Weddings take a long time to plan, so when you get word that a deadly storm is on its way with 80 mph winds, you don’t cancel — you power through. That’s exactly what Stephanie and Joel Pavy did when Cyclone Marcus hit Darwin, Australia, the day before their March 18 wedding. They didn’t let a little rain stop them from tying the knot, and their persistence paid off. This Australian couple’s cyclone wedding photos came out so beautifully that you wouldn’t even know the apocalypse had basically passed through just one day before.
The couple's photographer, George Fragopoulos, tells Elite Daily that the cyclone was projected to hit Darwin at around 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, around the same time as Stephanie and Joel’s wedding ceremony, “so I wasn’t even sure we would be able to make it to photograph their wedding,” he said. Thankfully, according to The Guardian, the storm hit mid-day Saturday, March 17.
“This was definitely the worst cyclone I have been through and after hearing stories from my mum and grandparents who went through Cyclone Tracey, I was worried for my own family,” Fragopoulos said. Cyclone Tracey was another much deadlier storm that passed through Darwin on Christmas Eve in 1974. During the storm, 65 people died, and according to the Australian Broadcasting Network, 90 percent of the homes in the town were damaged or destroyed. Thankfully, Cyclone Marcus was significantly smaller, and the show went on with minimal setbacks.
“Stephanie had always remained positive and said the wedding was going ahead,” Fragopoulos says, “So after we got news that the cyclone had arrived earlier than expected and the worst of if was over by around 12:30 p.m., I was confident my family were [sic] going to be safe and I could make my way to photograph their wedding.”
And if you didn’t already think that Fragopoulos was the wedding photog of the year, he literally drove the couple around to the various photo locations, since their limo driver cancelled.
“George is an amazing photographer,” Stephanie tells Elite Daily. “After photographing my brother’s wedding two years ago and seeing my brother’s photos, I knew that I wanted George to photograph my wedding one day. I actually booked George to take our wedding photos two days after our engagement.”
According to The Guardian, Cyclone Marcus hit Darwin as a category two storm, bringing with it multiple reported blackouts, live power lines, and countless road-blocking debris and foliage (including actual trees). Not ideal conditions in which to wed, but the Pavy’s made the best of it and tried to remain positive throughout the day. Stephanie tells Elite Daily that the stress of the storm “didn’t give us a chance to feel anxious or nervous before the ceremony. We were both just so happy that everything came together and so relieved to finally be standing at the altar together.”
“There were definitely a lot of stressful and worried people around but the bridal party were [sic] amazing and stayed really positive throughout the day which really helped the bride and groom,” Fragopoulos says. Luckily, all but a few of the couple’s guests made it, which just goes to show that, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Thankfully, the couple wasn’t completely out of their element, “as we’re both outdoorsy people and the photos reflect the kind of people we are and our relationship,” Stephanie says. “We weren’t afraid to get dirty during the photo shoot and we both arrived at the reception soaked in saltwater and covered in sand.”
“It was definitely not the wedding day we planned,“ Stephanie said, “But it ended up being perfect and we wouldn’t change anything about it, if we had the chance.”
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