Obstacles can't stop wedding

17:00, Jun 21 2013
Mark Bailey and Joan Swift
READY FOR ANYTHING: Mark Bailey and Joan Swift went ahead with their wedding ceremony in Upper Hutt. Mr Bailey made sure he had a chainsaw o that fallen trees would not prevent him getting to the ceremony.

Cold feet wasn't a problem for Paekakariki man Mark Bailey ahead of his wedding day, but his journey to the altar was certainly not easy.

Mr Bailey woke in his home near the top of Paekakariki Hill Rd yesterday to find the power off, his cellphone dead, and his only access road to the outside world blocked by fallen trees.

So at a time when Mr Bailey should have been donning his waistcoat and tails, he found himself getting into slightly different attire.

"I left the house on my way to the venue wearing gumboots and a bush shirt and carrying a chainsaw to make sure I could get there," he said.

He did not end up having to cut any trees, as some of his neighbours had already popped down the hill and ploughed a path.

But he reached the wedding venue - The Lodge at the Inlet, also on Paekakariki Hill Rd - to find trees and fallen power lines had cut power and blocked the driveway.


Meanwhile, in Silverstream, his fiancee Joan Swift was dealing with her own dilemmas.

She had already been told The Lodge was unusable because of storm damage, and she was also dealing with the fact that her fiance had not made contact with her all morning. Mr Bailey eventually made it to a friend's place in Whitby and phoned Ms Swift.

By that stage it was 2pm and he learned her family had arranged a last-minute change of venue to the Lion's Club Hall in Upper Hutt.

Their Winter Wonderland-themed wedding was now going to look more like a school dance, but Mr Bailey and Ms Swift were able to see the funny side yesterday.

Ms Swift told The Dominion Post there was no point in her sitting around sobbing when she heard about the problems with her wedding venue. "I was almost expecting it after that weather. It's every bride's worst nightmare but you've got to just laugh and get on with it. It's going to be a good story to tell the grandkids some day.

"It's an old wives tale that rain on your wedding day is meant to be good luck, so if that's anything to go by then it's going to be a great marriage."

Mr Bailey said he was amazed Ms Swift's family was able to arrange a new venue at such short notice, even though their wedding last night would not be legal because the venue on their marriage licence was incorrect.

The couple plan to have a legal wedding ceremony at The Lodge in about three weeks.

The Dominion Post