COME RAIN OR SHINE: Leonie van Jaarsveld and Warwick Beetge did not allow the flooding to get them down on their wedding day, and even managed to have a few outside wedding photos Picture: MAUNEEN CHARTER
TRUE love will always find a way, and this was certainly the experience of Port Alfred residents Leonie van Jaarsveld and Warwick Beetge, who chose to get married on Saturday October 20, the worst day of flooding in Ndlambe in living memory.
With the rain coming down in sheets, nothing was going to spoil their wedding day, of that Leonie was certain.
The couple, who have been together for eight years, decided to finally tie the knot. Leonie organised to rent a wedding dress for her special day, and had booked the River Church on Albany Road for the ceremony. The reception was to take place at the Port Alfred Ski-boat Club. Everything was planned to the letter, but then the rain began.
Leonie booked into the Halyards Hotel to get ready for the 2.30pm ceremony. She had her hair, nails and makeup done and had put on her dress, all the time looking out of her hotel window as the rain beat down.
They had to navigate through water streaming down the streets, but she and her entourage managed to make it to the church on time.
Although the ceremony was delayed until 2.50pm to get a few leaks in the church’s roof sorted out and for more guests to arrive, Leonie and Warwick finally became Mr and Mrs Beetge just after 3pm.
When it came time for the wedding photographs, the couple decided they could not return to the Halyards as it appeared more like a dam waiting to burst. They considered some of Port Alfred’s beaches but, due to the weather, it became clear this was no longer an option.
Undeterred, the couple turned to their next choice at the old Port Alfred railway station, only to discover the station, along with the length of Pascoe Crescent, was virtually under water.
Enterprising as always, Leonie made a phone call to My Pond Hotel who said they would be delighted for the wedding party to have photographs taken there. But they should have realised that, on this particular day, nothing was going to go according to plan.
Earlier that day Van der Riet Street, where My Pond is located, had also fallen foul of the flooding, and had been closed to traffic.
“So we took photographs in the church and then more at the reception at the Ski-boat Club,” said Leonie.
There they met up with many of the guests who had not been able to attend the wedding ceremony.
Asked if she had been concerned by all the problems the rain had caused, Leonie answered she had not been worried.
“To be honest, it was quite a nice experience,” she told TotT.
The Beetge’s did not have a honeymoon, but will take time out later to relax and reflect on their special day.
For tenacity, putting on a brave face and staying positive, even during such a trying time, TotT wishes the couple every success in the years to come.