Ford F-150 generator saves wedding reception during power outage

Ford F-150 generator saves wedding reception during power outage

Phoebe Wall Howard

All of a sudden, the whole backyard went dark.

The music stopped. The lights went out. Everyone just stood — still.

Sadness filled the air. The wedding party had to end. No one could see anything.

“I thought, ‘Oh, crap.’ But then we heard a generator across the street go on,” said the groom Vetrivel Chandrasekaran, 31, a mechanical engineer from Farmington Hills. “And this friend, Harish, said, ‘Yo. I have an F-150. I can just plug it in.’ I said, ‘Wait, that could actually work?'”

So, on that weekday night around 10 o’clock in August, after a big rainstorm delayed the reception nearly two hours already, this happened:

“That F-150 plug saved the day,” said Chandrasekaran, who celebrated his birthday on that Aug. 11 night, too.

They plugged in power cords for tent lights, music and a massive sound system with speakers, amplifiers and microphones. The truck itself had four power outlets but multiple items were plugged into power strips and those were plugged into the truck.

“It was amazing,” said bride Rachna Nanda Kumar, 26, a data scientist from Tulsa, Oklahoma. “Everybody was just getting into their groove and, with the help of the F-150, the party lasted until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m.”

While the averted disaster left the bridal party stunned, the F-150 owners who worked at Ford just smiled. Because they knew the capabilities of the 2021 F-150 Hybrid pickup with an onboard generator would save the day.

The wedding guests had used the outlets in the truck bed just days earlier to power some appliances and tools at their house in Royal Oak during a recent power failure.

Ford CEO Jim Farley tweeted a video of the F-150 wedding incident on Wednesday, thanking the Ford employees for their ability to “bring the party back to life!”

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Everyone knows it’s nice to have friends who own pickups to help haul furniture and pull stranded vehicles out of snowbanks. This took pickup truck intervention to a new level.

“It was such an abrupt thing. We thought maybe it was a circuit breaker,” said Harish Thiruvengadam, 35, mechanical engineer at Ford. “The groom was ready to call it a night. There was no other option. Then I remembered the PowerBoost. I backed the truck up onto the lawn, took the cords and stretched them across the lawn and, oh my god. No one could believe there were outlets in the pickup bed. They thought there was a generator, but there was no loud sound.”

The truck, he said, was the hero.

“People stopped by to ask questions,” Thiruvengadam said. “A lot of people there worked for the auto industry and there were competitors and they were a little jealous of our truck. They worked for GM and Chrysler but we — the Ford people — helped them out.”

His wife Swetha Shailendra, 30, an advanced connected vehicle engineer at Ford, said, “Everyone was just so excited. We’re always talking about how effective and innovative our products are but this is the first time everyone could experience it.”

The bride drives a Nissan Sentra. The groom drives a Cadillac ATS-V.

They’re not truck people.

But this isn’t the first time an F-150 has come to the rescue.

Vetrivel Chandrasekaran of Farmington Hills and Rachna Nanda Kumar of Tulsa, Oklahoma, seen here in June 2021 in his backyard, married on August 11, 2021. That night, a storm knocked out power during the wedding reception.

Back in February, Randy Jones, a retired refinery worker from the town of Katy, Texas, and the owner of a 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid truck with Pro Power onboard, made headlines worldwide after posting images of how he was using his pickup to power his home and help neighbors during the blackout affecting millions in the Lone Star State.

These newlyweds have experienced life filled with unexpected twists and turns.

They met in December. A mutual family friend in India knew both young adults were in the States and offered to make an introduction. Numbers were exchanged.

“We actually met through our parents,” the groom said. “I was 31 and not married. Mom was, like, it’s COVID. You’re not going to meet anyone. Try talking to her at least.”

They decided to go ahead and marry just 3 or 4 weeks before the wedding after traveling back and forth between Michigan and Oklahomawhere Kumar lived — cooking and watching Netflix and taking hikes.

They considered a fall or winter wedding, but the couple really didn’t want to plan for a huge affair amid a pandemic and just decided to marry at the courthouse in Rochester Hills, then have a party in the groom’s backyard.

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