For better or for worse: Ferry breaks down, but couple still able to renew wedding vows | CBC News

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It didn’t go exactly as planned, but when you’ve been married 45 years, you don’t sweat the small stuff.

So, when Cheri and Randy Longsdorf boarded the MC Confederation ferry on Saturday with the intention of renewing their wedding vows on the 75-minute trip from Wood Islands, P.E.I., to Caribou, N.S., they were unfazed when the ferry experienced mechanical issues and they had to disembark at the dock with the rest of the passengers.

But not without saying I do.

They had the Righteous Brothers on the playlist, the flowers and boutonniere ready and a captain who suddenly had some unexpected time on his hands.

They grabbed their best man and matron of honour and headed to the ship’s lounge, where they professed their love for each other before sitting down for four Islander Breakfasts prepared by the ship’s kitchen staff.

“It was wonderful. The crew and captain, everything made it extremely special and just perfect,” Cheri said.

“Everything that we were going to do if the crossing had gone off, we did anyway and it was wonderful. So the crossing did not hinder anything we did.”

Cheri and Randy Longsdorf
The Longsdorfs, who live in Minnesota, decided to travel to the Maritimes after Randy’s health scare last winter. (Jessica Caseley)

The Longsdorfs, who live in Minnesota, met in their early 20s when they worked at the same company.

“She had these sparkling eyes and she was always smiling and … I was just taken with her right away,” Randy said.

I know a lot of people don’t believe in love at first sight, but I do because it happened to me.— Randy Longsdorf

“I know a lot of people don’t believe in love at first sight, but I do because it happened to me.”

The couple decided on a trip to the Maritimes after Randy survived a life-threatening illness last winter that kept him in hospital for several weeks.

They planned to take the ferry from P.E.I. to Nova Scotia on their way to Cape Breton.

They told their plans to Northumberland Ferries Ltd. A spokesperson said they were “happy to be hosting this celebration for them and honoured that they chose our ferries to renew their vows.”

Cheri and Randy Longsdorf with their best man and matron of honour.
Cheri and Randy Longsdorf with their best man and matron of honour. (Jessica Caseley)

There was some risk, however. The Confederation was out of service for a few weeks this summer due to mechanical issues, and crossings are sometimes cancelled due to inclement weather.

While it added a few hours to their journey to Cape Breton, it’s just the start of another adventure for these renewlyweds. Staying positive has been one of the keys to their long marriage, Randy said.

“I think love is the main secret and, you know, the tolerance. You chose this person for a reason. And … people have personalities and preferences and so … you accept your partner for who they are. And I think if you do that, then you grow together.”

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