MADISON - At least a dozen brides will be forced to look for a new reception hall, following Thursday morning’s fire at the Madison Country Club.
Nikki Stone, who used to call Madison home, is one of them.
Her parents, Tim and Mary Lou Stone, still live in the community. They are sick over the burning of the Club, where their daughter's wedding reception was to have been held in May.
The loss of the Club is symbolic of the troubles that have followed the couple these last two years. Tim lost his job as an architect after undergoing heart surgery in 2013, recovering from an aneurism has prevented Mary Lou from getting a job, two of their dogs died unexpectedly, and last year, the couple's daughter was forced to cancel her wedding when her fiancé was deployed to the Middle East.
"It's so important, for us, that we keep this wedding date now," explained Mary Lou.
Meanwhile, Tim is suffering his own sense of loss; he was designing renovations for the Country Club that now sits in ruin.
“Anytime you touch a building or you deal with a building, there's a lot of you that goes into it," he said.
Amidst all their troubles, what’s really eating at Tim and his wife, is knowing their only daughter may be out a small fortune. She currently lives in North Carolina near Camp Lejeune, where her fiancé is stationed as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corp. She is paying for her own wedding because her parents cannot afford to. They’re on the brink of losing their home to foreclosure and their car to the bank.
"I probably cry at least once a day,” said Mary Lou as she struggled to stifle her emotion.
The Stone’s challenges have been great and yet they fear the one hurdle they may not clear is finding a hall that will accommodate close 180 guests at the height of wedding season with only two months to spare. They’re hoping this time, their story will have a happy ending.