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Australian couple get married, come hell or high water

SYDNEY – Ms Kate Fotheringham’s wedding plans didn’t include the natural disaster that has hit Australia, but that wasn’t going to stop the ceremony in a small town in New South Wales.

She woke on Saturday (March 20), her wedding day, to find herself trapped at her parents’ place by rising flood waters in the town of Taree.

The deluge had submerged the only bridge to the neighbouring town of Wingham, where she was due to marry her fiance, Mr Wayne Bell, at 3pm that day.

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

“I did have a bit of a meltdown – a bit of a cry – and said this just wasn’t funny any more. This just sucks. Then I think I also said, ‘We’re just going to have deal with this.’

“Today’s the day.”

The couple set about doing the impossible and planning a complex logistical operation to get the bride and her family to the venue on time.

Ms Fotheringham called out for help on social media. Soon, a local television station rang to offer a rescue, and not long after, confirmation came that a helicopter was on its way from Port Macquarie.

“Wayne rang and said you have to be ready in 50 minutes,” The Guardian quoted Ms Fotheringham as saying. The helicopter dropped them off in Wingham.

Some of the people whose services they had engaged for the wedding were stranded elsewhere. But the couple managed to find a catering company and a hairdresser in Wingham. And most of their friends and family were already in town.

Afterwards, Ms Fotheringham said the reception was “massive” and with their guests trapped in town with nowhere to go, it continued on through Sunday.

“Explaining it, it doesn’t even sound real,” she said.

“It’s like, how is this possible? You can’t make it up. I can’t believe that we pulled it off.”

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