A Nacogdoches couple is back on dry land after they watched their Estes
Park, Colorado wedding plans wash away.
Two weeks ago the state was rocked by torrential floods spanning 17 counties
and flooding more than 2,000 square miles.
Chris and Raechell Hughes planned an outdoor wedding in gorgeous Estes Park,
Colorado but just days before their special day, rain, rising rivers and washed
out roads changed their plans.
Chris' family has a cabin in Estes Park and Raechell thought it was a
beautiful place and wanted to do something different for their wedding.
"Just kind of thought of doing something different and would be
memorable," said Raechell. They both laugh and say, "We definitely
got that. It was memorable."
"When we first got there it was just kind of raining. We had no idea
that it was going to start flooding," said Raechell Hughes.
Raechell's husband-to-be and his groomsmen even arrived early for their
"So when we got to Estes, he went with his guys and I went to meet up
with my parents at their cabin that they had rented on the Big Thompson
River," said Raechell.
But as the rain kept coming down and the river started to rise their plans
to exchange vows at the historic Stanley Hotel changed.
"It rained pretty hard that night," said Raechell. "But
nothing that we thought there would be flooding or anything. Then the next
morning Chris called and said he was worried because there was flooding and to
watch the rivers and the Big Thompson."
"We look outside and the river is rising and it's like flash flood. So
it was very scary," said Raechell. "So the weather definitely started
progressing as the days got on to be worse and worse and worse."
But it just wouldn't be a change of venue. The entire wedding wardrobe was
stranded in an RV, on a mountain, inaccessible due to flooding.
"Another kind of funny catch to the story is my parents had driven an
RV down there, which was full of our wedding clothes. Clothes, my wedding
dress, our rings, his stuff, tux, everything that we could fit in there so we
wouldn't have to carry it on the plane," said Raechell. "And then the
next day that road closes, so we can't get to the RV the whole entire time
we're there. So we had no wedding dress. No clothes. no rings. No anything."
Even then Raechell said she was still optimistic.
"I'm sure this will pass over like just kind of let it get it all out
of its system and then we'll be ok," said Raechell. "So I was still
pretty positive leading up to it that it would be fine and we'd figure it out.
I was pretty certain that it probably wouldn't be outside but that we would
move it inside and I was totally fine with that."
At one point in the trip, members of the wedding party were trapped in a
Chris said, "The roads going into the house were completely washed away
and [the groomsmen] were all stuck there. All my stuff was there. I didn't have
any of my clothes. They ended up going without water and food, electricity for
a while. The eventually got out. Hiked out once the rain stopped"
And after 3 days of waiting and hoping...
"When the roads started washing away, we started to kind of realize
that there wasn't going to be a wedding," said Raechell.
"We really didn't have a plan B," said Chris. "The town
called off all weddings and eventually we got to the point where we were just
like let's just find a pastor to marry us, that way we leave married."
"We got in touch with a pastor that was located there in Estes and he
agreed to marry us the next morning," said Chris. "We just found a
place outside on the grass. They set it up. We showed up t he next morning and
the pastor married us."
The couple says they basically got married with the clothes on their backs.
Although Raechell and her mother did run into a little luck with finding a
"We happened upon the White Orchid and the lady that owned it, her
house was flooded so she had actually spent the night in her store and she was
there and she let us in. I found a dress. It didn't exactly fit perfect but it
fit good enough and she gave us a great deal on it," said Raechell.
And the couple did get to exchange wedding rings said Raechell, "His
dad, my brother and my future sister-in-law hiked up to the RV. It's a 4-mile
hike, to get our rings for our wedding day so we would actually have our rings
for the ceremony.
Although the day wasn't exactly what the Hughes' planned they say they
wouldn't change anything.
"I think it turned out great," said Raechell. "We have a
great story that we'll always remember. I think it was hard for me letting go
of not having that moment in my dress and all of that but in the end I'm kind
of happy that it happened this way."
"It worked out for the best and we're happy and we're married and we
got to go on our honeymoon and we're back here and we can laugh about it now, "said
Ultimately the couple says the day wasn't about a wedding but about their
love for each other.
"I think that it kind of tells how much we love each other and when it
comes down to it, all we wanted was to get married and to leave married. Leave
married was our goal. We didn't want to leave Estes without being
married," said Raechell.
"And they say that rain is good luck so if that's true then we should
have a lifetime, a lot of luck," said Raechell.
The newlyweds also helped out another couple whose wedding was affected by
the flooding. Raechell said none of their vendors could make it to the ceremony
so they went to a Safeway grocery store and bought flowers to make a bouquet.
Then they donated their flowers to the other couple to help make their day as
special as possible.
The couple just returned from their honeymoon in Antigua.
They are planning a reception in Nacogdoches so Raechell can wear her
dress, Chris his tux and where all their friends and family can celebrate their
Friday, August 22 2014 1:17 PM EDT2014-08-22 17:17:39 GMT
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