ST. STEPHEN, N.B. — Post-tropical storm Lee may have thrown a wrench into Sarah and Dave Roy's wedding plans, but the newlyweds feel the upheaval it caused on their big day is nothing but a positive sign for their future life together.
While rain came down in sheets and wind roared in gusts late afternoon Saturday in St. Stephen, N.B., the couple said "I do" in front of about 130 friends and family at the Garcelon Civic Centre.
Attendees laughed, cried and sighed as the couple exchanged vows under an arch decked in blooms of green, white and brown. Those vows included a promise from the groom to keep a "never-ending supply of wonton soup stocked for the rest of our lives" and a pledge from the bride to let her husband "win a game of crib every once in a while."
After successfully adjusting their original wedding plans and tying the knot in the midst of a raging storm, the Roys said they now feel confident they can handle anything married life throws at them.
"The only thing is at the end of the day I get to marry Dave, so doesn't matter where I am," Sarah Roy said in an interview. "The people who were going to be there are here with me. We all get to enjoy it no matter where we are. At the end of the day, I'm going to be Mrs. Roy."
Planning complications arose long before post-tropical storm Lee even formed, with Sarah Roy being forced to abandon her dream venue as it was due to be sold.
Plan B, in place until four days before the wedding, would have seen the couple exchange their vows at St. Stephen Wharf.
Lee scuttled that option even before roaring through Atlantic Canada on Saturday, toppling trees, drenching large areas with rain and leaving tens of thousands of people without power in New Brunswick alone. Instead, the civic centre originally intended to host only the reception became the venue for all the festivities.
Dave Roy said Lee's arrival made the wedding planning a bit more stressful, but things were working out.
"We made it this far with everyone here and everything's gone to plan so far and hopefully it continues on that way," he said. "It's working out good so far."
Sarah Roy, 26, said she "always had a crush" on her now husband since he served as her wrestling coach years ago.
But after losing touch for a couple of years, the pair reconnected at a bar in St. Andrews, N.B., in 2017.
"I knew as soon as I met him that I was going to marry him," she said.
"I ran home to my parents and I said, 'I'm going to marry this man. I don't care what it takes, I'm going to be doing this. I'm never going to give up on him.'"
She didn't, in spite of what the couple called some “crazy times.”
They got engaged in November 2021 but put marriage on hold until Sarah Roy settled in her career as a neurosurgery nurse and they welcomed their daughter, Wren.
Delaying the ceremony helped Sarah Roy achieve most elements of the storybook wedding she'd dreamed of since childhood.
She adhered to long-standing traditions, donning her late grandmother's engagement ring as "something old" to accompany her sparkly new bridal gown. A bouquet from a friend became "something borrowed," while she painted her toenails to incorporate "something blue."
The couple also honoured Dave Roy's grandmother, who loved spending time in the province's blueberry fields before her recent death, by giving guests jars of blueberry jam.
The couple said despite the venue changes and storm-related complications, they wouldn't change a thing about their wedding day.
"I think that God or a higher power has made all this happen so that it can be more special and intimate," Sarah Roy said. "Who gets to say that they got married in a hurricane?"
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 17, 2023.
Hina Alam, The Canadian Press