Our Top 10 People Stories Of ’22: #1 Fire can’t stop them

Like so many couples, Joe and Marcy Poulin had their wedding plans disrupted multiple times by COVID-19. Although they ultimately settled on a small backyard ceremony in the middle of the pandemic, their plan was always to host a larger reception—the one they’d always dreamed of—once public health restrictions lifted.

When their big moment finally arrived on July 30, the couple was headed to their party venue, the Old Marina Restaurant, when tragedy struck.

“We were literally on our way to our wedding venue and it was burning to the ground,” Marcy says. “It was surreal.”

From inside the limousine, Joe was the first to spot smoke in the sky. Then his cellphone rang. It was his sister, alerting him to the fact that there might be a fire at the Old Marina.

When the limo pulled up to the property they saw firetrucks blocking the entrance and Joe looked to the sky and saw smoke billowing over the lake.

“He kept talking to me trying to get me to not look over and he kissed me,” Marcy recalled. “He was trying to distract me from the billowing smoke, which I never did see.”

It was a devastating moment, not just for the couple but for all the staff at the Old Marina.


What happened next was the stuff of Hollywood movies: determined not to have their wedding plans derailed again, the bride, groom and the entire wedding party scrambled to find a new, last-minute venue. 

“My bridesmaids were amazing,” Marcy says.

Kristin Cormier, the maid of honour, reached out to the Cambridge Mill, where she and her husband were married five years prior. 

“I called them and I said we have a situation,” Cormier said, explaining she was part of a wedding party heading to the Old Marina.

By that point, the staff at the Cambridge Mill had already heard about the blaze.

Alex Kastner, the general manager, said it was definitely a first for him: an emergency wedding with zero advance notice.

Luckily, the venue happened to have an available space that Saturday night and the celebration went off without a hitch.

Although most of the wedding decorations lost in the fire belonged to the Old Marina, the newlyweds did lose a few sentimental items such as the guestbook from their original wedding. But overall, it was an amazing, unforgettable day.

“Even up until today we’re saying: ‘Did that just happen?’” Marcy says.

Read the full story HERE.

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