Wedding survives fire| photos

Wedding couple celebrate despite fire at City Memorial Bowls Club


A fire failed to dampen Jodie and Jason Smith’s wedding day.


A fire failed to dampen Jodie and Jason Smith’s wedding day.

The couple was forced to make a last-minute venue change after a blaze broke out in the Warrnambool’s City Memorial Bowls Club kitchen on Saturday morning. 

The Carmichael Room tables were all set, ready for their reception, when functions co-ordinator Tanya McGowan rang Mrs Smith.

“I thought what’s she ringing for?” Mrs Smith said. “Tanya said are you sitting down? I was like ‘why?’ and she told me. I think I burst into tears and said ‘this wasn’t meant to happen’. I’ve been pretty cruisey about the whole thing and I was like ‘oh no what do I do?’.”

Luckily for the couple, a team from the bowls club swung into action and within a couple of hours they had secured the Mid City for the reception. The vases of flowers, chair covers and sashes were transported, along with the food the chefs had prepared for the 100 guests. 

The chefs and function team moved to the Mid City along with a group of waitresses and two bar staff who worked with the Mid City waiters. “I knew they were moving everything about 8am and by about 11am they were saying it was all organised,” Mrs Smith said. 

She said while it was a “bit of a shock” there was nothing she could do and being a chef herself understood things didn’t always go to plan

“I knew that Tanya and Sue (Swayn from Functions 2 Flowers) and the guys were there (and) I thought there’s nothing I can do and I knew they would do the best they could do. It was perfect from then. I was telling the hairdresser and she said ‘I’ve heard lots of stories but this one takes the cake. I’ve had people who’ve had family members pass away and all other sorts of stories but never a fire at the reception venue’.” 

Bowls club general manager Julie Dosser said they didn’t want the fire to impact their day. “The poor bride didn’t need to be worried about not having a venue,” Ms Dosser said. “We did try a couple of other places and we couldn’t get them in but we were lucky enough to get the Mid City which was great. In the end it all worked out well.”

She said it was a great example of working together and praised bistro operators Tanya and Mick McGowan, and the staff for their work, and thanked the Mid City for taking on the function.

The story Wedding survives fire| photos first appeared on The Standard.


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