Newlyweds' marquee destroyed by fierce winds in South Taranaki

Brendon and Clair Walsh

Gusts of wind tear apart wedding celebration marquee.

Newlyweds Brendon and Claire Walsh certainly had a wild wedding celebration.

But not exactly in the way the South Taranaki couple had expected.

A storm blew in during their after-party and threw their marquee into the air. 

The Walshs' marquee before the Saturday storm ripped it to shreds.
Claire and Brendon Walsh

The Walshs' marquee before the Saturday storm ripped it to shreds.

"We wanted something to remember forever, so I guess we got that," Brendon said with a laugh.

On Friday, the Walshs said "I do" on a beautiful clear Taranaki day. 

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Brendon Walsh said the wild weather made his wedding unforgettable
Claire and Brendon Walsh

Brendon Walsh said the wild weather made his wedding unforgettable

However, Saturday evening saw 120-kilometre winds that ravaged the after-party marquee at the couple's Kaponga residence.

"It just came out of nowhere," Brendon said.

Gusts of 120k wind ripped apart an after-party marquee in South Taranaki.
Claire and Brendon Walsh

Gusts of 120k wind ripped apart an after-party marquee in South Taranaki.

About 20 guests were enjoying the tent, dancing and drinking the night away.

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But then the storm came barrelling in.

"A few of the boys were a few beers deep, trying to keep the whole thing down. But a few of the boys on the poles chucked up a few metres," Brendon said. 

Kaponga newlyweds are laughing off bad weather that could have ruined their wedding.
Claire and Brendon Walsh

Kaponga newlyweds are laughing off bad weather that could have ruined their wedding.

While the men battled fierce winds, the party ran indoors for safety.

Tables and chairs flew into the air and all over the paddock, and the fire brigade was called. 

Brendon used a tractor to help tie down the damaged marquee.

And with a swift rescue of the alcohol supply and Claire's wedding dress, he said the party was saved.

"It wasn't the ending we wanted but at least we will always remember it."

The weather had blown in some summer snow atop Mount Taranaki - a sight Brendon said made the wedding that much more memorable.

"We have family who've been back and forth to Taranaki for 15 years and have never seen the mountain," he said.

"A lot got to see it with a fresh dusting of snow, which is really special."

Now the newlyweds have had a moment to reflect on Saturday night's escapades, the union will be remembered with a chuckle.

"The marquee is pretty much stuffed and a few of the poles snapped," Brendon said.

"But we're all sitting around having a laugh about it."

 - Stuff

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