A bride and groom had their special day saved after the original venue burned down on the morning of the ceremony with 60 staff members cancelling days off to help.
Groom Mark Bernard, 52, had just eaten breakfast when he got the call to say a fire had gutted the venue.
He faced having to call his wedding to Lowri Jones, 34, off with guests on their way, decorations sorted and food already booked.
Fire crews had been called to the venue in South Wales shortly after 5.30am on June 17 and with the scale of the blaze asked the public to avoid the area and nearby residents to keep their doors and windows closed, reports WalesOnline.
Ocean View Windmill Farm, on the Gower, was evacuated and the couple told their wedding couldn’t take place.
Luckily, staff at nearby wedding venue Oldwalls Gower offered to host the celebration – and arranged for the same registrars, meal and all 93 guests to attend.
More than 60 members of staff volunteered to cancel their days off and annual leave to come in to help out. Centrepieces and welcome signs were salvageable from the fire and the new venue managed to even source a hog roast.
The loved-up and very thankful couple tied the knot at 11am and the overjoyed couple and the wedding party praised staff for “saving the day”.
Groom Mar spoke to WalesOnline as he made his way into Oldwalls Gower ahead of the 11am ceremony with his 34-year-old bride.
“At 7am this morning it was all off! It was a feeling of great sadness,” he said. “It was just myself – Lowri was at her parents’ – and I woke up and had breakfast and I had a call to say the place had burnt down.
“From that moment it was off. But within an hour phone calls were flying everywhere and all of a sudden we were going to Oldwalls. We’ve been set up in a great venue, they’ve got us here and pulled off something amazing! Let’s get this wedding on!”
Usher Regan Craig said earlier: “We were told about the fire at about 7am, and we’ve been moved to Oldwalls. They’ve saved the day, they’ll be hosting the wedding with 90 to 100 guests. Everything’s remained the same [guests, registrar etc].”
Commercial director at Oldwalls Gower, Shakira Obaid, said: “When we first heard the news this morning we were gutted for Ocean View and know first-hand the devastation the fire would cause as coincidentally we went through it in 2014.
“We quickly sprang into action when the bride’s make-up artist, Farhana Ali, got in touch via Facebook to seek our help at the crack of dawn.
“It turns out the father of the bride is actually our insurance broker and a friend of Oldwalls. We called him up straight away to advise that Oldwalls was available and we would step in to deliver the big day.
“Our events team were scheduled to be off work so an SOS message went out to all staff as we couldn’t make this happen without the team. Over 60 of them got back to us within the hour to volunteer to work which we’re truly proud of.
“We even drafted in the team from our sister venue, the Fairyhill gardening team helped to set up the outdoor ceremony this morning!
“We are literally about to welcome over 90 wedding guests and the ceremony will be taking place outdoors at 11am – at least the weather has been on the couple’s side. We have tried our best to replicate the entire day to minimise disruption for the bride and groom.
“Our chefs have managed to source the hog roast, the table favours, centrepieces and welcome signs etc were all salvageable from Ocean View which is a big relief for the bride. We will be pulling out all the stops to make today magical for Lowri, Mark and their guests.”