A Coon Rapids couple's Hawaiian wedding nearly suffered a wipeout Friday after Japan's earthquake triggered tsunami warnings for the Hawaiian Islands.
Kristi Kuderer and her fiancé, Eric Carrier, were to be married on the beach on Kauai at 4 o'clock on Friday afternoon. But their months-long plans were in doubt the night before their "I dos."
They were on their way back from a luau groom's dinner when they learned about the worst earthquake in Japan's history. A few hours later, their hotel was evacuated; they were told to take only their valuables and a few clothes.
Kuderer rushed out with only her wallet and a book. She left her wedding dress.
"I was just worried that I brought all these people here for a wedding, and now they might be in danger," she said. "I thought about the wedding, if we were even going to be able to have it."
They'd already printed invitations for a reception back home in Minnesota. The invites said they were married on March 11. "I thought, 'I hope we're not lying,'" she said.
They spent the night in the cafeteria of a nearby school, along with the rest of the hotel guests. With the tsunami expected at 3 a.m., there was little time to sleep.
Kuderer said she remained hopeful that the wedding would go on, but that maybe they'd have to move it off the beach. When the waves did not reach their predicted highs, Kuderer knew they would be safe.
She and her fiancé left the school at 7:30 a.m. and tried to catch some sleep.
As of Friday morning, Hawaiian time, the beach wedding was back on. Kuderer said: "The weather outside looks gorgeous, and it should be really nice."
Allie Shah • 612-673-4488