One year after Tropical Storm Irene crashed Shea and Matthew Bailey's wedding, the married couple got a second chance they couldn’t believe would ever happen.
The Baileys planned their wedding for Aug. 27, 2011, in Asbury Park, the day after Gov. Chris Christie told New Jersey beach-goers to “get the hell off the beach” because of the approaching tropical storm. Instead of a wedding surrounded by more than 100 of their friends on the beach, the two were married at a rehearsal dinner with the few guests that could attend.
But on Sunday, the two celebrated their one year anniversary with a second chance at their dream wedding starting at The Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange.
The Baileys, of Eatontown, appeared months ago on Anderson Cooper’s talk show, “Anderson,” to talk about their disastrous wedding experience and warn other couples that it could happen to them -- or so the Baileys believed.
The Baileys told a live studio audience how they did not have wedding insurance, something at the time they did not even know existed.
“Lesson learned,” said Matthew Bailey on Sunday.
While the Baileys eventually were able to get back some of the money from the canceled wedding, it was only after a local news organization highlighted the story.
“We thought we were going on the show to just explain to other brides that although you can prepare for something like that to happen to you, read through your contracts and get wedding insurance,” said Shea Bailey.
However, Cooper then revealed the real reason the Baileys were invited onto the show: they were getting a complete wedding redo -- free of charge. In addition to the wedding reception the Wilshire Hotel on Sunday, they will renew their vows on the beach at a Sandals resort in St. Lucia.
“It was a complete shock,” recalled Matthew Bailey.
Edward Reagoso, the general manager of the Wilshire Hotel, said he was compelled to help the couple out.
“When we heard about this story, it kind of hit home,’ said Reagoso. “It goes back to the old story: good things do happen to good people, and it is just great to be a part of that.”
More than 150 friends and family were in attendance on Sunday for the Bailey's wedding reception at the Wilshire Hotel, and everyone was dressed as if the two just were married.
“It was nice this time around because we invited everybody that were supposed to come,” said Matthew Bailey.
With clear skies over head and in her wedding dress, Shea Bailey added that reception was perfect -- even if it was a year late.
“It feels right,” said Shea Bailey. “We are looking forward to being with our family and friends and celebrating the right way. It’s awesome.”