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Storm outages nearly ruin wedding, solar power saves the day

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-26 23:48:58-04

APPLETON — Many were impacted by last weekend's weather: strong wind, heavy rain, and a lot of cleaning up left to do. For one couple, the weather turned their special day into a lot of stress, but the weather also helped it become a success.

They had planned their wedding for two years. But something most bride and grooms to be don't plan for? Severe weather, power outages, and a lot of storm damage - that's exactly what Brooke and Nick Vanderhyden had to deal with last weekend.

"We lost power where we were getting ready and we had about half of our hair done, half of our makeup done,” said Brooke.

Brooke and her bridesmaids were left to figure out how they were going to finish the rest.

"Our neighbor had a small generator. We were able to do one lamp and one small curling iron, so we were able to finish that,” she said.

And they used light from their iPhones to do their makeup.

"And then we were like, ‘Oh we'll just go get dressed at the church, no problem’,” said Brooke. “And then we got word that the church didn't have power, and we were like, ‘oh man, what are we going to do?’"

They moved their ceremony to a church down the road, not realizing the extent of power outages in the area.

"Finally, somebody was like oh you know Appleton, most of Appleton doesn't have power. We were like oh no like what about Bubolz, what about the reception, what about the food, what are we going to do?"

It's thanks to Faith Technologies Microgrid at Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve that Brooke and Nick’s day turned around.

"They were like, ‘No it's fine, we have power, you know we have the microgrid, the solar energy, and so we have no problems over here,’ and everything’s going to go smoothly," said Brooke.

Steve Nieland with Faith Technologies says the microgrid stores and generates energy and can run independently from the utility grid when there's a loss of power.

"I found out about the wedding actually on Sunday and I was like oh that was awesome that we were able to keep the site up and the reception went off without a hitch here," said Nieland.

Brooke and Nick say they just rolled with the punches, as well as all their guests, turning a stormy day into a beautiful celebration.

"Everybody and coming and celebrating with us, that power was stronger than the storms in keeping that party down or keeping that celebration down," said Brooke.

They were grateful for picking a place that could power through a storm.