Someone tell me who said that weddings are supposed to be disasters? Because mine wasn’t. It was perfect.
We had our wedding on October 26, 2013 at a cabin my grandfather had built on my family’s 80 acre farm. It was a beautiful day–warm during the day, and partly cloudy, which was great for the photographer. It was a small wedding, with only about 50ish guests, which included many members of my home congregation and many family members I hadn’t seen in more than ten years. Some of whom hadn’t even received a wedding invitation, but were welcome anyway.
It was an outdoor wedding, and I had picked out all of the music, burning the music discs ahead of time so that all we had to do was plug and play. And since I had also timed my wedding to coincide with my home congregation’s fall barbecue, we had potluck for the reception. I’d also picked out my wedding dress with the setting in mind, and it was the only dress I had found that came below my knees but also did not drag the ground. On the whole, I spent about $800 dollars on it. A perfect wedding.
But the days leading up to the wedding? Not so perfect.
I will admit, more definitely could have gone wrong with my wedding if Michael and I hadn’t spent so much time planning, and if my family hadn’t put as much work into it as they had. But things did go wrong, and we did have several bumps on the road. Here are a few.
Number One: the silly flowers.
Michael and I probably spent too much time trying to get these stupid flowers. We’d decided months ago what colors we wanted, and so what flower colors we wanted to go with it. Burnt orange and white was our our colors, or somewhere close to it. So we searched for orange themed flowers online, settled for a variety pack, and put in our order.
The month before my wedding, the federal government decided it was going to be a pain in the butt and decided to shut down. This meant that we wouldn’t be able to get our flowers, as they would need to be shipped in from oversees, and no one was shipping to the U.S. at the time.
So we changed our minds, found some other orange flowers and attempted to order them. They were out.
By this time, it was three weeks before the wedding. I was starting to panic, and was really, really trying not to. A third time, and we decided to simplify our flowers. Get rid of the variety pack. Go for something simple–yellow roses with orange tips and baby’s breath. Except that when we ordered them, we were told that we ended up getting something else. I forget what.
Fifteen days before the wedding, and our last chance to get flowers. The government was still in lock down, so we told our wedding coordinator to just get roses. Plain roses. I wanted flowers, but it didn’t look like we were going to get what we wanted. I didn’t want to be picky, and I didn’t want to be a pain–really, seriously, I was trying to be nice–but come on, just get us something! So she placed the order.
Fast forward to the rehearsal. It’s the day before the wedding, and we’re all gathered at the cabin to figure out how it is going to go. The flowers have arrived, and we pull them out to soak. I lean over to take a look. What exactly did we end up with? And low and behold–we got our flowers! Roses and baby’s breath! Hallelujah!
This problem turned out all right, but it wasn’t fun to deal with at the time.
Number Two: My Car
Before I married Michael, I drove a 2003 red Pontiac Grand Am. I’d had it since I graduated college in 2008. It’d used it pretty heavily, and it had a lot of quirks (listing them all would be a story in and of itself). It was my car, and I loved it.
Three days before our wedding I totaled it.
I was on my way home from work and should have been paying attention. I was driving during heavy rush hour in downtown San Antonio on a major highway, but I wasn’t. I had plans of packing my car in preparation for moving to my fiances apartment and then driving ten hours to Arkansas for the wedding circling in my head instead. To top it off, I was going a little too fast. Then suddenly, blink! The white jeep in front of me was stopped and not moving. I slam on my breaks, but it wasn’t enough. I rammed into the back of her.
For those of you who are familiar with 410 in San Antonio at that hour of the day–especially the 410/I10 interchange, which is where I was–you will know what I’m talking about when I say traffic was heavy. I was lucky to get my car to the side of the road without causing both another accident, and traffic to back up.
I’ll skip over the panicky moments or the calling of the insurance or talking to the police and so forth. Suffice to say, it was my first accident and three days before my wedding I was NERVOUS. But thank God I had family in the area to pick me up and help me out.
