'Polarized emotions': Couple weds in shadow of NYC crane collapse

When a construction crane came crashing down in New York City last Friday, it completely changed the course of a Toronto woman's wedding day.

See Full Article

And while it wasn't quite the wedding she had envisioned, it certainly was a day she'll always remember.

Bride-to-be Nesh Pillay was getting ready in a Manhattan hair salon on Friday with her family, when a 172-metre came crashing down nearby.

Pillay, who was set to be married that day, said people in the salon felt the impact of the crash.

"(My sister) and her stylist mentioned that it felt like a minor earthquake," she told CTV's Canada AM. "But when we got done washing our hair and went into the next room, there were already whispers that the crane had fallen. Right away people were talking about the possibility of casualties. It all happened very quickly."

One man was killed when the crane came crashing down, and three others were injured. Officials are still investigating what caused the crash.

Pillay found herself stranded in the salon, as first responders tended to the scene and secured the area.

Not knowing when she'd get to her wedding, the 25-year-old put on her dress and fought her nerves, which were understandably rattled.

"It was definitely a rush of polarized emotions," she said, noting that she was eventually given the green light to leave the salon.

"By the time I was heading to Aaron through the sleet, and these unusually high heels, I wasn't even worried anymore about the wedding or getting married, because I knew that Aaron and I were going to get married no matter what," she said. "Something scary had just happened and I just wanted to see him and be near him."

Helping Pillay along the way was Ann Kansfield, a member of the New York City Fire Department, who spotted the bride in her white dress and immediately offered to help.

Kansfield covered Pillay in her firefighter's jacket and walked her and her family to the courthouse, where the couple was to be married.

Along the way, Kansfield told Pillay a little bit about her own background. Kansfield is the first female chaplain of the FDNY, and is also the first openly gay chaplain.

As they made their way to courthouse, Kansfield offered to marry the couple, and Pillay readily accepted the offer. "We were very honoured to have her there," Pillay said.

The couple was eventually married, surrounded by loved ones, and with their new friend officiating.


Vanderhoff is planning on relocating to Toronto to be with his wife. The two will also be taking a honeymoon trip at some point, possibly to the Maldives.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Second World War bomber touches down on Canadian soil

    Canada News CTV News
    It was a landing most people have only seen in old war movies. A massive B-29 bomber, nicknamed Fifi, touched down on Canadian soil this week as part of a mission to keep history alive. Source
  • Tesla shares fall after Musk's spat with British diver

    World News CBC News
    Shares of Tesla Inc fell 2.75 per cent on Monday after CEO Elon Musk directed abuse on Twitter at one of the British cave divers involved in the rescue of 12 Thai children last week. A number of analysts and investors, requesting anonymity, told Reuters that Musk's comments are adding to their concerns that his public statements are distracting him from Tesla's main business of producing electric cars. Source
  • No prison time for day care owner who put toddler in noose

    World News CTV News
    MINNEAPOLIS -- A Minneapolis day care owner was sentenced Monday to 10 years of probation for trying to kill a toddler in her home by hanging him from a noose. Nataliia Karia, 43, received her punishment in Hennepin County court after pleading guilty to attempted murder and third-degree assault earlier. Source
  • Alberta town divided over program to kill feral rabbits at $300 a pop

    Canada News CTV News
    An Alberta town remains divided over a controversial program to kill feral rabbits at a cost of nearly $300 per bunny. Ten years ago, the Town of Canmore had an estimated 2,000 feral rabbits. Source
  • Alberta town divided over program to kill feral rabbits at cost of $300 per bunny

    Canada News CTV News
    An Alberta town remains divided over a controversial program to kill feral rabbits at a cost of nearly $300 per bunny. Ten years ago, the Town of Canmore had an estimated 2,000 feral rabbits. Source
  • Families bury the dead after bloody weekend in Nicaragua

    World News CTV News
    MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Families began burying the dead Monday following a bloody weekend in Nicaragua as police and paramilitary groups attacked roadblocks set up by anti-government demonstrators demanding President Daniel Ortega's exit from office. The family and friends of 20-year-old university student Gerald Vasquez, one of two students killed Saturday when pro-government groups attacked the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, carried his casket to a Managua cemetery, chanting "They…
  • Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent molten rock crashing through the roof of a sightseeing boat off Hawaii's Big Island, injuring 23 people Monday, officials said. A woman in her 20s was in serious condition with a broken thigh bone, the Hawaii County Fire Department said. Source
  • Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking the government to court over six arrests made last month. The people were taken into custody June 18 when Regina police enforced an eviction order. Source
  • Mother of girls shot at playground calls for community programs to stop gun crime

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The mother of two young girls who were hit by stray bullets at a Toronto playground last month called Monday for better education and community support programs, not increased police presence, to curb gun violence in the city. Source
  • Ontario's chief coroner testifies at Elizabeth Wettlaufer inquiry

    Canada News CTV News
    Unusual patterns of deaths in long-term care homes are not always tracked or analyzed because some death reports are not filed electronically, as rules require, the province's chief coroner said Monday. Dr. Dirk Huyer's assessment came at the public inquiry examining the circumstances that allowed 51-year-old Elizabeth Wettlaufer to kill eight elderly patients living at long-term care homes in southwestern Ontario. Source