I’ve been to a lot of weddings in my life.
One was my own as the bride, several times as a guest and many as a caterers assistant as I worked my way through university. No matter how many I attend or see, each and every one of them is as different and unique as the couple getting married.
Just last week my husband and I went to a beautiful wedding that began with a drive down a long canopied lane to a stunning venue. As we parked, rain and hail started pounding the car — and I mean slamming down and bouncing off. We waited it out and then scurried inside, dodging the puddles as best we could.
The ceremony was to be held in the back gardens and then be followed by a reception in the cedar-lined hall that had been draped in tulle and fairy lights. It was simple, elegant and befitting the active young couple. On this particular day, it was also very wet and chilly.
The weather in September is usually nice but as the officiant (in a boot cast and on a roller crutch no less) made her way to the back of the property for the ceremony, the skies opened and the wind began to rip through. There were no tents, the chairs had an inch of water on them and only a few had umbrellas. There was no escaping it.
At that point, a decision was made to delay the ceremony and the officiant made her way back in to towel off. It’s interesting to watch what happens when plans change.
There was buzz about back-up plans and speculation as to what would occur. It also allowed guests to get to know each other and keep vigil as we crossed our fingers hoping for a break in the weather. In the meantime, the staff managed to scrounge up some umbrellas with a ratio of two people per umbrella.
With the afternoon whittling away, it was about 40 minutes later that a decision was made to proceed as planned. We were all to go quickly out to the garden.
As the music started, so did the deluge of rain. This wasn’t a summer sprinkle by any means.
Thunder shook the sky and gusts blew through the treetops as guests squeezed under their umbrellas.
Giggles could be heard as everyone fought the absurdity to embrace and accept the lack of control over the situation. Wet. Dry. It simply didn’t matter because we were all in the same boat.
I was so happy when the bride and groom decided to continue with their outdoor plan. I have no idea what was happening behind the scenes but to make such a difficult decision shows maturity. They must’ve been so stressed but as far as I know, there were no tears or outbursts, just gracious resignation — and that’s a huge life lesson.
The bride and groom, in all their finery, stepped into the same weather to be with their guests. The rain dampened clothing and flattened hair but no one’s spirit. The wedding was in no way ruined or overshadowed by the weather, but it was made memorable by the way it was dealt with.
Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. This will be the first of many life challenges this couple will face together and to see them meet it head-on with determination, grit and a sense of humour shows me that they’ll go far.
It’s called character building and a heck of a way to jump into a future together. Congrats and all the best to Joce and Dave for a long and happy marriage.
Join me Saturday, Sept. 29th in Kelowna for the Rotary Cultural Days. I’ll be doing some readings and talks along with local authors. Rotary Centre 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Kelowna Library 2 to 5 p.m. Come say hi.