An Auckland couple almost had to call off the dream Waiheke wedding they'd spent a year planning after 55 of their 70 guests - including the father of the bride and the groom's parents - were nearly stranded on the mainland by stormy seas.
Natasha Guise, 39, and Rob Macmillan, 35, were set to marry under a pohutukawa tree on a hill at the island's oldest vineyard, Goldie Estate, at 4.30pm on Friday - smack bang in the middle of this week's big storm.
On the morning of the big day they woke to "horrendous" gales and rain - and five hours before their ceremony was supposed to start discovered the severe storm that was thrashing the upper North Island had led to ferry sailings being cancelled.
While the couple, their 16 month old daughter Chloe and their bridal party had travelled to the island the day before, most of their guests, their photographer and musicians were scheduled to arrive just hours before the ceremony.
About 11am their photographer called to say the ferry she was on had been forced to turn back to Auckland after arriving at the island's Matiatia terminal because 4m swells made it too dangerous to dock.
The band they'd hired was supposed to be catching the 1pm car ferry from Half Moon Bay, but that sailing had also been cancelled.
To make matters worse, the storm had cut the power to the accommodation where Guise and her bridesmaids were getting ready.
"I hadn't had breakfast, coffee or a shower so there was a little meltdown at that point," she said.
"I literally had a moment about 11ish where I burst into tears and then I rung my fiance and I was like 'oh my God I don't know if we're having a wedding today'.
"I was a bit emotional for an hour and then I was just like 'oh well we will just crack on... I can't make the weather any different' and I didn't actually care about the weather. I just wanted people there.
"I think it was just about having a moment and being stressed and then just going 'right, what does it matter?' At the end of the day all that mattered was that we got married, that's all we wanted to do."
With the power back on by 11.45am, the couple and their wedding party soldiered on with preparations.
Goldie Estate staff quickly set up at the couple's "Plan B" wet weather location - a "gorgeous" room behind the venue's cellar door that looked out at the pohutukawa - and Guise's bridesmaids and Waiheke-based make-up artist worked together to find a local photographer to shoot the pre-wedding photos.
Ferry sailings resumed about 2pm and the original photographer, band and guests all arrived in time for the evening nuptials - which continued as planned.
"The weather was pretty garbage and my dress is trashed - but we just had a fantastic day," the bride told the Herald on Sunday.
"It just didn't matter.
"All I wanted was to have my guests here. We were just thrilled [that happened]. I didn't really care about any of the other stuff.
"It's your wedding day and you want it to be perfect. But you also want it to be memorable - and it was certainly memorable."
The couple spent their wedding night on the island where they'll stay for a few more days before jetting to Fiji for their honeymoon where they plan to "do nothing".
Their celebrant Craig Bleakley, who has conducted 25 weddings, said what happened emphasised the importance of having a "Plan B, Plan C and in this case a Plan D" when organising a wedding.
"As a celebrant we're trained to deal with possible or new situations that come up. [But] this is the first time where the majority of the guests almost couldn't make it to the wedding."