Usually, when you think wedding crashers, you envision uninvited guests hoping to score some free cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. However, as rowdy as such pests can be, they’re nothing in nuisance value compared to the “100-year floodwaters” that recently crashed a wedding in New South Wales.

All photographs by Amanda Hibbard

Kate Fotheringham and Wayne Bell were set to wed on a Saturday in March this year, but Mother Nature decided to throw a huge spanner in the works. The night before the nuptials, she R.S.V.P.’d using an epic deluge that left much of the town of Wingham where Fotheringham’s family live at least partially submerged.

With the only bridge between Fotheringham’s home and the wedding place impassable—and together with the bride and groom trapped on separate sides of the split —it looked as if the ceremony would have to be postponed.

Miraculously, however, despite the soggy circumstances, the determined pair succeeded in tying the knot on their appointed day.

“It took three months to plan the wedding, 12 hours for it go to hell and six hours for it come together again,” Fotheringham told The Guardian.

“ I’d accepted the fact it was going to be raining and I had been wearing gumboots, but I didn’t know how I was going to take care of a one-in-a-hundred-year flooding and a natural disaster. ”

All photographs by Amanda Hibbard

After some frantic social media posting, the couple managed to snag a helicopter from a local TV channel to ferry the bride and her family across the swollen waters.

In less than one hour, Fotheringham, her team, and her wedding gown were safely on their way, but when they touched down on the other side, there were still hurdles to overcome.

Fortunately, most of the guests had camped out near the dress. Alas, the caterer, makeup artists, and wedding singer were sidelined by the storm. Due to a reverse situation where a secretary and hairdresser due for weddings throughout the bridge were instead stuck in town, those foundations were fortuitously covered.

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Other than the women in the bridal party having to do their own makeup, the service went off as planned.

Only 15 minutes behind schedule, the couple was formally hitched. With nowhere to go, the reception turned into something of a celebratory marathon, continuing into the next day.

While the new Mrs. Bell admits the situation was so far-fetched as to be almost beyond belief, she credits her kin’s wherewithal for making what could have been a tragedy into a triumph instead. I cant believe that we pulled it off, she told The Guardian. “My family is incredible. We’re not ones to back down from something difficult, we could manage a challenge—or 10. ”

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Perhaps the courageous couple should have shifted their vows to read, “And what God has joined together, let no flooding set asunder”?

(WATCH the movie about the remarkable wedding below.)

North Carolina-based author Judy Cole has a new murder mystery / rom-com debuting for Kindle at Amazon: And Jilly Came Tumbling After (from Red Sky Presents ).

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