COUNTY NEWS: Couple evacuated in bomb hoax at The Grand - during their wedding

It was supposed to be their dream wedding, but Dan Rosehill and Gaby Leslie's big day was interrupted by a bomb scare at The Grand Hotel.

Monday, 11th September 2017, 3:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 9:47 pm
Dan and Gaby Rosehill saw their wedding at The Grand interrupted after a bomb scare at the seafront hotel

The Brighton hotel was evacuated at 4.30pm yesterday (September 10), after an anonymous call about an explosive device in the building - which later turned out to be a hoax.

But the evacuation took place halfway through the couple's wedding.

The pair were taking part in a Jewish ceremony, and the bride had just finished walking around the 'chuppah ' a wedding canopy - when the alarm was sounded.

The 'chuppah' - or wedding canopy - where Dan and Gaby's wedding was being performed at The Grand, until they were evacuated

Mr Rosehill, who grew up in Brighton but now lives in London, said: "It was the most comical timing, it was absolutely bizarre.

"We were evacuated out of the hotel into the windiest day. we had a few Marilyn Monroe moments!

"They put us into the Metropole. At this point none of us knew what was going on.

"We managed to make a new chuppah with four of our friends as the pillars with a tablecloth over our heads."

Friends helped out to make a make-shift 'chuppah' at the Metropole

The pair were married, but the band members had left their instruments at The Grand. Luckily that didn't stop them, and they kept guests entertained with make-shift instruments.

Five hours later the wedding guests were allowed back into The Grand to continue the party there - although they missed out on their meal.

Mr Rosehill said: "It is not their fault obviously, it was just bad timing.

"It was certainly a memorable wedding!"

The happy couple didn't let the drama ruin their day

He praised the Hilton Brighton Metropole Hotel - next door to the Grand - for stepping in and saving the day.

The newly-wed Mrs Rosehill said: "I don't think I've processed the day fully. Everything felt so surreal as my friends gathered the bottom of the dress and covered me with men's jackets ushering me out. It just shows you don't need to have the glitz and glamour demanded in a lot of Jewish weddings to have a good time. All that matters is the people around you. We had just chairs in the room and a table cloth for the makeshift chuppah.

"Who can say they walked down the aisle twice at their own wedding, stood under two chuppahs in two different hotels in the space of two hours, got evacuated in a bomb threat that made national news, got questioned by police in their yichud room, had two parties in two beautiful venues with guests that kept that spirit alive.

"Everyone rallied around us to make sure we had a good time."

Matt McGlinchey, 31, was one of Dan's ushers. The pair have been friends since they met at St Christopher's School in Hove .

He said: "We all really felt for Dan and Gaby, but they took everything in their stride and coped amazingly in the circumstances.

"You would never imagine something like this happening, but everyone was determined not to let it ruin the day.

"We still had a great time celebrating."

A spokesperson for The Grand Hotel said: "We greatly appreciate the cooperation and understanding of Gaby, Dan and their wedding party. The decision to evacuate was not taken lightly; the safety of our guests, team, suppliers and neighbours being paramount.

"Throughout the evacuation we collaborated with other hoteliers in the area so that we could go some way to ensuring our guests could continue to enjoy their Sunday.

"Once Grand Brighton had reopened, the couple were able to continue their planned celebrations with us. We remain grateful for the support and hospitality that the Hilton provided during the police search of our hotel.

"We sincerely wish Mr and Mrs Rosehill much happiness in their future together."

For more on yesterday's incident at The Grand, click here.