Wedding saved after Gower venue burns down on morning of big day - thanks to local venue stepping in

Staff at nearby wedding venue Oldwalls stepped in to host Mark Bernard and Lowri Jones' celebration at the last minute. Credit: Media Wales

A bride and groom faced a worst nightmare scenario when their venue burned down on the morning of their wedding day.

Fire crews were called to Ocean View Windmill Farm, a wedding venue in Llanridian, Gower, at 5.37am on Friday (June 17).

As crews battled the blaze, the venue was evacuated - and a couple due to get married was told their wedding could no longer take place.

But fortunately, staff at nearby wedding venue Oldwalls stepped in to host Mark Bernard and Lowri Jones' celebration at the last minute - and arranged for the same registrars, catering and all 93 guests to attend.

The loved-up couple tied the knot at 11am. Credit: Media Wales

More than 60 members of staff even cancelled days off and annual leave to help out.

The couple tied the knot at 11am and praised staff for "saving the day".Groom Mark said: "At 7am this morning it was all off! It was a feeling of great sadness.

"It was just myself - Lowri was at her parents' - and I woke up and had breakfast and I had a call to say the place had burnt down."From that moment it was off. But within an hour phone calls were flying everywhere and all of a sudden we were going to Oldwalls. We’ve been set up in a great venue, they’ve got us here and pulled off something amazing!"

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Usher Regan Craig said: "We were told about the fire at about 7am, and we've been moved to Oldwalls. They've saved the day, they'll be hosting the wedding with 90 to 100 guests. Everything's remained the same [guests, registrar etc]."

Commercial director at Oldwalls Gower, Shakira Obaid, said: "When we first heard the news this morning we were gutted for Ocean View and know first-hand the devastation the fire would cause as coincidentally we went through it in 2014.

"We quickly sprang into action when the bride’s make-up artist, Farhana Ali, got in touch via Facebook to seek our help at the crack of dawn.

"It turns out the father of the bride is actually our insurance broker and a friend of Oldwalls. We called him up straight away to advise that Oldwalls was available and we would step in to deliver the big day.

"Our events team were scheduled to be off work so an SOS message went out to all staff as we couldn’t make this happen without the team.

"Over 60 of them got back to us within the hour to volunteer to work which we’re truly proud of. We even drafted in the team from our sister venue, the Fairyhill gardening team helped to set up the outdoor ceremony this morning!"