Freak wave crashes wedding sweeping away reception and sending guests flying


Tables and chairs flew across the venue as the weather caused total chaos (Picture: Storyful)

A bride’s spirits weren’t dampened despite half her wedding being swept away by the sea.

Footage shows a monster wave suddenly crashing into the ceremony at Hulihe’e Palace in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on Saturday.

The bride and groom, and all their guests, ran for cover after the wave left them soaking wet – and the cake was feared destroyed.

Tables and chairs flew across the venue as the weather caused total chaos.

Bride Riley Carson Murphy posted on Instagram that the high surf ‘swept away half of our reception’.

‘My husband Dillon Murphy and I enjoyed a “memorable night” surrounded by the people we love,’ she added.

‘Life isn’t always predictable and I can’t wait to ride every high and every low with my new husband.’

It was later confirmed the wedding cake luckily survived the destruction.

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A wave suddenly crashed into the ceremony at Hulihe’e Palace in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on Saturday (Picture: Storyful)

Author Sara Ackerman, who grew up in Hawaii and was a guest at the wedding, caught a video of the wave.

‘It just was huge,’ she said. ‘I was filming it and then it just came over the wall and just completely annihilated all the tables and chairs.’

She said it happened about five minutes before the wedding, adding: ‘It wasn’t like a life-threatening situation by any means whatsoever.

‘It was just like, “Oh my gosh… what are we going to do? Where are we going to put the tables?”‘

The ceremony went ahead in the end and the mess was properly cleared up after the exchange of the vows.

The guests gathered waiting for the ceremony to begin shortly before the wave hit (Picture: Storyful)
Much of the wedding was swept away including tables and chairs – but the wedding cake thankfully survived (Picture: Storyful)

‘We had the ceremony and it was beautiful, having all the [sea] spray,’ she said. ‘The ocean was really wild. So it was great for the photos.’

Chris Brenchley, lead meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said the waves are the largest he’s seen ‘in several decades’.

‘Waves over 12 or 15ft, those become extremely big and really rare to have,’ he added.

He said although it’s difficult to link one-off freak weather events like this directly to climate change, Chris warned the warming planet is playing a role.

‘The most direct type of impact that we can use with climate change is the sea level rise,’ he said.

‘And now those impacts will be exacerbated whenever we have a large storm event or a high, high tide.’

Lifeguards and crews carried out 1,960 rescues on the island of Oahu alone over the weekend.

A serious injury was reported in Honolulu when a surfer suffered a cut to the back of his head.

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