A ruined tent on Long Island.
Most brides have the fear of a disaster on their wedding day, and for many happy couples planning on getting married in storm-affected areas of the East Coast this weekend, those fears have been realized. Venues and caterers are flooded or without power, flights are cancelled, hotels are closed, transportation has ground to a halt in New York City and much of New Jersey.
The bride's best friend, wedding site The Knot, is trying to help with a web page, "Helping Brides in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy," where vendors can offer services or brides can post for help. Their stories—and heartbreaking photos like the one above of the Bridge View Yacht Club on Long Island-show just how much the post-storm chaos is affecting weddings.
PHOTOS: Scenes from Hurricane Sandy
Most of the affected brides, from hundreds of postings, seem to be either unable to get in touch with their venue, or have reached the venue only to find out that there's no power. Bride Jennifer Strauss posts: "My wedding is on Saturday in Rockland County, NY. My venue is in dire need of a generator. Most of my other vendors still seem to be on board. Any advice on the generator issue would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise, we may need to find another venue. Starting to panic."
Another bride, Melissa Ebert, posts: "My wedding is Saturday at The Green Building in Brooklyn. I am trying to be calm and positive but every phone call and email seems to be more bad news. Friends and family are not sure how they will get there with this new rule of 3 in a car. Our caterer has no power and cannot get fresh ingredients. Our photographer is stuck in California, but will hopefully get here. Our officiant and back up officiant have canceled. We are hopefully having a friend officiate. We can't get our rings as they are in downtown Manhattan. The list goes on...this week has been emotionally draining. It feels wrong to celebrate when so much devastation has occurred. Thanks for letting me vent. Hope all you other brides are holding up okay."
For many brides, the loss of the wedding comes on top of other losses. Theresa Kent, who was supposed to get married in Sea Bright, New Jersey on Nov 10th, posted looking for another venue, and wrote: "Unfortunately finances are tight as we have also lost our apartment in the storm and we have also almost paid off our entire venue balance already. We do have some money though and honestly don't need anything fancy."
So far, comments on the Knot's Facebook page imply that few portable generators are materializing, but many venues (even a few in Jersey) are posting discounts and availability for brides who can pull off a last-minute location change. Other free offerings include things from cake toppers to wedding dresses.
Overall, the tone of the board belies the "bridezilla" stereotype, with almost everyone saying that they're thrilled to be alive and safe, despite their losses. Here's to the hope that weathering a catastrophe with grace is a good sign of future happiness.
A ruined tent on Long Island.