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Arizona wildfire derails wedding plans, forcing family to make new plans quickly

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Posted at 10:28 AM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 13:29:53-04

The beautiful pictures at Kylee and Trace Wallace's wedding last weekend don’t nearly tell the whole story of how they arrived at the heartwarming moment.

“They’re both going to be super successful, they’ve been dating for almost four years now, they met during school, it's just a match made in heaven,” said Trace’s mother Jackie Wallace.

The bride and groom's worlds collided in school, Kylee graduated to become a nurse and Trace an electrical engineer. Trace’s mom says their coexistence as a family was foreshadowed long before school.

“I actually taught Kylee in middle school sixth, seventh, and eighth grade so she’s like a daughter to me already,” said Jackie.

The fairytale was planned to culminate in a hillside wedding in Strawberry. A venue filled with cabins, views, and plenty of room for celebration.

The rehearsal was held Friday ahead of the big day Saturday.

“We were having the wedding rehearsal and a gentleman comes running up just yelling at us and telling us we have to go,” said Jackie.

A wildfire sparked by lightning just a few days earlier was quickly barreling their way.

“It was just kinda a widespread, not panic but a hurry up and get it done mode, we had fourteen cabins we loaded up and in less than ten minutes we were all out of there,” said Kylee’s father Toby Egbert.

A surreal moment hitting home even further as they drove out of town.

“We actually pulled over in Pine just to kind of regroup and get everybody together to make sure everybody got out. Up on the backside of the hill, you could see the orange glow fire,” said Egbert.

“As soon as we left, people started making phone calls and figuring out what do we do next,” said Keri Egbert, Kylee’s mother.

With the couple's wedding less than 24 hours away, the wedding party splintered into tasks.

They focused on tasks like transforming the bride's parents’ backyard, redirecting vendors, even building a homemade wedding arch with materials frantically picked up at Home Depot.

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“That whole small army that put this thing together in such a short time, it’s almost miraculous,” said Toby.

“They were little worker bees, it was amazing,” said Wallace.

By the time Kylee walked down the aisle, the wedding that seemed destined for disaster went off without a hitch thanks to the determined spirit of family and friends.

“Like they said, they wouldn’t change a single thing that happened,” said Keri.

“In the end, it was perfect,” said Jackie.

This story was originally published by Cameron Polom at KNXV.

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