Love triumphs for bride and groom
Caroline's dream of getting married on the beach comes true.
PHOTO BY DARA CAUDILL
Caroline Wareing and Anthony Fletcher, both bobbies from London, took their vows at the Sandbar restaurant last week, but it was a road fraught with peril that brought the bride to her walk down the sandy aisle.
In October 2010, they were on their way to Heathrow Airport to fly to Anna Maria and finalize their wedding plans when they were involved in an automobile accident where Caroline Fletcher almost died.
A foreign lorry (transport truck) had changed lanes on a freeway and hit a car that spun out and into the path of their car. Fletcher was driving.
"I couldn't get out of the car's way," he said during an interview at the Sandbar after the wedding.
"I suffered multiple severe injuries, including a broken back, fractured sternum, shattered collar bone, broken ribs and internal injuries," said Caroline Fletcher. "The severity of these injuries meant that I was unable to walk for some time."
In fact, she was hospitalized for three weeks and bedridden at home for another three months. Right after the accident, Caroline Fletcher knew she was injured, but she immediately looked at their son, Harrison, who was five months old at the time.
"All I saw was a trickle of blood coming out of his mouth," she said. "It wasn't serious, but I had this horrible vision that it was internal injuries."
The police knew she was in serious condition, but they had to pull her from the wreckage.
"Smoke was coming from under the bonnet (hood) of our car," she said. "After I got out, I looked at the car and thought, we need to get to the airport."
She finally realized how serious her injuries were, and she put the wedding on a back burner as she worked to recover.
Caroline Fletcher said she kept her dream alive, and that gave her something to focus on during her recovery.
"My dream has always been to have an intimate tropical beach wedding on a pure white sandy beach looking out to sea with our toes in the sand and then have our wedding photos at sunset whilst paddling in the sea," she said.
She got her wish last Thursday with Dara Caudill taking the pictures and Chuck Caudill singing.
"It wasn't a picture perfect sunset because it was cloudy," Caudill said, "but she got to have her wedding on the beach on Anna Maria Island."
Caroline Fletcher said she felt lucky it did not rain during the ceremony.
"I had a picture of how it was going to be and when we got here, it was more beautiful than I could imagine," she said. "While I was waiting to walk down the aisle, I took a deep breath and appreciated the fact that we were finally here."