My Wedding Story…
My wedding day is now famous…or perhaps infamous, depending on how you look at it lol. It’s one of those- you meet someone on the street and they happen to know your story because they heard it from a friend of a friend of a friend who was there….I’m not kidding! My friends and family joke about getting t-shirts made that say “I survived Eric & Jenny’s wedding (2012)” and starting a support group. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them actually did this haha.
Eric and I decided that we wanted to get married at his parent’s house in the good old country side of Virginia. They have a gorgeous home and I could easily picture my perfect wedding right there in the front pasture. Once we settled on the location- we had to pick a date. Eric, being an engineer, made a chart that graphed out average rainfall, crossed with temperatures, crossed with I can’t even remember what else- I know right?!? It was actually super helpful for my indecisive self. After careful consideration- we settled on September! Gotta love Virginia in the fall. Once we locked in the location and date- planning commenced.
I tell you what- as much as I love planning, wedding planning is one tasking job! I definitely got stressed out, cried a little…okay a lot, laughed a ton, and was overwhelmed by the love and attention my friends and family poured out. I am so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life and let me tell you- planning a wedding really shows you who will stick by you through anything…and I mean anything (insert apologies for any and all battle scars incurred during my bridezilla moments)!
Finally, after almost 7 years of dating and a year of planning- we were ready to tie the knot and our wedding weekend had finally arrived! My lovely Wedding Coordinator got us through the Rehearsal and we were off to the Rehearsal Dinner. I have to pause to tell you about this dinner- it was magical. Just picture an old farm house complete with a gorgeous front porch and all the southern charm you dream about. It was set with and beautifully dressed tables in candlelight nestled under a canopy of lights in the trees. I mean- it was a perfect southern dream. We ate some delicious Italian food and I think I actually relaxed for the first time in months! It was perfect (insert shameless plug here – this location is actually transforming into an official wedding venue and I am SO excited. I just finished coordinating the owners daughter’s wedding this June and I CANNOT wait for more brides to say “I Do” at this hidden gem of a location – check out Megan & James’ testimonial for pictures!).
The next morning I woke up super early. Well, let’s be honest- I couldn’t sleep. Besides, if for some reason my adrenaline wore off and I got sleepy- there’s always coffee!! 😉 The whole song and dance of primping and prepping began. The hours flew by and finally- everything was set- and with time to spare at that! We had about fifteen to thirty minutes before the Ceremony was supposed to kick off… and this is where things start to go sideways…literally…
Those setting up began to see that in the distance the sky was growing dark- very, very dark. Since we were having an outdoor wedding we were more than prepared for rain. I wasn’t too concerned about it because a little rain ain’t never hurt no body! Plus, it’s good luck right? Either way, we got siding for the reception tent and even got a tent for the Ceremony space just in case. To quote my extremely soon to be Father-in Law, “We’re prepared for DEFCON 5, DEFCON 4, DEFCON 3, and even DEFCON 2, Jenny!” Well, with the darkness creeping in, everyone decided to prep for a DEFCON 2 situation- just in case. The siding on the tent was dropped down and flower arrangements (for both the ceremony and reception) were brought inside. Now, this was about all they had time to do before the storm hit…and unfortunately- it was a DEFCON 1 situation that we just weren’t prepared for…
A super-cell micro-burst storm ripped through my ceremony and reception with full force! Rain so heavy that you couldn’t see more than 5 feet in front of you coupled with hurricane force winds- any guesses as to what happened next?
Tables went flying! Instruments from our live band went soaring. One of my friends, who didn’t make it inside before the storm hit, actually thought she was going to get decapitated by a flying cymbal! People were picked up and thrown across the tent. Anyone left standing was trying to keep the 40×100 foot tent from blowing away! An entire table of china was knocked over and all of our dishes shattered with it. All of this happened in a matter of minutes.
The aftermath? One completely destroyed Ceremony space, about a handful of tablecloths still within a 5 miles radius, one warped sound board, 160 broken sets of dishes, one visit to the ER, and lots of drenched wedding guests!!
You might be thinking- “OMGsh…did you totally freak out!?!” I actually didn’t. One thing you have to realize is that the goal of a wedding is to get married. All of the other stuff is just a bonus. I did have my moment to cry a little, but after a few tears were shed- I was ready to get hitched! I waited almost 7 years to marry this man and I was not about to let a crazy storm ruin my day. Instead, we moved the Ceremony inside the house!! How 160+ people were going to fit in my in-laws living room…I had no idea haha. It was in this moment that I realized just how important my wedding coordinator was. She took command and with the help of my friends and family, cleared out the living room and turned it into a beautiful space fit for a wedding ceremony- all in a matter of minutes. While it may have been a tight squeeze, everyone enjoyed the intimacy it provided and were amazed at how efficiently everything was pulled together after such a huge disaster!
Here’s a picture that shows just how intimate it was…LOVE it!
During the ceremony, with the sun now shining, neighbors and people from our church just showed up to help restore the reception space! Someone brought over a new sound board for the band. A run was made to the grocery store to get all the paper plates and plastic silverware possible since all the rented china was destroyed. So many people pitched in to make sure the space was put back together and beautiful! Honestly, the amount of love and support given to us during this time was just incredible and Eric and I could not be more thankful.
The ceremony concluded, we recessed out the front door, and what did we see?? A double rainbow!!! It was absolutely gorgeous. It made me realize that no matter how much planning we do or how hard we try to control our lives- we aren’t in control. Storms are going to come. What matters most is how you handle those storms and how you treat each other in the midst of all the crazy. Eric and I were thrown for a loop on our wedding day. It’s the first of many “loops” we’re sure. Thankfully, we were able to walk through that storm with love and a focus on what really matters. In the end- the sun came out and we were blessed with a gorgeous reminder of God’s promise. There are definitely many more storms headed our way in life, but we know that we can make it through as long as we remember to love unconditionally, give grace abundantly, and remain grounded in our faith through it all.