.


I am told that once the call was made that there would be no wedding at Rafferty’s the bridesmaids got on the internet and spotted The Apollo. They called them up saying that they had just seen their gazebo online and asked if there was any chance they could use it. This is where the superhuman effort from the staff at the Apollo began. They sent someone out to mow the lawn. They helped set up the ceremony area with the red carpet, chairs and chair covers.

The amazing celebrant and photographer did not hesitate to drive the extra distance to the new location.

As I came outside I saw the celebrant under the gazebo going through her things and a simply beautiful area ready and waiting for a wedding to occur. They showed me the small room they had placed the cake in and the plan at that time was that after the ceremony was over we would all stay outside for drinks and canapés, then they would bring out the cake and we would have speeches and cut the cake out on the lawn too. While discussing the plan, I noticed a larger conference room with doors also opening on to the lawn. It looked almost empty so I asked if that room was in use or if they had finished for the day. If they had finished was it possible to have the speeches and cake cutting in there? They went to confirm if the group using the room had finished. I continued to look for the DJ. I ran back up to Luke to tell him the DJ was not there. Again, I grabbed Luke’s phone and called Susanna to get his number. The bride was about to leave her mother’s house, about half an hour away. I called the DJ just as he was walking through the front door of the hotel. I took him down to the wedding spot to decide where he would set up.

I was informed by staff that the group using the conference room was now finished. Staff members were rushing left right and centre, clearing tables, packing away projectors and setting up the cake, a table full of plates and serviettes. They moved furniture and set up lovely white tablecloths. The DJ decided to set up just inside the door so he could play the music for the ceremony as well as inside later. I witnessed the speediest set up of DJ equipment I have ever seen. The best man and groomsman helped carry in speakers and cords were being plugged in with haste.

I ran back upstairs to start ushering guests down around the side of the hotel to the garden. I then stood waiting for the brides arrival. Things were falling into place. Katie’s brother arrived with the corsages and button holes, so I ran back down for these to be pinned on the groom, groomsmen, grandma of the bride and mother of the groom. Then it was back up to usher in any late arriving guests.

Finally the car pulled in and a stunning looking bride stepped out along with her gorgeous bridesmaids, followed by a second car with the rest of Katie’s family.

We made our way downstairs into the little room the lovely staff had prepared for the bride and bridesmaids to go into to, before they came outside to the eagerly awaiting groom and guests. A last minute request from the bride to make sure the best man had the rings and it was go time.

There was a collective sigh of relief and amazement as the flower girl stepped out the door.


The ceremony was perfect. We all watched as vows were spoken and rings were exchanged. After they all walked back down the aisle there were tears of joy and many hugs. We stayed outside in the garden while staff brought out trays of drinks and canapes. The photographers took lots of group shots of the bride and groom with family and friends that would normally have been taken at the reception.













We all moved inside for speeches and cake. The speeches that followed were slightly different to the ones that had been planned. Some were more light-hearted due to the relief of having made it, and some were more serious with jokes left aside due to the events of the day and previous night. There was lots of laughter and just as many tears. Next the bride and groom performed their first official duty together and cut the cake.



It was decided that the first dance and the throwing of the bouquet and garter would be left for the future reception.

The bridal party would now leave to go get some location photos done and the remaining guests could enjoy a few more drinks. The bar was upstairs but the staff once again went out of their way and offered to set up a little bar for us in the kitchen next door. They also informed me, as they knew a lot of the guests were staying there that night, that their restaurant would be opening shortly and if we wanted to have dinner at there they would start taking reservations now as it fills quiet quickly. A few guests made their own bookings and I checked with the bride and groom if they wanted to eat at the restaurant. I then gathered numbers of some family and a few close friends who wanted to have dinner so no one missed out. As I gave the numbers to Lisa, the staff member I had been dealing with, she informed me that she wasn’t sure she could sit us all together. I said that didn’t matter and that we would all just be happy to have somewhere to eat, but she went on to say that she may be able to set up a private room for us! She went off to check and came back with the nod of approval saying she had started getting it ready and that if we wanted to decorate it a bit we could go up and do so. My sisters and my best friend jumped into action and grabbed the few things we had. We took up the throw away bouquet and some vases so we could put the rest of the bouquets in once the bridal party got back. We grabbed the wishing well and a couple of photo frames and spaced them out on the table. One of my sisters even grabbed some white pebbles out of the garden in the hotel foyer and placed them around the vases. The staff were amazing rushing to set the cutlery and found us some red ribbon to tie around the bride and grooms chairs.



The bridal party returned and we all got seated inside. I asked the bride and groom to wait outside and with a big cheer we opened the doors and I announced the happy couple as they entered the room.


We had a lovely meal and it was like a mini reception in a way.


All completely worn out by the events of the day we returned to our rooms to crash into our beds. The grooms Facebook post before retiring:

Well we made it! Thank you to all who tackled the challenging conditions and were able to spend this special day with us. For the family and bridesmaids to change the venue and have the new place fitted out in the span of a few hours is unbelievable. Thank you to all the staff here at the Apollo International Resort, simply outstanding service. Mr and Mrs B are now going to sleep!

Most of us slept very soundly.

Some of us enjoyed a buffet breakfast the next day.


It was an unbelievable experience to see everyone pulling together to help make it a special day for the bride and groom. The staff at the Apollo Hotel went above and beyond anything we could have expected from them.

Luke and Katie, we’re all so happy for you both. Not only were all the family and bridal party amazing but the two of you took it in your stride and handled it all so well.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

About the author

Meltingmoments 251 shares View Blog

The Author's profile is not complete. The Author's profile is not complete.