By J.D. Miles

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Hurricane Ida did more than cause wind and flood damage.

The storm proved to be costly in more ways than one for a Dallas couple now in New Orleans sharing a wedding cake with 70 strangers.

Two cancelled wedding dates in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic had Mindy McRae and Alex Broadbent convinced that when they finally gathered with family and friends this past weekend that the third time would be the charm.

“We had a big welcome party on Friday evening which went spectacular, you know the weather was amazing,” said Broadbent.

But they were in New Orleans.

Instead of taking the town by storm they were about to be hit hard by one.

(credit: Alex Broadbent and Mindy McRae)

On Saturday, there was talk at the wedding venue of moving it up to the early in the afternoon.

“People were leaving, people were leaving and they weren’t staying and they were worried and they were scared we kind of had to really look at canceling the event,” said Broadbent.

As the hurricane approached, it became clear the big event that the Dallas couple spent $65,000 on would not take place.

“We were stuck with making a hard decision but after all this time we believe God has a plan and the safety of our family and friends was the most important thing for us,” said McRae.

Important enough that they chose to stay behind with a half dozen invited guests who couldn’t evacuate.

“So we said you know what? If we’re not all getting out, we’re gonna stay and get through this together,” said McRae.

They also shared their guest gift bags and wedding cake with all 70 people who are staying in the hotel, most of them local evacuated residents and the staff.

(credit: Mindy McRae and Alex Broadbent)

“They ate some delicious cake and they will again tonight it’s the groom cake for dinner,” said McRae.

It’s that shared sense of humor that keeps the wedding bell blues from setting in for a third time.

J.D. Miles: “Are you worried that someone is trying to tell you maybe this isn’t the right thing or giving you a bad sign?”

Broadbent: “No way. I said something when we were walking around the other day, this just makes our bond stronger.”

The couple said they decided to marry in private with a local minister officiating.

The florist sent them photos of how their arrangement would have looked is all they have for a wedding album while they celebrate their honeymoon in a hotel without power.

“It could be a day it could be two days we’re not really sure when the power is coming back on,” said McRae. “It doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t matter. Life goes on and that’s the way we feel we’ve got each other.”

A friend has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for their honeymoon.