IT WAS the day she had been planning for months, but the evening before she was due to be married to Kieran Docherty the lights went out at the Milland home of Annella Tindale.
It was Valentine’s Day and the area was battered by gale-force winds, leaving homes without power.
With no electricity, Annella called at the home of Gerry and Angela Parrot at 8.30am on Saturday.
The good neighbours in Fernhurst came to the rescue, opening their house not only to the bride, but to her bridesmaids, the bride’s mother, hairdresser and photographer.
“Angela and Gerry couldn’t have been more fantastic and looked as though they thrived on the unexpected influx of people,” said Nel.
“The hairdresser couldn’t believe how relaxed we all were, but I explained we’re all serving or ex-military and used to dealing with the unexpected.
“Quite frankly, it made the preparation more fun! It’s dull if it all goes to plan...’
Annella made it to the altar at St Margaret of Antioch, Fernhurst just 20 minutes late, where her bridegroom Kieran Michael Docherty was waiting for her.
Given away by her father Brian Tindale, the bride wore an appliquéd lace and tulle dress over chiffon with a chapel-length train, all delicately embroidered with beads, crystals and subtle sequins.
Her veil echoed the dress, with crystals, sequins and pearls, and she carried a tied bunch of aubergine calla lilies.
The bridesmaids, Sue Hinton, Claire Llewellyn, and Chloe Chambers wore aubergine dresses and also carried bunches of calla lilies.
There was a guard of honour for the bride’s arrival and when the couple left the church – all officer friends of the bride from the RAF and the Army.
Annella is a wing commander in the Royal Air Force and recently received the MBE, while Kieran is assistant headmaster at Woolmer Hill School.
The Rev Nicholas Haigh conducted the service.
During the signing of the register there was a solo, Love is Gentle, by Marie Carlin and a cello solo by Richard Wylor-Owen, accompanied by Michael Short, the organist.
The reception was held at Ramster in Chiddingfold.