Special memories: Entire wedding party ends up in a dam

2010-03-15 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Every bride-to-be worries about the possibility of rain spoiling her big day.

However, newlyweds Hoffman and Marli van der Walt never imagined they’d end up in a dam while a wedding photo was being taken.

After their wedding last week at the Dragon’s Peak resort near Winterton, the newlyweds wanted to have a group photo taken with all their guests.

A wooden deck with the majestic Drakensberg in the background was chosen.

Everyone was shuffling around, getting into place for the photo, when there was an ominous creaking sound.

“The next moment the wooden struts decided they’d had enough and broke right behind where the bride and groom were standing,” said Alet van der Walt, the groom’s sister..

Nearly all the guests, “except for a handful who were clinging to the wooden railing like monkeys”, landed in the water with a yelp.

Hubert Wentzel, the bride’s brother and also the photographer, was able to take a photo of the group as well as the mishap before jumping in to help with the rescue effort.

The mother of the bride, Hester Wentzel, sank in her wheelchair and had to be rescued quickly.

All the guests, ranging from an 11-month-old baby, to the bride’s 88-year-old grandmother, were helped from the water by bystanders.

The bridal couple are said to be honeymooning in the Namibian desert!

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