Sitting here in the house on a cold, rainy day in February made me think about all the brides and grooms who end up with wet wedding days and how disappointed they always are. Be it rain, snow, hail or even a tornado (as we recently witnessed here in Raleigh), precipitation isn’t a part of their plans and they often see it as a disaster - especially if the wedding is planned for outside.
But if you think about it, it really is only a blip on the screen in a day when love is celebrated. It can change the logistics and feel of the ceremony and celebration, to be sure, but it doesn’t have to change it for the worse. It can even add an unexpected resonance that makes the wedding day one that nobody will ever forget.
I did a wedding last year for a couple, Barbara and Douglass, who had planned a magnificent wedding and reception outdoors on their beautiful property. The wedding day dawned with a storm threatening but by the afternoon it looked like we might be lucky enough to at least get through the wedding before the storm began. Our luck didn’t hold. A severe wind and rain, accompanied by a steep temperature drop, began five minutes before the ceremony was about to begin. Umbrellas had been purchased earlier in the day - just in case - and they were quickly dispersed to the guests and bridal party. Despite our disappointment and what we perceived at the time as bad luck, the wedding under the trees went on anyway.
Barbara came down the aisle on the arm or her son, as planned, with him holding an umbrella over them, which had not been planned. Barbara and her son were still glowing anyway, despite the weather.
And just look at the look on Douglass’ face as he watched Barbara coming down the aisle. Even though there was no umbrella covering him, he was still smiling from ear to ear. My guess is that as soon as he saw her he forgot all about the rain!
The rest of the ceremony took place under umbrellas, with the rain and wind blowing like crazy, but all the guests were right there with them, sharing the experience with smiles and laughter and tears of joy. Those umbrellas created an intimacy that none of us had expected. What we all realized later was that the storm we had initially thought was bad luck had actually become an asset to the ceremony (and the reception that followed) in ways we would have never imagined!
So here is what I wanted to say; it doesn’t matter if it rains or snows or if the wind blows the dresses sideways. What matters is that you let go, have a good time and enjoy your wedding day in whatever way it unfolds. You are there to celebrate your love and commitment and you should enjoy that to the fullest. You are making memories - and even if they aren’t the memories you had thought you would make, they will still be the memories that make your heart smile every time you think of your wedding day for the rest of your life.
As Barbara and Douglass’ photographer (Cindy Giovagnoli, of Cuppa Photography) said;
“Here’s the magical thing about a rainy wedding day: everyone lets go.
They let go of preconceived visions and ideas. They let go of the idea that everything has to be perfect. They let go of the stress (after the initial panic at the rain, anyway!). They let go of everything except the beauty of their love and of the fact that this is it, that this is the day that they begin their life together as an official, publicly recognized team. There is laughter and imperfection and mud. There are dark skies and whipping wind and running for shelter and asking for help. There are challenges unforeseen, but somehow managed. And at the end of it all, there is one heckuva story.
If that isn’t a perfect metaphor for real life and marriage, well, I just don’t know what is.”
She is SO right!
All of the photographs here were taken by Barbara and Douglass’ photographer, Cindy Giovagnoli, of Cuppa Photography.