Wedding guests reunite, celebrate life after surviving April 29 - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Wedding guests reunite, celebrate life after surviving April 29 tornadoes

(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)
(Source: KLTV Staff) (Source: KLTV Staff)

Guests at a wedding interrupted by fatal tornadoes back in April reunited Saturday for a celebration of life and love. 

On April 29 an EF-4 tornado tore through Van Zandt County and killed four people including the father of one East Texas bride.

After a two month delay, Jessica Carpenter was ready to finally walk down the aisle.  

 "We are going to remember that day for the rest of our lives but this is going to be the happy time to where we can all rejoice being happy and alive," Carpenter said.

A wedding do-over, after her April 29 wedding was ruined by an EF-4 tornado that killed four people, including her father Rusty Barlow. 

"We are blessed to be able to do this and have a do over minus one person but the rest of us survived," said Mother of the Bride Rhonda Barlow. 

Rhonda Barlow said in the midst of destruction her family found a glimmer of hope. 

"The dress she has on right now hung through the tornado, it was untouched and it was very important that she wear it," Barlow said.

Even though they've lost a patriarch, they say their family continues to grow. 

"We have new family, chosen family," Barlow said. 

Blake Altman was set the DJ the wedding back in April. His foot was amputated as a result of his injuries. Saturday, he attended the wedding as not just a guest but a new family member. 

"We endured it together. Along with the Carpenter's and the Scott's and we've really become a part of their family," Altman said 

Carpenter said in surviving the storm she's learned how to live.

"Never go a day without telling someone you love them and always keep God first," Carpenter said.

Lessons that she'll remember as she and her husband Kyle start their new life as husband and wife.  

The owners of the wedding venue, Anding Acres donated the facility to give the couple the wedding of their dreams. The flowers and food were also donated. 

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