Real Life

My wedding day disasters

Not every bride gets to walk down the aisle twice on their wedding day, but Jessica Elliott’s repeat performance wasn’t part of her grand plan – it was just one of many mishaps that ruined her big day.

From the day of her engagement party, there were signs of the drama to come – it was raining and the music stopped for half an hour in the middle of the party.

But that was nothing compared to the list of 14 other problems which beset Christchurch couple Jessica (28) and Stuart Whitehouse’s wedding day.

Stuart (29) found that his wedding ring was too big, then it came back too small, and then it was replaced with another the couple were still unhappy with, so they had to buy a completely new one.

The couple have had to take legal action over the wedding cars. They originally paid for two but after trying to book a third and being told they couldn’t, the couple were refused a refund and had to go to another company.

Although they have won their $675 back through the Small Claims Court, a pending appeal means they still haven’t seen the money.

Then Jessica’s dream of having a church wedding went up in smoke when the Rose Chapel was damaged in the February earthquake and the service was moved to a marquee on the grounds of a homestead. Also, one of the groomsmen – a soldier – had to be replaced when he was deployed to Afghanistan.

The wedding gown had to be altered five times before it fit properly and Jessica was disappointed when the bridesmaids’ plaits were styled to fall on their left-hand side, instead of the right as requested. And when they all left the hair salon, dry liquefaction was blowing up and sticking to the hair spray in their hair.

As soon as they left for the ceremony it started to rain. So instead of a slow, graceful walk down the aisle, Jessica had to race up it.

once there, the celebrant made the call to move the whole outdoor ceremony inside the marquee. “It took half an hour to shift everything and then I had to walk up the aisle again,” Jessica says.

Unfortunately, the wind was causing clanging sounds inside the marquee, which distracted the bride so much she forgot an important line that she had to repeat – to promise to love and cherish her husband.

During the photos the train of Jessica’s dress blew into the swimming pool, almost pulling her in.

She says the reception looked promising until her dad cracked a joke, and the groom choked on his beer while laughing, projecting it across the bride’s dress.

“That was followed by two speeches, from the groom and the best man, telling our guests how I was so scary, even an earthquake and mother nature wouldn’t stand in the way of my wedding!

“The dinner was lovely but then the marquee started to flood which meant the first dance was on a wet floor which turned to mud. My dress then turned brown at the bottom and I mopped the muddy dance floor with my train.”

After all that, Jessica discovered she’d lost her pearl earrings.

Jessica admits she’s disappointed that after spending a year planning her big day, so many things went wrong.

But she doesn’t believe it’s an omen for their future together because their two months as newlyweds have been great.

“I think I was having a lucky streak and my luck just ran out. I won two competitions – a campervan trip and an adventure ride in Queenstown – then I got engaged, and no-one I knew got hurt or killed in the earthquake so I just used up all my luck. on the other hand, I’m lucky that it was able to go ahead.

“It wasn’t the perfect day that I had planned, but I think it was still perfect in that it did go ahead and everyone will remember it,” says Jessica who can laugh now about the long list of mishaps.

“It was still my special day and we would not change a thing,” she says.

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