Brent Kosling had the perfect beach wedding planned. He and his bride Krystal Vallette would become man and wife at Marmora’s Tuckahoe Inn, close to Ocean City, where he spent his childhood summers.
Friends and family from all over would join them for the ceremony and celebrate a luau afterward.
Hurricane Irene had other plans.
With the storm approaching and mandatory evacuation orders in place, the Koslings’ planned Saturday wedding took a decidedly different turn.
On Thursday evening, confronting the reality that the storm would thwart their nuptials—and faced with a “devastated” fiancé and a marriage license that would soon expire—Brent made a command decision.
“He came to me and said, ‘I have a crazy idea—let’s get married right now. Let’s get dressed, get on the beach now and let’s go!’” Krystal says.
Doubts swirled through Krystal’s mind—what about the friends and family who weren’t there? What about her dress, which she didn’t want to ruin? Who would marry them?
Just as easily, answers came: Krystal would get married in a little black dress instead. Ceremony guests included family already in town, and even Boardwalk walkers Brent’s mom Donna Kosling and sister invited spur-of-the-moment. And the officiant, Marilyn Lockwood, would meet the couple at the 17th Street beach.
“We used to have a house on 17th Street, so it was perfect,” Brent says. “At first, it took awhile to sink in that our wedding wouldn’t happen like we planned. Then it sunk in—we’re doing this, we’re getting married.”
The couple—who met at ITT Tech in Bensalem, PA, where they shared the same classes for two years—said their “I dos” on the beach, surrounded by Kosling family members already in Ocean City. The group included Brent’s brother and his family, who drove up from Fort Bragg, NC, and arrived just in time.
In a way, the Ocean City setting was perfect, says Donna Kosling. Her family has vacationed in Ocean City for generations—her aunt has owned a home since the 1950s, and the Koslings had their 17th Street home until unemployment forced the family to downsize to a one-bedroom condo on 22nd Street.
And that’s exactly where the new couple spent their wedding night: in the condo, with five small children and eight adults.
“We were all crammed in there,” Donna chuckles.
Instead of their luau at Tuckahoe Inn, the newlyweds and family had a breakfast feast at Bob’s Grill before evacuating for their home in Blooming Glen, PA. The entire extended family will ride out Irene there.
Irene’s reach didn’t stop with the ceremony, though. Brent and Krystal had planned to stay in Ocean City for a honeymoon. With those plans on hold, Brent says the couple will think about a honeymoon later.
They already have plans to celebrate their marriage with a reception on Oct. 15 at the Tuckahoe Inn—presumably with Krystal in her original white wedding gown.
Although her day didn’t go as planned, Krystal quickly went from devastated to elated.
“This is something you never expect to happen,” she says, her voice giddy as she recounts her wedding day. “At the same time, it’s the most amazing feeling.”