For many couples, getting married at Fairmont Banff Springs is a dream. But only a few have to endure a nightmare to reach the “Castle in the Rocky Mountains”.

Mark Hartwell met his future bride, Sarah Koopersmith, when he moved from Alberta to Houston, Texas. Two years later, the couple planned their wedding in Banff. But just days before her big day, Hurricane Harvey put her plans on hold.

READ MORE: Calgary Photographers Find Mysterious Couples Who Got engaged to Banff

“Everyone told us the storm was coming, but it wasn’t too bad on Saturday,” Hartwell recalled.

“So a lot of people in Houston were like, ‘Harvey is broke. Wettermann is wrong and nothing to worry about. ‘”

But it got worse and the house Hartwell and Koopersmith bought in March was flooded.

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“We had to leave the house. We had to go. We had to ask someone to let us in, ”Hartwell said.

Mark and Sarah saved what they could, including Sarah’s wedding dress. They put their things in large plastic containers and went looking for help.

“The water was waist-deep to chest-deep, depending on where we were. We’re pulling our Rubbermaids behind us, ”said Koopersmith.

READ MORE: “He’s Like a Guardian Angel” – Flood victim from Beaumont, Texas to Beaumont, Alta. Man who helped her during the disaster

“The dress was in a carry-on and we put it in a trash bag and we put it in another trash bag and it was like we were going canoeing,” Hartwell said.

When they reached streets that were not underwater, they relied on the kindness of friends to save them.

“Every time you ask someone to pick you up, it’s dangerous. You put them in danger of helping you, ”Hartwell said.

“When my friend Matt’s truck came around the corner, it was like I’d won the Stanley Cup! I raised my arms and said, ‘We are saved!’ “

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But their Canadian wedding was still in question. Her flight from Houston, like so many others, was canceled. That meant a 400-kilometer drive to Dallas Airport for the couple and their guests.

“They’re canceling all of those flights and we were like, ‘We have to get to Dallas. Dallas is our only way to Calgary, ”said Hartwell.

The wedding was saved thanks to the drive of friends and family to Dallas and the creative use of Rubbermaid containers.

In the end, the big day in Banff went from blurry to wonderful. And with a few extra memories, the couple were married on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s just amazing. Every single person who made it here from Houston didn’t make their original travel plans,” said Koopersmith.

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