Couple doesn’t let Fiona spoil wedding, already postponed by pandemic

Samantha Murphy, centre, and her wedding party prepare for her wedding a day after post-tropical storm Fiona swept through Sydney, N.S.Samantha Murphy/Handout

In the week leading up to her wedding, Samantha Murphy did that thing every bride does where she routinely checked the weather forecast for her big day. One of the worst storms to ever hit Atlantic Canada was in the forecast, expected to make landfall hours before she and her fiancé Richard Wood – both paramedics – were supposed to exchange vows.

Ms. Murphy, right, gets her makeup done by Carla Jabalee ahead of her wedding.Samantha Murphy/Handout

The couple, engaged since 2019, had already postponed their wedding once because of COVID-19 and after Saturday’s stay-at-home order was lifted, they decided to push ahead with their wedding Sunday, one day late. Mr. Wood’s family and some of the couple’s friends had flown in from Ontario earlier in the week – rescheduling was off the table.

Sydney, N.S., suffered some of the worst destruction in the province from the weekend’s storm, though members of the bridal party were among the lucky ones whose homes weren’t too badly damaged. Most in the area still didn’t have power but the couple, the majority of their 130 guests and all their vendors were determined to make the nuptials work – with a few modifications.

The caterer would prepare roast beef dinner in a facility with a generator and because their DJ was stuck in Halifax, they’d eat and dance to music from a Spotify playlist pumped through a battery-powered speaker.

“We’re going to have whatever party we can have until the battery dies on the speaker,” said Ms. Murphy on Sunday afternoon, camped out in the hallway of the local Holiday Inn where her bridal party had commandeered the one functioning electrical outlet to plug in a curling iron to do their hair and a glue gun for Ms. Murphy to prepare boutonnieres for the groomsmen.

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Their venue, a converted church, didn’t have electricity, but it allowed for an even more romantic atmosphere, Ms. Murphy said – the ceremony and dinner were to be illuminated by more than 100 candles.

Her husband-to-be is most relieved that there won’t be any power to allow for a microphone, she said.

“He was really nervous about having that many people at the wedding and it’s going to be a bit smaller now,” Ms. Murphy said. “As much as he wants to marry me, he’s like, ‘Oh, people are going to hear me talking!’”

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