Friends Throw Dream Wedding for Fla. Couple After Florence Crashes NC Nuptials

Katelyn French says what seemed like a disaster ended up being a blessing

Katelyn French was at a loss when her nine months of planning to be married this weekend in North Carolina's mountains was washed away by Hurricane Florence.

But then family and friends in Florida's Panhandle stepped up to give her and her fiance, Matt Parsons, a dream wedding a little closer to home.

Her aunt, April Crosby, opened up her home on a lake in Chipley, Florida, for the wedding.

French tells Panama City television station WMBB that her aunt told her not to worry since the wedding was going to be "fabulous."

Friends and family set up benches in front of the backyard lake, strung lights from trees and folded cloth napkins in preparation for Saturday's nuptials.

French says what seemed like a disaster ended up being a blessing.

And she is not alone. 

Texans Brendan McLean and Allison Miller were planning on exchanging vows Friday in Charleston, South Carolina. But with the "Southern Charm" city in the hurricane's path, Charleston was under a mandatory evacuation order. 

Miller and McLean were forced to give up their dream wedding on a plantation and scrambled to plan one closer to home in Plano. 

With the help of family, friends and even Mavericks owner Marc Cuban, who donated the catering, they were able to pull together a new wedding in just five days.

"We've been so overwhelmed by disappointment in the beginning, but then, the love and support of people, just sort of this outpouring from everywhere," McLean said.

A day after blowing ashore with 90 mph (145 kph) winds, a weakened Florence slowed to a crawl over the Carolinas, and the storm's relentless rains fueled fears of devastating inland flooding in the next few days.

More than 2 feet (60 centimeters) of rain had fallen in places, swelling rivers toward record levels, and forecasters say there could be an additional 1½ feet (45 centimeters) before Sunday is out.

Adriana Ruggiero and David Robinson decided earlier this year to wed in Wilmington, North Carolina, where her fiancé has familial roots. But the venue they chose to celebrate their wedding day is along the edge of the Cape Fear River, which is projected to overrun its banks and flood cities and towns.

While the couple say they don't have a backup plan to salvage their wedding if flooding prevents them from marrying in Wilmington, Ruggiero told NBC San Diego that for now they are focusing on praying for people impacted by Florence.

“The most important part that we have been praying for is that no one gets hurt,” Adriana said. “Of course we want to have our wedding, but we are also aware that there are other things around this situation that are even bigger than our wedding."

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