IT began as a wedding day disaster but finished with a fairytale ending for Orange’s Holly O’Neill when she married Dan Higgins in the middle of the Queensland floods.
“Anything that could go wrong did go wrong,” said Holly.
The couple met when Holly left Orange to join the Australian Army.
The Gold Coast was pounded with torrential rain on Holly and Dan’s wedding day, but there was no thought of postponing the special day as Dan was on ten days leave before returning to Afghanistan with the armed forces.
“We planned the wedding for 12 months taking into account that Dan’s had an eight-month deployment,” said Holly.
When she woke on her wedding day and looked outside Holly said she wasn’t fazed by the rain or even the refusal of the six-year-old flower girl to put on her dress and be part of the bridal party.
As the weather deteriorated, so did the wedding plans.
The couple were to travel out to South Stradbroke Island, however when Holly arrived at Mariner’s Cove the choppy conditions didn’t auger well for the crossing.
Offered shelter inside a real estate agent’s office Holly hid under a desk (with a complimentary bottle of champagne provided by staff) as guests began arriving for transfer to the island.
Mobile phones were given a workout to find an alternative venue after the skipper of their boat ruled out the dangerous crossing.
“My wedding planner was madly trying to find somewhere for us, and even the people in the real estate office were calling around, but no-one would cater at short notice,” Holly said.
Finally Sea World Nara Resort came to the rescue of the young couple.
Holly said she will never forget the efforts of staff at the resort.
“The room and the food was beautiful and they just did everything possible so we could have our wedding.
“When I finally walked in the room was beautiful and then I looked up and saw Dan - it was such a relief,” Holly said.