But lets just say I didn’t spend that night packing, and I spent the next morning getting my car out of the lot the tow-truck had taken it and getting it to the mechanic’s. I was rushed to pack, rushed to get my stuff to Michael’s place–Gah! Not fun.
Good thing Michael had his own car that we were driving to Arkansas.
Number Three: My computer
Oh, my computer. I miss my computer.
About four or five years ago I bought myself a lap top to replace my previous lap top. It was an HP, 14 inch monitor, and was absolutely perfect for my writer’s lifestyle. I had about fifteen years worth of stories, music and pictures on that thing. This was the computer I’d used to write my first blog on. I had all my favorite games on it. And my stories. And my music. I had a lot of history with that thing.
Did I mention my music? Yeah.
The day before the wedding, I was burning the disc for our reception music. And it died.
Blue screen of death, green DOS pic, scary squeal of pain, puff of smoke–you get the idea: dead.
And everything, gone. With little to no back up.
Dear God, the thought of that happening again makes me want to cry. But thank you for geeky brothers and husbands–between the two of them, they slaved my hard drive to another computer and got all of my stories off of it. But not most of my pictures, and none of my music.
This was the main reason why I stopped blogging last year. I waited to get a new computer, but of course without all my stuff it wasn’t the same. And also there was the question of what to blog about. I’d already decided I’d have to start a new blog. I wasn’t Jenny Miller anymore, after all, but Jenny Gorman. The question was, what?
It took me a year to figure that out, but now you see the results of it.
Number Four: The Ring-bearer’s Suit
Coordinating the groomsmen’s and the ring-bearer’s suits wasn’t the easiest thing. Oh, it wasn’t difficult, but we ended up having a bit of a communication issue.
Those of you who’ve participated in weddings knows how this goes. You go to Men’s Warehouse, your husband picks out his suit, and then you tell all your groomsmen to go to their local Men’s Warehouse to get their sizes. They do, you pay for the renting, and on everyone gets fitted on the days they are supposed to. Then everyone goes to pick them up the day before the wedding.
Our ring-bearer was 8. Obviously, he couldn’t drive to Little Rock and pick up his suit. But since we were driving up through there before the wedding, we told his mom that we would pick it up. Problem was, we forgot. (Also I had this confusing idea in my mind that we wouldn’t be allowed to pick it up, that his mom had to be the one, but it turned out I was wrong.)
So, this comes to light during the reception. Everyone starts to panic. Everyone, that is, except for Michael. He was staying in a hotel about ten minutes from Men’s Warehouse. He could pick it up tomorrow and get here with plenty of time to spare.
Naturally, with everyone panicking, he had to repeat himself about four times before anyone heard him. And in the end, it wasn’t a big deal. He picked it up and got it here before I was even finished getting my hair done.
Number Five: The Candles
I had decided that I wanted candles to line my path as I walked up the aisle, and my sister and the wedding coordinator had come up with some very pretty, and cheep, solution. They found pretty quart jars (easy thing to do, since my mom loves to can), got some tea candles to put in them, and tied some ribbon around them. They were pretty, and they also served to hold the fabric down to the ground.
The problem? The aisle was only one person wide. We walked down it two at a time. And this was an outdoor wedding, in a field with slightly taller-than-normal grass that hadn’t seen rain in a while.
As my husband tells it, this is what he was thinking: “Oh no, don’t knock over the candles. Don’t get the field on fire, don’t get the dress on fire. Don’t get the field on fire, don’t get the dress on fire.”
As it happens, yes, we knocked over some candles. And in some of the pictures, we are looking at our feet, trying not to knock them over. And I qualified for the Ministry of Funny Walks, having to step high with one leg to step over them.
But we did not set my dress on fire, or the field on fire.
Thanks for sitting through my wedding story! I hope you’ll come back tomorrow when I post, “My Husband’s Five Favorite Phrases.”