Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Hurricane Matthew Couldn't Keep Wedding from Happening

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Hurricane Matthew Couldn't Keep Wedding from Happening

Article excerpt

Byline: Robyn Brody

Heidi Hull first met Daven Brier many years ago through mutual friends while they were all out together at some beach night spots.

Five years later, they recognized each other while both were attending Celebration Church. From there, they exchanged Facebook messages and it did not take long for them to fall in love.

Heidi was immediately enamored with Daven's beautiful smile and then found he had a sincere personality to match.

"He has a big heart and he loves to help people. He is very smart and very patient with me," Heidi said.

Daven felt so strongly that Heidi was the one with whom he could spend the rest of his life, "for a long time I said I wouldn't get married, but I met Heidi and my views changed."

In October 2015, Daven and Heidi planned a dinner with friends at Black Sheep in the Five Points area. While waiting for their table, they walked over to nearby Memorial Park. Heidi wondered why Daven was sweating and seemed so nervous. It all became clear when he got on one knee and proposed just as family members on both sides suddenly appeared. She said yes and they all went back to the restaurant rooftop for a big celebration just like Daven had planned.

Things did not go quite as smoothly for their Oct. 9 outdoor wedding at OakLeaf Plantation in Orange Park. And it was all because of one uninvited guest. Hurricane Matthew was definitely the wedding crasher of the worst kind. Days before, some of the groomsmen and bridesmaids had to evacuate and many guests had their flights canceled. It was so bad that a tree fell on her mother's home where they were keeping the wedding decorations. She also lost power, so the wedding cake pops all melted, ruining their dessert. The earrings she expected to be shipped never arrived because of the hazardous weather.

"We didn't even know if we would have the wedding," Heidi recalled.

Were all their vendors still available? They didn't know because there was no communication. There was one other major issue: The storm kept them from picking up their marriage license at the courthouse. Still, somehow they managed to get through it all. …

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