Even having guests and the photographer south of the collapsed Skagit River Bridge won’t stop a wedding Saturday in Sedro-Woolley.
Some of the groomsmen — they’re fire and police department leaders in the area — did stop preparations to rush to help after the bridge collapsed.
Puyallup photographer Jeff Marsh talked with the not-quite newlyweds Thursday night.
“When I talked to them their friends were on site, helping with search and rescue,” Marsh said Friday. “I called the bride, just to see if they were freaking out or anything. Her main concern was if people were still going to come or not. There’s quite a few people coming in (from out of town).”
They won’t be alone. Backups on the detour route around the collapsed bridge could grow worse over the weekend, said state Department of Transportation officials.
“It’s going to be slow going out there,” spokesman Mike Allende said Friday. “We’re advising people to stay home if they can, or leave as early as possible.”
Marsh originally planned on a two-hour drive to the wedding from Puyallup, but he was among other Memorial Day weekend travelers who didn’t know what to expect Saturday on his rerouted trip via state Route 9.
“It looks like the main detour is probably the one I have to take, because it goes through Sedro,” he said, “but obviously if it looks really backed up, I’ll have to figure something else out.”
Travelers trying to visit the South Sound from the north also will face delays.
“I had one person from Canada call and they’re worried about getting here,” Becky Pogue, co-owner of Offut Lake Resort north of Tenino, said Friday. “They have a reservation and said they’ll likely get here late. So it’s affecting us, even way down here.”
The severity of congestion in the next few days will depend largely on how many people heed the warnings to stay away.
“We’re hopeful that people will adjust their plans, but this is one of the biggest travel weekends that we have,” Allende said.
The Sedro-Woolley ceremony is one plan that won’t change.
“The wedding is still on for sure, I know that,” Marsh said.
Staff writer Jeffrey P. Mayor and The Seattle Times contributed to this report.