Bundy bride walks down the aisle come hell or flood water
A BUNDABERG bride will walk down the aisle today despite the devastating floods doing everything possible to wash away her fairytale Valentine's Day dream.
As bride-to-be Casey Franks helped clean up the East Sports Club after the floods, she realised the waterlogged reception venue would never be ready in time to host her special day.
The raging floodwaters also caused substantial damage to the Botanic Gardens, where she and her groom Steven Fletcher were to tie the knot.
But community spirit and the generosity of strangers has helped get her wedding plans back on track.
And today Ms Franks and Mr Fletcher will marry in the community gardens at The Salvation Army Tom Quinn Community Centre.
"I had everything all organised and then the floods destroyed the botanic gardens where we had the ceremony booked as well as the East Sports Club, where the reception was meant to be," she said.
"I really didn't think it would be able to go ahead when I saw how badly everything was damaged.
"My dreams were shattered."
But when Ms Franks sister mentioned the couple's situation to her boss in Gladstone, a generous donation of $1000 was the start of something very special - and numerous businesses began pitching in to help make their dream a reality.
Younique Pathways in Gladstone were the first to lend a hand and the money allowed Ms Franks to purchase a new wedding dress after it was also destroyed in the floods.
"My wedding dress was at a dressmaker's house in North Bundaberg," she said.
Ms Franks said from there the community spirit snowballed as more people offered to help.
"The Met Hotel donated the venue for the reception and the Tom Quinn Community Centre allowed us to use their garden for the ceremony at short notice," she said.
"Usually you have to give a month's notice but given the circumstances they said they were more than happy to help out.
"Picture Perfect also offered to help organise all the decorations free of charge."
Ms Franks said she has been overwhelmed by the generosity.
"The whole thing has been like a fairytale - I just can't believe it," she said.
"The wedding is going to be so fantastic and we'll have so much fun.
"This has been the best gift I could imagine."
Mr Fletcher is also blown away by the support from the community.
"I didn't know people could be so generous," he said.
"I really didn't think it was going to happen and it wouldn't have without everyone's help.
"It's been such a great surprise."