09/05/11 — Couple doesn't let storm stop wedding

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Couple doesn't let storm stop wedding

By Gary Popp
Published in News on September 5, 2011 1:46 PM

There is an old adage that goes, if it rains on your wedding day, you will be blessed with a long and happy marriage.

If this saying holds true, Brooke Goff and Stephen Tart, whose wedding was paid an unexpected visit by Hurricane Irene, are looking at many wonderful years together.

The young couple began planing their wedding more than 15 months before the big day, even securing the Jewel of the Waterway in Swansboro as the setting of the nuptials more than a year in advance.

What was not part of the plans was a hurricane blasting up the Atlantic seaboard causing the evacuation of many from the North Carolina coast.

The new Mrs. Tart said she was aware early on of the threat of Hurricane Irene, but the potential impact of the storm did not hit her until four days before the wedding when her mother called to confirm they would have to find a different location.

"It broke my heart," Mrs. Tart said of hearing the news from her mother. "I didn't want to accept that fact."

Over the following days, as Hurricane Irene approached, its powerful gusts were outmatched by the determination of the bride-to-be to have her wedding when she wanted it.

"We wanted to be married by Saturday, no matter what," Mrs. Tart said. "We had to leave on our honeymoon on Sunday so we wanted to make sure the wedding was taken care."

With the help of her mother, the wedding planner and a last-minute cancellation at Lane Tree Golf Club, Mrs. Tart was able to take a big sigh of relief.

"Things began falling in place, and it started to seem okay," Mrs. Tart said.

Mrs. Tart was able to have virtually everything that had been planned, including the wedding cake, photographer, disc jockey, chairs and table liners shifted to the new location in Goldsboro, where she and her husband were born and raised.

While making major plans to reschedule the wedding in half a week was not ideal, Mrs. Tart said the process gave her a chance to see how much people cared for her and her fiancÃ(c).

"We had so many friends and family calling, asking if they could help," she said. "It was pretty cool to see how many people cared."

And just a day before the wedding, the stress of planning the ceremony and hoping everything went perfect began to fade.

"It didn't matter if there were 20 people or 200 people," Mrs. Tart said. "At the end of the day, we were going to be married."

The afternoon ceremony went great, Mrs. Tart said, despite having to work around the power outage felt by many in Wayne County that Saturday.

Using three generators and plenty of candlelight, the newlyweds and all their guest celebrated into the night.

"I'm not even sure that anything would have been any different, even if we would have had power," Mrs. Tart said.

Mrs. Tart said she and her husband keep getting asked if they plan to name their firstborn Irene, and have been adamant in their response, "Definitely not!"