Friday, April 27, 2012

W is for Wedding Disasters

Wedding disasters interest me. Don't ask me why. In my romance novelist world of the happily ever after, I guess I just have this sick sense of humor for things that go horribly wrong.

In this case, my post will be short, because the attached Press Democrat article says it all. In the end, it wasn't really a disaster, and I'm happy to report the couple is still married, which is saying something, considering the stats.

One of my critique partners, Robin Moore, shared a YouTube video of her daughter's wedding. It went viral after they posted it, and, unfortunately, is now blocked. It came in second place in a contest, entered by some guy from Africa whom they never met. It was played on the Ellen DeGeneres show. I had it posted on my blog at the side, so I could come back and have a laugh on a day when I sorely needed it. But hey, I understand their need for privacy, and I would feel the same.

Enjoy this article on their wedding disaster. What you cannot see is a huge wave completely overtaking the bride in all her white finery, the rainy day that almost blew all their tents over, and the love that warmed everyone's hearts that day. Needless to say, this photo was taken a few seconds before the big wave. Sort of like God's blessing to them, right?

 I happen to think it was a perfect day.

Couple's Sonoma County beach wedding becomes YouTube sensation

Published: Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 2:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 2:38 p.m.
A couple’s Sonoma County beach wedding video is fast becoming a YouTube sensation, one of those everything-went-wrong, but-it-turned-out-all-right weekends capped by the bride and groom being knocked over by a rogue wave.
Bryan Solari and Kathy Moore.
The video has “gone viral,” with an estimated 500,000 hits from pirated versions on the Internet.
Jay Leno played it on The Tonight Show on Wednesday, and The Weather Channel has too. A Japanese TV show also interviewed the wedding couple, Kathy Moore and Bryan Solari, both former Sonoma County residents who live in Sacramento.
Moore, Cloverdale’s 2002 Citrus Fair Queen, is a speech and language pathologist at a Sacramento elementary school. Solari, a former Rohnert Park resident and Cardinal Newman grad, is working toward his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Sacramento State University.
They met eight years ago in a weight training class at Santa Rosa Junior College.
The Oct. 23, 2010 wedding at School House Beach, north of Bodega Bay, seemed doomed from the start, with near torrential rain and steady 35 mph winds threatening to blow down the tents.
Forget the leaky tent dripping on the bare shoulder of the bride during the ceremony, or that the groom locked the keys in the RV — while it was running.
And the wedding party even survived the arrival of the fire department and paramedics after a guest hit her head while cleaning up.
Just when it seemed like nothing else could go wrong, the newlyweds returned to the beach — skies now sunny and clear — two days later.
The idea was to have their first dance and pose for photos on the beach. Kathy’s parents, Kevin and Robin Moore of Cloverdale, were there. Mom was shooting the video.
As the camera rolled, the couple, their backs to the ocean, had one more big surprise.
A freak wave rushes in, toppling Moore in her white wedding dress into the water, along with Solari.
“Our plan was to stand near the water. My dress was already sort of damp,” Moore explained Thursday.
The intent had been to capture some flecks of ocean foam in the picture. They had been watching the waves break at what seemed a safe distance.
“It was a one in a hundred wave that comes in and takes off. It really surprised us,” she said.
Solari said he felt the oncoming water hit the back of his feet and thought “crap, this thing’s huge,” as it bowled them over.
“All I could think was “I’ve got to keep Kathy’s head above the water.’”
While it was a humorous moment, the newlyweds also are aware that sleeper waves on the Sonoma Coast have drowned unsuspecting beachgoers.
But fortune smiled on the couple. “It didn’t pull us out at all,” she said.
The dunking ruined Solari’s phone and wrenched off his oversized, new wedding ring. But their crazy luck changed again when they spotted the glint of the gold band in the wet sand.
The 6½-minute wedding highlight video captures many of the setbacks, which the good-natured pair took with a lot of laughs.
The images have the perfect accompanying soundtrack with Dinah Washington singing “(I’m going to love you, like nobody’s loved you,) Come Rain or Come Shine.”
The back-story to the video involves its worldwide distribution. The couple put it on YouTube around Valentine’s Day, basically for relatives and wedding guests to see.
But someone, apparently in Africa, uploaded the wave deluge and sent it to The Weather Channel to enter into a video contest of wild weather moments.
Solari said he spent countless hours this week tracking and trying to remove some of the unauthorized uploads of the video to various parts of the Internet, including strangely enough, its link to adult websites.
Though they’ve gotten some modest offers to sell the video rights to comedy shows, they aren’t really interested.
“Our original intent was to share with friends and family and not make any money on it,” Solari said.
The video remains a testament to when all the things go wrong for two people who actually consider themselves quite lucky.
“There’s nothing you can do to change the weather. So much of it was totally out of our control. We had to laugh about it and look at it like the glass half-full,” said Moore. “I’m glad we got our extreme beach wedding and I’m happy to be married.”


  1. That is great! Too bad the video was pulled. I would have loved to see it! It takes a calm lady to not have a freak-out melt down amidst all that chaos! Good for her!

    1. It was too bad, but boy did I have some laughs. Robin is still my critique partner. If I'm somehow able to get a copy to be able to share with a select few, I'll see if I can carefully pass it along. Stay tuned!

  2. I may have seen the video before. The article says it all. We had rain, claps of thunder and then rain at our wedding. Our guests humored us and sat in the rain so we could get married at the lake. Once we were married, the sun came out and everyone was dry by the time we walked to the reception. :)

    1. Great story, Stacy. My wedding (in a field in the wine country) was charged by a couple of horses that got out. No one hurt, even the horses!

      Hey, tried to go over to your site and "friend" you, but couldn't figure it out. Part of our job at A-Z, and I would love the same. I'm still trying to get to 100.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Hmm. I changed to the new Blogger profile/google plus. My blog is :)

    3. That worked, Stacy. I'm almost there, but either way, I'm following you now...

  3. This would have been my rotten luck. Thirty five years ago when we were married we couldn't afford a wedding s we didn't have one.

    1. Debra, I do understand that more than you know. I made my dress, and Don's shirt and then ran out of time for the pants. He wore red and white striped bell bottoms! We walked down through the trees behind a lute player. Our wedding cake was banana bread!

      My parents did a good job, even though we were into the whole hippy thing. It was lovely and heart-felt, though it was simple.

  4. What an amazing story--love the "glass-half-full" attitude throughout. I've always wondered about those couples on funniest-video shows and how they coped with disaster. In any case, this couple here has the absolute perfect mindset to deal with anything! Thanks for sharing :) New follower--you're almost at 100!

    1. I so agree with you on this attitude. Robin (bride's mother) is still my critique partner, so if there is a way to get the video to show you, I will.

      Thanks for showing up. I have friended you as well.