Father of Bride Struck by Lightning During New Brunswick Wedding Toast
Published: July 12, 2017
Wedding photographer Sabrina Guitford Monteith captured this image just moments after the bride's father JP Nadeau was struck by lightning. (Sabrina Guitford Monteith)
JD Nedeau probably felt what most fathers feel at their daughters' weddings – a mixture of love and pride, maybe just a hint of regret.
But when stepped up to the microphone to tell his new son-in-law Adam just what lucky guy Adam was, JD felt something else.
A bolt of lightning surging through his body.
“I went up and grabbed the microphone and just had time to say a couple of things, you know, and BOOM, lightning struck really hard,” JD told weather.com. “The current went went through the wire of the microphone I was holding, and then it was like I was holding lightning in my hand.”
The weather had been clear for the ceremony earlier that day, but clouds were gathering when the groom’s father gave his toast.
Nadeau says he feels fine after the incident and even believes that the shock helped improve his knee problems. (Sabrina Guitford Monteith)
“A cold front was approaching the Woodstock, New Brunswick area from the west Saturday afternoon,” said weather.com meteorologist Linda Lam. “Scattered showers and thunderstorms developed ahead of this boundary, with lightning, gusty winds and heavy rainfall.”
By the time JD got up to do his speech a giant wall cloud was racing across the sky over the family’s apple orchard.
“Those of us who were down close to where the toasts were being given we could see a storm coming in from the south, but the people giving the toasts, of course, couldn’t see that because it was behind them,” JD’s wife Maggy told weather.com. “JD saw our daughter’s eyes bug out of her head because she saw the lightning coming down behind him.”
The insane moment was caught on camera by wedding photographer Sabrina Guitford Monteith, who snapped a photo just moments after the bolt struck.
“The PA system let out a big cracking sound, I just happened to take a picture at the same time,” she told weather.com. “People screamed, then the rain started, we all ran for cover. It was pretty crazy.”
Though you can’t actually see the bolt, the photo nevertheless tells a pretty compelling story.
“When you look at the picture, you can see that he’s just frozen there and his head looks like its going to explode,” Maggy said. “Sabrina’s the only one who has that actual shot because everyone else was so freaked out.”
In seconds, the skies opened up and the entire wedding party huddled underneath tents, where JD, still standing without a scratch on him, was able to finish his toast.
Moments after Nadeau was hit, the skies opened up, but later he was able to finish his toast, sans microphone, under a tent. (Sabrina Guitford Monteith)
“I felt quite solid after all that,” he told weather.com. “I think that the microphone wire was able to ground everything. It spared me, I think, from having to take the whole jolt for myself.”
“It’s pretty funny,” he said. “It’s funny now because I didn’t drop dead.”
Maggy said she’s convinced it was another stroke of luck that saved him: changing out of leather boots that were hurting his feet into rubber soled sneakers.
JP said he’s always been a pretty lucky guy, and his wife agrees, recounting a story from just last year when JD, a pianist, had to be rescued by the British Air Force after spending 10 hours in a lifeboat launched from a disabled cruise ship.
“I’ve been getting away with things all my life,” JD said.“I feel very fortunate because I think somebody is really looking after me but also really scared because I think the payback is going to be one hard day.”
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