Thursday, May 27, 2010

Brides scramble to save their big day after flood

After months of planning and perfecting — the dress, the venue, the flowers, the cake, the music, the tablecloths, china and chairs — the wedding suddenly looked like it was going to be a complete washout — literally.
"I've been planning my wedding day for a year and five months, but really since I was 9 years old," said Delaney Gill, a Nashville bride who woke to the news that her caterer, the park where she planned the ceremony and her reception venue were all under two feet of floodwater — with just days to go before her wedding day.

"I had to plan the whole wedding again in about three days."

The early May floods not only damaged homes and businesses but also shut down wedding venues and florists, caterers, photographers and other vendors, just as the biggest matrimonial season of the year gets under way.

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Scores of brides and grooms planning to tie the knot this summer have had to scrap their original plans, and their budgets in some cases, and dive into the mad scramble to secure venues that usually book months in advance — in just a matter of weeks or days.

Popular all-inclusive venues such as the flooded Schermerhorn Symphony Hall and the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center are closed for months, leaving couples searching not only for a suitable site for their big day, but starting from scratch in hiring caterers, florists, musicians, tables, tents and other gear that had been part of a wedding package.

Flood creates 'frenzy'

"At first, it was just a complete frenzy," said Ashley King, who runs Ashley's Bridal Guide, a popular Nashville bridal blog that has served as a central information clearinghouse for brides and vendors about last-minute options since the flood.

"The day of the flood there was so much information flying on Twitter about the weddings that day — grooms were stuck on the interstate and venues were shut down and ministers went missing. Now things are a little more organized and vendors are working together to get these couples married."

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