Staff at a wedding venue in Gower have been praised for coming to the aid of a bride and groom who were to be married at a nearby venue which caught fire this morning. Fire crews were called to Ocean View Windmill Farm, a wedding venue in Llanridian, at 5.37am on Friday and quickly asked members of the public to avoid the area and keep their doors and windows closed.
As firefighters battled the blaze, the venue was evacuated – and a couple who were due to marry at the venue this morning were told their wedding could no longer take place. Incredibly, staff at nearby wedding venue Oldwalls Gower were quick to offer to host the couple’s big day – and arranged for the same registrars, the same meal and all 93 guests to attend. For the latest updates on the fire, follow our live coverage here.
The beloved couple tied the knot at 11am on Friday and the groom and wedding party praised the staff for ‘saving the day’. For more stories from Gower, visit this page of our website.
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Groom Mark Bernard spoke to WalesOnline as he made his way to Oldwalls Gower ahead of the 11am ceremony. “At 7 a.m. this morning, everything was turned off! It was a feeling of great sadness,” he said. “It was just me – Lowri [my wife] was at his parents’ house – and I woke up and had breakfast and got a call that the place had burned down.
“From then on it was off. Within an hour phone calls were flying everywhere and all of a sudden we were going to Oldwalls. We were set up in a great location, they brought us here and achieved something incredible! Let’s have this wedding!”
Usher Regan Craig previously said: “We were told about the fire around 7am and we were moved to Oldwalls. They saved the day, they’ll have the wedding with 90-100 guests. Everything stayed the same [guests, registrar etc].”
More than 60 Oldwalls Gower staff have canceled their days off and annual leave and sprung into action to help save Mark and Lowri’s wedding day. You can get the latest stories from Swansea straight to your inbox with our newsletter.
In a statement released just before the wedding, Oldwalls Gower Chief Commercial Officer Shakira Obaid said: “When we heard the news this morning we were disgusted with Ocean View and know first hand the devastation the fire would cause coincidentally we went through this in 2014.
“We quickly sprang into action when the bride’s makeup artist, Farhana Ali, contacted us via Facebook asking for our help at dawn. Turns out the bride’s father is actually our hair broker. insurance and a friend of Oldwalls, called us immediately to let him know that Oldwalls was available and that we were stepping in to deliver on the big day.
“Our events team were due to be on leave so an SOS message was sent to all staff as we couldn’t make it happen without the team. Over 60 of them got back to us within the hour to volunteering to work what we are We even recruited the team from our partner site, the Fairyhill gardening team helped organize the outdoor ceremony this morning!
“We are literally about to welcome over 90 wedding guests and the ceremony will take place outside at 11 a.m. – at least the weather has been on the couple’s side. We have done our best to replicate any the day to minimize disruption to the bride and groom.
“Our chefs managed to get the roast pork, table favors, centerpieces and welcome signs etc. were all collectable from Ocean View which is a huge relief for the bride. everything to make today magical for Lowri, Mark and their guests.”