Wave Crashes Into Hawaii Wedding, Newlyweds Recount the Moment

·2 min read

A bride and groom had an unexpected visitor on their wedding day — a giant wave that crashed into their reception area.

One of the wedding guests, @k.e.n_n.y.b on Instagram, shared a now-viral video of the wave crashing over the seawall.

The newlyweds, Dillon and Riley Murphy of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, told TODAY that on their wedding day, Saturday, July 16, they had actually been more concerned about being rained out rather than the high tides.

Dillon said he had been getting ready for the ceremony, held at local museum Hulihe’e Palace, just before 5 p.m. when the wedding planner came to fetch him.

"(She) was like, 'OK, we're about ready to go. Everything looks like we're about to start on time,'" he recalled. "And we just look out there and there's a wall of water and we were like, 'Oh no, probably not gonna start on time.'"

A bride and groom kiss in front of a sunset and giant wave crashing over a sea wall (Courtesy of Dillion and Riley Murphy)
A bride and groom kiss in front of a sunset and giant wave crashing over a sea wall (Courtesy of Dillion and Riley Murphy)

Riley said she had just arrived at the venue moments earlier and missed the wave actually slamming into the wall. When she looked out the window, she saw her friends and family jumping into action to clean everything up.

"I just looked over and the entire dance floor was submerged underwater and our (flower) vases, everything was knocked over," she said. "Initially, it was like 'Oh my gosh, what a nightmare!' But the quickness that our entire family and friends and really everyone at the wedding had to just, like, get everything rearranged, dry it off. (We) just kind of stayed calm."

The two added that the swell didn't hurt anyone and had only taken out some empty catering tables and one of the bars. The rest of the ceremony and reception were set up on the other side of the venue.

Importantly, the Murphys also noted the wedding cake and the rest of the food survived the wave.

"We're blessed and fortunate that it played out and in a way that really didn't affect us too much," Dillon said, adding that their thoughts are with the rest of the southern Big Island that was impacted by the swell. "Their homes and, you know, their livelihoods got affected and some of their apartments got flooded and all that. So fortunate for us, you know, we were able to kind of keep it going and the party went on — but our hearts go out to all those people that actually had, you know, some sort of negative effects from it."

The two said they didn't let the high tide dampen their spirits and were thankful their wedding planner and guests were able to help save the day.

"It was really unifying," Riley said, adding that it was "definitely what you think of as a disaster, but it turned out being a really beautiful way to bring our families and our friends together."