Wedding interrupted: B.C. wildfire forced newlyweds and guests to scramble - InfoNews

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Wedding interrupted: B.C. wildfire forced newlyweds and guests to scramble

Ashley and Shawn Hanna are pictured in this submitted photo after they tied the knot in Lake Country on Saturday, July 15, 2017. The Okanagan Centre wildfire forced the evacuation of the newlyweds and their 80 guests just as they were sitting down for dinner.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Ashley Hanna
July 19, 2017 - 6:30 PM

LAKE COUNTRY - Most brides are prepared for something to go wrong on the day of their wedding, but having your entire wedding party evacuated due to a wildfire is not one of them.

That's exactly what happened to Ashley and Shawn Hanna when the Okanagan Centre wildfire fire interrupted their wedding reception at the Lake Country Community Hall on Saturday, July 15.

Ashley says it was a perfect day for a wedding, a warm summer’s day with a light breeze to keep you cool.

After their ceremony, the couple were taking photo's by Okanagan Lake when they noticed a “big plume of black smoke coming from the mountainside.”

“It was quite surreal getting photos taken while we were hearing sirens,” Ashley says.

Although the Hanna’s were a bit concerned, they didn’t think much of it and the day went on as planned.

It was only around 6 p.m., when guests started taking the first few bites of their meal, an RCMP officer told the newlyweds and their 80 guests to evacuate.

“It was amazing, everyone grabbed a couple of vases, a couple of gifts and packed up their cars,” Ashley says. “Everyone worked together to save the day.”

They picked up and moved from the Community Hall to the home of two wedding guests. Everything from the food, to the drinks, to the music — and most of the guests — relocated roughly 10 minutes down the road to continue the celebration.

“You expect hiccups to happen on your wedding day, but I think I was just so happy to be able to have had my ceremony go so perfectly that I didn’t mind what happened after,” Ashley says. “I was just happy to be marrying my best friend.”

Ashley is keeping everything in perspective.

“In the grand scheme of things our wedding was one day, but the people who lost their homes that night have to deal with it daily now, they’re the ones that I feel for.”

Ashley and her husband Shawn are now enjoying their honeymoon in Naramata.

“It’s definitely a day we’ll never forget - if we can survive this, we can survive marriage.”


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Hickman or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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