Planning a wedding is a delicate balance of trying to plan for everything and anything, while constantly having to give up control of needing to have it perfect.
Planning a wedding outdoors means perfection cannot even be on the agenda. The weather is its own element, with its own agenda and its own whimsy. You cannot control what it does, when it does it or how. You can only prepare for every eventuality.
On Saturday, April 25th, the rain that had threatened all week became a reality. It fell. All around. All morning.
The valley was shrouded in grey glowering darkness. Misty clouds floated above the surface of the lake, raindrops danced upon the waters.
It was beautiful but it was not what I wanted.
At nine, when I arrived at Bench 1775 Vineyards to help set-up, I was not willing to concede defeat. “Let’s wait until mid-morning before we make the final decision,” I pleaded with Natalie Winsa, our wedding planner. “Of course,” she agreed. “Let’s wait.”
Waiting didn’t make a difference. The rain kept falling. The temperatures were downright cold.
My daughters arrived to help. “You’re going to have to do the ceremony inside,” they cautioned me.
I took a breath and decided it was what it was.
“Yes! Let’s set-up inside. It will be different than I imagined but it will still be beautiful.”
And we began the task of creating a space of beauty within while outside the rain tapered off but the skies remained gloomy.
We’d planned on being finished by noon. By one, we were not yet done. Alexis my eldest daughter set the alarm on her phone. “We have to be out of here latest by 2 mom,” she advised me.
“Of course,” I replied as C.C. and I draped fabric over fishing line wire to disguise the corner where all the ‘extra stuff’ was hidden behind the DJ.
TZ, who had been working on beautifying the tent, wrapped the final guy-wire with silver mesh, hung the last whimsical flower I’d made on the centre pole and strung the final silver star. TW swept up debris as his daughter Victoria helped place the final centrepiece.
Alexis’ alarm chimed at 2. “We have to go,” she announced.
I was still waiting for the weather to turn. The rain had stopped but the clouds still hung low. “We have to go, mom. It will be beautiful.”
I knew she was right. The room where we’d set up the chairs for the wedding looked beautiful, as did the tent where all the tables were set.
It’s just, I’d really, really wanted to get married outside, with the lake waters shimmering in the sun and the view expanding out behind us.
We drove back to Therapy Guesthouse to get ready. TW practiced sabering a bottle of champagne and we clapped and laughed as the bubbles came frothing out.
Alexis did my makeup while Ross Tabalada, our amazing photographer, took photos. C.C. and his son T floated around for awhile until we banished them to the downstairs.
The tradition of not seeing the bride until the ceremony runs strong amongst our daughters.
And I just kept smiling and getting ready and practicing letting go of wanting the ceremony outside.
At 4:55 we were ready to leave for the ceremony. C.C. and his son TC had already gone before us. It was just the girls and me, and TW who was driving us over.
My phone pinged. A text. I looked at the screen. It was just emoticons. A heart and a whole bunch of suns shining.
I text back. “Move the chairs please. Outside.”
And so, the clouds pulled apart. Blue sky appeared and sun streamed through the gaps.
And the chairs moved.
It didn’t matter if the air was still crisp or the clouds hung low upon the horizon. Right where we stood, the sun shone and the breeze felt fresh against my skin as C.C. and I, surrounded by our children, family and friends vowed to love one another, forever and always.
It was perfect in every way.