After months of planning a wedding in the Great Salt Lake Desert, the last thing that the couple expected on the morning of their wedding was a flood. But the venue that they so carefully set up on the Bonneville Salt Flats was under inches of water.
Video shows waves lapping at the chair legs. The wedding photographer panned down to show her feet splashing through the puddle that went on for miles.
"Everyone was in complete awe when they arrived to set up and saw that the flats were flooded with water," photographer Bailey Dougan said to Storyful.
But this bride and groom didn't let the nightmarish flood drown-out their nuptials.
Splashing down the aisle
The floodwater reflected the bluebird sky overhead as well as the bride, whose soggy hem didn't let the wedding dress blow in the breeze that stirred up the waves.
The guests arrived and sloshed down the aisle to their seats. They sat, with feet underwater, and witnessed the very driven couple tie the knot.
If rain on your wedding day traditionally means good luck, what does a flood represent?
How much rain?
The area received 0.62 inches of rain in just 24 hours. The water pooled atop the salt surface of the hard-baked flat. On average, the location only sees a third-of-an-inch of water all of September. In one day, the salt flats saw more than an eighth of the water they normally get in an entire year, according to the Western Regional Climate Center.
How did a salt flat end up in Utah?
The Bonneville Salt Flats was covered by an ancient lake that rivaled the size of Lake Michigan during the last Ice Age. The body of water covered a third of Utah and parts of other states, according to Utah.com.
The salt is anywhere from 6 feet thick in the center of the flat to just a couple of inches at the edges, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
The ill-fated Donner Party traveled across the salt flats as a shortcut to California in 1846. Historians partially blame delays from wagon wheels getting stuck in the mud and oxen dying of dehydration for the group's late-season arrival to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Deep snow trapped the party snow and perishing, according to the Utah History Encyclopedia.
Starving survivors resorted to cannibalism. Britannica.com called the failed crossing, "The worst disaster of the overland migration to California.
Rain is so sparse in the area that the abandoned wagon parts were still visible in the 1930s. Archeologists were able to follow the tracks in the mud in 1986.