Couple marries after EF1 tornado interrupts rehearsal, damages Missouri wedding venue

  • A small tornado hit Brookdale Farms in Eureka, Missouri last Thursday — during a wedding rehearsal dinner.

  • Buildings were damaged and chaos ensued, though no one was hurt.

  • The farm’s employees worked through the night to make repairs and the wedding went on as scheduled.

EUREKA, Mo. (KTVI) — At least six small tornadoes developed in Missouri and Illinois last Thursday. One of those went right through Brookdale Farms in Eureka, Missouri — during a wedding rehearsal dinner.

“We had just gotten here to do the rehearsal for the wedding on Saturday, and then got in the building and shortly thereafter, the storm hit,” Heather Jonas, the mother of the bride, said. “We kind of ran to the bathroom and (it) sounded like a train was getting ready to come through the building.”

brookdale farms roof
The venue and nearby barns were damaged during an EF1 tornado that ripped through Eureka, Missouri, on Thursday. (KTVI)

Annette Johnson, the wedding coordinator, said there were around 25 people in the building when the storm arrived.

“Everything started rattling when the roof ripped off and we got everyone to safety,” she said. “It was a little bit of chaos, but we stayed very calm and tried to keep our guests calm, but nobody was hurt.”

Nearby barns were also destroyed in the storm, but no one was injured at the 350-acre event venue.

“Once we knew everyone was OK, we went outside and practiced and rehearsed for the wedding,” Jonas said. “Everyone was good, (we) kind of celebrated and we were all safe.”

The team at Brookdale Farms worked overnight to assess structural integrity and make repairs. In photos shared to Facebook, workers could be seen replacing the roof of the wedding venue in preparation for Saturday’s reception.

“We are optimistic that we will be able to host their wedding here at 5 p.m.,” James Vivak, general manager of Brookdale Farms, said Saturday.

tornado wedding
A couple tied the knot at a wedding venue in Missouri that had been struck by a tornado two days before. (Mindee Malloy Photography)

Come the day of the wedding, the happy couple — Kyle and Taylor O’Driscoll — were able to celebrate (almost) as planned, complete with photos in front of a damaged barn.

Wedding photographer Mindee Malloy, speaking with Nexstar, said she wasn’t present at the rehearsal dinner, but praised Brookdale Farms for their impressive turnaround.

“Brookdale Farms did an outstanding job dealing with the situation and making sure Taylor and Kyle were still able to have the day they deserved,” Malloy said.

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