STORMY START: Nicholas and Megan McQuilty, of Lismore, after their marriage on Saturday at the badly-damaged St Andrew's Church
STORMY START: Nicholas and Megan McQuilty, of Lismore, after their marriage on Saturday at the badly-damaged St Andrew's Church

Wedding goes ahead; rain, hail or shine

By Andy Park

MEG KING booked her wedding at St Andrew's Church over a year ago. She thought it would be better to have an indoor service in case the weather turned bad.

However, Tuesday's freak hailstorm in Lismore nearly ruined all of her carefully laid plans.

"We were considering the open-air cathedral in Bexhill. Now with the hailstorm putting holes in the church roof, we've almost got an open-air cathedral anyway," she said. Meg and new husband Nicholas McQuilty had to sit tight all week, hoping the insurance assessors examining the historic church would give it the all clear and allow their special day to go ahead.

"We went down after the storm and it looked horrible. There was two inches of water on the floor; it was actually flowing through the church. It was devastating," she said.

However, the Reverend Alan Shaw, from St Andrew's, told her no matter what happened the wedding would go ahead somehow.

"He said 'rain, hail or snow, the wedding must go on. The most important thing is that you say your vows'," Meg said.

"He has been the most beautiful man this week, ringing me to ask if I was okay and giving me hugs."

The couple considered the possibility of having the wedding outside the church, but were worried more storms might interrupt proceedings.

"I thought having it under a jacaranda tree would look nice with its purple flowers, because we're wearing purple. But all the flowers were knocked off in the storm," she said.

In the end the wedding was able to go ahead inside, although one side of the church was cordoned off because of concerns about falling glass from the smashed windows above. About 100 people squeezed in for the ceremony. Meg said her mum's blood pressure went up during the week when there was some doubt over where the wedding was going to take place.

"Mum and dad are good church-going Anglicans and she really wanted me to have a church wedding," she said.



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