When It Rains on Your Wedding Day
Whew, it’s over. The grandest day of Taylor and I’s life has come and gone like a Mardi Gras parade ripping through St. Charles Avenue. Weddings are dense—pregnant with preparation and eagerness—an expecting mother awaiting her first child. Ah, life is a merry-go-round of anticipation, isn’t it? From weddings to babies to vacations (oh my!).
The months before the Big Day were inundated with getting-the-details-figured-out. Oh the countless, sleepless, anxiety-driven nights I spent awake in bed making mental to-do lists. I wanted to make sure the tiniest details were perfect and meaningful. From bottles of cold brew iced coffee personalized with our dates and names as favors, to the Mardi Gras (NOLA) themed photo booth complete with authentic parade beads and banner with our hashtag for people to enjoy. From our guestbook that doubles as a map-frame to hang on our wall, to the globe for people to autograph with their favorite travel spots. From the polaroid snapshots of us that would hang from wooden clothes pins around the tree by the entrance, to the string quartet version of Don’t Stop Believing and Sweet Child O’ Mine that would play as my bridal party and I walked down the aisle (yea, it was pretty epic). I made sure every little touch of our wedding day was sweet, and beautiful, and memorable. The few days leading up to August 6th were busy with Hobby Lobby runs for masks and feathered boas to decorate the pictures, sharpie pens for the guests to use for their signatures, and gorgeous wooden frames to adorn the photos of our engagement that would be placed perfectly throughout the area where the Miami sun would be interrupted by the landscape of trees shading the ceremony and cocktail area.
Oh, how I got lost in these (beautiful, yes) little details. Not always in a wistful way, I might add. At times, I felt like these details were consuming me, usually taking my frustrations out on my poor mom who was involved in helping me get it together (sorry mom, I so love you). But yes, the wedding details began to take precedence as things of the sort usually do. I seemed to lose more sleep over the kind of twine, or hemp that would be used to marry the polaroid’s together on the tree, than I did about the covenant that would marry my groom and I together at the altar. As most things in life, you begin to lose sight of what’s truly important, ya know?
I arrived to the venue at 4pm—hair done, face fully made up, veil secured. I entered my very own wonderland, eyes-wide as I saw everything finally coming together. Months of day-dreaming and envisioning finally being sewn together and presented to me—exactly how I had fantasized. My bridesmaids following closely behind exclaiming sighs of satisfaction and reassuring “Oh, Kat, this is breathtaking.” It was magical. My focus rested on the decorations, the perfect arrangement of flowers…I was walking through my personal fairytale—Taylor playing the role of my very own prince-charming, of course.
The natural hustle and bustle of the day hurried me straight into my bridal suite where we took pictures, made toasts, laughed, and scurried around the room in excitement. The front window of the bridal suite allowed me to peek into the general welcome area where I could see the guests enjoying what I considered to be perfection. Every couple of minutes I took a peak, mentally pinching myself, resting assured that it was all real. The reception area was indoors, and remained a surprise for me to enjoy after the ceremony. My florist was in charge of that part, and I trusted her input fully (Thank you, Pedals with Poise!) The few details that I was in charge of and poured over for months rested beautifully outside, right where I could see it from the window.
5:30pm approached without my even noticing it. I was scheduled to walk down the aisle at 6pm. Us girls were so busy during that time that we hadn’t even seen the time, and it had been a good fifteen minutes since I had peaked out the window. Suddenly my (incredible) wedding coordinator walked through the door, “It’s 5:30, guests are starting to arrive…we moved everything inside so it wouldn’t get ruined.”
“Wait…what do you mean by ‘so it wouldn’t get ruined’?”
“Oh…it’s sprinkling, but it’s okay, it’s a light rain. It’ll stop soon,” she said.
I ran back to the window. Sure enough. Light rain. My greatest nightmare had become a reality. As I watched the photo booth banner my incredible sister/Maid of Honor had put the effort to make the night before, slowly start to be weighed down by the droplets of water, my heart began to slowly sink. The ceremony was to start in 30 minutes…and it was to start outdoors. How was I to walk down the aisle? Would the guests just sit there and get soaked? What about all the decorations? I tried hard not to panic.
Fifteen minutes later and the coordinator came back. “The rain stopped,” she said, “everyone is here and already sitting in the grotto [where the ceremony was to be held], do you mind if we get started early before the rain starts again?” Of course, I agreed. It was show time. All I cared at this moment was that the rain would hold up. “Oh, please, God. Please hold the rain until after the ceremony.”
As the ceremony commenced (and oh, my friends, it was as perfect as I had dreamed), the rain indeed held up. In fact, you know right before a storm, when the sky turns dark and the wind blows a cool breeze to let you know the cold rain water is about to fall? That’s exactly what happened—no rain, just a cool breeze and a dim sky. It turned out better than we had hoped. After all, no one wants to sit in Miami sun.
As soon as the ceremony was over, my groom and I were hurried to take pictures (before the sky let out—which worked out well because pictures turned out to be, well, quick—yay!). We then were led back to the bridal suite to freshen up and spend the first few moments as hubby and wife in solitude, before the hundreds of hugs and kisses and pictures. My new hubby and I hugged and nervous-laughed and kept reminding each other in between soft kisses, “we. are. married.” It was a sweet time.
After about thirty minutes of sweet sappiness we realized we still hadn’t been ushered out of the bridal suite. I wondered what was taking my coordinator so long to come get us. I peaked outside and saw the down-pour. Oh friends, the rain was finally hitting…and it was hitting hard. I looked out through the same window I had been peaking through before the ceremony, and there it all was—the banner, the photo booth, the polaroids around the tree, the Mardi Gras beads waiting patiently to be picked up and worn by a guest. They were wet, and ruined, and no one had paid much attention to any of it.
I turned around and met my groom’s eyes. He kissed me and again reassured me, “we. are. married.”
It was then that it hit me. It didn’t matter. None of it. In fact, the rain was my Father’s reminder that it never mattered. All the details, in the end, were washed away. All that remained that evening, all that mattered, was the ceremony—our vows, the first kiss, and ultimately: the covenant made with my God and my groom. The realization brought tears to my eyes and I let out an upward and silent, “thank you.”
Our coordinator and photographer (we love you, Lens of Lane!) arrived with a giant black umbrella to usher us into our fairy-tale reception. As we headed to the barn, we snuggled close, took pictures under the rain, and kissed.
The rest of the night was spent dancing and celebrating. The rain stopped anyone from leaving early or hanging out outside, or even wasting time at our photo booth, ha. The rain, my friends, kept everyone we cared about close together…near us…in one beautiful and magical room…celebrating us, and celebrating love.
Oh dear friends, I can’t stress enough: our sweet Savior always knows best. When we think rain would ruin, He knows it would make it sweeter. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m grateful for the cool rain on my wedding day. I’m thankful that it didn’t ruin anything. I’m thankful that it reminded me of truth, and I’m thankful for the beautiful lesson I learned on my wedding day: sometimes, the best thing that can happen is that the details are washed away, so what matters most can ultimately shine.