— There are wedding disasters, and then there are wedding disasters. In the first (and more typical) category, a bride or groom might botch the wedding vows or flub a dance move. But in the DEFCON 1 category, the entire wedding venue — including the food, cake, decorations, flowers and gifts — can become engulfed in flames.
That happened to Michael and Nancy Rogers, a Canadian couple who had meticulously planned their wedding at a popular seaside resort on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. On Saturday, less than an hour before the ceremony was to begin in a main lodge on the resort property, the bride-to-be learned that the lodge was on fire.
“You kept hearing the sirens of the fire trucks in the background, so we were thinking that at any minute they’d have things under control,” Nancy Rogers, 32, told Canada’s National Post. “It wasn’t until we had another knock on the door and the police were there to evacuate us that we went: Uh-oh.”
Despite the chaos from the fire, the staff of the 83-year-old White Point Beach Resort helped relocate the bride, groom and their 45 guests to a different resort building so the wedding could go on. As the Rogers said their vows, firefighters fought the blaze at the main lodge.
“We decided that the most important thing was that we wanted to get married, and we were only an hour late,” Nancy Rogers told The Canadian Press.
The Rogers didn’t find out how destructive the fire was until their wedding ceremony was over. That’s when they learned their gifts, flowers, cake and other carefully planned wedding details were gone.
“It was completely engulfed and everything was up in flames,” Nancy Rogers told The Canadian Press. “We lost all of that stuff, but that’s not important to us. We got the most important things.”
Among the most important things: The way Michael Rogers got choked up when he first saw Nancy in her striking fuchsia wedding dress and white cape.
The resort staff even made arrangements for the couple to have a wedding reception with food at a local inn after the ceremony, and the Rogers accumulated a wealth of memorable photos from their fiery wedding. (No one was hurt in the fire, which began in the resort’s basement. Fire officials are still searching for an exact cause, but they said they do not think the fire was set deliberately.)
In one stand-out photo that is pictured with this story, wedding photographer Nicholas Augustus captured the couple with the lodge burning wildly in the background.
“We will display it,” Nancy Rogers told the National Post. “No matter how the day turned out, we just wanted to embrace it all. We’ve also got a picture of us beside a lake, on a beautiful wooden bench, and a picture of us in front of a fire truck.”